The 2017-18 NBA season is almost upon us, as opening night tips off in less than a week. A new season always brings excitement, and after a crazy summer, there are more than a few storylines worth keeping an eye on all year.
Fans of each team will have things they want to see at a local level, whether it’s being a contender, battling for the playoffs, seeing young players develop, or even earning a high draft pick. On a national level, some would point to the Warriors’ existence as a bit of a deterrent to getting heavily invested in the results in the NBA this season.
Golden State is, rightfully, considered a nearly unbeatable juggernaut. They will in all likelihood, health permitting, win the championship for the third time in four years and cement their place as the best dynasty of the past two decades, with more likely to be added in the future. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and the rest of the Warriors roster will almost assuredly add another ring to their collection in June and, like last year, it could be a pretty easy road to the title, despite the best efforts of their competition.
Even so, there are plenty of reasons to keep a close eye on the rest of the top teams, as well as other interesting up-and-comers, this season even if you’re a fan of another team. Below, you’ll find the most important national storylines to follow in the NBA this season that have nothing to do with Golden State, but will still shape the league’s future for years to come.