Hey, the NBA season started tonight! The first nationally televised game, Cavaliers-Bulls in Chicago, started ... uh, pretty much at the same time as Game 1 of the World Series. The late game started a while ago. That’s dumb. I hope you’re watching the World Series.

Thankfully, the 2015-16 season will feature many games, several of which probably will not be synchronized to the championships of other sports for no damn reason. Many of them will be good to watch! This is an okay year to be a basketball fan; most teams have at least one compelling reason to watch them. Let’s run ’em down:

Atlanta Hawks

Photo credit: Getty

Are they worth watching?
Sure. Not tonight, of course—they went up against the World Series, too—but in general, yes. They have good players; they play fast and fun; it’s a good show.

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What is their deal?
The Hawks were really, reeeally good (but not revolutionary) last season; they made the Eastern Conference Finals before LeBron James destroyed them, and have as good a chance as anybody else in the East to get duffed by the Cavs in the playoffs again. DeMarre Carroll left for Toronto; how badly will they miss him? Thabo Sefolosha missed the end of their 2014-15 campaign after NYPD officers unjustly attacked him and broke his leg; will he be his old self this season, or ever again? Al Horford went nuts in the playoffs last May and did wrestling moves to Matthew Dellavedova; was this an aberration for the normally upstanding Horford, or the beginning of his transformation into the evil Darth Vader? They acquired Tiago Splitter from San Antonio; is he or is he not actually just Christian Laettner doing an accent?

Will they be good?
Probably!

Will they win the Finals?
Nah.


Boston Celtics

Are they worth watching?
In the abstract, absolutely not, because their players are not good. They still matter in the East, because the East is dreadful, so maybe you keep an eye on them?

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What is their deal?
Despite an almost total lack of good players, the Celtics snuck into the atrocious East’s seventh seed last season. And, even though they got swept out of the first round, they still managed to exert a big influence over the Finals by having repulsive Canadian ogre Kelly Olynyk (pictured, above) literally rip Kevin Love’s arm off and fling it into the stands. This left the Cavs woefully short of dazed-looking sad-sacks who can jog halfheartedly from one three-point line to the other in the Finals, where they lost. Previously fat unexceptional forward Jared Sullinger might not be fat anymore; plus, they added David Lee, who has been a spiritual Celtic all along, but is not good anymore. They have like 27 guys who are too small for their positions; as a team, they have like four total feet of wingspan. The quant nerds love them, though! FiveThirtyEight has them winning 48 games with these small and unexceptional players! Naturally, New England has responded by printing championship banners.

Will they be good?
No, but they’ll be in the Eastern Conference, so they’ll probably get extra games anyway.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No they will not!


Brooklyn Nets

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
No.

What is their deal?
They’re bad and you shouldn’t watch them.

Will they be good?
No.

Will they win the NBA F—
C’mon.


Charlotte Hornets

Are they worth watching?
Possibly? They turned over nearly their entire roster from last season; they didn’t really add anybody who’s all that great, but who knows. Kemba Walker is fun!

What is their deal?
The Hornets were supposed to be good last season, but they were bad instead. Lance Stephenson, whom they’d brought over from the Indiana Pacers in the prior offseason, was supposed to be a star, but actually he was puke. They traded him away, and also traded like half of all the other players in the NBA; the only trade they turned down, weirdly, was when the Celtics reportedly offered them pretty much every draft pick from now until 2044 for the right to select Justise Winslow with the ninth pick in the draft, and the Hornets were like, Nah, we’d rather have Dancin’ Frank Kaminsky, the evolutionary Keith Van Horn. They did trade for Nic Batum, who used to be French Scottie Pippen before turning into French Calbert Cheaney.

Will they be good?
If Batum goes back to being French Scottie Pippen, maybe! If he remains French Calbert Cheaney, definitely not.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Of course they won’t.


Chicago Bulls

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Yes. Apart from Derrick Rose being back (again) (sorta) (his eye is fucked up) for as long as it takes him to re-die (again), word on the street is new coach Fred Hoiberg plans to bench tired old Joakim Noah to make room for Nikola Mirotic, and that should be crazy fun.

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What is their deal?
I mean, we’re where we’ve been pretty much every year for the past half-decade with the Bulls: They’re talented, and deep, and you look at them and figure they ought to steamroll the East, and then you remember that that’s the same thing you said about them last year, and the year before, and they never steamrolled the East. This year might be different! Tom Thibodeau is gone; Rose, at least, loves Hoiberg’s new offensive system; and man oh man, full-time Mirotic. Mirotic is where it’s at, buddy. He’s so good.

Will they be good?
Probably! At least at first. Then Rose will barf out his skeleton, Joakim Noah will somehow claim the starting point guard spot in his absence, and they’ll muddle along to a third seed while averaging only slightly more than one shot attempt per quarter.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Nope.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Yes, of course. The DMV is worth watching, if LeBron James is in it. Kyrie Irving won’t return right away from the leg injury that knocked him out of the Finals, but eventually he’ll be back, and he’s always good TV. Obviously do not watch the Cavs tonight, though.

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What is their deal?
They seemed so close! For whole entire days between Games 2 and 4, the notion that LeBron might win the NBA Finals essentially by himself seemed not only plausible, but like it might even be the safe bet! That’s bananas. It only gets crazier with time. Fuck the Warriors.

The important dudes mostly are back this year. LeBron seems to have entered the part of his career where he’s more deliberate about pacing himself and doesn’t go full Whirlwind of Terror every night, but, c’mon, he’s still God until further notice. Tristan Thompson made it interesting for a while there—eliciting what might be the most hilarious fuck-up yet from always-wrong ESPN fuck-up Chris Broussard along the way—but eventually he got paid, as you knew he would. LeBron and coach David Blatt seemed to unlock some previously hidden awesomeness in goofy giant Timofey Mozgov during the Finals; it’ll be cool to see what they can do with more time together. Kevin Love is back. Matthew Dellavedova is back ... on the bench, which is as close as he ever should get to an NBA court for any purpose beyond wiping the sweat off of it, because he is really fucking lousy at the sport of basketball.

Will they be good?
Yes. Whether they’ll be frighteningly good or merely casual-stroll-through-the-East-to-the-Finals good depends on Kyrie’s return to form. In either case, they’re gonna mop up the East.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Probably not.


Dallas Mavericks

Are they worth watching?
Maybe? Nothing they do will be nearly as entertaining as the DeAndre Jordan saga, in any case.

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What is their deal?
God, they got fucked so bad. They thought they had Jordaneverybody thought they had him! it was being reported as a done deal! they basically did have him!—and planned accordingly, then got the trapdoor thrown open under them at the absolute worst possible moment. Between that and last December’s disastrous Rajon Rondo trade—they shipped three useful players and two draft picks out of town to rent a washed-up malcontent who made them much, much worse—these have not been a good 10 months for Mark Cuban’s front office. After the Jordan fiasco they scraped Deron Williams off the interstate as a consolation prize; they also picked up Wes Matthews, who destroyed his leg not so long ago, and JaVale McGee, who is terrible at basketball. These may very well be the turkeys who usher Dirk Nowitzki to the sad end of his wonderful career. What a fucking bloodbath.

Will they be good?
Actually ... they might! Deron showed us in the playoffs that he can still play a little; so can Dirk; Chandler Parsons is good. The odds probably are against Matthews doing anything at all this season, but for the sake of optimism, if he makes a good recovery from his blown-out Achilles, he was terrific before the injury and could be again. They’ll be a good show for the fans, anyway.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No chance in hell.


Denver Nuggets

Are they worth watching?
Hell the fuck no, buddy. Hell the fuck no.

What is their deal?
They’re extremely shitty. Someday Emmanuel Mudiay might be very good, but that day will not save them this season.

Will they be good?
They will not be good!

Will they win the NBA Finals?
What the hell kind of a question is that.


Detroit Pistons

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Probably not, for a while at least.

What is their deal?
They parted ways with Greg Monroe this offseason and brought in the rangier Marcus Morris (and, uh, Ersan Ilyasova, who might still have some use). Reggie Jackson gets to start the season in Detroit, rather than leaping in more than halfway through like he did last year. Possibly all of this will open things up for Andre Drummond, and then maybe he’ll return to being terrifying. Likely that’ll take a while to yield much by way of entertaining basketball.

Will they be good?
Probably not.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Nope.


Golden State Warriors

Are they worth watching?
They’re breathtaking. They’re going against Anthony fucking Davis right now; if by some weird fluke the World Series game ends before this game, you have a moral duty to flip over to it.

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What is their deal?
Steph Curry and his band of quick-shooting Silicon Valley techno-libertarian scum will seek to defend their NBA championship. This is a thing against which all humanity should unite. Remember when the Warriors deployed a cloud of nanobots to harass Iman Shumpert in the Finals?

This is how it begins. It ends with Skynet. How many of the Warriors are still human in any recognizable sense? They’re abominations, I tell you.

Will they be good?
You bet your sweet can they will.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Actually, I don’t think so!


Houston Rockets

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Sometimes they will be worth watching because they are bombing threes and loathsome wizard James Harden is doing dope shit. Sometimes they will be worth watching because they are a dysfunctional mess. Sometimes they will not be worth watching because they are a dysfunctional mess. Sometimes they will not be worth watching because they are succeeding wildly with a brand of miserable free-throw-choked post-human basketball that makes you want to abandon modern technology altogether. Sometimes James Harden will dislodge a wad of dandruff the size of a goddamn pomelo from his hair and you will pluck the eyeballs out of your own face and purée them in the garbage disposal.

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What is their deal?
The Rockets snatched a 3-1 series lead away from the Clippers in the Western semifinals last season, then bowed out in five in the conference finals, a series that ended with Harden posting about as bad a performance as a basketball player can have without scoring the game-winner for the wrong team. The most important dudes—Harden, intolerable phony Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley—are back, and Donatas Motiejunas should be along at some point. Ty Lawson’s in town, too, hopefully with whatever help he needs to deal with the drinking problems he’s reported to have had in Denver. They have a lot of good players!

Will they be good?
Yeah, they’ll be good. They’ll also, in all likelihood, be reeeeally goddamn annoying. It’s just a not-very-likable group of dudes, playing what’s often not-very-likable basketball.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Nah. They’re too flaky.


Indiana Pacers

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Sure! They’ve got Paul George and Monta Ellis, and they do not have Roy Hibbert. That’s a fun combination!

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What is their deal?
George is recovered from the gruesome leg injury that stole his 2014-15 season from him, and evidently the Pacers are gonna run him as a small-ball power forward this season, which should make for some loose basketball at both ends. Monta Ellis came over from Dallas, where he reinvented himself as a deadly and outrageously entertaining pick-and-roll ball-handler (before the stupid Rondo trade ruined that). Plodders Hibbert and David West are gone. The Pacers should be fast and kind of crazy and good TV.

(They also added old-ass Rodney Stuckey; he’s boring as hell, but probably still useful.)

Plus, as of this writing, Indiana’s roster includes a player named Shayne Whittington. The very real possibility that a hapless broadcaster will slip up and call him “Wayne Shittington” is reason enough to watch Pacers games.

Will they be good?
No. But they might do make some noise in the East anyway.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No chance.


Los Angeles Clippers

Photo credit: Getty

Are they worth watching?
Yes, if for no other reason than that they’re fucking bonkers.

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What is their deal?
Our Kevin Draper covered this in full back in July, and I will not do a better job than he did.

But more important for our purposes, this team is going to be crazy next year! It’s full of athletes and entertainers and downright amazing basketball players, and also half a dozen players who are liable to implode or explode at any given moment. I mean, they were already a volatile team that averaged two technicals every three games, and they just added Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith to the mix!

Chris Paul! Jamal Crawford! Paul Pierce! Lance Stephenson! Josh Smith! Blake Griffin! DeAndre Jordan! And then, to top it all off, human slapstick lowlight reel Austin Rivers, who managed to do this ...

... twice, just in a single playoffs series last spring!

Here’s the other one:

I love Austin Rivers so goddamn much. He is a gift to humankind, and I will treasure him forever.

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Will they be good?
Yes. But who cares? They’re gonna be batshit, and that’s more important.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Ha ha, hell no. Hell no.


Los Angeles Lakers

Are they worth watching?
They are the reason to have eyeballs.

What is their deal?
They acquired Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass. Hey guys, what’s it like being teammates with Kobe Bryant?

Cool, cool.

Will they be good?
They will be the single thing furthest from good in all the universe.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
I don’t think they’re gonna!


Memphis Grizzlies

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Yes, very much. They have good, fun players all over the place, they’re smart and tough, they’ve got their own style you can’t get from some other team, and holy shit Vince Carter’s still in the NBA?????

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What is their deal?
Everybody seemed to think splendiferous Spaniard Marc Gasol was a goner this past offseason, but nah, he came back! It’s pretty rare for a team re-signing its own longtime star player to register as a legitimate coup, but that’s kinda what this felt like. With Gasol and Zach Randolph as their main guys, the Grizzlies have been kind of a plodding, grinding outfit for the past few years—and that’s cool! Z-Bo and Gasol make it cool—but now they’ve got springy dudes like Jeff Green and Brandan Wright, and they are gonna Do. Some. Dunks. Man.

Plus, savage mid-range killer Beno Udrih is still around, and man he’s just so much fun to watch when he’s Doing The Shit.

(They also acquired rancid shithead Matt Barnes, but he might still be in line for some disciplinary action for terrorizing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, Knicks coach Derek Fisher, back at the beginning of this month.)

Will they be good?
So long as they’re healthy, they’ll be tough as nails.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
They will not.


Miami Heat

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
At the moment, sure. During the 40 percent of their games Dwyane Wade will miss for some reason or another? Not s’much.

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What is their deal?
The important deal to know about, with regards to the Heat, is the shitty one-year contract Wade signed back in July. He got screwed.

In the meantime, though, the Heat might make the East reckon with their old asses; watching them try will be interesting, anyway. They missed the playoffs this past spring, but Chris Bosh should be recovered from the scary blood clots that ended his season early, and that’s no small thing; he’s still one of the best all-around big guys in basketball. They added geriatric Amar’e Stoudemire, hilariously; he, Wade, and the mummy who used to be Luol Deng have, what, maybe a grand total of three flexible joints in their husks, but what the hell, Old Man Game is real. They’re not just old, though. Hassan Whiteside is around, and frequently dominant, and kind of a goon; Gerald Green and Justise Winslow will dunk a lot, or damn well should; Goran Dragic is flashy and fun, even if he’s not as young as Miami’s cryptkeepers make him seem by comparison.

Will they be good?
They’ll play like an East top-4 seed on nights when it all works—when they’ve had a day or two of rest and the old guys are at their most limber; when Whiteside comes to play and not to truck-stick a bystander for no reason; when the opposing team doesn’t have a lot of quick feet with which to carve them up. Probably those nights will not come along all that often.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
It’s after their bedtime.


Milwaukee Bucks

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
HELL YEAH BUDDY HELL YEAH. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, JABARI PARKER, KHRIS MIDDLETON, GREG MONROE, MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS, CHRIS COPELAND, WHICHEVER PLUMLEE BROTHER THEY HAVE, HELL YEAH, MAN, HELL YEAH, HELL YEAH.

What is their deal?
HELL YEAH BUDDY HELL YEAH. HELL YEAH.

Will they be good?
HELL YEAH THEY WILL BUDDY, HELL YEAH, 900 YARDS OF ARMS AND ORBITAL BOUNCE AND THE GREEK FREAK, HELL YEAH MAN, HELL YEAH.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Hell no.


Minnesota Timberwolves

Are they worth watching?
Sure! Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach LaVine are about as fun a foursome of young doofuses as you’ll find in the NBA. Hey, throw Shabazz Muhammad in there too, what the hell. Even if they suck, watching these dudes learn together ought to be sporadic fun.

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What is their deal?
They’re young and athletic and Andrew Wiggins is gonna be great, but all of that’s overshadowed, at least for the time being, by the sad news of coach Flip Saunders’s death from cancer. He was diagnosed in August, for chrissakes; only a few weeks ago there was talk he might return to coaching this season. And now he’s gone. That’s just goddamn awful.

I don’t think anybody expects the Timberwolves to be super-duper focused on basketball when their season begins tomorrow night in Los Angeles.

Will they be good?
Nah.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Nah.


New Orleans Pelicans

Are they worth watching?
Anthony Davis is appointment television if you like superhumans doing impossible shit. Except tonight, when he is what you might flip over to during World Series commercial breaks.

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What is their deal?
Davis was already one of the NBA’s two or three best players last season, as a 21-year-old (he turned 22 in March) playing on a weird roster for an overmatched coach whose go-to move was having somebody dump the ball on poor Davis with two seconds left on the shot-clock and hoping for a miracle. That he delivered as often as he did in that raw arrangement—he delivered a friggin’ lot! he dragged these shitheads to the playoffs!—speaks to his freakish abilities. And what it says to those abilities is, “You’re freakish.”

Now that overmatched coach has been replaced by Alvin Gentry, one of the craftiest offensive minds in pro basketball, and that’s just terrifying. The roster’s still weird; it’s all combo guards and tweener forwards and guys recovering from friggin’ Spina bifida and shit, but in the abstract at least a few of them are decent players, and Gentry and Davis might just do some cool shit with them.

Or Davis might put up 30-15-5-5 and emit visible light from a third eye in the middle of his forehead. It’s possible!

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Will they be good?
They’d almost certainly be no worse than the second or third seed in the East. They’re not in the East. Tough break.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
They’re not ready yet.


New York Knicks

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
No.

What is their deal?
They drafted Brigitte Nielsen. They big-timed LaMarcus Aldridge.

Will they be good?
Never.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Never. Eat shit, Kyle.


Oklahoma City Thunder

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Absolutely. Kevin Durant is back. Russell Westbrook never left.

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What is their deal?
This probably is the most important season the Thunder will ever have. Durant essentially lost the 2014-15 season to a series of injuries, but he’s healthy now—and he hits free-agency next summer, with most of the NBA positioned to bid on his services. This may be the Thunder’s last run at a title with one of the best players of his generation.

And: they’re going for it! They paid through the nose to hire Billy Donovan away from the University of Florida. They matched Portland’s max offer to Enes Kanter this summer. Enes Kanter, man. That is as stark a See? We are going for it! We are not small-market busters! move as you will see in your life.

In any case, pretty much all the things that made the Thunder so exciting prior to Durant’s lost season—Durant’s and Russ’s unmatched shot-making brilliance; Serge Ibaka’s bounce and blossoming game ... uh, Nick Collison—are still in place. And now that Scott Brooks is gone, maybe they’ll actually leverage those things against each other to become something more than Durant and Russ taking turns going 1-on-5!

Will they be good?
Sam Presti sure as fuck hopes so!

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Nah. Billy Donovan’s not up to that in his first season.


Orlando Magic

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Do they still have “The Shaq”? No? Hmm. Who do they have now? “The Penny”?

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What is their deal?
Well, according to “the internet,” their deal is they haven’t had “The Shaq” in 19 years, so I guess I don’t know what the hell their deal is.

Will they be good?
No.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No.


Philadelphia 76ers

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
No, but, you see, it’s cool, because they don’t want to be worth watching. So actually they’re very successful.

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What is their deal?
Joel Embiid might be fat, or not; possibly is insubordinate; almost certainly will not play this season. But it’s cool because master genius elite personnel sorcerer Sam Hinkie drafted another center—their third in three years—this summer. Meanwhile they have no guards. Trust the process. Just, for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t, y’know, watch it on TV.

Will they be good?
They will be good at being bad, which is their goal, so, uh, sure, they’ll be good.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No. But they’re the favorites in 2072!


Phoenix Suns

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Are they worth watching?
Nah. For a while there it seemed like they might be, but then everything kinda went to hell. They might not be terrible, but there will be no reason to pay attention to them.

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What is their deal?
The Suns were the pleasant surprises of the 2013-14 season; in what looked like it’d be a tanking season, they won 48 games playing fast and small and nearly made the playoffs in the punishing Western Conference. They backslid a bit last season, made some aimless-seeming trades that didn’t move the needle—or moved it in the wrong direction—but seemed positioned to take a shot at one of the summer’s big free-agents. Then they traded Marcus Morris, probably to clear space for LaMarcus Aldridge (whom they didn’t get), and now Marcus’s better brother Markieff doesn’t want to be there anymore, and they just kinda look shitty and talent-poor and depressing.

Eric Bledsoe’s still around, and Brandon Knight can do some stuff, so yeah, they can still do a facsimile of the balls-out two-guard lineups that made the Suns so fun two years ago. A sad facsimile.

But hey, they added Tyson Chandler for some reason! They’re gonna trade the shit outta him in a few months.

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Will they be good?
Sadly, no. They’re probably two so-so months from going in the tank.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No chance.


Portland Trail Blazers

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Are they worth watching?
Not at all. And that is just sad as hell. They have Damian Lillard! They should be good to watch.

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What is their deal?
LaMarcus Aldridge left. One of the Plumlees replaced him. They’re shitty now. They kind of turned themselves into the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats: They’ve got a small shooter, Lillard, at point (like the Bobcats had Kemba Walker); they’ve got a big doofus with flypaper hands, Chris Kaman, at center (like the Bobcats had Byron Mullens); they’ve got Gerald Henderson (like the Bobcats had Gerald Henderson); they’ve got flotsam and young guys with murky prospects (like the Bobcats had Bismack Biyombo and Eduardo Nájera). Pretty much across the board, the Blazers’ Bobcats are better than the 2011-12 Bobcats’ Bobcats were, but then again, the Blazers’ Western Conference is a lot tougher than the 2011-12 Bobcats’ Eastern Conference was. Those Bobcats went 7-59. The outlook is not good, is what I am saying here.

Will they be good?
They will be bad.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No they will not.


Sacramento Kings

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Your guess is as good as mine. Which is almost like yes, but also an awful lot like no.

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What is their deal?
Oy vey. The Kings stunk last season, as is their custom. They were on their third coach by Valentine’s Day. That guy, George Karl, tried to run DeMarcus Cousins out of town, which is fucking insane. The front office (Vlade Divac!) panicked and tried to hire John Calipari to replace Karl. They got undressed by the Sixers in a needless trade to free up money—and then nobody wanted their money. No, really. John Calipari didn’t want their money; Monta Ellis didn’t want their money; Wes Matthews didn’t want their money; Andrea fucking Bargnani turned down their money. They wound up dumping a one-year deal on Rajon freaking Rondo, bidding against themselves for a bad player nobody wants. But hey, at least they didn’t manage to get rid of George Karl! I’m sure he and Boogie Cousins will get along splendidly.

Will they be good?
Well, shit. Almost certainly not. But, the thing is, Cousins is very nearly as good as anybody else in the NBA, and a good deal larger too. Who knows? If he’s hanging 28 and 14 on the box score every night, they could be a perfectly mediocre NBA team! Which is almost like something, but also an awful lot like nothing.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
George Karl will grievance-fart himself to the moon before that happens.


San Antonio Spurs

Are they worth watching?
Oh hell yes.

What is their deal?
The Spurs went down in the first round of the playoffs last year—on a heroic Game-7 series winning bucket by the Clippers’ Chris Paul—and like each of the past 10 years or so, everybody went, “Okay, surely this is the result that signals the end for the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili-Popovich Spurs, the moment when they recede and build anew around Kawhi Leonard, like NBA teams do when they’ve aged out of championship contention.” Then they re-signed Danny Green at a discount. Then they snagged LaMarcus Aldridge, the jackpot of the offseason. Then David West essentially paid $11 million to get out of Indiana and come to San Antonio. They just never stop. They are the fucking Borg.

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Will they be good?
Of course they will be good. If the Earth revolves around the Sun, then the Spurs will be good.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
Hmm. That’s probably a lot to ask in their first year integrating Aldridge. There’s bound to be some adjustment. I’ll say this isn’t their year.


Toronto Raptors

Photo credit: AP

Are they worth watching?
Not really. You know who they are.

What is their deal?
How good do you think DeMarre Carroll is? I think he’s a fine player; good enough to be the fifth or sixth best player on a decent team. He was the biggest acquisition the Raptors made after imploding in the playoffs and getting summarily dismissed in four games by the Wizards. I ... don’t think that’s gonna be enough, fellas.

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Will they be good?
Sure. Kyle Lowry will compete like hell and the rest of them will be blandly competent and they’ll probably stay solidly in the East’s top eight all season long. That’s fine! They’ll do right by their fans. But it’ll play like a syndicated re-airing of last season to the rest of us.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
No sir.


Utah Jazz

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Are they worth watching?
They could have been! Then delightful young guard Dante Exum trashed his knee playing summer ball for the Australian national team, and now they’re just the dumb ol’ Jazz again.

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What is their deal?
Rudy Gobert is, like, tall? And does stuff? Gordon Hayward is a beefcake? Derrick Favors is sort of blandly good, but probably it’s time to stop hoping he’ll turn into Chris Bosh? I dunno, none of these dudes can be all that good, or the Jazz wouldn’t have been trash last year.

Will they be good?
Probably they will not be good. Will anyone notice either way?

Will they win the NBA Finals?
They will not win the NBA Finals.


Washington Wizards

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Are they worth watching?
John Wall is alive, so the Wizards are worth watching.

What is their deal?
Hey, here’s a weird thing: The Wizards kind of conduct themselves like a normal, competent NBA franchise nowadays. They went six games deep in the conference semis for the second year in a row, and instead of dissolving or imploding or pointing guns at each other or giving Rashard Lewis a billion dollars, they added the kinds of players playoff teams add: Gary Neal, Alan Anderson, Jared Dudley. Cheap veterans who can shoot threes and know where to stand. When the draft came, they drafted an actual human who has handled an actual basketball before, rather than trading their pick to the friggin’ Hawks for the right to wish they hadn’t, or taking 673 Balkan consonants and an “I.O.U. one basketball player in 2018” note. For the Washington Wizards, this is progress.

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Will they be good?
They still have Randy Wittman as their coach, and they’re still a Washington sports team. They’ll win 46 games, yo-yo between the second and seventh seed all season, then wind up in fifth, and it’ll seem like so much less than they could have done. D.C. is sports purgatory.

Will they win the NBA Finals?
C’mon, of course they won’t.


Wait, you just said no one will win the NBA Finals.
This blog is over!

Top image via AP

Contact the author at albert.burneko@deadspin.com or on Twitter @albertburneko.

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