Seeing records fall is part of the reason basketball is so enthralling, as it’s a game covered with such rich history.
In that respect, this upcoming season in particular should be fascinating because multiple franchise records across the Association are set to be taken over – both by future Hall-of-Famers and by role players who could have thrived in any era.
Below, we cover seven players who have a good shot at becoming franchise leaders in the most important statistics basketball has to offer.
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Despite the obvious umbrage Seattle SuperSonics fans still feel towards how they lost their team to the ownership group who turned the club into the Oklahoma City Thunder, that doesn’t change the fact that as far as NBA history goes, they still count as the same franchise.
And that would explain why the explosive Russell Westbrook is on the verge of taking a team record away from a Sonics legend.
Heading into 2018-19, Westbrook is merely 1,023 points behind nine-time All-Star and Hall-of-Fame floor general Gary Payton for the Thunder franchise lead in total points scored.
By averaging 25 points per contest, which is around what he put up nightly last season, and if he doesn’t miss a single outing, Westbrook will own the record outright midway through 2018-19 – by game No. 42 of the campaign.
Marc Gasol, Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies (originally the Vancouver Grizzlies) came to existence as a franchise in the 1995-96 campaign, giving them a comparative-to-the-rest-of-the-league short 23-season history.
That’s why big man Marc Gasol, a former Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Star, is about to take the franchise record for total rebounds away from another big man, Zach Randolph, who’s not only still active, but just left the team prior to 2017-18.
The 7-foot Spaniard trails Randolph by 125 boards for the franchise lead, a mark that could be broken 16 games into next year as long as Gasol doesn’t average fewer than eight rebounds per outing.
It won’t be the first Grizzlies franchise record Gasol owns, as he already ranks first in multiple historical categories for the club, including total points, blocks and free-throws made.
Stephen Curry, Warriors
Golden State Warriors lead guard Stephen Curry already owns the franchise record for three-pointers made, attempted and free-throw percentage.
Soon, he may be able to add assists to the list, too.
At the moment, Curry is 628 helpers behind franchise legend and Hall-of-Fame floor general Guy Rodgers for the lead. Curry has only had more than 628 assists in a year once in his career, back in his breakout 2013-14 campaign when he averaged 8.5 of them nightly over 78 games played.
If the two-time MVP is able to suit up in at least 70 contests next season, he’ll have to average nine assists per game to break the record by the end of the campaign. Definitely doable, especially as Curry will still have the likes of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to distribute the ball to, as well as the fact there will be a certain behemoth joining the squad in DeMarcus Cousins who Curry will be eager to feed dimes to, as well.
DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, Raptors
It’s only appropriate that both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry – the two players leading the Toronto Raptors to heights they had previously never reached – are about to break the same franchise record.
Doug Christie currently has most steals in team history with 664. Hilariously enough, both members of the Raptors’ All-Star backcourt are tied for second at 655.
It’ll be interesting to note who between Lowry and DeRozan is able to break the record first, how many times the club leader in steals changes throughout 2018-19 and who will own the record by the time next year ends.
Wouldn’t it be kind of great if they ended the season tied as the franchise leader in takeaways? With how the synergistic the duo has proven to be in their time together, don’t be surprised if that’s the case.
Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves
Like the Grizzlies, the Minnesota Timberwolves also have a youngish history, as they only came into existence for the 1989-90 campaign, giving them 29 seasons as an organization.
That’s how a player like Andrew Wiggins, who’s been much-maligned during his time as a pro, and who’s only been a professional for four seasons, is already on the verge of being the franchise’s leader in three-pointers made.
Wiggins trails Anthony Peeler by 154 triples for the top spot, meaning he’ll have to shatter a career-high for three-pointers made in a season to own the record by next season, as the Canadian swingman has never connected on more than 112 shots from beyond the arc in a single league year.
Regardless, Wiggins has been something of an iron man since reaching the NBA, missing just one out of a possible 328 regular-season outings for his career. That means he’ll will have to make 1.9 nightly three-pointers over 82 games to catch Peeler – a possibility if Wiggins puts up 400 shots from deep in 2018-19, and connects on 38.5 percent of them.
Jrue Holiday, Pelicans
Another young franchise and another in-prime player set to break the club record for three-pointers made, Jrue Holiday sits 165 three-pointers behind legendary sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic for the No. 1 spot in New Orleans Pelicans history.
Similarly to Wiggins, Holiday will need to set a career-high in triples to accomplish the feat next season, as the UCLA product has never made more than 120 three-pointers in a single campaign.
But he’s coming off the year in which he set that career-best mark in triples made, so it’s definitely doable, especially as Anthony Davis continues to take an even more central role in the offense.
Robert Covington, 76ers
Out of the trio chasing their franchise’s lead in three-pointers converted, Robert Covington is probably the likeliest to achieve the mark.
Like Wiggins and Holiday, Covington would also need to set a career-record to become his team’s – the Philadelphia 76ers – franchise leader in triples, but in his case, it wouldn’t be by much.
Covington needs 208 three-pointers to reach NBA legend Allen Iverson’s mark. The 3-and-D wing made 202 shots from beyond the arc last season, after attempting 550. If Covington launches that many triples again in 2018-19, he’ll only need to convert on 37.8 percent of them to break the record. It would not be remotely surprising to see Covington reach the requisite mark and become Philadelphia’s all-time leader in triples next year.