The NBA is an extremely competitive league thanks to the infrastructure which gives all teams a reasonable chance of competing in the long-run. This means that even small-market teams like Milwaukee and Orlando have periods where they are good, and also means that teams like Golden-State won’t stay on top forever.
Teams rise and fall as time progresses which makes the landscape much more compelling, but it does mean that your team will also do badly as well. That’s life in the NBA.
Every year there are the teams which suck. They suck for multiple reasons; they have a bad roster, team chemistry is poor or the squad is underperforming. It doesn’t matter which way you slice it, there will always be bad teams in the NBA.
Here’s my list of the 10 worst teams that you can expect in this 2018/19 NBA season.
Honorable Mentions: Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers
10. Dallas Mavericks
In what looks like Dirk’s last season in the NBA I believe that the Mavs will do better than their 24-58 record of last year. They’ve finally added DeAndre Jordan who along with Dirk, Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews should make for a decent core which should be reasonably competitive.
I don’t think they will make the playoffs though as the West is simply too stacked but the Mavs will compete to the very end which would be a fitting send off to one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen.
Dirk, thanks for everything.
9. Charlotte Hornets
No matter how hard they try the Hornets just can’t seem to build any momentum with the current squad they have. Maybe it’s a curse or something? Maybe Michael Jordan was so good on the court that the basketball Gods had to even things up off the court.
They have talent, they have Kemba Walker who is a multiple All-Star, they have good role-players like Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum but since they traded Dwight Howard for peanuts to the Wizards they will need another big-time player to get them back in the playoff mix and with Charlotte not exactly the most attractive city to play in things don’t look great for the Hornets going forward.
8. Sacramento Kings
Another franchise that is locked in mediocrity is the Sacramento Kings. They haven’t been to the postseason since 2006; that’s 4 more years without a Playoffs appearance than the 2nd worst Playoffs drought with the Phoenix Suns.
Like the Mavs though I do think that the Kings will make some strides this year. Buddy Hield looks like he could develop very nicely with his smooth jumper and if Willie Cauley-Stein can progress some more then he could become the next DeAndre Jordan. He is very athletic, long and could perform the same role that Jordan has perfected; scoring easy points, rebounding and defending the rim.
7. Phoenix Suns
The Suns were famous for their up-tempo style of play when they had Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Mike D’Antoni running the show. This allowed to score lots of points but defensively they were always lacking.
A few years down the line the Suns are in a good position to make some serious strides on both ends of the court. Devin Booker could be an All-Star this season and the drafting of Deandre Ayton is huge for them.
In his only year of college, Ayton averaged 20 and 10 on above 60% from the field. He is so athletic and can not only anchor the Sun’s defense but him and Booker in the pick and roll will be devastating.
6. New York Knicks
The Knick need a complete overhaul if they are to stop being the laughing stock of the league. The Mecca of Basketball has a persistent bad culture surrounding the organization and nothing less than a complete reboot will do.
Porzingis, their only shining light, will be recovering from an ACL tear for the majority of the season so don’t expect much from him. Other than that there isn’t much from this roster which gives me hope for them this season.
Kanter looks like he could do something decent but look for another disheartening season for the Knickerbockers once again.
5. Brooklyn Nets
Another team that is going nowhere fast is the Brooklyn Nets. They have no star talent on their roster and because the front office sucks they had no lottery picks in the draft this summer.
The ownership of the Nets has been terrible since they moved to Brooklyn. They don’t know how to run a team at all and it’s the fans that have suffered. D’Angelo Russell is the Nets best player and he doesn’t look like he will be filling up the stat sheet any time soon.
4. Memphis Grizzlies
This is going to be a tough season for the Grizzlies as their aging roster gets even older and their young rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. looks to gain experience playing at the highest level. I don’t expect players like Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to be on the Memphis roster by the end of the season.
Sadly ‘Grind City’ didn’t amount to anything more than just so very slow-paced basketball and a reminder that the NBA is rapidly becoming a league where if you can’t shoot the 3 then you don’t stand a chance.
3. LA Clippers
Well, the era of ‘Lob City’ has officially end. No more highlight dunks and alley-oops now that CP3, BG and DeAndre Jordan have all left town. They still have Lou Williams who will still light it up but other than that they have nothing with even Tobias Harris likely to leave the team at the end of the season.
In some ways, I like that LAC didn’t do anything significant because then teams will focus on playing actual basketball instead of just trying to entertain the crowds.
2. Orlando Magic
This team has no direction whatsoever and is another franchise that hasn’t figured out what to do since they lost Dwight Howard in 2012. Aaron Gordon is ok but he’s too small to be a power forward and not skilled enough to be a small forward.
It also looks like the Magic will be losing Vucevic as well due to the lack of ambition and trust shown towards him. This gives the man with the longest wingspan ever recorded in draft combine history a real chance to gain as much experience as possible in order to fully achieve his potential.
1. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks were in a really tough situation as their leading scorer Dennis Schroeder publically said that he wanted out of the team. Because of this they traded him to OKC for Carmelo Anthony, then immediately bought out his contract, leaving them with nothing more than avoid.
Trae Young will be exciting this year, but his shot selection and inexperience means he has a lot to learn and I predict he will have to take a lot of shots for them this year, so don’t expect to be as efficient as he was at the University of Oklahoma.