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The 10 most intriguing early storylines to get excited about entering the 2019-20 NBA season

The 2019 NBA offseason was one of the most memorable and eventful that we have seen in quite some time. A plethora of players – All-Stars, superstars, future Hall-of-Famers and former MVPs – switched teams either via trade or free agency, and the totality of all of the moves has completely altered the landscape and outlook of the league. Some teams that were in the title hunt last season have fallen out of contention, while others have climbed up to true contender status with their offseason additions.

There was a whole lot to unpack this summer following the conclusion of the NBA Finals through the bulk of free agency, but now that the dust has settled a bit and the new NBA schedule is starting to leak out, we can get a better idea of what the league will look like next season.

With that said, here’s a look at the 10 most intriguing early storylines to get excited about entering the 2019-20 NBA season.

1. A wide open NBA

For the first time in what feels like ages, there’s no true runaway favorite entering the season. When Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City and moved to the Bay Area as a free agent in 2016, the Golden State Warriors were considered the odds-on favorite every season, and arguably only injury issues prevented them from winning three titles during Durant’s three years in Oakland.

Coupled with the rest of the offseason’s relocations and Durant’s move to Brooklyn, the league just feels much more open. At least six teams –- Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Nuggets, Bucks and 76ers — have a legitimate shot at a title, while several other teams could be in the mix as well. This newfound parity should make for an extremely exciting and intriguing season.

2. The new-look Lakers

LeBron James’ first season in the purple and gold was ultimately a forgettable one, but now that he has a legitimate co-star in Anthony Davis, all eyes – and expectations – will be on the Lakers. Thanks to the sheer talent of the James and Davis duo, the Lakers are the early favorites to win the 2020 NBA title, and anything short of that would be considered a disappointment in Los Angeles.

If you like LeBron and the Lakers, you’ll want to watch them to see them succeed. If you’re on the other side of the fence, you’ll want to see them fail. Either way, the Lakers are going to be must-see TV this season.

3. Westbrook and Harden reunited

There are a lot of exciting new duos across the league’s landscape, but perhaps none is more intriguing than the reunion of James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Houston. Harden and Westbrook played together for three seasons from 2009 to 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and both have gone on to win multiple scoring titles and MVPs since.

Though there are some concerns about how Harden and Westbrook — two high-volume, ball-dominant guards — will fit together in Houston’s backcourt, Westbrook, for one, isn’t worried.

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Written by Catherine Rose

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