The 2021-22 season provided a plethora of competitive basketball as teams battled for home-court playoff advantage, a playoff spot itself, and even a position in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament.
For the first time since the 2005-06 season, excluding three shortened seasons due to Covid and the 2011-12 lockout, only two teams won over 55 regular-season games.
Those dominant teams, the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, both failed to move past the second round of the playoffs. Subsequently, a Western Conference rival, the Golden State Warriors, ended up lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
It was an evenly matched season in both conferences, signifying the equity in talent across the league. Unfortunately for NBA fans, next regular season may not prove as enjoyable.
That’s because of one young man – French sensation Victor Wembanyama. Currently sitting as the consensus best prospect in next year’s Draft, NBA teams are already trying to climb over (or fall under) each other to have the best possible chance at securing the first overall pick.
The season may be far from starting, but recent trades and free agent moves provide a clear indication of what we may be in for next season.
There are already eight teams who either have one eye on next year’s draft lottery or probably will by some point early in the season. Wenbayama may well provide excitement for over a decade, but for now, his 7’3″ presence could make for some uncompetitive basketball by the latter half of next season.