There’s been so much talk in recent years about tanking and teams losing on purpose to get better draft picks. The Philadelphia 76ers most famously succeeded in using this tactic, and the Phoenix Suns are looking to replicate that success. There are certain teams in the league however that have been consistent in making the playoffs but haven’t had any success when the regular season ends. Three NBA teams specifically come to mind, that are in need of a rebuild.
Rebuilding Three NBA Teams
The Detroit Pistons (2018-2019 Record: 41-41)
The Detroit Pistons haven’t won a playoff series since 2008. Since then, the Pistons have zero wins in their last 14 playoff games. They’ve reached the playoffs three times since 2008. Most of Detroit’s roster is signed through next season. However, the way Detroit’s current roster is constructed, they won’t be winning championships anytime soon. They have two key big men in Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, also a defensive-minded point guard who’s offense leaves much to be desired for. Detroit has some good young pieces like Luke Kennard but there aren’t enough scorers on this roster to sustain a long playoff run, let alone last the regular season. The organization thought things would be different when they signed new head coach Dwane Casey. However, to get over the hump, this team needs better roster construction in order to successfully compete in the playoffs.
Charlotte Hornets (2018-2019 Record: 39-43)
The Hornets never had much playoff success since the birth of the franchise in 1988. The farthest this franchise has ever gotten in the playoffs is the conference semifinals. When Kemba Walker was drafted in 2011, he provided this team with a star player they could build around. With news of Kemba Walker planning to leave Charlotte, it appears Michael Jordan has failed to capitalize on of the one best players the franchise has ever seen. Nicolas Batum who is taking up the most payroll on the Hornets roster, averaged less than ten points per game this year. Batum made $24 million this season and he is still owed over $50 million over the next two seasons. Kemba Walker, who was the teams leading scorer and MVP candidate for portions of the year was sixth on Charlottes payroll.
Charlotte has a history of bad contracts and trades. Batum and Dwight Howard are a couple that comes to mind. However, they have also been burned by bad draft picks as well. Most notably picking Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the number two overall pick in 2012. Skipping over players like Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.
Until the Hornets gain a clear focus for a rebuild, they will keep underperforming year after year.
Minnesota Timberwolves (2018-2019 Record: 36-46)
After finishing 11th in the west this year and trading away one of their best players in Jimmy Butler, Minnesota needs to rethink their priorities. The Timberwolves are one of the few teams in the league to have two number one overall picks on the same roster. Andrew Wiggins, however, has performed far below expectations.
As a player in the prime of his career, Wiggins only averaged 18 points per game this year after averaging 23 points per game a couple of seasons ago. A trend going in the wrong direction. Minnesota had faith in their young budding stars and didn’t wanna commit long term to Jimmy Butler. This may come back to completely backfire on them. Butler was the one to lead the Timberwolves to their only playoff visit and win since the 2003-2004 season. Minnesota managed to get the number six pick this year in Jarrett Culver. Though more work needs to rebuild and turn this sinking franchise around.
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