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Top 10 Mediocre NBA Teams From The Last 5 Years: Sacramento Kings Didn't Have Much Success

Top 10 Mediocre NBA Teams From The Last 5 Years: Sacramento Kings Didn't Have Much Success

When your team is mediocre, you feel that you are stuck in basketball hell. What is mediocrity in the NBA? Essentially, we looked at mediocrity as teams that were consistently hovering between No. 8 to No. 12 seeds. These seeds are consistently teams that are barely .500 on the season or just under .500. These teams are usually just out of the playoff picture or a guaranteed first-round playoff exit.

These teams have a hard time rebuilding compared to teams at the cellar of the standings. These teams usually finish with a draft pick around the top-10. By then, the real stars of the NBA Draft are taken. These teams have been around these qualifications for the last five years. Take a look at the top 10 mediocre teams in the league from the last five years.

10. Brooklyn Nets

Record: 173-217

Playoff Results: 3 Appearances, 2 First Round Losses, 1 Second Round Loss

Before the Nets signed Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Blake Griffin, as well as trading for James Harden, there was a time that the Nets were a very average team. After the aftermath of the Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry trade, the Nets had to face a very brutal rebuild. Those draft picks turned into some quality NBA talent with Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, but the Nets didn’t start competing for a back-end playoff spot until about three years ago.

D’Angelo Russell helped turn the team around first. It was Russell who then became the key trade chip in the sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors to land Durant. However, it wasn’t until last season that Durant made his first playoff appearance with the team after sitting his first year out recovering from injury. Now, the Nets are looking forward and not backward. This team is not mediocre anymore, as they are one of the favorites to win the NBA title.

9. Memphis Grizzlies

Record: 170-221

Playoff Results: 2 Playoff Appearances, 2 First Round Losses

When the Grizzlies made their first-ever Western Conference Finals in 2013, the fan base through the future was bright. Instead, the combination of Mike Conley Jr. and Marc Gasol couldn’t replicate the success as the team’s future became two future first-round playoff losses. Eventually, Conley joined the Jazz, while Gasol joined the Raptors, winning an NBA title.

The rebuild for Memphis has been somewhat successful. Ja Morant enters Year 3 looking like a future NBA superstar. The team traded for some veterans to help the young core compete for a back-end playoff spot. Can Morant break the mediocrity around the team and get to his first real playoff series?

8. New Orleans Pelicans

Record: 176-217

Playoff Results: 1 Appearance, 1 Second Round Loss

Anthony Davis did everything he could. He even stayed with the Pelicans after his rookie contract expired to try and get the team to their first-ever Conference Finals. Even with DeMarcus Cousins going down with an injury in 2018, Davis carried the team to a second-round playoff spot.

Had Cousins never been hurt, the combination of Davis and Cousins might have been enough to make a run for a Conference Finals. Instead, Cousins never recovered and Davis grew tired of mediocrity so he requested a trade. Davis won an NBA title, while the new face of the franchise, Zion Williamson, enters his third season with zero playoff appearances.

7. Phoenix Suns

Record: 149-242

Playoff Results: 1 Appearance, 1 NBA Finals loss

The Suns were higher on this list, but their appearance in the NBA Finals last year certainly helped them drop in the rankings. Before this year’s surge to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Suns were one of the worst teams in the NBA, which resulted in DeAndre Ayton being the first overall pick in 2018.

The Suns have a bright future ahead of them as long as the combination of Ayton, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul stays healthy. Mediocrity appears to finally be pushed behind them, but those four years before last year were pretty rough.

6. Orlando Magic

Record: 150-241

Playoff Results: 2 Appearances, 2 First Round Losses

The Magic tried to make the combination of Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic work. Gordon was a high-flying Slam Dunk champ. Fournier was a 20-point per night scorer, while Vucecvic was easily a top-3 center in the league. However, the combination of the three never meshed well and the Magic never finished higher than a seven seed in the Eastern Conference.

Even with the Magic making the playoffs, the team had no chance of making it. The team has been stuck in purgatory for what feels like forever, which is why all three were traded at the trade deadline this year. Now, the Magic have some pieces to build around, but their mediocrity took a turn towards being one of the worst teams in the league next year.

5. Detroit Pistons

Record: 157-227

Playoff Results: 1 Appearance, 1 First Round Loss

The Pistons, like the Magic, are going to be another team that is going to flat-out stink the next couple of years. However, having Cade Cunningham will certainly give the team hope. It was a long, mediocre road to get to the No. 1 overall pick this year. The Pistons thought the combination of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond could get the team over the hump. It resulted in one playoff appearance.

Drummond’s prime rebounding years were wasted in Detroit, while Griffin could never stay healthy. At one point, Reggie Jackson was the highest-paid player on the team. He was supposed to be the team’s best offensive player. As talented as Jackson is, having that on your roster will result in a .500 or worse team.

4. Chicago Bulls

Record: 143-254

Playoff Results: 1 Appearance, 1 First Round Loss

Remember when the Bulls had the choice of going younger and more athletic? Then, they signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. That was the last time the Bulls made the playoffs. Had Rondo not gotten hurt, the Bulls, who held a 2-0 series lead over the top-ranked Celtics, might have shocked the world. Instead, the Bulls lost four in a row, and Rondo, Wade, and Jimmy Butler were on new teams.

Since then, Zach LaVine is waiting to make his first playoffs. The Bulls went out and acquired Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, and DeMar DeRozan this year. Many believe that this team will remain mediocre and this combination will not work. Stay tuned to next year to see if the Bulls rose or dropped in these rankings.

3. New York Knicks

Record: 139-245

Playoff Results: 1 Appearance, 1 First Round Loss

Not too many teams seem to do it like the Knicks, but until this year, the Knicks hadn’t made the playoffs since 2013. It turns out that Phil Jackson is a pretty amazing coach, but mediocre executive. Jackson left the Knicks in ruins as Carmelo Anthony was eventually traded with many prie years wasted, while Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. were traded for virtually nothing.

The Knicks have a solid structure in place now with Tom Thibodeau running the show. For the first time in years, the Knicks have hope. The Knicks have broken hearts for many years, not just the last five. The team has qualified for the playoffs just four times since 2004.

2. Charlotte Hornets

Record: 167-216

Playoff Results: 0 Playoff Appearances

The Hornets somehow find a way to always contend for a No. 9 or No. 10 seed. Over the last five years, the Hornets have finished as the No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 9, and No. 10 seeds with no playoff appearances. Had the play-in tournament not been started this year, the Hornets would have not played the extra game during the “playoffs.”

Kemba Walker was allowed to walk for nothing when the management knew he wasn’t going to return. The all-time leading scorer could have brought something back in a sign and trade. Like Jackson, Michael Jordan is out of his element as an owner/executive. The Hornets have consistently been a mediocre team, but with LaMelo Ball leading the way, the team potentially has a new face of the franchise to pull this team out of the gutter.

1. Sacramento Kings

Record: 160-230

Playoff Results: 0 Playoff Appearances

The mediocrity that is the Kings never ceases to amaze anyone. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. Since that time, the team has finished higher than a No. 10 seed just one time. Now, since this is the last five years, take a look at how the Kings have consistently maintained their mediocre reputation. The Kings have finished as a No. 12 seed four times except for the No. 9 seed in 2018-2019.

The Kings gave De’Aaron Fox a max contract despite never making an All-Star team. The Kings used the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 on Marvin Bagley III despite Luke Doncic, Trae Young, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still being available on the board. When will the Kings stop being mediocre? When you find out the answer, let us know.


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