2020-21 NBA preview: Not this king’s last dance by a long shot

LeBron James, the greatest player in the world, will go for ring No. 5 this season, but what about the Bulls, the rookie class and the coaches who should be renting rather than buying?

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Finally, some light.

A thorough housecleaning at 15 S. Wood St. the last seven months made it possible. The malodorous swamp at the Advocate Center had to be drained once and for all.

Longtime Bulls general manager Gar Forman? Gone. Jim Boylen and most of his coaching staff? Fired. The joke of a one-person developmental staff? Replaced with five people now running that department.

Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is calling all the shots now.

And there is hope for the Bulls.

Just not this season.

The Bulls made major changes in the front office and coaching staff, but the roster was locked in. Besides the additions of rookie forward Patrick Williams and free-agent guard Garrett Temple, the band is all back. It’s a collective that seemingly underachieved with 22 wins last season with a core group that has only seen the postseason on TV.

Don’t expect that to change.

This season is about development and evaluation, with Karnisovas, new coach Billy Donovan and general manager Marc Eversley deciding which pieces they want to keep and who becomes a possible trade asset. Memo to Bulls players: Rent, don’t buy.

As far as the big picture in the NBA, it’s still: You come at the king, you best not miss.

LeBron James and the Lakers are poised for back-to-back titles as James continues to cement his standing as the best all-around talent to ever play the game.

PREDICTED ORDER OF THE NBA BOTTOM

5. New York Knicks

4. Charlotte Hornets

3. Minnesota Timberwolves

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

1. Oklahoma City Thunder

PREDICTED ORDER FOR THE EASTERN CONFERENCE REGULAR SEASON

1. Milwaukee Bucks

2. Philadelphia 76ers

3. Miami Heat

4. Brooklyn Nets

5. Boston Celtics

6. Toronto Raptors

7. Indiana Pacers

8. Washington Wizards

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Heat over Bucks in six.

ALL-EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM

G – Bradley Beal - WAS

G – Jimmy Butler - MIA

F – Kevin Durant – BRK

F – Giannis Antetokounmpo – MIL

C – Joel Embiid – PHI

ALL-EASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM

G – Ben Simmons – PHI

G – Russell Westbrook - WAS

F – Jayson Tatum – BOS

F – Bam Adebayo – MIA

C – Nikola Vucevic - ORL

EASTERN CONFERENCE HONORS

MVP – Giannis Antetokounmpo – MIL

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Jaylen Brown – BOS

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Isaac Okoro – CLE

COACH OF THE YEAR – Doc Rivers – PHI

COACH ON THE HOT SEAT – Scott Brooks – WAS

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER – Malcolm Brogdon – IND

MOST OVERRATED PLAYER – Kyrie Irving – BRK

BIG-NAME TRADE CANDIDATE – Zach LaVine – BULLS

PREDICTED ORDER FOR THE WESTERN CONFERENCE REGULAR SEASON

1. Los Angeles Lakers

2. Denver Nuggets

3. Los Angeles Clippers

4. Portland Trail Blazers

5. Golden State Warriors

6. Utah Jazz

7. Dallas Mavericks

8. Houston Rockets

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Lakers over Nuggets in six.

NBA FINALS

Lakers over Heat in seven.

ALL-WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM

G – Luka Doncic – DAL

G – James Harden – HOU

F – LeBron James – LAL

F – Kawhi Leonard – LAC

C – Anthony Davis – LAL

ALL-WESTERN CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM

G – Damian Lillard – POR

G – Steph Curry – GS

F – Zion Williamson – NOR

F – Paul George – LAC

C – Nikola Jokic – DEN

WESTERN CONFERENCE HONORS

MVP – LeBron James – LAL

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR – John Wall – HOU

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – James Wiseman – GS

COACH OF THE YEAR – Frank Vogel – LAL

COACH ON THE HOT SEAT – Ryan Saunders – MIN

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER – Chris Paul – PHX

MOST OVERRATED PLAYER – Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN

BIG-NAME TRADE CANDIDATE – James Harden – HOU

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