Los Angeles Clippers
Jerry West really is one of the greats not only on the court, but also as an executive. He not only helped convince Kawhi Leonard to join the Clippers, but he also snagged Paul George from the Thunder to satisfy Leonard’s request for a second star. And all of this happened without a leak to the media. They also still have Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley. This team is stacked.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers not only added Anthony Davis to go with LeBron James, but they also signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal. Cousins isn’t quite the player he once was, but LA is solid at the center position as they also re-signed JaVale McGee. Add to that a 3-and-D guard in Danny Green, and the Lakers are finally back in business.
Golden State Warriors
It’s been a little rough for the Warriors over the past couple of months. They lost Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the postseason to injuries, potentially costing them a title. Then, both KD and Cousins left in free agency. Thompson will miss a lot of next season, but the Warriors will be dangerous once they get back healthy, especially depending on who they flip D’Angelo Russell for. The Dubs aren’t the conference favorites anymore, but they will still be a serious handful assuming Thompson makes a full recovery.
Like the Blazers, the Jazz are another playoff team that took a step in the right direction this summer. They traded for Mike Conley, who will be an upgrade at point guard over Ricky Rubio on both ends of the floor. They also added Bojan Bogdanovic, who was spectacular for Indiana last season and Jeff Green, a lengthy veteran forward with a lot of playoff experience. Combine that with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and you have a squad that can hang with any team in the league.
Finally, we have the Houston Rockets. After several rumors in the media about Houston’s interest in Jimmy Butler, they ultimately lost out on the forward to Miami. However, we’ve written on why the Rockets are better off without Butler. Houston got off to a terrible start last season, but after Jan. 1, they finished the season with a 32-14 (.696 win percentage) record. The Rockets will bring back their core players from last year and go after a title again. If they can add a solid piece, preferably a 3-and-D forward, the Rockets will enter next season with a roster comparable to any team.