With Klay back the Dubs will be looking to return to the top. Can they?
RETURN TO THE TOP
The Warriors did not have the best free-agency period by any means but they did get some solid vets. With the addition of Otto-Porter J.R, Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Igoudala, and Chris Chiozza it's obvious they went for shooting and veteran presence. They did not fulfill every one of their needs but definitely contributed to some.
With the Warriors having a young roster besides the likes of Steph, Klay, and Draymond this was desperately needed. Not only in the locker-room but also in the playoffs when the stakes are risen and pressure is building. Not to mention the recent additions of Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody via the #7 and #14 pick.
No doubt it will be hard to surpass the Lakers as they have added some key players on their road to yet another championship. The Warriors and really the rest of the West should fear this squad.
The Jazz though boasting the #1 seed last year only lasted until the 2nd round where they got bounced out by the Clippers. Are they reliable? Who knows?
The Suns who made it to the NBA Finals were fun to watch this year. Obviously this year will be harder but I think they got another run in them. They will certainly be a team to watch post regular season.
The Nuggets are likely to be another year without their star G Jamal Murray. Can they hold up? Only time will tell.
The Mavs have made the playoffs for some years in a row. It's likely they do again. However the distance between a playoff team and contender is a large one. Will things change this upcoming season?
The Clippers making it to the Western Conference Finals probably won´t do so again. Kawhi will likely be nursing his knee injury throughout the regular season. I doubt Paul George and co. can do enough to keep them abound.
Finally the Blazers, they have had probably one of the worst free-agency periods in the league. After Damian Lillard basically threatened a trade they failed to land another star or key role player. They will likely be in the same position as last year.
In conclusion The Warriors will likely rely on Klay´s return to determine where they end up. It will also be intriguing to see if their rookies Kuminga and Moody, who have shown some flashes of NBA-readiness, can help the Warriors win now.
I predict The NBA´s Western Conference to be in this order for the 2021-2022 season:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Phoenix Suns
3. Golden State Warriors
4. Utah Jazz
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Denver Nuggets
7. Los Angeles Clippers
8. Trail Blazers
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. New Orleans Pelicans