5 NBA Teams Destined to Be Lottery Teams for the Next Few Years
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The obvious selection on this list, the Bobcats are the bottom feeders of the NBA and do not look to be rising fast. Kemba Walker and Bimack Biyombo showed slight glimmers of hope this season, but to be a playoff team they will need to develop a much stronger core.
Charlotte fans are hoping their team can land a top-three pick in this year's draft, but without a major trade for a talented player, the Bobcats should not even sniff the playoffs in the next five years.
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As a Nets fan it pains me to put them on this list, but there is one way they could make the playoffs. If Deron Williams stays and Dwight Howard finds his way to Brooklyn, the Nets should be in good position to compete in the East.
If Williams leaves, which I think he will, their core headed into Brooklyn will be MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. All three of them are solid NBA starters, but not talented enough to get their team into the playoffs.
With their propensity for trading away draft picks, the Nets will have a hard time rebuilding fast.
New Orleans Hornets
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The Hornets played fairly competitive ball down the last stretch of the season, but I expect their best players to leave New Orleans this offseason. Eric Gordon will be in hot demand while on the free-agent market, and Chris Kaman needs a change of scenery to get back to his earlier days playing basketball.
With Gordon and Kaman gone, the Hornets do not have much of a core to build around. I expect them to improve in the next few years, but I still think the playoffs is out of reach.
Portland Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge remains a bright spot on the Blazers, but Portland made it clear that they are entering rebuilding mode when they fired Nate McMillan and traded away their key pieces.
Portland is determined to get back to winning basketball, but they have to get through a few bad seasons first to acquire some draft picks. The worst place to be in the NBA is not good enough to make the playoffs, but not bad enough to get an impact player in the draft. The Blazers have taken this strategy to heart, and will be a terrible team before they are competitive again.
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The thought of Nash in another jersey is a strange mental image, but it's looking more and more likely that he will not be returning to Phoenix. Without their on-the-court and emotional leader, I expect the Suns to be lost in the next few years.
I actually like Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat, but they are not players to build a franchise around.
With Nash, the Suns were not a playoff team; without him they'll be even worse. Look for Phoenix to be one of the worst teams out West next season if Nash finds a new home.