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NBA Offseason Review: Northwest Division

When the 2022 NBA season officially ends, we’ll review the divisional roster decisions and drafts that all 30 teams will need to make over the summer. The NBA draft and free agents are only a few days away, so let’s take a look at the Western Conference Northwest.

Northwest Division

Utah Jazz: A 49-33 record ending with a first-round exit, Utah could be used in the playoffs and surpassed by the superstars. Jazz leans more towards a seismic shift than a deeper confrontation.

Denver Nuggets: Two-time current MVP Nikola Jokic is hopeful that Jamal Murray and Michael Porter will recover. Dear trio, the Denver stars have championship-level potential.

Minnesota Timberwolves: A solid collection of talent, Minnesota lost in a competitive playoff series to the Grizzlies last season. Anthony Edwards is the new headliner of the deep team.

Portland Trail Blazers: Portland was selected seventh overall in the 2022 NBA draft. After missing much of last season due to abdominal surgery, Damian Lillard is returning to an empty roster.

Oklahoma City Thunder: No. 2 holders in the upcoming draft, Oklahoma City is entering the secondary talent pool amid a notable rebuild.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Possible departures: Isaiah Robie, Mike Muscala

Shai Gilgeus-Alexander is starting his time in the spotlight – he will now be earning over $30 million a year through 2027. Josh Giddy is his partner. Lugenz Dort completes them when his contract year ends.

Oklahoma City remains a blank slate everywhere

When the 2022 NBA season officially ends, we’ll review the divisional roster decisions and drafts that all 30 teams will need to make over the summer. The NBA draft and free agents are only a few days away, so let’s take a look at the Western Conference Northwest.

Northwest Division

Utah Jazz: A 49-33 record ending with a first-round exit, Utah could be used in the playoffs and surpassed by the superstars. Jazz leans more towards a seismic shift than a deeper confrontation.

Denver Nuggets: Two-time current MVP Nikola Jokic is hopeful that Jamal Murray and Michael Porter will recover. Dear trio, the Denver stars have championship-level potential.

Minnesota Timberwolves: A solid collection of talent, Minnesota lost in a competitive playoff series to the Grizzlies last season. Anthony Edwards is the new headliner of the deep team.

Portland Trail Blazers: Portland was selected seventh overall in the 2022 NBA draft. After missing much of last season due to abdominal surgery, Damian Lillard is returning to an empty roster.

Oklahoma City Thunder: No. 2 holders in the upcoming draft, Oklahoma City is entering the secondary talent pool amid a notable rebuild.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Possible departures: Isaiah Robie, Mike Muscala

Shai Gilgeus-Alexander is starting his time in the spotlight – he will now be earning over $30 million a year through 2027. Josh Giddy is his partner. Lugenz Dort completes them when his contract year ends.

Oklahoma City remains a clean slate everywhere on the list. Aleksey Pokusevsky is a name to look out for, but it’s too early and inappropriate to announce any Oklahoma City jobs other than this one. Already in the midst of a roster crisis, the Thunder received the 30th pick in the 2022 draft, headlined by Denver’s 2027 first-round pick. One of many future vault choices.

The defining frontcourt asset will be the No. 2 Thunder pick. Chet Holmgren carries himself like a champ and sets the tone defensively. Plus, with picks No. 12 and No. 34, Oklahoma City should aim for an individual skill set to increase the equation. It’s time to start building something, not just looking for talent. With GM Sam Presti at the helm, anything remains possible, including promotion in the lottery from 12. Notably, Oklahoma City finished last in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage last season.

Preliminary considerations: Chet Holmgren, Paolo Bankero, Schaedon Sharp, Johnny Davis, AJ Griffin, Ochai Agbaji, Usman Dieng, Patrick Baldwin, Caleb Hustan

Off-Season Considerations: Take wages tied to future assets, aim to consolidate future assets into long-term talent, and improve asset positioning.

Portland Trail Blazers

Possible departures: Anferni Simons, Yusuf Nurkic, CJ Elleby, Ben Macklemore

There are two contract years left before the Damian Lillard era. Simons and Nurkic will be re-signed, according to reports from Portland. With the return of the “big three” Trail Blazers, using the existing $20 million trade exemption will be a giant step towards playoff success. Jerami Grant is the exception and fills Portland’s biggest positional need. There are several routes, but many rumors suggest that Grant to Portland is a very real scenario. Eric Bledsoe has non-guaranteed dollars for which Portland can deregister/create a separate trading exception.

Tank work skews numbers, but last season, Portland ranked fifth in field goal percentage, rebounds per game, and assists per game. Portland had the worst net rating in the league. This symbolizes an auxiliary composition that does not scream about functionality. Josh Hart is the only proven two-way RPG. Nasir Little and Justice Winslow bring good physicality on the flanks. Didi Luzada is worth developing minutes. Trendon Watford is a sieve but a nightly double-double threat.

Selected seventh overall in the upcoming 2022 draft, new assistant general manager Mike Schmitz comes from Arizona and knows Bennedict Maturin well. However, this would not have been an effective choice for Portland. A bad defender at this stage, Maturin, who shares the floor with Lillard and / or Simons, is a minus. Maturin’s offensive ceiling is high, but if Portland is trying to compete, there are better options. Portland also has peaks #36 and #59.

Preliminary considerations: Jeremy Sochan, Kendall Brown, E. J. Liddell, Christian Koloko, Ron Harper

Off-Season Considerations: Strengthen front points, buy Eric Bledsoe, center depth

Minnesota Timberwolves

Possible departures: Taurus Prince, Josh Okogie

Anthony Edwards is turning into the favorite on the opposing team. It receives general recognition as such. Karl-Anthony Towns’ shooting prowess is remarkable in the center position. D’Angelo Russell suffered a slump in offense last season but was a healthy facilitator and is 26 years old and heading into contract season. Patrick Beverly is a must. Jayden McDaniels is high quality youth. Same for Jarred Vanderbilt. Malik Beasley is overpaid and expendable, but he’s still a valuable shooter. Naz Reed is solid. Okogi is well-rated as a defender and knows the system. If the market does not saturate its value, it can be left.

Minnesota could go all-in for the title. John Collins is waiting to be purchased. He and CAT shoot well enough to split the word. Collins is able to play in the center when CAT gets into trouble. Collins’ contract runs until 2026. It will come at a cost, but re-signing a maximum contract with KAT after two more campaigns in his 29-year season is no lock. Collins guaranteed donations around Edwards.

With picks #19, 40, 48, 50, as well as full rights to future franchise picks, Minnesota has the capital to make a move. Regardless of whether the deal goes through, the peaks left at the Timberwolves’ disposal should be used to decide what Collins will bring in regards to CAT or progress in shooting.

Preliminary considerations: Nikola Jovic, Wendell Moore, Jordan Hall, Caleb Hustan, Orlando Robinson, Moussa Diabate

Off-Season Considerations: Pure shooter, defensive backup and combo forward

Denver Nuggets

Possible departures: Jeff Green, Bryn Forbes, Austin Rivers, DeMarcus Cousins, Facundo Campazzo

Get ready for Nikola Jokic to be surrounded by a team that fought tooth and nail to win over eventual champion LeBron James in a bubble. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter will be healthy by the start of the season. Aaron Gordon, Will Burton, Monte Morris and Bones Highland are the top players on the list. This core of seven will cost a total of $140 million in 2022-23.

Murray and Porter are re-acclimatizing in a sea of ​​familiar faces, which is reassuring. The Nuggets will be real contenders if they are healthy. This will lead to a reduction in the number of signings with a minimum of veterans and buyouts at the end of the season over the next year.

Denver turned down Jamichal Green’s contract and opted for a 2022 first-round pick over a 2027 pick was wise. Cody Martin or Caleb Martin moving into the Denver taxpayer’s MLE system would ease the pressure from the somewhat fickle Barton. Hassan Whiteside could also be a candidate. Adding defensive depth to Jokic’s spell is a must. With picks at 21 and 30 spades, this is a handy range for adding a long guard/wing that will fit easily into the lineup.

Preliminary considerations: Dalene Terry, Marjohn Beauchamp, Kendall Brown, Andrew Nembhard

Off-Season Considerations: Add double-sided fender, center depth

Utah Jazz

Possible departures: Hassan Whiteside, Danuel House, Eric Paschall

Despite having the league’s best offensive rating last season, Utah were once again unsuccessful in the playoffs. All indicators love offense, but another year with the same team is unlikely to advance to the finals. Utah have no 2022 draft pick, Mike Conley is a year older, and Jordan Clarkson is now 30 after the worst shot of his career.

Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert’s tandem is about to expire. Michell deserves more condemnation than Gobert. He’s been less effective in three playoffs in a row, he’s not improving as a defender, and his offensive play isn’t making him better. Mitchell is also partly to blame for Gobert’s underutilization. Quin Snyder’s departure is a monumental subtraction.

If the Jazz want to compete for the championship in the era of Rudy Gobert, it’s time to trade Mitchell. By 2023-2024 Utah may have super clean books. Mitchell is still a young star, a shake-up is in his interest. Clarkson should still be attractive to the entire league as a marksman. Bogdan Bogdanovich with an expiring contract moves easily. Royce O’Neill’s modest contract until 2024 is attractive to the market. Ahead of next year’s draft, Utah can look forward to clearing the house and coming out with a bountiful catch.

Gobert simplifies player development. He’s a system for defenders to match. Josh Minott, Iverson Molinar, Jared Rhoden, Kellen Grady and Alex Barcello are names to remember in Utah pre-draft practice.

Preliminary considerations: N/A

Off-Season Considerations: Use the $10 million trade exception to get project capital through the cap.

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