The new NBA season is just around the corner, with the first match tipping off on October 19. Opening night will feature Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors. There have been some intriguing trades during the off-season and there are some players who will rep new jerseys who we simply cannot wait to see in action. There are a number of players returning following injury, such as Jamal Murray and Zion Williamson, but we have picked the five players we are looking forward to seeing in action in the new season. One is returning from a lengthy injury, two are playing for a new team, one has a point to prove and the other is simply terrific to watch. Here are the five NBA players were are buzzing to see in the 2022/23 season.
Murray was traded to the Hawks on June 30, leaving the San Antonio Spurs after six years in Texas. Jock Landale was part of the trade and has since moved to the Phoenix Suns for cash considerations. The Spurs received Danilo Gallinari and multiple future first-round picks. Murray is a great pick up for the Hawks, who now have one of the best backcourts in the NBA. He displays great defence and is a superb all-round player who should compliment Trae Young very well. We are not just excited to see Murray in action, but the Hawks in general, who will hope to go one further than their Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2021. As well as Young and Murray, the Hawks have John Collins, Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Andre Hunter and Clint Capela.
Leonard has not played in the NBA since June 14, 2021, after he suffered an ACL injury during the playoff series against the Utah Jazz. The two-time Finals MVP's comeback cannot come soon enough after he missed the entirety of the 21/22 campaign. Without Leonard, the Clippers failed to make the playoffs after losing against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-In tournament.
Arguably the best player in the league when healthy, Kawhi can do literally everything and it will be very fun to watch the Clippers this year with him playing alongside Paul George and John Wall. They may be one to look out for in the championship race.
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Jokic has been named league MVP two years in a row, so why would we not be excited to see him play this season? The Joker is a joy to watch as a player who can score all kinds of baskets and essentially play as a point guard at the same time while standing nearly 7ft tall. It is also very exciting to think about Jamal Murray making his return from an ACL injury, but it will be interesting to see how he co-exists with Jokic having sat on the sidelines and watched him win two MVP awards.
The most interesting trade of the summer, Mitchell has left the Jazz after being traded for Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, and Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks, and two pick swaps. The Jazz also traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are now a very intriguing side if they weren't already. The Cavaliers may be the most exciting team to watch in 22/23, however, with Mitchell now forming a backcourt with Darius Garland. It didn't happen for Mitchell in Utah and they have now blown it up after realising their core was not going to bring them a championship. He will be hoping for better luck in Cleveland in what is now a stacked east.
Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Lakers)
The Lakers are a bit of a mess and have been since winning the NBA title in the Orlando Bubble two years ago. Westbrook is now teammates with Patrick Beverley, who he does not exactly see eye to eye with. The one-time MVP and nine-time All-Star is one of the most criticised players in the league and has been written off by many before a ball has been tipped. If there is one man who will be extremely motivated to prove his doubters wrong it is Westbrook. With the Lakers and Russ having a point to prove, he is one to keep an eye on as he chases his first ring.
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