With all the excitement in the league, fans all over the world are bucking up for a tremendous 2019-2020 season. There is more parity in the league, thanks to movement by the NBA’s top stars, and many teams are looking to compete for an NBA Championship.
However, this coming season is looking quite bleak for a few teams that had a rough Offseason. While many of the top teams managed to add pieces and improve their shot at a title, many other teams were left scratching their heads and praying for a miracle.
While some of these teams might have some recognizable names on their rosters, they will most likely struggle in the coming season thanks to lack of any significant Offseason signings, poor team chemistry, and simply a lack of overall talent. Here are the predictions for the top 5 worst teams in the NBA this upcoming season.
5. New York Knicks
Finally, we have the New York Knicks. All the hype and excitement behind this Offseason just made Knicks fans feel even worse. After all, we were (almost) convinced that Durant and Kyrie were joining the Knicks while they grab the number one ping pong ball and draft Zion.
Well, the Pelicans drafted Zion with the number one pick and no big names (think Durant, Butler, and Kyrie) even considered the Knicks. Instead, the Knicks had to settle for Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris, and R.J. Barrett (drafted #3 overall). Barrett and Randle are just bursting with potential, and Gibson and Morris have proven that they can help you win some games thanks to veteran leadership and toughness. The Knicks will not be as terrible as they have been in recent years, but missing out on Zion, Durant, and Kyrie really hurts. They will most likely have to settle at the bottom of the East while fans pray for one major free agent signing next year.
4. Washington Wizards
Perhaps no team (other than the New York Knicks) is more frustrating than the Washington Wizards. They looked poised to be consistent contenders in the East thanks to a star-studded backcourt of Wall and Beal, with tough-minded players such as Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat backing them. They just never seemed to gel, and the failed massive contract given to Otto Porter Jr. was just the icing on the cake. John Wall has struggled with injury, while he seemingly clashes with teammates including Marcin Gortat and Bradley Beal. If your star player does not want to get along with his teammates, that is one big recipe for disaster.
It seems likely that the Wizards will look to trade Wall and/or Beal, and start the process for a rebuild. This current group of players just does not seem to work. At all. Signing Isiah Thomas in the Offseason could be interesting, especially if he is able to recoup any bit of his MVP form that he had in his final season with the Boston Celtics. John Wall is likely out for the majority of the season, and the roster is devoid of talent outside of Bradley Beal. Draft signing Rui Hachimura could be some light in the tunnel, but the Washington Wizards will be one of the worst 5 teams in the NBA this season.
3. Phoenix Suns
Phoenix finally found their point guard when they signed Ricky Rubio this Offseason. Rubio is a nice player who is an excellent playmaker and can get guys open shots, especially in transition. Phoenix also re-signed Kelly Oubre Jr. who is full of potential, and also traded for Dario Saric who is a perfect fit next to budding star Deandre Ayton. However, they gave up on Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren for practically nothing- and their roster still looks devoid of any players who can even attempt to play defense. Pair in a team that has undergone many coaching changes and a team culture without a true system and Phoenix looks to be another very poor team in the 2019-2020 NBA season.
If Devin Booker can take the next step and become a bonafide All-Star, Phoenix can probably look towards fighting (and praying) for an 8th seed in the very crowded West. But it is safe to assume that Phoenix will be bottom dwellers once again.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland has a nice young core that is promising for the future of the franchise. After all, Cleveland at least have something to look forward to after LeBron James left them a second time. Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson are a nice pairing in the backcourt, while draft signings Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. are both full of upside. Veteran Tristan Thompson will also be asked to provide big minutes at the center position and provide leadership to the budding stars.
Nonetheless, the Cavaliers will most likely be at the bottom of the East once again as their young players learn the NBA game. It is also likely that the Cavs will move Kevin Love for a mix of young players and first-round picks to sweeten the rebuild process. Expect some flashes of brilliance from the young budding stars, but also expect a season with very little W’s in the win column.
1. Charlotte Hornets
No team had a rougher Offseason than the Charlotte Hornets. After losing their only star Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics, they were only able to sign Terry Rozier as their replacement. To make matters worse, they also lost Jeremy Lamb (signed with the Pacers) and Frank Kaminsky (signed with the Suns) while Tony Parker decided to hang it up once and for all. With this horrific Offseason, the Hornets have set themselves up for a complete year of failure.
Charlotte should have done everything in their power to keep Kemba, who was steadily cementing himself among the team’s all-time greats as a massive fan-favorite. Not only do they lose him, but they fail to replace him with anybody that can match his production. Rozier is a nice player, but Charlotte has easily positioned themselves for the spot as the worst team in the NBA.