NBA Futures Predictions
The Pacific Division is home to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and so, not surprisingly, they’re the team heavily favored to take down the division again in 2015-16.
There aren’t many alpha dogs in the NBA that have has legitimate a contending team playing in their division as Golden State has in the Los Angeles Clippers.
Able to lure DeAndre Jordan back to LA LA Land, the Clippers are poised to give the Warriors another run for their money out West.
Here’s a look at which teams you should keep your handicapping eye on from the Pacific Division.
Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Golden Warriors (NBA Odds -200)
The Warriors didn’t make much noise in the offseason, but they did some things to better the franchise’s future.
David Lee was shipped out of town, taking his salary off the books.
The return on that move, Gerald Wallace, can help the team stretch the floor if used properly. Draymond Green and Leandro Barbosa also quietly got new deals.
The team will again run through Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and go as far as those two take them, while also maintaining their elite play at the defensive end of the court.
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA Odds +150)
The Clippers’ offseason could have gone very differently if not for a key free agent changing his mind in the 11th hour. DeAndre Jordan was ready to leave for Dallas when the Clippers rallied and convinced him to stay.
They were also able to make some moves to improve their bench, which has been a big area of need for some time now.
Considering the lack of financial flexibility, they were able to do quite a job at it, too.
Paul Pierce and Josh Smith are the big names to come to do, and while neither can offer what he used to, neither will be asked to play as one of the top options on the floor. They also brought in Lance Stephenson and Wesley Johnson on budget-friendly deals to improve their depth.
Phoenix Suns (NBA Odds +8000)
The Suns’ roster is going to look largely similar to the way it did a year ago, with a few exceptions.
The Morris twins have been split up, with Marcus getting shipped off to the Detroit Pistons.
Tyson Chandler will now man the middle in a move that was likely made in an effort to lure LaMarcus Aldridge to Phoenix.
While that was going on, the team lost out on guys like Brandan Wright and Gerald Green. Not a good look.
Sacramento Kings (NBA Odds +10000)
The Kings may have had the worst offseason of any team in the league. They traded away Nik Stauskas and a first-rounder for cap space, then couldn’t land a big free agent so they instead gave $10 million to Rajon Rondo, who no one else wanted.
Kosta Koufos and Marco Belinelli are decent additions, but they were more than two middling pieces away from the playoffs a year ago. Willie Cauley-Stein is a solid defender and can contribute right away but won’t be able to provide much help at the offensive end.
Now it will be on George Karl to work with a core of Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rondo.
Los Angeles Lakers (NBA Odds +20000)
The Lakers’ prized move of the offseason is bringing in D’Angelo Russell, but now they’ll have to hope that Kobe Bryant plays nice with the new future of the franchise.
Julius Randle also comes back, giving the team effectively two lottery picks above what they had a year ago.
Beyond that, there isn’t much hope.
Lou Williams would be a good addition to most teams, but the Lakers are already loaded with players who can score and do little else.
2016 Northwest Division Prediction: Clippers +150
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