Projecting Each NBA Team’s Next Big Regret
How do you measure if a NBA team had a successful season or not? Or is it always going to be NBA title or bust, leaving 29 other teams in a situation that requires some changes, or maybe even a complete overhaul?
What if we were to tell you that not every team in the NBA heads into a season with the mentality that they have to win a title to consider the season a win. In fact, it is much deeper than that and if a GM has a true understanding of how to manage a team the right way, he will know that winning a championship should never be the goal, it should be the result of reaching several other goals. If you chase after a championship, that is great but since only one team can win it each year, it is not realistic. That is a main reason many teams make some awful decisions that they quickly regret, each summer.
Those regrets can derail all the future plans and goals of a franchise and leave them rebuilding on a regular basis. Look at the Los Angeles Lakers recent few years. Instead of developing players, hiring the right head coaches, or managing their club without worrying about what Kobe Bryant thinks, they did the exact opposite. They tried to win a championship each year, regardless of what they said. They have been trying to win a title each year since their last win in 2010.
Instead of boring you with the details about each franchise’s worst moves of their past, we decided to predict every single NBA team’s next big regret.
30. BOSTON CELTICS: WASTING THEIR SURPLUS OF 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICKS
In 2017, they have the Brooklyn Nets 1st round pick while also adding in three second picks from Cleveland, Los Angeles (Clippers), and Minnesota. They also have the Nets 2018 1st round pick too. For 2019, they have the Clippers and Grizzlies first round picks and a few bonus second rounders after that.
Overall, the Celtics have a chance to capitalize on the growth this team has seen in the past few months by using those draft picks to boost their already solid looking roster. If they end up trading the picks, which is more likely, then getting someone worth the value in return is a must. If they use it to get a bust, they will struggle to live it down especially when the Nets 2017 pick is probably going to be the first overall choice.
29. BROOKLYN NETS: SIGNING AN OLD VETERAN, AGAIN
The Brooklyn Nets have grown a reputation for signing guys that were once among the league’s elite. However, they are signing them long after they have hit their prime and it always ends up not working out. Since 2010, they have spent time and money on veterans like Gerald Wallace, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Jason Collins, Reggie Evans, Randy Foye, Andrei Kirilenko, and Jarrett Jack. These are just the guys that have more than 10 years or more experience when they signed with the Nets.
It has cost them a lot. In fact, with the current contracts they hold, and the lack of first round draft picks they now have, the Nets might be in for a very long few years before things turn themselves around. They will need to chase down some high-priced free agents and need to stay as far away from guys like Pau Gasol, who will be a free agent this summer, and Dirk Nowitzki, who would not sign with the Nets anyways.
They need to hit the reset button and start moving on from the lineup they have today or they will wind up losing 60 or more games a season for the next few years.
28. NEW YORK KNICKS: NOT HIRING PROPER FRONT OFFICE PERSONNEL
So how do they have just two winning seasons and only three playoff appearances in the past 17 years? Where is the problem?
The Knicks front office is a good start. They have had 11 different head coaches in the past 16 seasons and can be a huge factor for their current losing situation. They have lowered expectations so low that the fans get excited over making the playoffs. Really???
Fans in New York used to get excited about Patrick Ewing being an MVP candidate or the Knicks contending for a title. Anything else would be a disappointment.
27. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: TRADING AWAY A STAR LIKE JOEL EMBIID
But as of today, the 76ers are in a position that could turn into success, with the lineup they have now and the first round picks they could have, depending on the order. They have Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell, Dario Saric, and a few more young prospects that can all lead the way to a title team in Philly.
26. TORONTO RAPTORS: LETTING GO OF THEIR LOADED ROSTER
Besides Ibaka, another one of their main superstars will become a free agent. Kyle Lowry is set to hit the open market this summer and could be signed at a pretty price that Toronto is going to have to beat if they want to keep him around. If there is anyway to sign him, they need to do so because he is the Point Guard that keeps that entire team together, he is their glue. By letting him walk, the Raptors are going to see a drop-off next season that will make them regret the moment they let Lowry go.
25. CHICAGO BULLS: DISRESPECTING JIMMY BUTLER ONE MORE SEASON
Are the Chicago Bulls finally done messing around with the career of Jimmy Butler? Like it or not, he is their main superstar and should be the focal point of a team that needs tools all over the place. But since he is not at the same elite level as LeBron James, it seems like the owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, simply just does not want to acknowledge Butler as his one and only MVP. It became even more evident just a few weeks ago when the Bulls traded TaJ Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for players that do not match the two they gave away, not by a long shot. The Bulls have a 5-8 record since the trade and are now in 10th place, two spots out of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
So if they do not already have regrets from that trade, they all most certainly will if they fail to build a legit contender with Jimmy Butler at the centerpiece. Right now, they have two guys on their way to retiring and a bunch of prospects that could be good, one day.
24. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: OVERREACTING TO A 2017 NBA FINALS LOSS
But if they wind up losing the title, it could be cause for concern, or at least they might think, and players could wind up on the trading block. Kevin Love has been exceptional when healthy but has spent time dealing with various injuries including one that kept him out of the entire 2015 playoffs. He just returned a couple of games ago from injury and when he was absent, the Cavaliers were winning. That could make him, in their minds, expendable, and they could trade him to LA for someone like Julius Randle. But that would be the worst thing they could ever do.
23. DETROIT PISTONS: NOT BUILDING AROUND ANDRE DRUMMOND
Ever since Greg Monroe left the Detroit Pistons, his career has tanked and he is now fighting for playing time as a backup in Milwaukee. He shows signs of the elite defender he once was but then showcases very little the next night. He has shown that he was much better in Detroit because he played alongside Andre Drummond, the league’s best defensive Center and a major focal point towards building a championship caliber squad.
If the Detroit Pistons want to return to the NBA Finals, they need to follow the same method they did the first time around and build a defensive team capable of stopping every single team in the NBA. If the Pistons can find a way to sign an elite Point Guard this summer, maybe they can put themselves back into the league’s elite.