Potential Playoff Teams
1. Chicago Bulls – Chicago made drastic improvments to their team over the offseason. After trading away former MVP Derrick Rose for big man Robin Lopez, the Bulls looked to fill voids at the guard spots. They drafted NCAA Player of the Year, Denzel Valentine, signed Rajon Rondo to replace Rose, and made a shocking free agency move in luring Dwyane Wade away from Miami. Look for the Bulls to be a gritty team that runs the floor a lot this year.
With such a strong veteran presence coming to the team, the Bulls could be one of the top teams in the East.
Starting Lineup: Rajon Rondo – Dwayne Wade – Jimmy Butler – Nikola Mirotic – Robin Lopez
Second Unit: Jerian Grant – Denzel Valentine – Doug McDermott – Bobby Portis – Taj Gibson
2. New York Knicks – The Knicks finally have a team that can compete. With the emergence of rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis last season, the Knicks found their second franchise cornerstone piece. Adding the hometown guy Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee, they made some drastic improvements to their lacking roster. Not to be forgotten, they landed former MVP, Derrick Rose, who’s looking to reassert himself as one of the NBA’s best point guards. Oh how quickly people forget how great someone is.
The Knicks have a talented roster filled with veterans that have seen success in the NBA, and hope to make a return to the playoffs.
Starting Lineup: Derrick Rose – Courtney Lee – Carmelo Anthony – Kristaps Porzingis – Joakim Noah
Second Unit: Brandon Jennings – Sasha Vujacic – Lance Thomas – Kyle O’Quinn – Marshall Plumlee
3. Milwaukee Bucks – While this might be a potential long shot, the Bucks should find themselves in the playoff hunt. They drafted Thon Maker with the tenth pick in the draft, and besides having stones for hands, he looked pretty good. With the young team the Bucks have, along with acquiring Dellavedova in free agency, we believe that this will be the year that it finally clicks for Jason Kidd and Milwaukee—they are young, and are one of the longest, most athletic teams in the league.
Starting Lineup: Michael Carter-Williams – Kris Middleton – Giannis Antetekoumpo – Mirza Teletovic – Greg Monroe
Second Unit: Matthew Dellavedova – Rashad Vaughn – Jabari Parker – Thon Maker – Miles Plumlee
Potential Teams Eliminated
1. Atlanta Hawks
2. Miami Heat
3. Charlotte Hornets