The league became younger and fresher. Teams build it through drafts which mostly 18 or 19 years old. Then the potential to be a great dynasty once they fully peak of their game. While others are in a win-now mode and gambling thru veteran talents which they are willing to take a risk by trading draft rights and picks for a proven commodity. There’s also a team that giving a huge contract in free agency and paid luxury tax. Some of it works out while others become a huge bust. These teams are facing huge pressure from owners and fan bases. They are on top of their conferences to compete for Larry O’Brien trophy.
Here is the list of the teams that in a win-now mode after making a huge move in the last offseason and trade deadlines.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James already in his 17th year in the league. A 35-year-old who’s been played by more games in his career who is in 8 straight NBA Finals. Then this the year where Anthony Davis is the healthiest. Leading the Western Conference by distant games. After this, they don’t have a really good asset or picks behind Kyle Kuzma. On their roster, they only had a shorts contracts player who’s on their 30s out of prime. Winning this season is a priority, or else teams will catch them. The Dallas Mavericks are one of the upcoming teams in the West. The Lakers have a good market which can pry players in free agency but a roster of James at his age had enough to run in the most competitive conference?
Los Angeles Clippers
After winning the free agency by signing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George via trade the Clippers in a mission. Kawhi Leonard wins a Finals MVP with the Toronto Raptors. After this season, the Clippers role players are one year older. Lou Williams starting to slow down as age catching him up, same with Patrick Beverly. Paul George missed a handful of games with an injury. Same reason with the Lakers picks for the future already given to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Leonard with his load management issue. So who’s gonna save the Clippers when he’s out?
After two seasons the Rockets gave up Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook a much younger point guard who also win an MVP to pair with James Harden. A top-four seed now in the Western Conference. The pair is already on their 30s, no enough cap space to lure big names in free agency, giving up too many future first-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder can cost their future. James Harden had a history of great teammates on their prime but they were short at least of the NBA Finals. Dwight Howard was gone same with Paul, will the healthy Westbrook save James Harden’s shortcomings? Their version of the small ball can be effective against elite big men? They need to do their best to achieve the glory or else Rockets will be rebuilding the team for years.
This team is still young and a lot of a handful of assets. They had Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons giving the team a good run. After a bad exit last season they’re expected to win it all this year but they are started badly and just settling to only fourth seed battling with the Indiana Pacers. People expected them to dominate the Eastern Conference but Sixers struggled. After inked Tobias Harris to a max deal last offseason he looks like an average player. There are rumors that Miami Heat is courting Embiid to the South Beach. If they can’t win this year it’s likely one of the duos won’t satisfy themselves. The breakup is likely for them of they feel they’re short of expectations.
Unlike the teams mentioned above, the Bucks are young, healthy and a contender for years to come. The only problem they had is the temptation of big markets if they fail to win this year. The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers can lure Giannis Antetoukoumnpo from the Bucks. Big Markets are respectable and had a history of winning. They can offer heaven just to get a young player who can play both ends of the court. For Bucks, an NBA Finals could be a little guarantee for them to extend the Greek Freak.