The 2021-22 season featured an abundance of competitive basketball as teams competed for playoff home field advantage, a playoff berth 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 advance through the second round of the playoffs. Subsequently, a Western Conference rival, the Golden State Warriors, won the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
It’s been a balanced season across both conferences, which means equality of talent across the league. Unfortunately for NBA fans, the next regular season may not be as pleasant.
That’s down to one young man – French sensation Victor Wembanyama. The NBA teams that currently have the best consensus consensus in next year’s draft are already scrambling to climb (or fall) over each other for the best possible shot at the first overall pick.
The season may be a long way off, but recent trades and free agent changes give a clear indication of what’s in store for us next season.
There are already eight teams either eyeing the draft lottery next year or likely to do so sometime early in the season. Wenbayama may be causing a stir for over a decade, but for now, his 7’3-inch presence could make for uncompetitive basketball in the second half of next season.