The NBA is in a very good place at the moment. Franchise value is skyrocketing, viewership is up, and a new TV deal has NBA salaries and league revenue higher than they’ve ever been. Most importantly, the product is as compelling as its ever been. Every team has a player or storyline that will make the season interesting. So I decided to crown the Most Interesting Team in the league. What makes me qualified to do this? Why, I have the internet and a keyboard and I have a knack for spotting interesting things. What makes a team interesting? A lot of things, none of which are winning a lot. We all know the Warriors are going to win 60+ games and will be the 1 seed in the west. That’s not interesting. So with that lets start with some of the more interesting teams in the league.
The Northern-Most NBA team has a ton of interesting things going for it. Reigning rookie of the year KAT looks like he may be able to do virtually anything on a basketball court. Year 3 Andrew Wiggins. Zach LaVine wont have to play the point anymore. Things are trending positively for the Wolves. But what puts the Wolves on the list is how this team will operate under new coach Tom Thibodeau. How far along is Andrew Wiggins? Will KAT play all the positions?(Don’t be surprised if you see him facilitating from the elbow more). How will Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn coexist? (Very Easily). Shabazz Muhammad, Sixth Man of the Year candidate???? In a contract year, I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s if Thibs doesn’t lock him down with an extension now which may actually be the smart thing. See? No shortage of things to hold your interest here.
The Bucks are the NBAs most amorphous team. They have a 6’11 Guard Forward. They could conceivably play a lineup with an average height of 6’9. They have some of the most intriguing talent scattered across the entire roster at every positionless position. Their least interesting player is a 6’6 point guard whose about to have his touches taken by a 6’11 everything. Giannis Antenkuenpo may very well be the new face of the positionless shift in the NBA. The amount of ways you could play him are already impressive; putting him on this team makes the possibilities just about endless. The chemistry that him and Jabari Parker will be so enjoyable to watch form throughout the season. And I haven’t even mentioned Thon Maker, the most known unknown player of the 2016 draft. A 7’1 project that makes a ton of sense for this team. With that many huge people playing positionless basketball the defense could be suffocating. We wont talk about the offense.
The Nuggets are easily the most slept on as far as interest goes; It makes no sense. The makings of a devastating Pick and Roll offense is all right there. A dynamic guard and skilled big in Emmanuel Mudiay and Jusuf Nurkic and tons of shooting. Some of that shooting is still theoretical but I’m betting it doesn’t take Jamal Murray long to find the touch from outside. Squint hard enough and you can see shades of the 09 Magic team that went to the finals. Crazy thing is this team has a higher ceiling than that Magic team. Nurkic may not be the physical specimen that Dwight Howard was but he is unquestionably more skilled different facets of the game and Mudiay looks nothing like a meerkat.
2: Los Angles
The team in Hollywood dodged a bullet and got to keep their pick on draft night. A Kobe farewell season kept the pick in the tops 2s and the Lakers rounded out their young core with Brandon Ingram. This will be the first time that the Lakers will be in full on development mode. D’Angelo Russell will finally have the touches Byron Scott and Kobe kept from him. Julius Randle is going to be a wrecking ball bringing the ball up in transition. Brandon Ingram shouldn’t have to create to much of his offense which should ease him into the NBA. What would make this team that much more interesting is a trade of one of those in that young core. Jordan Clarkson just signed a 4-yr/$50M but I’m not high on his pairing with Russell. If only there was a team that had too many bigs but not enough guards...
And the most interesting team in the league has to be the Philadelphia 76ers. How could they not be? They have a logjam of unicorn bigs. Two point forwards hybrids, an old school offensive big, an old school defensive big, and possibly a 7’ Hakeem Olajuan. I would personally love to see Philly keep all of them just to see a Bayless-Simmons-Saric-Noel-Embiid lineup but that’s probably not feasible. Noel going to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson gives the team a little more balance and shooting but anything this team does will be enthralling. The purveyor of The Process may be gone but he leaves behind a treasure trove of assets and players with varying skillsets. They could try and swing Noel or Okafor and some of those picks for a impact player or they could do nothing and turn those picks into prospects and trim the roster down to something that meshes a little better. Either way, we finally get a good look at what Embiid might be in actual NBA games with actual NBA players and honestly, that alone is reason enough to top this list.