There have been a lot of moves around the NBA over the last couple of weeks, and with rosters finally taking shape, we can already go ahead and think about how most things could fare next season.
Obviously, predicting records is no easy task, as there are going to be surprises, injuries, trades and whatnot, but even though, considering what we’ve seen so far, we feel pretty confident about our picks.
So, let’s skip the talking and go straight ahead to our predictions for all teams records in the 2018-19 season.
30. Atlanta Hawks: 22 W – 60 L
Starting Lineup: Jeremy Lin, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, John Collins, Dewayne Dedmon
The Atlanta Hawks don’t have much to play for this season. They lack the personnel to at least try and make a playoff run, and it’s just a matter of time until Trae Young winds up overtaking Jeremy Lin’s starting point guard spot. Also, this team may move Kent Bazemore further in the season, one of their lone tradable assets.
29. Sacramento Kings: 25 W – 57 L
Starting Lineup: De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Jackson, Marvin Bagley, Willie Cauley-Stein
Why do we even bother talking about the Sacramento Kings? This team is never going back to the playoffs. Period. Even if Fox and Bagley wind up being the studs we believe they’re going to be, they’re just going to find a way to lose them as they did with Cousins. Also, they’re not going to win many games this season. So… next.
28. Orlando Magic: 29 W – 53 L
Starting Lineup: DJ Augustin, Jonathon Simmons, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic
The Magic look so bad DJ Augustin is their starting playmaker. Still, they have some young studs waiting in line in Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, and both are likely to be starters at some point of the season. Other than the sick defensive upside that frontcourt of Isaac, Gordon and Bamba offer, there’s absolutely no reason to watch this team play next season.
27. New York Knicks: 29 W – 53 L
Starting Lineup: Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Mario Hezonja, Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter
If you’re a Knicks fan, well, we’re really sorry for you. It’s going to be yet another loooong season at the Big Apple, especially if Kristaps Porzingis is unable to play for most of the year. But hey, at least Kevin Knox is looking quite solid and may even find his way to the starting lineup at some point of the season.
26. Phoenix Suns: 29 W – 53 L
Starting Lineup: Brandon Knight, Devin Booker, Trevor Ariza, Josh Jackson, DeAndre Ayton
Brandon Knight may finally have another chance to play after a lot of time, mostly because the Phoenix Suns don’t have much other choices at the point. They’re going to have a lot of interesting players off the bench in TJ Warren, Mikal Bridges and Marquese Chriss, and should definitely be a better team than last year, but don’t expect them to compete right away.
25. Brooklyn Nets: 30 W – 52 L
Starting Lineup: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen
The Brooklyn Nets hope to have D’Angelo Russell running and healthy for most of the season, He’s entering a contract year so should be really motivated, but other than him, this team doesn’t feature much talent in either side of the hardwood. Sophomore center Jarrett Allen is one of the few guys worth noticing here, but he doesn’t offer that much upside either.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: 30 W – 52 L
Starting Lineup: George Hill, JR Smith, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson
The post-LeBron era at the Q isn’t going to get off to the best of starts. With the team already handing Kevin Love a huge extension, their next priority should try and move Thompson, Smith and even Hill, in order to give Collin Sexton the green light to grow through his mistakes and become the face of the franchise.
23. Chicago Bulls: 31 W – 51 L
Starting Lineup: Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr.
Even though we have them at 31 wins, this young Bulls team has enough upside to upset a lot of good squads and who knows? Even surprise us and put together a playoff run. Their starting 5 age average is 22 years old, so there’s no rush in winning quite yet. Also, Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine and Robin Lopez are quite interesting assets off the bench.
22. Memphis Grizzlies: 34 W – 48 L
Starting Lineup: Mike Conley, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr, Marc Gasol
The grit and grind era is over for the Memphis Grizzlies, and Marc Gasol isn’t going to be happy with the team unable to compete once again. Gasol is going to be on the trade block for most of the season, but even if he winds up staying, they just don’t have enough talent on their ranks to make a run.
21. Charlotte Hornets: 34 W – 48 L
Starting Lineup: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller
Whether if Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum will finish the season as part of the team is still a huge question. Either way, this team has been stuck on a mediocrity spiral for years and isn’t likely to break out of it this season. Besides Miles Bridges and Malik Monk, they don’t even have much promising prospects either.
20. Los Angeles Clippers: 35 W – 47 L
Starting Lineup: Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Marcin Gortat
The Los Angeles Clippers are back where they used to be for most of their franchise history: out of the playoffs. Adding Marcin Gortat is a major downgrade from DeAndre Jordan, and the logjam at the point guard position is only going to hurt Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s development, one of the few players worth watching here next season.
19. Dallas Mavericks: 36 W – 46 L
Starting Lineup: Dennis Smith Jr, Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, DeAndre Jordan
The Dallas Mavericks are going to be a much improved team for sure, but it won’t be enough to make the playoffs yet. They have arguably the most intriguing prospect in the Draft on Luka Doncic, and Mavs fans will have a glimpse of what one of the most explosive backcourts in the league is capable of. Also, they’ve finally landed a true rim protector in DeAndre Jordan.
18. Detroit Pistons: 38 W – 44 L
Starting Lineup: Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond
The Detroit Pistons took a very bold decision this prior campaign by trading for Blake Griffin, and even though 29 out of 30 teams would’ve done the same, it’s pretty safe to state that him coming along isn’t going to be enough for them to make the playoffs. So, expect yet another disappointing season at Motor City.
17. Miami Heat: 41 W – 41 L
Starting Lineup: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside
The Miami Heat are on the verge of entering another completely average season. They always look like a team that is one or two good players away from competing, but they just don’t do any big signings. Josh Richardson has vastly improved as a two-way player, but truth to be told, a team filled with 2nd to 3rd tier players isn’t going nowhere.
16. Portland Trail Blazers: 41 W – 41 L
Starting Lineup: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jusuf Nurkic
Other than Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Portland Trail Blazers don’t have much to brag about and look up to next season. We don’t expect them to make the playoffs and this may be the last season their explosive backcourt will play together, as they know they would be better off trading away one of them.
15. Washington Wizards: 44 W – 38 L
Starting Lineup: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr, Markieff Morris, Dwight Howard
Well, John Wall got his wish granted and the Washington Wizards added an athletic big to the roster with Dwight Howard. Howard is nowhere near the player he used to be, but still has a lot left on the tank and is a major upgrade over Marcin Gortat, so let’s see what excuse they make up when they choke in the playoffs again.
14. San Antonio Spurs: 44 W – 38 L
Starting Lineup: Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol
The San Antonio Spurs didn’t get any better by adding DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl to the team. In fact, we actually believe they’re pretty worst. DeRozan is a great player but this team needs three-point shooters and he’s not one. This starting 5 offers no spacing whatsoever, but Gregg Popovich will still find a way to get Ws.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves: 45 W – 37 L
Starting Lineup: Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns
The Minnesota Timberwolves are not going to make the playoffs. Yes, I said it. They’re not coming back and Jimmy Butler will leave them. This team lacks the character to step up when it matters the most, and they also lack depth to make in the West. Thibodeau is going to do the same thing over and over, running them out of gas for the playoffs after playing them 42 minutes a night through the regular season.
12. New Orleans Pelicans: 45 W – 37 L
Starting Lineup: Elfrid Payton, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle, Anthony Davis
The New Orleans Pelicans lost DeMarcus Cousins but signed a young version of Zach Randolph in Julius Randle. Also, they signed a poor man’s Rajon Rondo with Elfrid Payton coming on board, so this team is going to look quite similar to what it did the prior campaign. A Mirotic – Randle – Davis frontcourt is going to be really fun to watch, though.
11. Milwaukee Bucks: 46 W – 36 L
Starting Lineup: Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
The Milwaukee Bucks landed a huge bargain on Brook Lopez, and it looks like they finally have a starting center, although he’s not much of a rim protector and Thon Maker offers way more upside. Still, this team is getting better by the year and everything’s possible with a player as talented as the Greek Freak.
10. Indiana Pacers: 47 W – 35 L
Starting Lineup: Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
The Indiana Pacers were a very pleasant surprise the prior campaign, and we believe they can actually sustain their performances from last season and have yet another successful year. Oladipo was a beast in both ends of the glass, Bogdanovic really came along and Myles Turner should only get better.
9. Denver Nuggets: 48 W – 34 L
Starting Lineup: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Even though the Nuggets second unit suffered a bit of a bump with Chandler leaving the team, they got an elite bucket-getter for a bag of chips in Isaiah Thomas. This team was just a bit short of making the playoffs this prior campaign, and a full season with a healthy Paul Millsap should give them the boost they need to put an end to the drought once and for all.
8. Los Angeles Lakers: 49 W – 33 L
Starting Lineup: Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, JaVale McGee
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off the biggest signing of the offseason by adding LeBron James, but we’re not digging much of the other moves they did. Getting James, Beasley, Rondo, Lonzo and Stephenson on the same locker room is a disaster in the making, but still, this team has enough talent in both units to make things work and at least go back to the playoffs.
7. Utah Jazz: 49 W – 33 L
Starting Lineup: Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert
The Utah Jazz will have a full year of a healthy Rudy Gobert, and now that we’ve seen what Donovan Mitchell is capable off, we’re definitely high on this team. They lack a superstar but have built such strong chemistry and they really click in both ends of the hardwood, so we hope all the best to Coach Snyder and them.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder: 50 W – 32 L
Starting Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Paul George, Jerami Grant, Steven Adams
Now that Carmelo Anthony has left, the Oklahoma City Thunder look like a much better team. Also, the additions of Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder really add a much needed depth this team has desperately craved for years. Russell Westbrook and Paul George are at the pinnacle of their careers, so hopefully they turn things around.
5. Philadelphia 76ers: 53 W – 29 L
Starting Lineup: Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid
We’re definitely trusting the process. The Philadelphia 76ers are a great team that’s only going to get better with Simmons, Saric and Embiid playing together for another year. Also, Fultz is set to contribute from the very first day and with the thirst for revenge these young studs have, they’re going to be really dangerous.
4. Houston Rockets: 54 W – 28 L
Starting Lineup: Chris Paul, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela
The Houston Rockets are on the verge of signing Carmelo Anthony, but we’re far from sold with this idea. Melo has refused to embrace a lesser role off the bench and this plus Ariza and Mbah A Moute leaving the team are going to really hurt the Rockets. Yet another missed shot at the Chip by Chris Paul and James Harden.
3. Toronto Raptors: 54 W – 28 L
Starting Lineup: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors just got a lot better by trading for Kawhi Leonard, even if it winds up being a 1-year rental. Leonard lacks the character of a true leader, but he’s not a choker as DeRozan and has been quite successful in the playoffs throughout his career. With the best two-way player in the world on board, we expect them to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals (and lose, as usual).
2. Boston Celtics: 57 W – 25 L
Starting Lineup: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford
The Boston Celtics are our pick to be the 1st seeded team in the Eastern Conference. Barring injury, they have the best team in the East, featuring a lot of balance in both ends of the court and combining young talents with proven veterans. Also, their second unit features Smart, Williams, Baynes, Rozier and Morris, so they’re pretty much stacked.
1. Golden State Warriors: 63 W – 19 L
Starting Lineup: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins
Unsurprisingly, we got the defending Champions as the winningest team of the season. There’s no much we can say about this team we haven’t said before, and now that they’ve added DeMarcus Cousins to the mix, the league should just skip this season and hand them out the trophy already.