Next season, eight teams that have not qualified for the NBA will return to Orlando, Florida this summer.
For the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Horts, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks, the turning point of the 2020-21 season will be their first step on the NBA field from March.
After the injuries suffered by Clay Thompson and Stephen Curry last season, the Warriors want to continue the hunt for the champion. For the Bulls and Knicks, the front office and the coach give hope for a better future.
What are the successes and failures of these eight teams after such a long break? Our experts describe in detail what can go very well or very badly for each of them.
MORE: The 25 best free agents available in 2020 .
A young and talented team usually makes a breakthrough at some point. A while ago the idea came that this would be the case for the Hawks last season. The beginning was promising and there were signs of an upward trend. But John Collins’ suspension, some injuries and lack of defensive development brought her back to the lottery.
Next season is another chance for success. Trey Young’s offensive power and celebrity were noticed. The young players have made progress. The Capella Clint can be an inner wall, which is necessary to stabilize the disgusting protection.
Falcons can score. They just let their opponents score a lot more goals. If they take a few defensive measures in this low season – in addition to a few last year – these decisions may yield some initial results. If they improve their defense – even to midfield – they can become a play-off team for the Eastern Conference.
At worst, hawks have a simple but perhaps persistent problem: Your best player is also your greatest responsibility in your greatest area of weakness. Young’s defense was a problem and although they tried to push their limits by playing more than 40 minutes against a defender, the game can pay off.
The addition of a cappella was an attempt to solve some of these problems in the background, but it’s not just about Yang. The Hawks have developed no personality other than running and shooting, and they’re not aggressive enough to just beat their opponents every night.
The Hawks have started a process plan and it is time to see how this investment will pay off. If the Hawks don’t make the playoffs next season, there may be some changes.
– Royce Young
Fault! The file name is not specified. Devonte’ Graham could, yeah, bring Charlotte back in low season? AP Photo/Bob Leverson
Best case scenario
In the sleep scenario the horns have found a future star. Last season Charlotte’s team had enough expertise to stand out from the competition in the playoffs, but they didn’t have much of a lead. Graham Devonte’s jump in his second season was impressive, but it was limited in size and ended badly. At 25, Terry Rosier is not expected to improve dramatically. Miles Bridges has not yet made his shot effective enough to be more than a quality starter at best.
That leaves two good options for the Hornet: P.J. Washington and this year’s number three. With an average in Washington and a slight bounce, his rookie campaign wasn’t rated as high as the stats of the game, but at 22 it’s still too early to set the upper limit. Election number 3 is the highest vote for Charlotte since 2012. More than any other team in this year’s design, the Hornets have to run the gates.
At worst, the Hornet missed another climax. His lottery record since returning to the NBA in 2004 has been ugly:
Of the 14 lots that Charlotte has won in the past 16 years, only Walker has reached the All-Stars game. Besides Walker there are also quality players in this group, but such a player will not move the needle for the Hornet. No matter how much Charlotte had to lift her shoulder, failure would be painful and would not allow the team to avoid the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
— Kevin Pelton
After last season for the Chicago Bull, it would be a step in the right direction if a young core team stayed healthy enough to play together and fight for eighth place.
Good health would allow the Bulls to see what they have on Otto Porter Jr. before his contract ends after the season. The same can be said of free and limited agent Chris Dunne, one of the NBA’s best stoppers on the barricade, provided Chicago brings him back despite his efforts to stay on the field.
Another aspect worth looking at in this club is the way they operate the clutch. Last season, the Taurus was one of the NBA’s worst teams in close-fighting, as Zack Lavin often played with limited vision and took the club on his shoulders at the end of the game. On the contrary, the Thunder, led by the new coach Billy Donovan of the Bull, ended the regular season with 30 strikes in the league.
In the worst case
it would be useless to know if Coby White is better suited as a Lead Guard, with a high LaVine consumption, or as a Backup Guard. And it would be a shame if the club didn’t look for other opportunities for Wendell Carter Jr. He is one of the best goalkeepers in Chicago, but often he only looks at the edge. Donovan, who coached former Bulls star Joakim Noah in Florida, should help Carter realize his potential.
The neglected mistake in the CV of this team is its brutal performance in the face of tough competition. The bulls were the best in the NBA last season with 2-23 points against teams with at least 500 points. To play so badly against the best players in the league in consecutive seasons – with a decent team – would be a failure, especially since the team is trying to show its progress to the free players in 2021.
— Chris Herring
Fault! The file name is not specified. Kevin Love could be Maddie Meyer/Getty Imageshttp://126.96.36.199/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/1603934470_681_Best-and-worst-cases-for-the-Warriors-the-Knicks-and.png in 2020-21.
After 19 victorious seasons in the post-Lebron James era, a place in the play-offs would be a great success for the Cavs.
Cleveland would be the fifth city in the next design. Choose a location to make it easier to list the many holes. A full season under head coach JB Bickerstaff, hired full-time in March after John Beyline agreed to a 54-game separation in his first season, would bring stability to young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, led by All-Star veterans Andre Drummond and Kevin Love.
Ideally, the cavalry will fight for about 500 people throughout the season, fighting for the number 8 seed in the east.
, things could go wrong if Cleveland doesn’t improve his defense after dropping 42.8 points for playing in the forbidden zone last season – the NBA team’s best score in 23 seasons according to NBA.com/stats.
Sexton, who enters his third year after becoming one of the top scorers in the NBA after last season’s All-Star break – 25.5 points per game on a 53 per cent record in 11 games – can’t take a step back as he becomes the center of the opposing defense.
If measures taken by GM Koby Altman and the front office, such as the addition of Drummond and Bickerstaff, do not result in a 2020-21 victory, the franchise may suffer a third consecutive season of victories in less than 20 years.
— Eric Woodyard.
The Pistons are hoping to complete another all-NBA border season of Blake Griffin, who, despite an inflated contract for this season and the next, could allow them to leave before the end of the trades to Detroit at the bottom of the NBA standings.
The Pistons could then use their space to acquire additional design tools to help the new CEO, Troy Weaver, turn the franchise around. These plans will be boosted when the Pistons win the NBA 2021 Draft Lottery, giving them a chance to win first place in the lower division and land the first domestically grown superstar concession since Grant Hill in the mid-1990s.
If the franchisee looks at his star who spends the season on a board with a lot of injuries and has no chance to turn the resurrected griffin into a future building element, this can lead to problems. In the meantime, it could mean that the Pistons are trying to do well in a free agency by spending money on long-term contracts that will mark both the team’s books for years and do nothing to improve Detroit’s position at the bottom of the rankings.
If the young talents of the team – including sophomore striker Sekou Doumbouya and the team’s latest lottery selection – look more like a bust than a long-term adjustment, things get problematic. And if another lonely and potentially interesting young player on the team, Luke Kennard, is not healthy enough to make the team before the deadline, it will raise other questions.
Detroit may have been where it was after the 2019-20 season: close to the basement of the Championship, but not enough to really have a chance in the general classification.
— Tim Bontemps
Fault! The file name is not specified. A healthy duo of Stephen Curry and Clay Thompson could restore the Golden State to title contender status. Noah Graham/NVAE on Getty Images .
Best case scenario
This is a proud group that wants to fight for another NBA title. The Warriors will be Warriors again during the season, which is going according to plan: Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green remain healthy and bring glory back into the team as the young bank finds its way. The Golden State beats General Draft #2 or flips it into a deal to drive another star player out of the game.
If Curry can get back on his feet quickly after only five games last season due to an arm injury and Thompson returns as one of the top bilaterally forward in the league after missing out on everything that happened last season due to an ACL injury, the Warriors have a chance to return to the top of the NBA.
This process will be accelerated when Andrew Wiggins goes on the offensive side with the Warriors’ stars, Kevon Luney returns to play productively after a year of injury problems, and Eric Easterhall builds on the solid rookie season to become a trusted member of the Steve Kerr roster.
If Curry fails to dominate at 32 or if Thompson tries to regain his star more than a year and a half after the ACL injury, the Warriors won’t be the team we knew. The same goes for Greene defensive – they need him to be great again.
A strong backing plaster is also necessary. The Wiggins and the young players have not been proven and Lunie’s health is at stake. It remains to be seen whether Curry, Thompson and Green will find the same chemistry in the new Warriors as in the old group, which consisted of the Kleber boys and the all-rounders Andre Igudala and Sean Livingston. And of course the last Warriors team was that of Kevin Durant, who is now in Brooklyn.
At worst, the Warriors will be faced with the realization that their race for the title may end sooner than expected.
— Nick Friedell
The Timberwolves want to see Carl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell play a single game together after a deal that brought old friends together. Click on the table and enter one of the best NBA-25 tandems underneath the tandem. The duo’s almost 50 points per match helped the Timberwolves to climb into the top 10 of the NBA for offensive effectiveness.
Previously, the Timberwolves hoped to find the third cornerstone of the franchise with general choice number 1 or by choosing the detail. Minnesota especially needs a trio of Malik Beesley, Jarrett Culver and Josh Okoga as strong defenders to compensate for the weaknesses of the team’s stars and further prove that they are quality rotary players.
When the Timberwolves fight for a play-off spot in the busy west, it’s a big step forward and a successful season in Minnesota.
In the worst case the Timberwolves are still defending themselves badly. This is a significant risk when you build around the center and play a leader who has no defensive instincts and whose stakes at this end of the field can often be described as indifferent.
If the development of the other potential key players of the team were to slow down or if they were lined up with the No. 1, the Wolves could once again become one of the worst teams in the NBA. And next year, ping-pong balls might not make it to Minnesota. If Timberwolves slips into fourth place – just behind the top three protections Gold State owes as a tax on Andrew Wiggins’ Russell contract – it could guarantee another year of suffering in Minnesota.
— Tim McMahon.
Fault! The file name is not specified. The Knicks rely on the development of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. Mark J. Rebilas/USA Monday Sport .
At best, the success of
next season will not be measured in terms of profits and losses. Instead, under the new coach Tom Tibodo, the Knicks hope to develop a winning – and above all better – defensive culture and identify the most promising young players as central figures in their restructuring.
The best scenario is that RJ Barrett becomes the superstar he’s supposed to be. And the team wants Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle.
The Knicks will be played by six players (25 and under), including former lottery players Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilkin and Kevin Knox II, as well as three of the top 38 players in next month’s NBA draft, including the eighth in total. The Knicks have to find the starting defender and the wing under these players and the stones.
Absolutely the worst case if none of the young boys can be noticed or show that they are a future NBA drummer. Recovery is difficult, but the first step is to identify and develop key youngsters. If they risk their chances of finding this young talent, the Knicks will remain trapped in the lottery fire they’ve been living in since 2013.
If the Knicks continue to introduce overpriced drugs for free and Tibodo behaves perfectly, the recovery can be stopped before it really starts. Thibodo has to be willing to play with teenagers and avoid short rotation in order to make a profit in the short term. In general, the franchise should be able to develop over a long period of time, investing time in young players and evaluating them.
— Andre Snellings