We’re just one day away from the NBA regular season and three days away from LeBron James’ Lakers debut! — Check out everything you should know ahead of the season opener!
The 73rd NBA season is here! The excitement begins with tip off on Tuesday, October 16. — And, the first six days of the season features 15 different teams playing 11 national television games across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV. Below, you will find the schedule for week one; major player moves; rookies to watch; players who are back from injury; coaching debuts and more!
COACH DEBUTS: There are five men who are full-time NBA head coaches for the first time — J.B. Bickerstaff (Memphis); James Borrego (Charlotte); Igor Kokoskov (Phoenix); Nick Nurse (Toronto); Lloyd Pierce (Atlanta). David Fizdale will make his coaching debut with the New York Knicks, and Dwayne Casey will do the same with the Detroit Pistons.
BACK FROM INJURY: Boston’s Gordon Hayward (ankle) and Kyrie Irving (knee) missed the Celtics’ run to the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals. However, both players are slated to join the C’s for opening night this season. All eyes will be on Hayward after he sustained a season-ending injury less than six minutes into his debut with Boston last season.
2018 All-Stars DeMarcus Cousins of Golden State (Achilles) and Kristaps Porzingis of New York (knee) have no detailed time table to return. However, they are potential in-season additions for their respective teams, with Cousins likely to return ahead of Porzingis.
Kawhi Leonard of Toronto (quad) and Mike Conley of Memphis (hip) are on the way back after appearing in only nine and 12 games, last season.
Other on-the-mend players who missed all or most of last season include: LA Clippers’ Patrick Beverley (knee), Portland’s Seth Curry (leg), Atlanta’s Jeremy Lin (knee), Oklahoma City’s Andre Roberson (knee) and Miami’s Dion Waiters (ankle).
SEASON OPENER SCHEDULE: WEEK 1
Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics — Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8 PM ET (TNT)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors — Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 10:30 PM ET, (TNT)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets — Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8 PM ET, (ESPN)
Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns – Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10:30 PM ET, (ESPN)
Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia 76ers – Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8 PM ET, (TNT)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers – Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10:30 PM ET, (TNT)
Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors – Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 PM ET, (ESPN)
Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz – Friday, Oct. 19 at 10:30 PM ET, (ESPN)
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10:30 PM ET, (ESPN)
LeBron James (Cavaliers to Lakers)
Kawhi Leonard (Spurs to Raptors)
DeMar DeRozan (Raptors to Spurs)
DeMarcus Cousins (Pelicans to Warriors)
Carmelo Anthony (Thunder to Rockets via Hawks)
Dwight Howard (Hornets to Wizards via Nets)
DeAndre Jordan (Clippers to Mavericks)
Isaiah Thomas (Lakers to Nuggets)
Tony Parker (Spurs to Hornets)
Dennis Schröder (Hawks to Thunder)
Jabari Parker (Bucks to Bulls)
Tyreke Evans (Grizzlies to Pacers)
Julius Randle (Lakers to Pelicans)
Brook Lopez (Lakers to Bucks)
ROOKIES TO WATCH
Deandre Ayton (Suns; #1): First No. 1 overall pick by the Suns in team history.
Marvin Bagley III (Kings; #2): His maternal grandfather, Joe Caldwell, was also a No. 2 overall pick in 1964.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies; #4): He is the son of former NBA veteran Jaren Jackson Sr., a champion with the Spurs.
Mo Bamba (Magic; #6): The Harlem, N.Y., native spent time with Joel Embiid before the season.
Wendell Carter Jr. (Bulls; #7): Named to All-NBA Summer League First Team.
Luka Doncic (Mavericks #77): The Slovenian pro baller led Madrid to the 2018 EuroLeague title, winning the EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP awards at age 19.
Trae Young (Hawks; #11): By the end of his only college season with the Oklahoma Sooners, Young became the first and only player to ever lead the NCAA in both points and assists in a single season.
Remember fans, you can also purchase individual games on NBA League Pass!
ADDITIONAL NEWS: As the NBA season quickly approaches, the players aren’t the only ones who’ve been putting in major work in the offseason. The league itself has locked down epic, new partnerships, with Beats, and most recently, Express, Inc. The league and the retail giant recently announced their multi-year expanded partnership.
Express unveiled its second “NBA Game Changers” campaign and Performance Collection featuring NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Mo Bamba (Orlando Magic) and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), two of this year’s top NBA Draft picks, as well as current NBA stars John Collins (Atlanta Hawks) and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets). As part of its expanded partnership with the NBA, Express will also introduce a collection of licensed apparel, available in-store and online beginning this fall.