NBA AM: 50 Predictions Revisited (Part 2)


On Monday, I revisited the first half of my preseason 50 predictions and, as promised, today we look at the rest of them. Here’s to 2016-2017 being a more successful year for me:


Despite the constant rumors, the Denver Nuggets will not end up trading Kenneth Faried before the deadline this year.

RIGHT – The Manimal actually made it through a full year despite being one of the most-often mentioned guys in trade rumors before the season started.

Nor will the L.A. Clippers end up moving Jamal Crawford.

RIGHT – Remember when the acquisition of Lance Stephenson meant that Crawford was expendable? He ended up winning his record-setting third Sixth Man of the Year award as a Clipper this year. The man is ageless.

Brooklyn will seriously explore trading Joe Johnson and his $25 million salary, but it will prove too challenging to put together a good deal for both teams when that much money is involved. Johnson finishes the season a Net.

HALF-RIGHT – The Nets were unable to find a trade partner for Johnson, but he finished the season with the Miami HEAT after agreeing to a buyout. That, apparently, was a wrinkle I didn’t see coming.

Continuing the theme of not trading anybody interesting, the Phoenix Suns will hold onto Markieff Morris despite his reported disinterest in staying there following the trade involving his brother.

WRONG – That situation got so toxic, there never really was any chance that he’d finish the year there.

Somebody has to get traded this season, and Chicago looks like a team that could pull the trigger on a deal shipping out of their big men. Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson will be moved at some point this season.

WRONG – It may have happened had Noah not gotten hurt, and Gasol was almost traded anyway. Still, all three finished the season as Bulls, even though they may lose two of them to free agency for no return.

Jose Calderon also will not spend the entire year with the New York Knicks. He’ll be traded at some point this season, too.

WRONG – The interest just wasn’t there for Calderon.

The Philadelphia 76ers will end up with at least two extra draft picks by the end of the season.

WRONG – In fact, the Sixers actually lost two second-round picks during the season in the trade for Ish Smith. Sam Hinkie wasn’t able to land any more selections before calling it quits in Philly.

While Minnesota will not ultimately trade Ricky Rubio, they do have a somewhat major trade in them this season – if not involving one of their starters, then one of their top 8 players.

HALF-RIGHT – Rubio didn’t get moved, but neither did anybody else.

While Sacramento won’t trade DeMarcus Cousins, they will pull off another deal at some point, trading away one of their swingmen.

HALF-RIGHT – Cousins stayed, but the Kings ended up not moving anybody in trade this season. There was a rumored deal for Pau Gasol around the deadline that may have shipped Ben McLemore to Chicago, which would have changed the course of these predictions considerably. But no. Nothing of note from the Kings this year other than that logo change.


Jahlil Okafor will lead all rookies in both scoring and rebounding next season.

WRONG – Okafor finished with an impressive 17.5 PPG, which was second among rookies, but Karl-Anthony Towns finished with an even more impressive 18.3 PPG.

Karl-Anthony Towns, however, will be the leader among rookies in blocked shots.

RIGHT – Towns led all rookies with 138 blocks on the season.

In many ways D’Angelo Russell will struggle as a rookie, and should lead all first-year players in turnovers.

WRONG – He tried. He really did, but Emmanuel Mudiay was responsible for 21 more turnovers on the season than Russell. Maybe next year.

While Kristaps Porzingis won’t be an overwhelming disappointment his rookie season, he also won’t be among the top seven rookie scorers.

WRONG – Remember, this is before we knew that Porzingis was actually good. He finished third among rooks with 14.3 PPG.

Emmanuel Mudiay will lead all rookies in assists.

RIGHT – And it wasn’t even close. Mudiay’s 5.5 APG were a full assist more than T.J. McConnell, who shockingly finished second among all rookies with 4.5 APG.

By the end of the season, Montrezl Harrell will be considered the best second-rounder of the 2015 Draft Class.

WRONG – Harrell only played in 39 games and spent a good chunk of time in the D-League. The best second-rounder this past year was probably Miami’s Josh Richardson.


Anthony Davis is this year’s MVP.

WRONG – Someday.

DeAndre Jordan will win Defensive Player of the Year.

WRONG – He didn’t win it, but he did finish fourth in voting behind Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green and Hassan Whiteside.

Whoever ends up coming off the bench between Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol will win the Sixth Man of the Year Award this year.

WRONG – The Bulls were so bad. Long live Jamal Crawford.

Rudy Gobert will win the Most Improved Player Award.

WRONG – Not with the season C.J. McCollum had. Gobert didn’t even earn a vote for the award this year.

Jahlil Okafor is going to run away with Rookie of the Year honors.

WRONG – He absolutely is not. Towns was the unanimous winner, and deservedly so. Okafor didn’t even make it to the end of the year healthy.

Gregg Popovich will win Coach of the Year. He should win Coach of the Year every season, really.

WRONG – He maybe should have, but he didn’t. It’s hard to beat the guy who coaches a team to a record-setting 73 wins.

Daryl Morey will be named Executive of the Year this season, thanks in large part to the effect Ty Lawson will have on the team.

WRONG – Just so we’re all clear, this is one of the five dumbest things I have ever put into print.


Stephen Curry will sell more jerseys than any other player this year.

RIGHT – In the Year of the Warrior, Curry was king, topping LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who also finished in the top three for jerseys sold.

The Brooklyn Nets will win the draft lottery this year.

WRONG – But even if they had won it, they still would have lost it.

I won’t stop making this prediction every year until stops being true: the Chicago Bulls once again will lead the league in attendance.

RIGHT – The Bulls did it again, even in a frumpy season, with 21,820 fans per game, a full 1,200+ more than the Cavaliers, who finished this year second.

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s run this back in October and give it another go, shall we? Maybe I’ll even get some readers and/or other writers on the Basketball Insiders staff involved, as well. We can all look bad together!


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About Joel Brigham

Joel Brigham

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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