DYNE Offseason Report #31/ #32 - Northwest Division

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    Denver Nuggets


    Saisonverlauf Vorsaison: star4.png
    If one phrase can be used to summarize the Nuggets season, it would be ''Silencing the doubters''. Before the season the team structure seemed really iffy and non-conventional, such as little P.J Tucker starting at center. However, the Nuggets made it work, achieving the shared best record in the West, while team leader Jimmy Butler won the DPOY award. Going into the playoffs, the Nuggets were still doubted, yet got away from the round one series against the Blazers in 3, before ultimately falling to the Mavs superteam in 2 after a hard fight in game 2. Still, a remarkable season that saw Denver being one of the bigger relevations.


    Offseason / Free Agency Verlauf: star4.png

    This offseason, after a succesful regular season, the Nuggets team was flipped on its head. Butler left for LA with Lavine replacing him, Lowry was traded to Atlanta (with a very good contract, I might add) along with Thybulle for Sabonis, Aaron Gordon left to Brooklyn via trade with Derrick White coming to Denver. Other than that, some solid role players were secured in FA such as Robert Covington(who may be slightly overpaid), and Josh Hart. The Nuggets are also slowly trying to usher in a youth movement with prospects such as Jaylen Nowell and Naz Reid. Much more conventional team building this time around.



    Franchise Player Vorsaison
    Franchise Player Prognose

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    SG/SF Jimmy Butler

    Amidst a surprising season, Jimmy was the catalyst of the Nuggets success.

    Statline: 22.8 PPG / 3.7 RPG. / 6.6 APG. / 2.2 SPG.

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    SG Zach Lavine

    With the departures of Jimmy and Lowry, it looks like Lavine will take up the responsibility of the first option. Sabonis is a candidate too, but Zach looks more likely.



    Ausblick: star4.png
    It's clear that GM Rindvieh's intentions are not to compete this time around, more so to build in the future while being a playoff team. A retool if you will. The Nuggets in the offseason traded veteranship for youth and are looking to create a solid foundation in Mile High City under their brand new stars, who still haven't really hit their celing. The supporting cast contains a lot of young prospects that could prove to be valuable assets and pieces for this team. Playoffs are certainly still achievable and they are probably a target, as the Nuggets do not own their pick. There is still some cap space and assets to make moves in case they are needed or the roster is not good enough. It should be a fun era in Denver.

    by Resal


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    Utah Jazz


    Saisonverlauf Vorsaison:star1.png

    So the season was nothing in Utah.Solid team, deep and well-rounded, but no real star.That said,the Jazz finished the season with 7 wins and easily missed the playoffs. The addition of T.J Warren via trade was an upgrade, but not enough.



    Offseason / Free Agency Verlauf:star2.png

    The offseason was also pretty insignificant for Utah.Smart was traded to Washington for Paul Millsap,which is a bit questionable as it takes away minutes from youngster Rui Hachimura.Free agency was nothing.Kyle O'Quinn returned, second round pick Vernon Carey Jr. was signed,Tyus Jones and other roster fillers were signed.Pretty dry overall.



    Franchise Player Vorsaison

    Franchise Player Prognose

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    PG Malcolm Brogdon

    Brogdon was the biggest shining spot of the Jazz in their poor season.

    Statline: 22.6 PPG/ 3.1 RPG/ 5.8 APG/ 0.8 SPG

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    PG Malcolm Brogdon

    While Ayton has the most potential on this team,Brogdon is likely to still get more touches and be the leader.



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    Well,it's not looking amazing for the Jazz.A solid team,but no real star.That is probably not enough for the playoffs.Utah must hope Ayton develops into their guy, as a trade seems unlikely.There is some cap next offseason,with which Ayton and Dinwiddie should be extended.Young talent aside from Ayton are basically Hachimura and Huerter.As of now,however,the Jazz seem to be stuck in no man's land and it looks they will keep being stuck. Motivation is also a question by their GM.Hopefully all goes well.

    by Resal

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    Oklahoma City Thunder

    Pre-season season:star3.png

    Last season was pretty okay in Oklahoma,albeit a bit dissapointing.After a very solid 20-7 regular season record,Rainman and his Thunder did get HCA in the playoffs,sweeping the Grizzlies,but then surprisingly being swept by the Timberwolves and Giannis.One can attribute the strong reg season to the big addition of Jrue Holiday,who geled with the retirement home(not so much anymore) Thunder.Of course,a coach as skilled as Rainman was enough to make the players better than the sum of their parts.



    Offseason / Free Agency course:star3.png

    Free agency did not bring any significant changes for the Thunder.Sure,Holiday left,but he has had a solid,yet overpaid replacement in Bradley.Key pieces Burke and Rudy Gay were brought back, coach's favs.Bazley was brought in in a very good trade to provide youth and potential on this team,same with Mo Wagner.Not much movement,but enough to keep the team relevant.





    Franchise Player Preseason

    Franchise Player Forecast

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    C Hassan Whiteside

    Sure,Count Blockula took a backseat offensively,but his defense and rebounding were still on point.



    12.7 PPG / 16,3 PPG/ 1.9 BPG / 2.4 APG

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    PF/SF Jerami Grant

    With his rapid rise to stardom,Grant should be the new leader of the Thunder,with Melo and Whiteside's careers winding down.



    Outlook:star4.png

    Sure,the loss of Holiday is a big one,but the team is more or less at the same wavelength as before.With Grant breaking out and soon requiring an extension(same as the fading Melo and Whiteside),the Thunder have their new leader and some young talent in Fultz and Bazley.The coach of course hasn't lost a step and should still make the material work as a team.It should probably lead to HCA in the playoffs again,but the question is,will it be enough to lead OKC past the second round?That's an answer coach Rainman has to give.Best of luck!


    by Resal

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    Minnesota Timberwolves


    Pre-season season: star4.png

    So this season was almost perfect for the Wolves.A 19-8 regular season record was good enough to give them the HCA.The ''Giannis and shooters'' strategy was practically unstoppable.There was a scare in the first round against LeBron and the Lakers,with the series going to 3 games and being pretty competitive.In round two though,the Wolves surprisingly swept through the veteran Thunder,while not being particularly favored.They kept surprising in the conference finals,getting past the star group of the Mavs and BlobbX in 3 games.Then were the finals.Kawhi vs Giannis. The Wolves managed to scrape away game 1 with a 3 point lead,only to lose convincingly the next two games and get down 2-1.In the do or die game 4,the Wolves fought,led by Giannis and Lavine,but failed to win, losing by 3 points in a very high scoring game.Still,a pretty successful season for Minnesota,who managed to bring home the DYNE silver medal.




    Offseason / Free Agency course: star4.png

    For the first time in a long time,the Wolves had cap, and quite frankly,they made good use of it.Lavine was shipped off to Denver in exchange for youngsters Anthony Edwards and Deni Avdija,as well as the god-forsaken Demarcus Cousins contract, a trade that gives the Wolves two future building blocks/assets.Promising rookie Immanuel Quickley was signed,coach favorite IT returns,and a young sleeper in Tate was lured to Minnesota.The best move arguably is the Al Horford for Mike Conley trade,in which Conley was brought to Minnesota on a very neat contract.





    Franchise Player Preseason

    Franchise Player Forecast

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    SF/PF

    Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Giannis had a pretty strong supporting cast,and the writer's compatriot was the leader of the Wolves(almost) perfect season



    Statline: 30.3 PPG / 15.9 REB / 5.2 APG

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           SF/PF
    Giannis
    Antetokounmpo

    Giannis was,is and will be the face of the Wolves.Now with Lavine gone, he probably loses some help.



    Outlook:star4.png

    Regardless of losing some immediate help,the Wolves are still well set to compete and grow.Can they make it to the finals again?That doesn't seem likely with this roster,but the 2nd round should be doable,maybe with HCA.Of course,Giannis and Jackson have to be re-signed after this season,but that shouldn't be an issue with the notorious Cousins contract finally expiring. That being said,one could say the Wolves have amassed enough assets to get a 2nd option of their choice next to Giannis...Time will tell...Best of luck!

              

    by Resal

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    Portland Trail Blazers





    Pre-season season:star3.png

    For a team in the West with a weaker roster,the Blazers season was pretty okay,12-15 was good enough for the 9th seed.However,they made the playoffs due to the Clippers' abstention.While it didn't seem like they would be able to get through the 1st seeded Nuggets,they were able to win a game before falling.The roster was just not strong enough.A solid borderline all star in Harris(who did however have a down season),a pretty good center in Valanciunas,the questionable contract of Lonzo and some pretty good role players.That's not enough to make a playoff push.



    Offseason / Free Agency course:star3.png

    The offseason was fine.Promising rookie Tyrese Haliburton was added,Tobias Harris(who the Blazers would have no birds on anyway) got traded to the Clippers for nothing.Other than that the core of the team stayed the same other than the solid trade for Jalen Brunson and the replacement of Harris with Kyle Anderson.No major moves for the Blazers,but the team is slowly shifting direction.






    Franchise Player Preseason

    Franchise Player ForecAast

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    C

    Jonas Valanciunas

    With Tobias having a down year,it was Jonas the rebound god that led the Blazers.



    Statline: 14.3 PPG./13.9 RPG 2.1 APG

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    SG/PG

    Tyrese Haliburton

    With the departure of Harris,the choice here was a tossup,but Haliburton should be the leader of this new era in Portland.



    Outlook:star4.png

    The rebuild is starting slowly,The team has the pick in the upcoming draft and other assets,such as youngsters Haliburton,Culver,Horton-Tucker etc..A trade could be in play down the line.For the present though,it's all up in the air.This could be a low-seeded playoff team,but the Oregonians probably won't go much further.Portland should hope that either Haliburton turns into a star or they are able to trade for one,otherwise they will keep being stuck in no man's land.However,coach Buzen should be able to make the team work better than the sum of their parts...Good luck!

    by Resal