It’s only been a week and already there are a few of my first 25 predictions for this year that I’m positive won’t come to fruition. For example, Paul George looks really hungry in Indiana which, combined with how rusty Monta Ellis has looked, makes me believe that George will lead that team in scoring, not Ellis.
There’s also very little reason to believe that Chris Bosh will top his averages from last season. Not sure what I was thinking there. The Hornets in the playoffs feels like a long shot, too.
But so it goes. Plenty of other predictions still have excellent opportunities to come true, and with a little bit of the preseason under the belt there’s more to go off of for the remaining 25 predictions, which we’re going to visit today:
26. Despite the constant rumors, the Denver Nuggets will not end up trading Kenneth Faried before the deadline this year.
27. Nor will the L.A. Clippers end up moving Jamal Crawford.
28. 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.
29. 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 of his brother.
30. Somebody has to get traded this season, and Chicago looks like a team that could pull the trigger on a deal shipping out one of their big men. Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson will be moved at some point this season.
31. Jose Calderon also will not spend the entire year with the New York Knicks. He’ll be traded at some point this season, too.
32. The Philadelphia 76ers will end up with at least two extra draft picks by the end of the season.
33. 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 eight players.
34. While Sacramento won’t trade DeMarcus Cousins, they will pull off another deal at some point, trading away one of their swingmen.
35. Jahlil Okafor will lead all rookies in both scoring and rebounding next season.
36. Karl-Anthony Towns, however, will be the leader among rookies in blocked shots.
37. In many ways D’Angelo Russell will struggle as a rookie, and should lead all first-year players in turnovers.
38. While Kristaps Porzingis won’t be an overwhelming disappointment his rookie season, he also won’t be among the top seven rookie scorers.
39. Emmanuel Mudiay will lead all rookies in assists.
40. By the end of the season, Montrezl Harrell will be considered the best second-rounder of the 2015 Draft Class.
41. Anthony Davis is this year’s MVP.
42. DeAndre Jordan will win Defensive Player of the Year.
43. Whoever ends up coming off the bench between Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol will win the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
44. Rudy Gobert will win the Most Improved Player Award.
45. Jahlil Okafor is going to run away with Rookie of the Year honors.
46. Gregg Popovich will win Coach of the Year. He should win Coach of the Year every season, really.
47. 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.
48. Stephen Curry will sell more jerseys than any other player this year.
49. The Brooklyn Nets will win the draft lottery this year.
50. I won’t stop making this prediction every year until stops being true: the Chicago Bulls once again will lead the league in attendance.
We’ll check back in on all of these predictions sometime in the early summer when everything here has been decided one way or another. Last year was a bad go for me, but I’m confident this season will go much better.
And if not, we’ll all have a chuckle at how poorly they turned out. It’s not easy to make predictions this early in the game, and it’s even harder to hold myself accountable, but it’s a fun challenge every year. Here’s hoping 2015-16 turns out exactly the way I expect it to.
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