The 2021–22 NBA season tips off on Oct. 19, and between now and then Si.com will be analyzing all of the biggest storylines ahead of what promises to be an unforgettable campaign. (Photo: Business Wire)

Inside the issue: Two stars, 22 and 23-years-old, molding the NBA’s future; Timberwolves’ star Karl-Anthony Towns moves forward after a year of unimaginable grief; Aging athletes’ quest to play longer and better than ever before; Penny Hardaway’s budding Memphis powerhouse; SI’s men’s and women’s college basketball Top 20 U.S.; and more

(BUSINESS WIRE)–Three years ago, Trae Young and Luka Doncic were traded for each other on draft night. Now their linkage runs deeper: they lead a wave of young superstars who will shape the NBA’s future while pushing their teams to new heights. In the NBA and College Basketball Preview issue, available online today and on shelves on October 14, Senior Writers Michael Pina and Michael Shapiro go deep with the Hawks point guard and the Mavericks franchise cornerstone. Also in this issue, Alex Prewitt on the journey of professional pool’s Black Widow, Michael Rosenberg on Penny Hardaway’s ascendant Memphis basketball program, a Q&A with Halle Berry on her new MMA movie by Jon Wertheim, and more.

NBA Preview Features

  • The Future is Now: Trae Young and Luka Doncic are at the forefront of the NBA’s Generation Next, a wave of young stars who will shape the league’s future. Michael Pina and Michael Shapiro explore how they’re recasting the NBA in their image.
  • The Tip-Off: Dynasties are dead, and the NBA title is entirely up for grabs, according to Senior Writer Howard Beck.Plus: three sneakers to watch this season and SI Sportsbook picks and odds for the NBA awards races.Also, don’t missJeremy Woo’s 2022 NBA Draft Big Board and a round-up of this year’s outlawed offensive moves.
  • The Rebound: Karl-Anthony Towns lost seven family members to COVID and spent last season trying to find closure after a year of tragedy. Now, the Timberwolves centerpiece is ready to move forward, details Michael Pina.
  • Scouting Reports: SI breaks down each division of the NBA’s intriguing matrix – who is good, who is not, and who is fascinating no matter what. Plus, the finals prediction: The Lakers over the Nets.

College Basketball Preview Features

  • Inverted Pyramid: Michael Rosenberg examines Memphis, the most interesting program in America – led by coach Penny Hardaway, two of the nation’s top recruits (Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren), and a staff that features NBA coaching legend Larry Brown and former All-Star Rasheed Wallace.
  • The Top 20s: Emma Baccellieri and Elizabeth Swinton project the best Women’s teams in the country, and Kevin Sweeney takes on the Men’s.

Also in this issue:

  • Black Widow – you know Jeanette Lee as the once-brash face of ‘90s billiards. Alex Prewitt reveals that following a cancer diagnosis, she is on a journey of self-discovery and appreciating the smaller things in life.
  • How long can we play? From NFL legends to pick-up runs at the YMCA, we all are indulging the urge to compete later in life. Here is why the push to prolong athletic immortality isn’t just for Brady and LeBron anymore, by Chris Ballard.
  • A photographic look at five rookie quarterbacks who, for better and worse, defined the first month of the NFL season.
  • Steve Rushin on a consequence of the NFL’s new 17-game season: the death of the .500 team.
  • Jon Wertheim’s question and answer session with Halle Berry, director and star of the new MMA-themed movie, “Bruised.”
  • The mystery of the LA Rams’ first helmet, by Greg Bishop.

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