One bold prediction for every NBA team heading into next season

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /
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Precious Achiuwa, Miami Heat
MEMPHIS, TN – MARCH 05: Precious Achiuwa #55 of the Memphis Tigers celebrates against the Wichita State Shockers during a game on March 5, 2020 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Wichita State 68-60. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)”n /

Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa will be a key reserve

The Heat didn’t enter the offseason with very many roster needs, so they were able to take the best player available in the draft. Achiuwa immediately gives Miami a nice boost of athleticism in the frontcourt.

The team won’t need to rush him into the starting five anytime soon, but he matches up really well against opposing second units at either frontcourt spot. Look for him to put up some big numbers with his energy and rim-running for the Heat.

Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo will become a borderline star

The Bucks tried to use DiVincenzo to swing a deal for Bogdanovic, but their front office botched it. In a great stroke of luck, keeping the versatile guard is going to work out well for Milwaukee.

This is the season where he’ll ascend to the team’s primary backcourt creator. It might take him the full season to really earn his teammates’ trust, but his sweet shooting and pop off the dribble give him a chance to become something close to a second star for the Bucks.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Rubio makes them a playoff team

Acquiring Ricky Rubio isn’t going to help the Timberwolves become a title contender, but he will raise their floor dramatically next season. He should make life much easier for Karl-Anthony Towns with his ability to operate in the pick and roll. Moving D’Angelo Russell off the ball (to some degree) will also help the team’s offense.

More importantly, Rubio’s defensive chops will give Minnesota’s coaching staff the ability to hold players accountable on that end of the floor. Look for the Timberwolves to slip into one of the play-in games as a result.

New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball will demand a trade

Stan Van Gundy’s arrival in New Orleans is going to help most of the team’s star players, but Ball will be a notable exception. Having a point guard that struggles to shoot the ball from the perimeter doesn’t mesh well with what Van Gundy wants to accomplish on offense.

That’s going to produce tension between Ball and team ownership. The fact that he’s eligible for a contract extension will push things over the edge. Ball will demand a trade to a team where he can stretch his offensive wings.

New York Knicks: Julius Randle will be bought out

The Knicks didn’t make a ton of high-profile moves this offseason. That’s a positive development for a franchise that desperately needs a reset.

There is, however, a desire in New York to go young and build around RJ Barrett. He needs spacing to grow. Julius Randle is a big man who doesn’t provide any of that. Look for Obi Toppin to make him completely superfluous. That will get Randle bought out.