NBA 2021 Central Division Preview
The NBA’s Central division may be home to the defending NBA champions, but it is also a division that made a lot of improvements this offseason and brought in a lot of talent.
Let’s take a look at the teams:
The Pistons were awarded the number one overall draft pick this past offseason and believe they finally have their franchise cornerstone. Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State was seen as the top prospect by many analysts.
The guard will join a roster that includes Jerami Grant, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart. The Pistons still have what is regarded as one of the least talented rosters in the league, but really like their young players, especially Hayes and Stewart, and hope both will make second year leaps.
Don’t expect Detroit to be very good this season, but they should develop some talent for the years to come.
The Cavaliers have a promising roster with a lot of potential but, their season will depend on how the talent can mesh together.
Collin Sexton and Darius Garland will continue to try to mesh their play styles, or one may be on the way out. Otherwise, the Cavs love their front court of Jarrett Allen and the third overall pick of this year’s draft, Evan Mobley. They’re also excited about their first round pick last year Isaac Okoro after having a great a rookie season under his belt.
The Cavs have a veteran presence with Kevin Love, along with Ricky Rubio, while also adding former Chicago Bulls Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine.
The talent is there for the Cavs, but the chemistry may not be.
The Pacers have had a lot of shuffling of their roster over the past few seasons, but think they have a franchise centerpiece in Domantas Sabonis. The All-Star has an interesting supporting cast of Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert and Myles Turner.
LeVert has been out for most of his time since he was acquired from the Nets, but the Pacers are hopeful to have a star when he returns. TJ Warren hasn’t been the same player as he was in the bubble a year ago, but if that Warren returns, the Pacers could be an exciting team.
The Pacers have the potential to sneak into the playoffs, but that may be their ceiling as the East continues to get better.
The Bulls may have made the biggest moves this offseason as they brought in a lot of talent to Chicago to help out Zach LaVine. The Bulls added All-Star Nikola Vucevic last season at the trade deadline and signed Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso this offseason.
Chicago has high expectations for last year's 2020 fourth overall pick, Patrick Williams, and expect him to make a large leap. Chicago also has Coby White and Derrick Jones Jr. off the bench, who are expected to have big roles.
The Bulls could be an East contender if the chemistry is there because the talent is endless.
The Bucks did exactly what every championship team should do and that is keep their roster together. The big three from last season consisting of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday will all be back looking for a repeat.
The Bucks were able to add sharpshooter Grayson Allen to the roster while retaining the likes of Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez. Expect Milwaukee to challenge for the title once again and top the division.
Charlie Knezevic is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.