Biggest Question Marks for Every NBA Western Conference Team

The NBA free agency period began with several blockbuster trades and record-breaking deals, but there is still plenty of time left for even more league-altering moves. Here’s a look at some questions for each Western Conference team for the remainder of the free agency period:

Dallas Mavericks

Can the Mavs replace Jalen Brunson?

The Mavs’ biggest loss during free agency was Brunson, who took a better deal to play for the New York Knicks. Without Brunson, the team’s second-leading scorer last season, the burden falls even more on superstar Luka Doncic.

The Mavs’ only hope is that first-round draft pick Jaden Hardy improves sooner than later. Otherwise, a repeat trip to the Western Conference finals is likely out of the question.

Denver Nuggets

Are the Nuggets finally ready to dethrone the Golden State Warriors?

The Nuggets had the league’s MVP the past two seasons. Now, can they stake a claim as the best team?

The Nuggets had one of the NBA’s top free agency periods by adding Bruce Brown, DeAndre Jordan, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. That should give Nikola Jokic a strong enough supporting cast to contend with the Warriors and Phoenix Suns.

The Nuggets are no worse than the third-best team in the Western Conference because of their moves in free agency.

Golden State Warriors

Who replaces Gary Payton II?

Losing Payton to the Trail Blazers hurt the Warriors because of his strong defensive play, especially during the postseason. However, Golden State shouldn’t worry too much. They plucked Donte DiVincenzo, another defense-first player, from the Sacramento Kings.

More importantly, they also still have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole. In short, the Warriors will be fine next season.

Houston Rockets

Do the Rockets need to add experience to their young core?

The Rockets traded away their leading scorer, Christian Wood, after the season to the Mavericks. While Wood was one of the league’s most coveted free agents, the Rockets were able to get younger with his departure. They will now attempt to build around first-team All-Rookie Jae’Sean Tate and No. 3 pick Jabari Smith out of Auburn. 

Youngsters Jalen Green and Josh Christopher, who are both 20, are also part of the centerpiece. Their average age is 21, so the Rockets may need to add some experience while they await their development.

Author: Lucy Green