Real Dream Team NBA Team Previews – Part 1

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Updated: October 7, 2018

Lebron James is on the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard is in Canada, DeMar DeRozan is not in Canada, DeMarcus Cousins is a Warrior and Carmelo Anthony is hoping the final phase of his career will take off with the Rockets. Many things have changed in the NBA landscape over the 4 months since the Warriors won their 3rd title in 4 years, but many other things have stayed the same. In a move that surprised many, Paul George chose to stay with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Vince Carter is still in the league, suiting up for his 21st NBA season in Atlanta. At age 41, his veteran leadership and guidance will be sorely needed on a Hawks team that is expected to struggle.

Before we get into the Schedule Analysis, let’s take a quick look at each team’s moves this off-season, and get re-acquainted with the players.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks made a number of off season moves that are looking to strengthen them for the future. They drafted European star Luka Doncic, then immediately traded him to Dallas for point guard Trae Young. As well as signing NBA journeyman Vince Carter, the brought in Justin Anderson, Alex Len, Jeremy Lin and Daniel Hamilton. As with last season, there won’t be too many players that you will look at from the Hawks.

RDT NBA Relevant Players – Trae Young (Rookie) – PG, Taurean Prince (mid-pricer) – SF

Boston Celtics

The biggest changes that the Celtics will see this season are the return of injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Irving is returning from two surgeries on his troublesome knee, and everyone knows the story of Gordon Hayward, who injured his leg in a horrible incident in the first game of the 2017/18 season. If you haven’t seen it (and don’t have a weak constitution for these sort of things) here is the Hayward injury.

After having breakout seasons last year, it will be interesting to see the impact that the returning players have on the minutes and output of young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Kyrie Irving (injury discount) – PG; Gordon Hayward (injury discount – SG/SF; Jaylen Brown – SG/SF; Jayson Tatum – SF/PF; Al Horford – PF/C

Brooklyn Nets

Let’s face it, there is not a lot here to look at. This is a very even team that showed a willingness to compete last year despite a lack of superstar talent. Unfortunately for RDT NBA coaches though, this means that there are not too many players to look at from the Nets. Keep a close eye on in form players that you can stream in for a couple of weeks when they have a couple of 4 game weeks strung together. Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Demarre Carroll could all be good value trade ins at some point in the season.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Spencer Dinwiddie – PG; D’Angelo Russell – PG/SG; Caris LeVert – SG/SF; Demarre Carroll SF/PF

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets let Dwight Howard go over the off-season, and bought in another former Orlando centre in Bismack Biyombo to replace him. They also signed veteran point guard Tony Parker, and drafted Miles Bridges with their first round selection. They join All-Star Kemba Walker and swingman Nicolas Batum in a team that is expected to struggle this season after over-performing last season.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Kemba Walker  – PG; Nicolas Batum – SG/SF; Miles Bridges (Rookie) – SF/PF

Chicago Bulls

The biggest move the Bulls made in the off-season was signing injury ravaged forward Jabari Parker. They also selected Wendell Carter Jr. with the 7th pick in the NBA draft. It looks like another tough season for the once powerful franchise, with last season’s surprise rookie Lauri Markkenan already ruled out for a month with an elbow injury.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Jabari Parker (injury discount) – SF/PF; Wendell Carter Jr. (Rookie) – C

Cleveland Cavaliers

No LeBron, no Cleveland?? The Cavs fans will be desperately hoping that they don’t see a repeat of what happened when LeBron James left them the first time for Miami. After reaching the NBA Finals for 3 straight seasons, it is hard to see the Cavs even making the playoffs. It is now time for Kevin Love to show the team what he is really made of. Largely reduced to a supporting role in recent seasons due to the domination of James and Kyrie Irving, this is now his team, and it will be interesting to see if he can return numbers like he did early in his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love averaged 20+ points and 12+ rebounds in 3 out of 4 seasons from 2010/11 to 2013/14.

With the departure of LeBron, there are a lot of shots/rebounds/assists/minutes to go around. Keep an eye out early in the season to see who is stepping up. The likely candidates are Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Jordan Clarkson.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Kevin Love – PF/C; Rodney Hood – SG/SF; Larry Nance Jr. – PF/C; George Hill – PG; Jordan Clarkson -PG/SG; Collin Secton (Rookie) – PG

Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban will be hoping to once again become a championship contender on the back of European sensation Luka Doncic. Doncic was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with pick 3, but then immediately traded to the Mavericks. He couldn’t ask for a better mentor than fellow European and future Hall of Fame inductee Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk is now in the twilight of his career, but will take the rookie under his wing and teach him what needs to be done to become a successful NBA player. Doncic will be one of the most selected players in RDT NBA at the start of the season, and should reward coaches who play him on the court. He is already a seasoned player, having won a European Championship in his final season at Real Madrid.

The Mavericks will also be hoping for a solid sophomore season from Dennis Smith Jr., and  finally got their defensive stopper by signing DeAndre Jordan after having him verbally commit a couple of years ago, only to renege on his word and re-sign with the Clippers.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Luka Doncic (Rookie) – PG/SG; DeAndre Jordan – C; Dennis Smith Jr. – PG


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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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