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NBA Season Promises Talent and Excitement

By Judah Goldemberg

The 2023-2024 NBA season kicks off Tuesday, October 24th, with the reigning champion Denver Nuggets hosting the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the star-studded Phoenix Suns traveling to San Francisco to play the Warriors.

This past offseason brought many exhilarating trades, big free agent signings, and the NBA draft. The NBA also implemented a new “in-season tournament” for the upcoming season, naming it the NBA Cup. Many sports fans are comparing this tournament to international soccer leagues which hold similar competitions during the season. The NBA has added specific “Tournament Nights” on every Tuesday and Friday from November 3rd to November 28th, which will consist of the games in the group stage. Those who advance from the group stage will then play in the knockout rounds in early December. A championship game will be held on December 9th at a neutral location. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has wanted to implement an in-season tournament for years now, and he now hopes to gain the approval of the league’s fan base. There are multiple reasons for the NBA to hold this tournament, the most obvious being to generate revenue. During November and December, the NBA is constantly competing with the NFL for nationally televised games. The NBA hopes that this new tournament will give the league more viewership.

This past offseason was filled with drama regarding some of the biggest superstar names in the league. In June, star shooting guard Bradley Beal was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns. This trade was long overdue, as Beal had expressed his frustrations with the Wizards multiple times. Beal joins a roster filled with talent, most notably, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The Suns are favorited by many to win the Western conference; however, they will have to compete with last year's champions, the Denver Nuggets. The second big trade of the offseason was the least anticipated. After months of speculation that longtime Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard would be traded to the Miami Heat, it came at a shock to the NBA world when he was instead traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was reported that the Heat and Trail Blazers could not come to terms on a deal, leading the Bucks to swoop in as a trade partner. The Bucks now have arguably the most talented rosters in the league. Two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee alongside Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Lillard.

The NBA has seen lots of young talent in the past few years, however this year's rookie class could shape up to be one of the best. French phenom Victor Wembenyama has been one of the most hyped prospects since LeBron James in 2003. Wembenyama was selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft. Wembenyama, or “Wemby” to many fans, stands at a towering 7’4’’. He is an exceptional scorer from within the paint, as well as a consistent three-point shooter. Wembenyama has a long career ahead of him—he is only 19 years old, and his talent on both sides of the court will give him a clear advantage over opposing teams. However, there is a large concern for injury with Wembenyama, as he is thought to be too skinny. If Victor Wembenyama stays healthy, he will most likely win Rookie of the Year, and could even be selected to an All-Star team.

This year’s rookie class also features notable names such as Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson, Hornets forward Brandon Miller, and Amen and Ausar Thompson, playing for the Rockets and Pistons respectively. All of this points to an entertaining season to come.

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