2018 is already on the books and even though most hoops fans may be grateful for all of the great things we witnessed throughout the year, some general managers may not be all that happy.
While some teams thrived through 2018, others didn’t fare quite well, especially because of some poor decisions they made and the way they mishandled some of the issues they needed to address.
Naturally, there are several things that they must be really regretting right now, and today, we’re going to let you know about every team’s biggest regret of the year.
Atlanta Hawks: Luka Doncic
The Atlanta Hawks were entitled with the 3rd overall pick in this year’s Draft, and they had the chance to take Luka Doncic, who looks like a lock to win this year’s ROY and as the best prospect of his class.
Instead, they traded down to take Trae Young, and even though Young has shown glimpses of greatness so far, he doesn’t look like the franchise player the Slovenian is.
Boston Celtics: Didn’t Trade For Anthony Davis
The Boston Celtics were one game away of making it to the NBA Finals even without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, but they fell short against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Obviously, they were frontrunners to take the East for assault this season, so they didn’t want to trade away one of their young assets to try and make a run at Davis, who may now be heading towards the Staples Center to join the Lakers.
Brooklyn Nets: Didn’t Trade Allen Crabbe And DeMarre Carroll
The Brooklyn Nets surely did their thing throughout the offseason, and the team is looking like they’re heading in the right direction following a tough stretch over the last couple of seasons.
Still, this team has no room for overpaid veterans that have already peaked, and they must be really regretting holding on to DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe this season.
Charlotte Hornets: Didn’t Get Any All-Star Player
Michael Jordan was supposed to surround Kemba Walker with All-Star caliber players this season, but the biggest signing they made was Tony Parker.
Now, even though Kemba is playing the best ball of his career and can lead them to the playoffs, they don’t have enough talent next to him to make a serious run. As a result, they face the risk of losing him in free agency.
Chicago Bulls: Signing Jabari Parker
Signing Jabari Parker was an easy choice for the Chicago Bulls. He was going to play for his hometown team, he was motivated to prove his worth and stick it to his doubters’ face, being a former 2nd overall pick whose talent was clearly there.
Nonetheless, this quickly backfired for the Bulls, who are now stuck with a guy they owe 20 million dollars and has virtually no trade value at this point, being kicked out of the team’s rotation entirely.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Losing LeBron James
Well, we have to admit the Cleveland Cavaliers did all they could to keep King James on board, but apparently, his decision was made even before they were humiliated in the NBA Finals.
The team went through 2 roster overhauls, signed veterans, got young talents, but in the end, James bailed on them again. Now, they’re back at the bottom of the standings as they were when he left to take his talents to South Florida.
Dallas Mavericks: Didn’t Trade Wesley Matthews
Wesley Matthews drew a lot of interest in the offseason as everybody thought the Dallas Mavericks were ready to tank their way through the year, but the team decided to hold on to him.
Now, the team doesn’t need him or his deal and his trade value may be at an all-time low right now when they could’ve got at least a couple of 2nd rounders in return for the veteran wing.
Denver Nuggets: Didn’t Trade Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap landed at Denver to become the team’s leader and put an end to their playoff drought, but the team proved last year that they didn’t need him to succeed with Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
Once again he’s hurt this season and the team is thriving with their young core, so they should’ve just traded him and keep developing talent, while also saving that ton of money they’re spending on him.
Detroit Pistons: Didn’t Trade Reggie Jackson
Getting Reggie Jackson should be one of the biggest regrets the Pistons have right now, but keeping him beyond last season is even dumber, especially for a guy that’s constantly getting hurt.
Jackson isn’t particularly good at anything, doesn’t offers much defensive commitment, isn’t a solid playmaker and the team just doesn’t need him, so they should’ve moved him when they still could.
Golden State Warriors: Didn’t Extend JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee was a major factor in both of the Golden State Warriors the last couple of Championship runs, and everybody knew he was keen to extend his stay at the bay for an extra year or two.
Even so, they just let him walk away and are now stuck with subpar players in the second unit, one of the reasons why they haven’t been that dominant as of late.
Houston Rockets: Losing Trevor Ariza
The Houston Rockets had the best record in the NBA last season and were one quarter away of making it to the NBA Finals, but now they’re struggling to find a playoff spot and that’s mostly due to their defense.
Ariza was such an important piece for Mike D’Antoni’s team and letting him go was their second biggest mistake of the offseason, the other one is Chris Paul who signed $160 million dollar contract.
Indiana Pacers: Didn’t Trade Thaddeus Young
Thaddeus Young is one of the most underrated power forwards in the league. His grit, grind, hustle and physical play can really help a contending team off the bench, and that’s why the Pacers should’ve traded him for a nice return.
Also, that would’ve left the door open for Domantas Sabonis to develop and thrive, as he’s shown to be one of the most slept on talents in the league in the last couple of years.
Los Angeles Clippers: Gamble On Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris is the kind of player every team would love to have on his roster. He defends, rebounds, creates off the dribble, can make his teammates better and do a little bit of everything.
Even so, gambling on him wasn’t the smartest thing to do for the Clippers, as the forward is having a career year and he’s going to demand a huge deal next season, so they just risk losing him for nothing.
Los Angeles Lakers: Didn’t Get Paul George Or Kawhi Leonard
The Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to be a super-team already, as everybody thought they were the frontrunners to sign Paul George in the summer and were keen to make a run at Kawhi Leonard.
While George eventually decided to keep playing next to Russell Westbrook, it looks like Pelinka and Johnson weren’t willing to jeopardize their future on a trade with the Spurs, and now it seems like the Clippers are the favorites to land Kawhi.
Memphis Grizzlies: Didn’t Trade Mike Conley Or Marc Gasol
The Memphis Grizzlies are currently trying to put together a playoff run and even though it has been a pleasant surprise so far, we all know that they don’t have enough firepower to compete for a Championship.
Now, they risk losing Marc Gasol for nothing while they’re still stuck with Mike Conley’s terrible contract when they should’ve just tried to move one or both of those guys to keep stacking their young talent.
Miami Heat: Didn’t Get Jimmy Butler
The Miami Heat are stuck on a mediocrity spiral right now and they don’t have enough talent to go deep in the playoffs, not even in the softer Eastern Conference, so they must be regretting not trading for Butler.
According to several reports, they were one of Butler’s favorite landing spots, as he was keen to play with Dwyane Wade again. A Dragic-Butler-Whiteside big three could’ve made some noise this season.
Milwaukee Bucks: Absorbing George Hill Contract
The Milwaukee Bucks were on the verge of a breakout season and looked like a team that was perfectly suited for Championship contention in the Eastern Conference, so we were all quite surprised when they traded for George Hill.
Don’t get me wrong, Hill is a great player and his defensive expertise is always welcome, but the fact that they traded for a guy that’s still owed almost 37 million dollars makes no sense at all.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Didn’t Develop Team With Big 3
The Minnesota Timberwolves had the chance to become one of the toughest dynasties the league had ever seen, but failed to keep together the Butler – Towns – Wiggins Big 3 and now are not even playoff contenders.
Wiggins is a huge bust and a disappointment, Towns is quite soft in the defensive end, and Butler pretty much exposed them for good. They were the league’s laughing stock for weeks.
New Orleans Pelicans: Let DeMarcus Cousins Leave
Alvin Gentry had made the most out of DeMarcus Cousins and he was having a breakout season before falling down with a season-ending injury, but everybody expected them to offer him a deal anyways.
Even so, they didn’t want to risk money and just let him walk away, letting him sign a 5 million dollar contract with the Golden State Warriors while also losing a young stud like Buddy Hield in the deal that got them Boogie in the first place.
New York Knicks: Didn’t Trade Courtney Lee for EXP Contract
The New York Knicks keep holding on to Courtney Lee despite him always being amid dozens of trade rumors, but he’s not even a part of the team’s rotation for the most part of the season, even though his defense may come handy.
Lee could’ve helped a contending side with his 3 and D skills, and the Knicks would love to clear some salary off their books, yet they didn’t trade him for expiring contracts.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Failed Big 3
The Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the scariest teams to enter last season, as they featured a deadly big 3 with Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook, but we all know that didn’t work out.
The Thunder eventually needed to get rid of Carmelo as he had just become a huge liability for them and their Championship aspirations, but at least they somehow managed to get Dennis Schroder in return.
Orlando Magic: Didn’t Trade Nikola Vucevic
For some reason, the Orlando Magic has refused to trade Nikola Vucevic year after year, something that makes no sense at all considering they were supposedly trying to rebuild again.
Even so, they held on to their big man who’s now going to become an unrestricted free agent and just walk away for free, giving him minutes to showboat his skills instead of developing Isaac or Bamba.
Philadelphia Sixers: Didn’t Recover Markelle Fultz
The Philadelphia 76ers truly mishandled the Markelle Fultz situation and now he’s looking more and more like a Greg Oden kind of bust rather than the James Harden kind of superstar he was supposed to be.
Fultz may not even play again this season and when he did play he looked out of rhythm and confidence. His trade value is at an all-time low, and they didn’t get Jayson Tatum when they could.
Phoenix Suns: Where Is The Point Guard
The Phoenix Suns refuse to go all-in and pursue a starting point guard, and that may be the main reason why they can’t seem to win games even despite the fact that this roster has been vastly enhanced.
Devin Booker is way more effective as an off-ball scorer and they have the kind of young core that could really flourish offensively should they have a, you know, guy that could actually run the offense.
Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard Is Still Without Help
The Portland Trail Blazers have been quite surprising this season, mostly thanks to Damian Lillard’s stellar play. Even so, the team isn’t much improved compared to last season when they vastly choked in the playoffs.
Iso-ball is not going to get the job done in the postseason and the Blazers should’ve known that by now. Still, they didn’t get much help to play next to Damian Lillard, so that’s just another year of his prime going to waste.
Sacramento Kings: Luka Doncic
Don’t get me wrong, I do think Marvin Bagley is a good player. But he just doesn’t look like a franchise-changing guy that could’ve gone as high as 2nd, and I think it was a major reach by the Kings.
Bagley is not ready to make the kind of impact Doncic is making in both sides of the hardwood right now, and a young core of Fox, Doncic, Hield, and Cauley-Stein with Bogdanovic coming off the bench is just scary.
San Antonio Spurs: Not Resolving Kawhi Leonard Situation
The San Antonio Spurs tried their best to keep Kawhi Leonard, and even though it wasn’t their fault in the end and they got some great value in return, letting him go is something that will haunt them for years.
Gregg Popovich did everything he could to try and put an end to the situation but the forward refused to comply. Now, they find themselves in an awkward position, being not quite bad enough to tank or quite good enough to compete for another Championship.
Toronto Raptors: Trading DeRozan DeRozan
Even though the Toronto Raptors are the best team in the Eastern Conference and arguably the best team in basketball right now, the way they mistreated DeMar DeRozan is going to cost them landing top-tier free agents in the future.
DeRozan didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was, and now they face the risk of losing Kawhi Leonard in the offseason anyway, as he has constantly stated that he wants to play in Los Angeles.
Utah Jazz: They Should’ve Traded Derrick Favors
The Utah Jazz should’ve moved Derrick Favor when they had the chance to do it but for some reason, they just keep hoping he’s going to turn around and become the next Paul Millsap.
Now, the Jazz are one of the most inconsistent teams in the Western Conference and moving Favors would’ve cleared the way for them to get some actual help.
Washington Wizards: Didn’t Improve With Ball/Wall/Porter/Oubre
The Washington Wizards are this year’s biggest disappointment, and now John Wall has decided to shut down for the season following a quite disastrous campaign as the league’s laughing stock.
Things got ugly — they wound up moving Kelly Oubre (who was supposed to have a breakout season), Dwight Howard was involved in a huge off-court scandal, Wall is due to make over 170 million dollars, and they can’t even beat a D1 team.