Every single NBA season, there are disappointments and surprises.
This year, there was a hearty mix of both and the same will be true next year.
There are already some predictions about who will be in contention for the title next season with the regular names being tossed around as possible champions.
But who are some of the teams that may have a few surprises up their sleeves?
Who could come out and overperform and over-impress?
Portland Trail Blazers
If you feel like you’ve been hearing “this will be Portland’s season” for years that’s because you have been.
Sure enough, people seem to always be talking about how the team is this close to greatness.
But they really might be now.
When Damian Lillard comes back, he could be better than ever thanks to surgery that will fix a long-nagging problem.
And the team has the money and desire to make some big changes.
There is currently a rumor that they’re looking to acquire New York Knick Julius Randle, who would greatly improve their defensive game.
— NBA Trade Report (@NBATradeReport) May 18, 2022
Even if it’s not Randle, this is a team that has the potential to shake things up and add a big, impressive name to the roster to play alongside Lillard.
If that happens, we might be seeing a revamped, refreshed version of the Blazers.
The front office knows that they could lose Lillard if they don’t turn things around ASAP.
Expect them to do whatever it takes to keep their superstar at home.
While it’s true that the Denver Nuggets are home to two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, there is no denying that the team keeps underperforming.
They had a rough regular season, again, and then got taken out early in the playoffs…again.
Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are unlikely to return during playoffs, via @ShamsCharania.
Tough news for Denver.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 9, 2022
Both guys are scheduled to play next year, given Jokic a huge assist.
There is a good chance that people are about to see the dream version of the Nuggets that fans have been waiting for.
With Jokic, Murray, and Porter leading the way, this team could be one of the most disruptive in the West.
Will it be enough to overcome the Warriors or Suns?
Time will tell but the Nuggets will definitely be far more capable than they have been in years.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder has been a work in progress for a very long time.
But they might finally be on the verge of fulfilling a promise to their fans.
Plus, they have more draft picks coming soon, which they may capitalize on or trade for other players in the league.
So once again fans of the Thunder think that next season might be one of their biggest yet.
And it very well could be.
It’s unlikely the Thunder will be in the Finals next year but they certainly could make some serious noise in the bottom half of the Western Conference standings.
Don’t be surprised if this scrappy team makes the playoffs and has a lot of fun throughout the season.