For the first time in five seasons, the NBA finds itself in new territory entering the 2019-20 season.
No longer are the Warriors prohibitive favorites. League uncertainty, coupled with notable player movement across conferences, makes the upcoming season as unpredictable as it has been in recent years.
Nevertheless, that doesn't stop one from predicting an uncertain season in the association. To get you ready for opening week, here are your predictions for the upcoming year.
Defensive Player of the Year - Rudy Gobert
Gobert dominated defensively last season, ranking third in the league in blocks and held teams to just 45.2 percent from the field. Gobert's contribution's helped Utah rank second in the league in defensive efficiency.
If Gobert were to win, he'd become just the second player to win three straight DPOY awards, joining Dwight Howard.
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Rookie of the Year - Ja Morant
With Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson out six-to-eight weeks due to meniscus surger, Morant is in the driver's seat for the award.
Morant -- who averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists and 6.5 rebounds in his sophomore year at Morgan State -- will be featured on a Grizzlies team in transition, having traded away franchise pillars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in the last year.
With that in mind, Morant will have ample opportunities to show his ability this season.
MVP - Stephen Curry
With Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn, and Klay Thompson not expected back this season, most of the offensive burden will fall on Curry.
Curry has shown to be worthy to carry the offensive torch. In 2016, Curry had the highest player efficiency rating since 1991, while leading the league in 3-pointers made (402), steals (169), win-shares (17.9) and value over replacement (9.8) while finishing second in usage.
The key to Curry's season will be his health. Over the last two seasons, Curry has missed a combined 44 games due to injury, including 31 during the 2017-18 season. Last season, it was a non-contact groin injury that forced the guard to miss more than two weeks.
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Most Improved Player - Lonzo Ball
During his first two seasons in the league with the Lakers, Ball struggled through injuries, expectations of Los Angeles, and ongoing litigation centered around his company Big Baller Brand.
Now, in New Orleans, he is far away from the distractions, and is alongside a healthy young cast featuring Brandon Ingram and Williamson. If Ball can recapture the magic that made him a No. 2 overall pick, the Pelicans could be a fringe playoff team.
Sixth Man - Lou Williams
At this point, Williams is like Nicki Minaj at the BET Awards in the late 2010s. If he is on the floor, an award is expected to come his way.
Last season, he won his second straight award (and third overall), averaging 20 points, three rebounds and five assists. In the playoffs, he helped the Clippers push Golden State to six games in their first-round NBA playoff matchup.
This season, Williams is expected to play starters minutes off the bench, giving yet another opportunity for the veteran the claim an award that should be named after him when its all said and done.
Coach of the Year - Doc Rivers
Last season, despite the Clippers trading away Tobias Harris -- the team's leading scorer -- Los Angeles surprisingly won 48 games and nearly eliminated Golden State in the first round.
Now, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the roster, Rivers is expected to lead the current roster to a title.
Rivers has experience coaching stars, having led the 2008 Celtics -- featuring Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen -- to a title, earning COY honors along the way.
Best Record - Milwaukee Bucks
The best way to quiet the noise of Giannis Antetokounmpo's pending free-agency will be to get off to a hot start.
Milwaukee has the team to do it, with shooters like Kyle Korver, Brook Lopez and Wes Matthews to spread the floor around the Greek Freak.
Antetokounmpo, months removed from winning his first MVP, should be primed for a run at another award.
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NBA Champs - Los Angeles Lakers
With a historic offseason, the Lakers seem to have their most balanced team in years on paper. The tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis should help with the bulk of the offensive output.
The signings of Avery Bradley and Danny Green give Los Angeles top-level defenders, a welcome sign for a team that finished in the middle of the league in defensive rating last season.
But the key will be James, who is entering his 17th season on Tuesday evening. With Golden State no longer a contender, he should push to his first title since 2016.
Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!