Skip to main content

The NBA Teams With The Longest Playoffs Drought Right Now: Sacramento Kings Have Missed 14 Straight Playoffs

  • Author:
  • Updated:
The NBA Teams With The Longest Playoffs Drought Right Now: Sacramento Kings Didn't Play 14 Seasons In The Playoffs

We have gotten used to playoff mainstays in recent years with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers consistently making deep playoff runs. But other teams have not been as lucky. Despite having talented rosters, making the playoffs has not been in these team's plans.

In fact, 11 teams hold the longest active playoff droughts. Here are the 11 teams with the longest playoff droughts in the NBA, starting with former NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers.

11. Cleveland Cavaliers - 2 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2018 NBA Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers

Of course, the last time the Cleveland Cavaliers made the NBA Finals was because LeBron James was on the roster. In fact, that was the last season LeBron played in Cleveland. The Cavaliers were swept in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors and famously blew Game 1 thanks to a massive J.R. Smith blunder.

Nonetheless, Cleveland will likely not be seeing the playoffs anytime soon although they are onto something with a young star in Collin Sexton. The Cavs will never have a player like LeBron James again, so they can always remember the 2016 championship as their name to fame.

10. New Orleans Pelicans - 2 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2018 Western Conference Semi-Finals

New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans made the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 2018, thanks to the postseason dominance of Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, and Anthony Davis. They even managed to sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round. Unfortunately, their path came to an end in the second round as they lost to the champions Golden State Warriors in 5 games.

The Pelicans have a great young roster with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram making All-Star Teams, and eyes will be on head coach Stan Van Gundy if he can guide this young team to the playoffs. It won't be long until the Pelicans make the playoffs again, so New Orleans fans can rejoice.

9. Washington Wizards - 2 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2018 1st Round

Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards made the NBA playoffs in 2018, making it a 2-season drought. The Wizards had John Wall and Bradley Beal, a consistent duo that made the Wizards a consistent playoff team. But they fell in the first round to the Toronto Raptors in 6 games, thanks to a strong series by DeMar DeRozan.

The Wizards still have Bradley Beal, and they replaced John Wall with Russell Westbrook. But they hold a poor record this season and are currently out of a playoff seeding. It seems this will be a 3-season drought by the end of 2021.

8. Minnesota Timberwolves - 2 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2018 1st Round

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves were in the playoffs in 2018, the same season Jimmy Butler led the Timberwolves into the postseason. Of course, Butler's stint in Minnesota didn't end well as he felt the team wasn't dedicated to winning like he was. Still, Minnesota lost in 5 games to the Houston Rockets in 2018.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are arguably the worst team in the NBA right now. They don't play either end of the floor at a high level, and their team chemistry seems out of whack. Unfortunately for Timberwolves fans, it doesn't seem like they will be ending a rather short 2-season drought this season.

7. Memphis Grizzlies - 3 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2017 1st Round

Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have missed the playoffs for 3 straight seasons, with the last time being a first-round exit in 2017. The Grizzlies fell to the San Antonio Spurs in 6 games, with Kawhi Leonard leading the way.

The Grizzlies are in good shape with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr leading the charge for the future. Memphis should be a consistent playoff team in the near future, and right now they are 8th in the Western Conference and it will be a very interesting race until the end of the regular season.

6. Atlanta Hawks - 3 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2017 1st Round

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks made the playoffs in 2017 when Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap were the best players on the team. Dwight Howard was also on the roster after joining after a short stint with the Houston Rockets.

But Atlanta fell to John Wall, Bradley Beal, and the Washington Wizards in 6 games. The Hawks will be breaking their 3-season drought this season thanks to Trae Young, Clint Capela, and Danilo Gallinari. The Hawks will be back in the playoffs this season with hopes of an Eastern Conference Finals berth.

5. Chicago Bulls - 4 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2017 1st Round

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls made the NBA playoffs in 2017 when Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade were both on the roster. In 6 games, the Bulls were made quick work by the Boston Celtics led by Isaiah Thomas. Disappointingly, it was clear the Bulls would soon be losing Jimmy Butler.

The Bulls have not been competitive since then, as only Zach LaVine and to a lesser extent, Coby White has shown flashes of promise. The way things are going, even though they land Nikola Vucevic, it does not seem like Chicago will be a playoff team this season.

4. Charlotte Hornets - 4 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2016 1st Round

Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets were in the playoffs 4 seasons ago, led by star point guard Kemba Walker. The Hornets took the Miami Heat to 7 games, before Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade ended the Hornets first round. It was still a valiant effort by Charlotte nonetheless.

The Hornets could be in the playoffs this season, although they lost LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward because of injuries. The Hornets are onto something this campaign, and Michael Jordan really proved everyone wrong this season.

3. New York Knicks - 7 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2013 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

New York Knicks

The last time the Knicks made the playoffs, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire led New York to battle against the Indiana Pacers. Of course, a crash course with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat awaited Carmelo and New York in the Eastern Conference Finals. But unfortunately, they couldn't get past the Pacers.

This season, the Knicks are in a very good position to make the playoffs. With Julius Randle making his first All-Star Team and young players such as Emmanuel Quickley playing well, the Knicks can break their 7-year drought.

2. Phoenix Suns - 10 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2010 Western Conference Finals

Phoenix Suns

The last time Phoenix made the playoffs, Steve Nash and company were dismantled by a rampant Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. That happened in 2010, the same year the Lakers won the NBA title.

The Suns were stacked and led by a 2-time MVP in Steve Nash, but Kobe Bryant was just unstoppable. That was the series that Kobe famously nailed an impossible jumper over Grant Hill and tapped Alvin Gentry letting him know that the series was over. Luckily for Suns fans, this is the season where Chris Paul and Devin Booker will break the 10-year drought.

1. Sacramento Kings - 14 Seasons

Last Playoffs Appearance: 2006 1st Round

Sacramento Kings

It is unbelievable that the Sacramento Kings haven't made the playoffs in 14 seasons. The last time the Kings made the playoffs, the roster featured the likes of Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, and Brad Miller. Despite having a decent squad with talented players, they fell short to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

The Spurs took care of the Kings in 6 games, with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker leading the way. King fans hope that De'Aaron Fox and rookie Tyrese Haliburton can lead the way for the first playoff appearance in nearly two decades this season although it doesn't seem that it will happen.


The Ultimate Matchup: 2004 Lakers Superteam In Prime vs. 2021 Nets Superteam In Prime

5 Reasons Why Stephen Curry Ranks Higher On The All-Time List Than Kevin Durant

NBA Rumors: 5 Free Agents That Could Join LeBron James And The Los Angeles Lakers This Summer

Every Single NBA Record Held By Wilt Chamberlain: 100 Points, Most 50-Point Games In A Season, Most Rebounds, And More

2021 NBA Free Agency: Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, And The Top 30 Free Agents This Summer