The NBA has already been reshaped, and although the season is right around the corner based on the roster moves, fans can already tell who will make the playoffs and who will not. Some teams could surpass expectations, but as far as the playoff picture it is already set. Specific teams are not even thinking about the playoffs and are in full rebuild mode. Teams right now do not have the best chance to make the playoffs, but in a couple of years will be a powerhouse in the NBA. For right now, they will get players to mesh, pick up draft picks, and build around their young talent. Here are 5 NBA teams that have potential upsides.
5.New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are always going to be a team that is in rebuild mode. Even the Knicks had Carmelo Anthony they were trying to rebuild around him. The Knicks are on this list based what the path they decide to go. They can go after big-name free agents in two years. Or they can choose to build through the draft as they have four first-round picks in the next three years. The Knicks will come into the season fifth-youngest the team in league with an average age of 24.4. The Knicks have a good young core that proved to be better than what people expected. Kevin Knox was excellent and showed he can ball, Alonzo Trier proved to be a fan favorite, Mitchell Robinson showed he was a defensive anchor, and Dennis Smith Jr. gave fans a glimpse of what he can do. Now we get to see what R.J. Barett will do on this and the impact he brings. The Knicks did miss out on big-name free agents, but they have a good score for the future, and it all depends what route they decide to take. Their record will improve after their 17-65 season.
The Sacramento Kings have what it takes to make the playoffs they are missing one player that could potentially push them over that hump. Last season they finished with a 39-43 record for 9th in the western conference. That is 12 win improvement from the previous season. The Kings are the oldest team on this list sitting at an average age of 25.5. Last season proved to be the blueprint for the Kings. It looks like the Kings want De’ Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III to be the first and second scoring option of the team. Match with Buddy Hield coming into his own as perimeter shooting threat and Harrison Barnes veteran experience the Kings have a chance to make an impact. Harry Giles is starting to prove himself in the starting rotation. The Kings could potentially be in the playoffs in a couple of years.
The Atlanta Hawks are a team that has pieces set in stone for their future. They decided to trade Luka Donic for Trae Young and would make him the cornerstone of their franchise. Young has come to his own as a leader of the team being the first scoring option of the team. The Hawks have a solid young core with an average age of 24.9 pair that with some veteran experience can make some improvements. They recently drafted two wing players in DeAndre Hunter from Virginia and Cam Reddish from Duke. Mix that with Trae Young being the primary ball-handler, Kevin Huerter as a sharpshooter and John Collins as a low post threat is a solid young core. Add to the fact they have veterans like Jabari Parker, Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, and Vince Carter the Hawks can be a top team in the east if everyone develops.
2.Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder had the craziest offseason when they lost both Paul George and Russell Westbrook and got Chris Paul and a ton of first-round picks. The fact that they have an abundance of draft picks in the next couple of years can make or break the Thunder. Thunder GM Sam Presti is taking a big leap in giving away their stars and taking draft picks for it. Chris Paul and Steven Adams will be a great pairing, especially off the pick and roll. It will come down to the picks and how they use it. The Thunder lost a lot of their players, and everything works out the way they planned then look out for the Thunder.
1.New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans may have lost their star in Anthony Davis but got a lot of assets that can help the Pelicans improve now and improve later on. Looking at who the Pelicans got; Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Derrick Favors, J.J Reddick, Jaxson Hayes, and Zion Williamson. They got pieces that can help players improve. The Pelicans got an insane pairing with Lonzo and Zion that will look to put on a show with every fast break. Jrue Holiday will take a more leadership approach on the floor and help the team improve. Derrick Favors and J.J Reddick will contribute in their own way both on and off the court. This team could make the playoffs season but if they do not, they will in years to come. If Brandon Ingram can be the player, he was set out to be then the Pelicans have a shot at the playoffs.