With the playoffs just under two months away, most of the NBA talk will be about teams like the Heat, Thunder and Bulls making title runs and not the teams who are already thinking about improving their odds in the lottery.
These teams would never actually lose games on purpose, but sometimes it seems like that would be the best option the team has to improve their roster quickly.
Here are some teams who are still a few seasons away from building a team that will make the playoffs.
Key Players: Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye
You wouldn’t think a team only three games out of the playoffs right now would be on this list, but I believe the Suns will fall short of the playoffs this season and are clearly on the decline for the future.
Their biggest issue is they refuse to move on from two-time MVP Steve Nash. Since Amar’e Stoudemire left Phoenix via free agency two seasons ago, Nash is the only extremely valuable asset the Suns have left on their roster.
Nash is such a talented point guard, though, that he still can produce some wins, even with just a little help. Thus, the Suns are stuck with only a decent draft pick.
They need to move him for young talent quickly since he’s coming to the end of his career and won’t be considered one of the better point guards in the league for much longer.
Key Players: Eric Gordon, Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza
The Hornets' lack of an owner has really hampered any chances of the team being successful and making the playoffs. Since their front office situation is so shaky, the best players on the team are all leaving and potential free agents are scared to come to New Orleans.
For the past few seasons, the two best players on the Hornets have been Chris Paul and David West. They had to trade Paul, since he was a free agent at the end of the season and made it clear he wasn’t planning on re-signing with the team. West left for the Pacers during the past offseason as a free agent.
David Stern tried to use his ownership power and force any team who traded for Paul to give up a young, potential star in return to keep the Hornets relevant. However, even that plan ended up failing, as Eric Gordon injured his knee and only appeared in two games with his new team this season.
Key Players: John Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee
Watching a Washington Wizards game is just like watching a pickup game in the park with guys who’ve never played together in their lives.
The Wizards have no teamwork whatsoever. They do have a few talented players, like former Rookie of the Year John Wall and Nick Young, but they all appear selfish and look to pad their stats rather than help their teammates get better.
The Wizards also lack any big men with any real skills. Sure, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche are extremely athletic, but neither of them can really do anything to score once they get the ball in the low post.
The Wizards are only really successful while on the fast break, making them a one-dimensional team that opponents can stop easily.
Key Players: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, D.J. Augustin
It’s really shocking that the Bobcats are still this bad, now entering their eighth season as a franchise. It is almost as if Michel Jordan isn’t even trying, since they have rarely made any moves that brought any talented players into Charlotte.
Their biggest problem and reason they are still so far from reaching the playoffs has been their atrocious draft picks over this time period. Going into this year’s draft, the Bobcats have selected in the lottery seven times and not once picked a player who has emerged as an All-Star for even one season.
Some of the players, like Sean May and Adam Morrison, never even got any playing time and aren’t in the league anymore.
The Bobcats desperately need the number one pick in this year’s draft and probably next year’s as well if they want to make the playoffs in the next five seasons, let alone two.