The 2022-23 NBA season will be a bloodbath


Madeline Khoo

As the NBA season opens, teams are expected to fight for a chance at redemption and ultimately, a spot in the finals.

Austin Pak

The bottom feeders of the league have one clear goal in sight. Victor Wenbanyama is heralded as the best international prospect since Luka Doncic, with an incredibly versatile skill set and seemingly limitless ceiling. Seven teams already made plans to tank (lose over the season) to procure the highest chance for him in the draft lottery, with more expected to begin punting over the season.

Two suitors joined them in their pursuit to lose: the San Antonio Spurs with their trade of Dejounte Murray and the Utah Jazz with their fire sale. Expect these teams to be incredibly active in the trade market, with veteran pieces like Eric Gordon, Jakob Poeltl, and Buddy Hield moved to play-off contenders.

Some teams have the goal of redemption. The Los Angeles Lakers look to reverse their complete misfortune, while the Los Angeles Clippers, with the return of stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, are out for blood. The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers hope to return from injuries to star players to contention. Perhaps no team is more due for redemption than the Brooklyn Nets after the Kevin Durant trade saga and the season debut of Ben Simmons. Their hope is a postseason birth and a championship to prove their doubters wrong.

Some younger teams are ready to take that next step. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers were the primary buyers during the Utah Jazz’s fire sale, acquiring all-stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, respectively. They have added to their young core and taken that next step toward a deep playoff push. The Atlanta Hawks aided the San Antonio Spurs on their quest to Victor Wenbanyama by trading for all-star Dejounte Murray, in hopes that they will rebound to the success of 2021. The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies have their building blocks already in place, with their main priority to ensure that their young core gels into form to open their championship window.

While every team wants to win a championship, some have that as their only focus. The Golden State Warriors look to solidify their dynasty, while the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns want to look past scandals and last season’s failures for redemption. The Philadelphia 76ers are led by a motivated James Harden, as the Miami Heat just locked in their core for another run with a sizable contract extension for Tyler Herro. The Milwaukee Bucks want to prove they are the top dog, and they will have to fight those teams, the Clippers, Nuggets, Nets, and potentially even more, as they look to win their second championship in three years.

All eyes are up this season, with the potential of dogfights in the regular season and an extremely entertaining postseason in the cards ahead.