What just happened in the NBA Central Division? Analysis of the unofficial moves of the central department

The Central Division is home to the Detroit Pistons, and possibly also the franchise with one of the best NBA title odds (although there is plenty of competition), the most exciting young team, the up and coming team, and a franchise centered in a complete rebuilding mode and the last team stuck It is in neutral and may do a factory reset sooner than it wants. It may not be the most talented division in the NBA, but it may contain the largest collection of intriguing storylines of franchises on disparate paths. Let’s dig.


Atlanta Hawks & Milwaukee Bucks - NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022

Photo by Francois Niel/Getty Images

Offseason in 5 words or less

3 big is not big enough

big changes

Giannis Antetokounmpo star may shine brighter in the NBA, but for the aging-tied cover of the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s hard to look at the roster as a whole and put them solidly ahead of the likes Philadelphia 76ersAnd the Boston CelticsAnd the Toronto RaptorsAnd the Brooklyn NetworksAnd the Miami Heator asc Cleveland Cavaliers. No doubt the Bucks will be in a conversation that ends near the top of the Eastern Conference, but coming out of the championship just two seasons ago, anything less than a title will feel frustrating, especially when you have the best player. In the NBA in the list.

better or worse?

worst. The Bucks will basically be rolling with the same crew from a season ago, and there’s really no talent on the roster that I would expect to make such a huge leap in play. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers added Donovan Mitchell, the Toronto Raptors’ Scotty Barnes is likely to take a step forward after an impressive rookie campaign, and the 76ers have added some seasoned veterans like BJ Tucker and Danuel House. Also, it’s hard not to expect the Nets to turn things around after only picking up Kyrie Irving in 29 games last season.

Playoff competitor?

Install it. The Bucks will conduct the playoffs. The Bucks should be in contention to be one of the best teams in the NBA, but the road to getting there will be as tough as ever.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Offseason in 5 words or less

How good is Donovan Mitchell?

big changes

Expectations are high for the Cavaliers, and rightly so. Evan Mobley is a budding star talent, Garrett Allen is one of the best indoor defenders in the NBA, and Darius Garland should be competing with the entire NBA squad this season. Oh, and they’ve also added one of the NBA’s top scorers in Donovan Mitchell.

But how good is Mitchell? Despite his perfect height and athletic performance, Mitchell was inconsistent on the defensive end, and wasn’t as talented as scoring top-level players in the NBA as Steve Curry, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, and Jason Tatum (to name a few) ). As it stands now, Mitchell is shaping up to be a top 20 player out of the top 10. Still, Mitchell’s addition is a boon to the rookie Cavaliers side, but Mitchell’s ability to reclaim his magical career from the bubble two seasons ago may determine how quickly the Cavaliers turn into one of the NBA’s top teams.

better or worse?

better. Much better. It’s fair to say that Garland still has room to grow, and Evan Mobley may have the highest ceiling of any young player in the NBA. The Cavaliers have depth, rising talent, and top 20 players, and the pieces on the roster complement each other well. The Cavaliers are one of the most exciting teams to watch this season.

Playoff competitor?

Last season, the Cavaliers competed to stop play. This season, the team should have a post-season lockout to prevent any unexpected injuries.


2022 NBA Playoffs - Chicago Bulls vs Milwaukee Bucks

Offseason in 5 words or less

purgatory

big changes

I hate to be so negative, but there is no better word to describe how I see bulls. Zach Lavigne is really good. But he is not an elite level player. With his great sportsmanship, efficiency, and at times, unstoppable microwave taping, he still has a practical chance of becoming an NBA player. That’s more than most teams have, but I don’t think he ever develops into the top 5-10, which is just required to get into the conversation as a title contender.

The rest of the Bulls list is good. Good Lonzo Ball. DeMar DeRozan, also good. Nikola Vucevic? You guessed it, it’s good too.

Bulls are good. So why is this so bad?

It’s hard to see the Bulls able to compete with the best teams in the NBA. Bulls are good, but not so good. It’s also hard to see the Bulls miss the playoffs and/or compete to pick the best draft pick, because the Bulls aren’t that bad. With no space for cover and a shortage of top-tier NBA players, the Bulls must take one of their younger players a huge step forward to reach a result at the end of the season that is nothing but “good.” There is only one player on the roster who fits that description and that is Patrick Williams For the bulls, I hope Williams takes this leap forward.

better or worse?

worst. The Bulls finished Ranked 6 last season and that’s where I expect them to finish. However, part of the Bulls recipe last season was DeMar DeRozan producing the best season of his career, scoring 27.9 points per game on a .50/.35/.87 shooting. Going into his 33-year-old season, I’m not sure he can reproduce this.

Playoff competitor?

yes. The bulls will compete for the playoffs. I don’t think the Bulls will go into the playoffs, but it would be shocking to see Chicago miss the playoffs.


2022-23 Indiana Pacers Media Day

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Offseason in 5 words or less

We are open for business

big changes

Gold is Dumantas Sabonis, and Miles Turner may not be far behind. The Pacers have gone through a complete rebuilding process and this season will be all about getting pickups, bad signings and developing young players with the end goal as clearly as today – center for top picks in 2023. NBA draft.

Yes, the Pacers are one of the few teams to have their eyes set on Victor Wimpanyama, one of the top potential players of the last 10 years. Not a bad time for a #tank.

While I see the Pacers making the development of Ben Mathurin and Teresa Halliburton a priority this season, it wouldn’t shock me to see Halliburton move in if the price is right.

At the end of the day, gains and losses will be insignificant for the Pacers. Developing young talent and hoping ping pong balls bounce the right way will be the focus of the Pacers’ season.

better or worse?

It’s hard to look at a team with 25 wins and expect it to get worse, especially after adding a promising young Mathurin player in the draft, but that’s where this team is. I’d be shocked if Miles Turner wasn’t traded by the deadline, and outside of Haliburton, there aren’t many consistent producers on the list.

Playoff competitor?

very funny. No way.


Oklahoma City Thunder - Detroit Pistons

Photo by Brian Sewald/NBAE via Getty Images

Offseason in 5 words or less

Just take a step forward

big changes

This title seems a bit vague, so let me explain. The Pistons have done a good job of gathering young and interesting talent. The pistons are also inexperienced and their young core will take time to solidify. While there is some hope around the fan base that the Pistons are vying for a place to play, this appears to be a more extended goal. Instead, the Pistons’ focus should be on young players who show some form of growth.

It would be nice to see Kid Cunningham lower his turnover, hitting the rotten lane more frequently. It would be great to see Isaiah Stewart and Jaden Ivey’s three-point shot from the Summer League transition into the regular season. I would also like to see Sadiq Bey find the right balance and efficiency between his first and second seasons. By adding Jalen Duren and Isaiah Livers to the roster, there’s a lot I’d like to see from the Pistons’ small starting squad this season, and the combination of how much or how little we see of these players in these areas will likely determine how far. In the ranking we see the pistons.

better or worse?

Similar to the Pacers, the Pistons are coming off a 23-win season and a 23-game win or less seems a real possibility. Unlike the Pacers, the Pistons stand a good chance of surpassing the winning total from last season thanks to the talent of their young players.

Playoff competitor?

I do not think so. The Pistons may be on their way to looking for a place to play, but that’s likely to be the cap on the team. The Pistons will likely be one of the 5-10 worst teams in the NBA, which wouldn’t be the worst result as long as the right players take steps forward this season, especially with the talent expected at the top of the 2023 NBA draft.

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