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NBA Season Preview – Who Will Succeed The Warriors As NBA Champions?

Last season, the Golden State Warriors turned back the clock to win their seventh NBA Championship title, defeating the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the seven-game Championship series.

It was their first appearance in the Finals since they contested five successive finals between 2015 and 2019, winning three and losing three of those games, four of which were against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Last year’s victory was an emotional one given that the Warriors had welcomed Klay Thompson back from almost two years out with injury during the season and Steph Curry surpassed 20,000 points for the team and also cracked over 3,000 3-pointers during the season too.

However, with all 30 NBA Teams now back in training and preparing for the new season start by playing a series of pre-season games, the focus is now on which teams could conceivably challenge the Warriors for the title.

Let’s take a look at some of the key moves, trades and draft picks that have occurred over the pre-season period, as well as the latest odds on the teams who bet365 Sport thinks will be amongst those challenging for the top honours this season.

With the new season kicking off on the 18th October in the United States (19th October in the UK), we will now take a look at some of the major trades, free agent moves and NBA Draft signings made by teams over the course of the post and pre-season.

NBA Draft 2022

A number of teams made significant upgrades during the NBA Draft, the most impressive are outlined below:

  • Orlando Magic – Paolo Banchero (1st), Caleb Houston (32nd)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren (2nd), Jalen Williams (12th), Peyton Watson (30th), Jaylin Williams (34th)
  • Houston Rockets – Jabari Smith Jr. (3rd), Tari Eason (17th)
  • Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray (4th)
  • Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey (5th)

NBA Retirements, Free Agent Moves & Trades 2022

Alongside the draft picks, there were also a large number of NBA Free Agent moves as well as teams trading players for other players, draft picks or similar. Some of the most notable moves in the off-season were as follows:

Retirements

  • J.J.Barea (formerly Mavericks, Timberwolves)
  • Gustavo Ayon (formerly Hornets, Magic, Bucks & Hawks)
  • Jodie Meeks (formerly Bucks, 76ers, Lakers, Pistons, Magic, Wizards, Raptors)
  • Toure’ Murry (formerly Knicks, Jazz, Wizards)

Head Coach Changes

  • LA Lakers – Sacked Frank Vogel, Replaced with Darvin Ham
  • Sacramento Kings – Sacked Alvin Gentry, Replaced with Mike Brown
  • Charlotte Hornets – Sacked James Borrego, Replaced with Steve Clifford
  • Utah Jazz – Quin Snyder Resigned, Replaced with Will Hardy

Free Agent Moves

Player Trades (Not Including 2022 Drafted Player Trades)

  • JaMychal Green – Denver Nuggets to Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Christian Wood – Houston Rockets to Dallas Mavericks
  • Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, Boban Marjanovic – Dallas Mavericks to Houston Rockets
  • Danny Green – Philadelphia 76ers to Memphis Grizzlies
  • De’Anthony Melton – Memphis Grizzlies to Philadelphia 76ers
  • Dejounte Murray & Jock Landale – San Antonio Spurs to Atlanta Hawks
  • Danilo Gallinari – Atlanta Hawks to San Antonio Spurs
  • Royce O’Neale – Utah Jazz to Brooklyn Nets
  • Jock Landale – Atlanta Hawks to Phoenix Suns
  • Maurice Harkless & Justin Holiday – Sacramento Kings to Atlanta Hawks
  • Kevin Huerter – Atlanta Hawks to Sacramento Kings
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope & Ish Smith – Washington Wizards to Denver Nuggets
  • Will Barton & Monte Morris – Denver Nuggets to Washington Wizards
  • Kemba Walker – New York Knicks to Detroit Pistons
  • Jerami Grant – Detroit Pistons to Portland Trail Blazers
  • Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz to Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt – Minnesota Timberwolves to Utah Jazz
  • Malcolm Brogdon – Indiana Pacers to Boston Celtics
  • Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Daniel Theis- Boston Celtics to Indiana Pacers
  • Alec Burks & Nerlens Noel – New York Knicks to Detroit Pistons
  • Patrick Beverley – Utah Jazz to Los Angeles Lakers
  • Talen Horton-Tucker & Stanley Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers to Utah Jazz
  • Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz to Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Ochai Agbaji, Lauri Markkanen, Colin Sexton – Cleveland Cavaliers to Utah Jazz
  • Bojan Bogdanovic – Utah Jazz to Detroit Pistons
  • Saben Lee, Kelly Olynyk – Detroit Pistons to Utah Jazz
  • Vit Krejcl – Oklahoma City Thunder to Atlanta Hawks
  • Maurice Harkless – Atlanta Hawks to Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Derrick Favors, Maurice Harkless, Ty Jerome, Theo Madden – Oklahoma City Thunder to Houston Rockets
  • Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquess Chris, David Nwaba – Houston Rockets to Oklahoma City Thunder

Free Agents

While a number of players re-signed with their team on a new contract, a number of NBA Stars made a switch of teams due to being a free agent. The major Free Agent moves in the NBA this summer are outlined below:

  • Troy Brown Jr. – Chicago Bulls to Los Angeles Lakers
  • Damion Lee – Golden State Warriors to Phoenix Suns
  • John Wall – Houston Rockets to Los Angeles Clippers
  • Andre Drummond – Brooklyn Nets to Chicago Bulls
  • Donte DiVincenzo – Sacramento Kings to Golden State Warriors
  • Bruce Brown Jr – Brooklyn Nets to Denver Nuggets
  • Jalen Smith – Phoenix Suns to Indiana Pacers
  • T.J.Warren – Indiana Pacers to Brooklyn Nets
  • Jalen Brunson – Dallas Mavericks to New York Knicks
  • Monytrezl Harrell – Charlotte Hornets to Philadelphia 76ers
  • Dennis Schroder – Houston Rockets to Los Angeles Lakers

Amongst those players that elected to stay with their current team and sign a new contract were:

  • Marvin Bagley III – Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
  • Wesley Matthews – Milwaukee Bucks
  • Jusuf Nurkic – Portland Trail Blazers
  • Victor Oladipo – Miami Heat
  • Bobby Portis – Milwaukee Bucks
  • Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers
  • Jalen Smith – Indiana Pacers
  • Mo Bamba – Orlando Magic
  • Bol Bol – Orlando Magic
  • Chris Boucher – Toronto Raptors
  • Zach LaVine – Chicago Bulls
  • Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors
  • Patty Mills – Brooklyn Nets
  • Deandre Ayton – Phoenix Suns
  • James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers
  • Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors

Who Are The Teams To Watch In The NBA 2022-23 Season?

Golden State Warriors – 6/1 Favourites

Starters – Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

Of course, the current NBA Champions start the season as favourites, returning all their key players and of course, with vast experience on how to win it all. This is an ageing team however and if injuries strike, then they could struggle but fully fit, they are still the team to beat in the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks – 13/2

Starters – Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Giannis, Brook Lopez

The Bucks return all of their key men from their title success of two seasons ago and they will once again rely on the explosive talents of Giannis Antetokounmpo to anchor their team and as a result, it would be a huge surprise if they are not big challengers once again this season.

Boston Celtics – 7/1

Starters – Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford

The Celtics retail all the key personnel from last season and signing Malcolm Brogdon gives them additional strength in depth. They’ll need a better start this season than last, but if they can get that then they should be contenders once again in the Eastern Conference.

Los Angeles Clippers – 7/1

Starters – Reggie Jackson, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Marcus Morris Sr, Ivica Zubac

The Clippers have made some very astute signings in recent years and in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, they have two outstanding difference-makers who can turn a game on its head in a quarter or so. It’s about time LA had a big presence in the playoffs. The Clippers may just offer that this season.

Brooklyn Nets – 7/1

Starters – Joe Harris, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, Nic Claxton

In terms of talent, the Nets are hard to beat, even minus James Harden. Much depends on whether Kevin Durant still wants to trade out of Brooklyn and whether any team could afford a deal for arguably the best player in the NFL. The outcome of that will likely determine the Nets season.

*Odds shown are to win the NBA Championship and were correct with bet365 Sport at the time of writing but may have changed in the meantime.

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