The NBA 2022-23 season is around the corner after they finally took a much-needed summer break after hectic two-and-a-half years that saw restarts, rushed seasons, and replacement players. Thanks in large part to Kevin Durant’s fruitless trade request, the news cycle never truly stopped. However, the league managed to calm down for long enough for us to think about taking up a real pursuit.
The formal start of the 2022–23 season, however, was marked by the media days this past weekend for teams participating in international preseason games. The rest of the league will follow this week. Here are the three most pressing issues facing the NBA as we wait for injury reports. Also the first impressions of important players in new roles, and basically any information regarding the scandalous events in Boston last week.
Is Russell Westbrook Trade on the Books before the NBA 2022-23 season?
It appeared as though both parties had finally reached an understanding on their irritable $47 million friend when LeBron James extended his contract. James chose to embrace the franchise’s future vision, or at least for the following two years. It was completely opposite to falling back on his customary playbook and delaying his next choice as a leverage move.
However, more than a month later, Laker Land is exuding an incredibly upbeat feeling around the continuation of the Russ experience. Perhaps the new coach Darvin Ham can connect with Russ in a manner that Frank Vogel was unable to. Maybe the true problem was the injuries. Perhaps it would be preferable for them to finish the current campaign and keep their 2023 cap space for Kyrie Irving. Owner Jeanie Buss recently referred to Westbrook as the Lakers’ top player from the previous campaign.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis were considered to be the league’s most dominant players. They were the king, and queen of the chessboard, during the Lakers’ brief championship run. The combo also requires a supporting cast that can be competent. Because of this, the most rational course of action is to give up on any notions of a Westbrook comeback. Instead use his expiring contract as a piece of flotsam in a trade for competent role players, such as Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.
What’s next for Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns?
Ime Udoka and Robert Sarver have received punishment for their wrongdoings. However, the members of the Celtics and Suns organizations now have to deal with the aftermath. That includes rank-and-file employees as well, some of whom were subjected to “Twitter conjecture and wild crap” last week, to use Brad Stevens’ phrase.
The Suns may be used to the weight after spending the entire previous season under NBA investigation while Sarver remained the team’s owner. However, despite the fact that Sarver has not yet sold his controlling ownership in the organization, one employee told ESPN’s Baxter Holmes that Sarver’s dismissal is a relief.
The Celtics, on the other hand, appear to be far from a resolution. Almost no details concerning the one-year suspension of Boston’s head coach were disclosed at a press conference on Friday. They only gave the statement that Udoka had “committed a volume of breaches.”
The Big Injuries and Their Return Dates?
Media day is most helpful as a recap of a roster’s recent performances. The lengthy press conferences frequently reveal new injuries or fresh details regarding existing injuries.
Before players, coaches, and executives stepped up to the dais, the updates started to filter in. Six months after his initial surgery, Robert Williams III underwent another procedure on his knee. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tore his MCL. Lonzo Ball underwent another procedure on his knee. Markelle Fultz broke his toe, and Keldon Johnson of the Spurs dislocated his shoulder. Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, has been approved for five-on-five and seems to have taken leg day extremely seriously during his downtime.
However, updates to a number of significant players in the NBA 2022-23 season are still pending, with the exception of Leonard, whose strong thighs might hold the key to the Western Conference. When will we see Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray in Denver? Does Harden’s hamstring still appear as supple as it did in suspiciously edited, shirtless summer exercise pictures? What is the condition of Zion Williamson, who missed the entire previous season? And when they do return, what kind of load management will each need?
No one wins a championship in the preseason, but the details we learn this week will probably influence how the season develops.