The 2020-21 NBA season tips off on Dec. 22, and each team has 72 games on schedule. Check out our Northwest Division Winner Prediction.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the off-season was shortened so that there was no summer league. The training camp started on December 1 and the preseason was played from December 11-19. All teams will have to adapt to these changes and we will try to predict the winners of each division for you.
A stiff competition in the Northwest Division
It was expected of the Denver Nuggets, after winning the division last year, and the craziest playoff performance where they played the Western Finals after losing 3-1 in both previous rounds, to upgrade the team in the offseason and try to attack the NBA ring…but they didn’t. Jerami Grant, Toney Craig, and Plumlee have left the Mile High City and the replacements don’t seem to be good enough. Jokic seems to be the best defensive player on the roster! The playoffs are not in question, but with this kind of competition in the West, the question is whether they will be able to do something more than just participate.
The Utah Jazz enter the new season with an unchanged lineup. It seems that the time has come for them to return to the head of the division. Kanter returned to the Portland Trail Blazers, Covington arrived, so “Dame” and the crew looks like a serious play off candidate again.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has changed the most of all teams in the entire league. They have disbanded almost the entire team for a bunch of future picks. Total rebuilding is underway, and “Trust the Process 2”. The Minnesota Timberwolves chose Anthony Edwards as the first pick. Ricky Rubio returned, and it seems that D’Angelo and Towns will finally avoid the last place in the division…mostly thanks to Thunder rebuilding.
Roster changes and transactions:
IN: Facundo Campazzo (R), JaMychal Green (LAC), R.J. Hampton (R), Isaiah Hartenstein, Markus Howard (R), Zeke Nnaji (R), Greg Whittington (R).
OUT: Keita Bates-Diop (SAS), Tyler Cook (MIN), Torrey Craig (MIL), Troy Daniels, Jerami Grant (DET), Mason Plumlee (DET), Noah Vonleh (CHI).
IN: Tyler Cook (DEN), Ed Davis (UTA), Anthony Edwards (R), Ashton Hagans (R), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (TOR), Jaden McDaniels (R), Ricky Rubio (PHX).
OUT: Jacob Evans (NYK), James Johnson (DAL), Kelan Martin (IND), Jordan McLaughlin, Omari Spellman (NYK), Evan Turner.
IN: Trevor Ariza (POR), Moses Brown (POR), Melvin Frazier (ORL), Josh Hall (R), George Hill (MIL), Al Horford (PHI), Frank Jackson (NOP), Justin Jackson (DAL), Ty Jerome (PHX), T.J. Leaf (IND), Darius Miller (NOP), Vincent Poirier (BOS), Aleksej Pokusevski (R), Chasson Randle, Admiral Schofield (WAS), Kenrich Williams (NOP).
OUT: Steven Adams (NOP), Deonte Burton, Terrance Ferguson (PHI), and Danilo Gallinari (ATL) all left. Devon Hall, Kevin Hervey, Abdel Nader (PHX), Nerlens Noel (NYK), Chris Paul (PHX), André Roberson, Dennis Schröder (LAL).
IN: Keljin Blevins (R), Robert Covington (HOU), C.J. Elleby (R), Harry Giles (SAC), Derrick Jones Jr. (MIA), Enes Kanter (BOS).
OUT: Jaylen Adams (MIL), Trevor Ariza (OKC), Moses Brown (OKC), Wenyen Gabriel (NOP), Mario Hezonja (MEM), Jaylen Hoard, Caleb Swanigan, Hassan Whiteside (SAC).
IN: Udoka Azubuike (R), Derrick Favors (NOP), Trent Forrest (R), Elijah Hughes (R).
OUT: Tony Bradley (PHI), Ed Davis (MIN), Emmanuel Mudiay, Rayjon Tucker (LAC), Justin Wright-Foreman.
Predicted Division Winner: Utah Jazz
Although the Nuggets are probably the most talented group in this division, the bad work they did in the off-season gives Jazz a great chance to win it. Donovan Mitchell has become one of the best guards in the league. Conley is expected to have a significantly better season than last. With one of the best defenders in the League, Rudy Gobert, alongside Ingles and Clarkson, and healthy Bogdanovic, who missed a lot in the last play-off, team from Salt Lake City looks like the best filled roster in the Northwest.
Besides this Northwest Division Winner Prediction, we already covered the entire Eastern Conference, so check out our Atlantic Division Winner Prediction, Central Division Winner Prediction, and Southeast Division Winner Prediction. Stay with us for more NBA content as we’re going to continue with our Western Conference predictions.