With the first wave of a free agency already in the books, we took a look at the projected rosters for next season and predicted which teams will end up with the most surprising Win Totals. Keep in mind, that surprise could be a good team got worse, or a bad team got better. We ranked them by the biggest jump in the predicted winning percentage. So much is happening that the same case can be made for multiple teams not mentioned on this list. You never know what will happen, but one thing we’re sure of is that the entire landscape of the NBA has shifted going into this upcoming season. Here are 6 NBA Teams that could surprise us next year.

 

6.Dallas Mavericks – Better

Dallas has made some pretty good moves in the past year and continues to build a solid team around their young star rookie Luka Doncic. We already know what Luka can do, Dallas just offered Kristaps Porzingis a Max 5-year $158 Million contract. If the 7 footer is healthy, he should go back to being a star in this league. Kristaps Porzingis when healthy, and refreshed was pretty unstoppable at the beginning of the 2017 season before he got hurt. His lack of strength was always a weakness for Porzingis, who could not consistently impose his will offensively for 48 minutes every other night. He still averaged 17ppg 7rb 2blks his first 3 years in the NBA. Now that the PF has spent the past year building his body, if he returns healthy what we should see is a stronger, more explosive player. Add a fresh Luka Doncic back for his sophomore year, a good bench, and solid free agency additions like Seth Curry, and Boban Marjanovic to the mix. The Mavericks should be ready to make a sneak entrance into the playoffs as the 6-8th seed in the Western Conference Projected Record: 48-34

5.  The Los Angles Clippers – Worse

This rating stands ONLY if the Clippers DO NOT end up landing Kawhi Leonard. Right now the public has been led to believe that Kawhi is going to the Lakers, Clippers, or back to Toronto. The Clippers have not made any major moves obviously because Kawhi is they’re #1 target. However, if they don’t land the “Fun Guy”, they will most definitely have a worse year this coming season, compared to last years 48-34 finish. The Clippers had established great team chemistry and were already 30-25 in a tough western conference back in February when they traded Tobias Harris, arguably their best young player. The momentum they established carried them to an impressive 18-9 finish. Although the Clippers are a tough and well-coached team, their best player is currently their sixth man, Lou Williams, followed by Patrick Beverly and Montrez Harrell. With teams in the West getting significantly better around them, it’s hard to image where the needed scoring will come from on this team. Missing out on the Kawhi sweepstakes would almost certainly push the Clippers out of playoff contention. Projected Record: 32-50

 

4. Atlanta Hawks – Better

The Hawks struck Gold in last years Draft with Trae Young, and the Rookie Pg put up 19ppg and 8Ast while leading the Atlanta Hawks to 29 Wins in the Eastern Conference. One can argue this time around the Hawks had an ever better draft, somehow they were able to get De’Andre Hunter the best 3 & D Wing in the draft, and Cam Reddish who is the best 3 point shooter of this years rookie class. With these Key additions from the draft and Trae and Collins coming back for the sophomore years, I think it’s a safe bet to add 10 more wins to the Hawks win total from last year at least. They still have cap room available and could use it to snatch up 1 or 2 veteran players to help out the locker room. Projected Record: 40-42

 

3. Golden State Warriors – Worse

This selection is a no brainer, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you Golden State will fall off significantly in terms of the western conference standings without KD, and Klay. KD who elected to play elsewhere won’t be back on the court until the 2020-21 season. Klay coming off an ACL tear won’t be back on the court until well after the All-star break next year. With Steph Curry as the point guard, obviously, the Warriors will still be a handful and are very likely to make the playoffs. However, if that happens I estimate the Warriors will be as a lower seed in the Western Conference. Projected Record: 48-34

 

2. New York Knicks – A lot Better

This may be a surprise to many, but I hope this explanation clears up any concerns. The Knicks finished last in the league with a 16-65 record after tanking their season to try and get Zion Williamson in the draft. Things didn’t plan out the way the Bockers expected but they did have a really good Draft, and recently just made some lowkey smart moves in free agency. Coming out of Duke Rj Barrett looked like he had the potential to be a future all-star in this league, his game is already mature enough for the NBA, and there is a serious possibility that he could have a Donovan Mitchell like rookie year with the Knicks. Throw in Mitchell Robinson a defensive stud who led all Rookies in NBA history in Blocks and finished second in the league in the category, and Kevin Knox a player with huge upside coming back for year 2, the Knicks currently have arguably the best Young Core in the NBA well behind the Pelicans, and maybe Atlanta. However, the Knicks front office did a good job to sure up their frontcourt with the free agency additions of Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Julius Randle who had a career year last year. Now that the tank is over, and they added some competent and competitive players, the Knicks should see the second greatest increase in Win totals compared to the previous season, (That’s just because they were so horrible last year). Projected Record: 35-47 

 

1. Utah Jazz – Way Better

The Utah Jazz has had the most impressive offseason in my opinion. After trading for Mike Conley, the Jazz may have the best backcourt in the Western Conference going into the 2019-20 season. Donavan Mitchell continues to impress and finished up his sophomore year averaging 23ppg and 4ast. Mike Conley has been quietly playing at an elite level in Memphis and is coming off a season where he put up a career-high 21ppg. The Jazz went on to sign Ed Davis, Bojan Bogdanovic, to support their Dynamic backcourt and 2x Defensive player of the year, Center Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be a formidable team in the Western Conference, they have the potential to be the #1 seed and make a deep playoff run. Projected Record: 68-14

 

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