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Win-Loss Projections for Every NBA Team

Lindsey YoungCorrespondent IIJanuary 8, 2017

Win-Loss Projections for Every NBA Team

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    It's always fun to make guesses and predictions as to where your favorite teams will end up in upcoming seasons, and it's an even bigger challenge to anticipate league standings as a whole.

    All this talk of NBA Summer League basketball and free agency has me excited for the 2012-13 season to kick off in the fall, and I've put together a prediction for each team's win-loss record for next year.

    These are only my best guesses, of course, but enjoy reading and leave your own comments!

Atlanta Hawks

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    Atlanta's one of those small-market teams that tends to fly under the radar, but the Hawks should be a contender once again this year.

    Atlanta finished last year's shortened regular season with an overall record of 40-26, earning a No. 5 seed in the 2012 NBA playoffs. Unfortunately for the Hawks, they were defeated by Boston in the first round.

    The Hawks have made some nice offseason moves so far, including trading away overpaid sharpshooter Joe Johnson and adding talented point guard Devin Harris. Most recently, they acquired Kyle Korver from the Chicago Bulls. The small forward should greatly improve Atlanta's perimeter shooting, as he averages an impressive 43 percent from behind the three-point line.

    According to Slam Online, Hawks forward Josh Smith is excited about the direction his team is headed:

    "Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve always been about winning. I want to one day be able to play for a ring. I want to give myself the opportunity to do that. With a good GM like Danny Ferry and everybody else, I think this organization is heading in a positive direction."

    Prediction: 42 wins, 40 losses

Boston Celtics

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    It's hard for me to predict this one, as I'm not sure if Boston will increase or decrease its win percentage next season.

    While the team is certainly aging, its players remain solid. During the offseason, the Celtics re-signed the 36-year-old Kevin Garnett to a three-year, $34 million deal and replaced Ray Allen with Jason Terry.

    One thing that could hurt Boston is losing backup centers Ryan Hollins and Greg Stiemsma. Although not major cogs in the Celtics system, Hollins and Stiemsma are solid reserves who gave KG a breather.

    The Celtics finished last season with 39 wins and 27 losses before losing to Miami in the conference finals.

    While I definitely expect Boston to have a postseason presence, I don't think its core is solid enough to go all the way.

    Prediction: 51 wins, 31 losses

Brooklyn Nets

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    Last season, the New Jersey Nets finished with a rough record of 22-44.

    Along with changing their name, the Brooklyn Nets have played a lot with their roster during the offseason, most notably trading for sharpshooter Joe Johnson and re-signing Deron Williams.

    Kris Humphries signed a large two-year contract, and fans are hoping he earns his paycheck. In addition, the Nets signed Tyshawn Taylor and Jerry Stackhouse and re-signed Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez.

    Brooklyn is building a core for the upcoming seasons, and I expect it to have a much better record in 2012-2013.

    Prediction: 36 wins, 46 losses

Charlotte Bobcats

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    The Charlotte Bobcats held the worst record in the league last season with only seven wins and an abysmal 59 losses.

    The good news is, there's nowhere to go but up!

    In June, Charlotte announced Mike Dunlap as its new head coach.

    ESPN.com gives props to the young team's decision to bring in Dunlap, saying:

    There is no doubt that Dunlap is a master in the X's and O's. He is a solid tactician who knows the game of basketball inside and out [...] Dunlap relates well to young athletes and wants to run an up-tempo style offense. He did that as a successful head coach at Metro State. Dunlap also gained valuable experience as an assistant at Arizona under Lute Olson and at St. John's, where he served as interim head coach while Steve Lavin recovered from cancer surgery.

    Another positive move was drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist early in the 2012 NBA draft.

    While I don't expect the Bobcats to make any overnight turnarounds, the addition of a new head coach and offseason transactions such as acquiring Ramon Sessions, as well as the possibility of adding Carl Landry, are positive steps forward for Charlotte.

    Prediction: 19 wins, 63 losses

Chicago Bulls

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    Chicago's season was going extremely well last year before Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL.

    If Rose makes a quicker recovery than expected, the Bulls can win 60 regular season games. They are one of the front-runners to make it to the NBA Finals.

    Prediction: 62 wins, 20 losses

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Despite the addition of 2011 No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving, Cleveland put together only 21 wins last season.

    The Cavs are slowly adding pieces to the puzzle. The signing of recent draft picks Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller earlier this month will definitely add depth to Cleveland's roster.

    The bottom line is they're at least a year away from being contenders in the East.

    Prediction: 25 wins, 57 losses

Dallas Mavericks

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    Only one year after winning it all, Dallas entered the 2012 playoffs with a 36-30 record but lost to Oklahoma City in a four-game sweep.

    The Mavs have been busy this offseason. Although their pursuit of Dwight Howard proved futile, they were able to add Jared Cunningham, Jae Crowder, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo to play a supporting cast to All-Star veteran Dirk Nowitzki

    I expect Dallas to advance further in the playoffs next year.

    Prediction: 50 wins, 32 losses

Denver Nuggets

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    Denver put forth a valiant effort last season, entering the playoffs with a 38-28 record and falling to the Lakers in a first-round battle.

    The Nuggets traded Nene to Washington for JaVale McGee last March, and this season will give McGee a chance to show Denver fans if he's serious enough to positively impact the squad and make the transaction worth it.

    The team hasn't done much as far as free agency moves, with the exception of signing forward Anthony Randolph. Randolph played in Minnesota last season, where he averaged 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game over 34 games.

    Ironically, his season high in terms of points occurred in Denver, when he scored 28 points on April 11. The young forward will add speed and energy to the Nuggets lineup.

    Prediction: 42 wins, 40 losses

Detroit Pistons

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    It's been a while since Detroit's been any good, and last year was no exception. The Pistons produced a less-than-mediocre season, finishing up with 25 wins and 41 losses.

    During the offseason, though, Detroit added several fresh, young faces to its roster. These include draft picks Andre Drummond, Kim English and Kyle Singler along with free agent Vyacheslav Kravtsov.

    It's tough to tell which of these guys will transition nicely into the big leagues and make an immediate impact on the Pistons, but they definitely add depth and vitality to the roster.

    Prediction: 30 wins, 52 losses

Golden State Warriors

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    A couple different factors will affect the Golden State Warriors' success this season, including the health and performance level of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry.

    If those two are healthy, and draft picks Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes pan out—which I believe they will—the Dubs will be well on their way to exceeding their 2011-2012 record of 23-43.

    I do think it was a mistake to trade away Monta Ellis to Milwaukee, but since then the Warriors have taken the right steps toward re-forming a solid core.

    Prediction: 37 wins, 45 losses

Houston Rockets

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    I don't know what to think when it comes to the Houston Rockets. After finishing with a mediocre 34-32 record last season, they've completely shaken things up—for better or worse, it's hard to tell.

    The Rockets waived forward Luis Scola, and they traded Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee and Marcus Camby. 

    The biggest offseason news so far is probably the recent acquisition of guard Jeremy Lin after New York did not match Houston's contract offer. The "Linsanity" died down in the Big Apple after a few short months, and the Knicks apparently didn't want to spend the money to keep Lin around.

    I expect a smaller-market team like Houston to be a better fit for Lin anyway, and he'll be a valuable asset to the discombobulated team. However, I don't know if he'll be enough to keep the Rockets above the .500 mark this season.

    Prediction: 33 wins, 49 losses

Indiana Pacers

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    The Indiana Pacers surprised many with their impressive 42-24 finish and advancement to the conference semifinals last season, and I think they'll only be better this year.

    Not much has changed with their team—David West and Danny Granger will continue to lead their squad to W's.

    The one thing working against Indiana, however, is the combined retirement of GM David Morway and President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. It's never easy to move on with new management, but doing it with a solid core of athletes makes it a much smoother transition.

    Prediction: 50 wins, 32 losses

Los Angeles Clippers

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    Many fans are waiting for the Clippers to advance past the second round of the playoffs, and this could be L.A.'s year. The Clips won 40 and lost 26 games in the 2011-2012 season, and not much has changed to negatively impact this year's roster.

    L.A. signed All-Star Blake Griffin to a five-year extension and also re-signed Chauncey Billups.

    Whether Billups returns from his Achilles injury, however, could have an effect on the team's success. Billups averaged 15.5 points and 5.5 assists before being sidelined with the injury in February.

    The Clippers recently acquired free agent Ryan Hollins from Boston. The center came off the bench for the Celtics last season, averaging less than five points and rebounds per game. His 7' frame will be an asset beneath the basket, though.

    Prediction: 55 wins, 27 losses

Los Angeles Lakers

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    After losing in the conference semifinals last season, it was clear that the Lakers had to take some drastic action. Kobe Bryant doesn't have that many years left in him, and L.A. desperately needed to find a solid point guard over the offseason.

    The Lakers found him.

    Whether you're a Lakers fan or not, you can't deny the talent veteran Steve Nash will bring to the Purple and Gold in 2012-13. Even with Nash's undeniable skills, though, he won't bring instant success to the West Coast.

    Combining superstars is always a risky business, and NBA fans everywhere are debating whether Kobe and Nash will mesh.

    But if the Lakers succeed in obtaining big man Dwight Howard, they could have major chemistry issues and still be a title contender.

    Prediction: 49 wins, 33 losses

Memphis Grizzlies

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    The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the quietest teams during free agency.

    After a solid 41-25 season last year, the team will continue to hone in on its current talents and solidify core players and offensive schemes to hopefully make a deep run in the 2013 postseason.

    Prediction: 38 wins, 44 losses

Miami Heat

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    Well, they finally did it. The Miami Heat and the Big Three became the 2012 NBA champions.

    Now the question is: Can they do it again?

    Call me a hater, but I don't think Miami will repeat its success next season. Not to say the Heat will play poorly, but the combination of a full-length regular season and the strengthening of teams like the Clippers and Bulls will be enough to keep the Heat from a repeat.

    They might win a lot of games, but they won't go all the way.

    Props to Miami, though, for bringing in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. The seasoned veterans will add depth and experience to the Heat's bench.

    Prediction: 61 wins, 21 losses

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Milwaukee seems forever stuck in the Land of Limbo—not good enough to make the playoffs but not terrible enough to get high draft picks.

    It's the small market's curse, and it's hard to tell if the Bucks will get out of it this season. Last year, they had a record of 31-35 and fell four games shy of the postseason.

    Monta Ellis will continue to impact the Midwest team, and the signing of John Henson and Doron Lamb (draft picks Nos. 14 and 42, respectively) will help to further develop the squad.

    Prediction: 40 wins, 42 losses

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves were on pace to make last year's playoffs before they were attacked by the injury bug.

    Half the battle for the Wolves to get to the postseaton is getting Ricky Rubio back from his ACL injury. The Spanish native averaged 10.6 points and 8.2 assists before suffering the ACL tear in the spring.

    Minnesota declined to match qualifying offers for Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph, who went to Phoenix and Denver, respectively, and the Wolves waived forward Martell Webster.

    But the Timberwolves made two good pickups in three-point shooter Chase Budinger and defensive dynamo Andrei Kirilenko.

    Although their attempt at acquiring center Pau Gasol from L.A. didn't pan out, Nikola Pekovic should be able to get the job done.

    Look for Rick Adelman and the Wolves to surprise this season as they crack the postseason.

    Prediction: 45 wins, 37 losses

New Orleans Hornets

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    In 2011-12, New Orleans came in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 21-45.

    One positive to the Hornets' flop of a season came when they received the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, with which—to no one's surprise—they nabbed Kentucky star Anthony Davis.

    He may be the butt of all unibrow jokes, but this kid is NBA-ready and will immediately improve the New Orleans roster.

    The Hornets also signed Austin Rivers to a three-year deal and matched the Suns' offer to keep Eric Gordon.

    Although fans shouldn't expect New Orleans to be making a playoff run anytime soon, the offseason additions will dramatically improve the team's potential and relevancy.

    Prediction: 30 wins, 52 losses

New York Knicks

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    If the Knicks' big-name players, namely Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, can pull together and lead a team with some fresh faces, New York should be able to exceed last season's record of just over .500.

    Although J.R. Smith originally rejected New York's contract offer and became a free agent, the Knicks talked him into staying in the Big Apple. They re-signed the guard in early July.

    New York also acquired experienced players Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby.

    Deciding not to re-sign Jeremy Lin could end up being a move the team regrets; however, the decision probably won't make or break the Knicks' chances in the postseason.

    Prediction: 45 wins, 37 losses

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder, who lost 19 regular season games last year, came painfully close to taking winning it all, and I don't think they'll let the trophy fall out of reach in 2013.

    Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will be back hungrier than ever, and head coach Scott Brooks recently signed a multi-year contract extension with the young team.

    Prediction: 59 wins, 23 losses, NBA champions

Orlando Magic

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    Orlando is a team without direction, and it's frantically scrambling to not lose ground in the league.

    No one knows how long the Dwight Howard drama will continue to unfold, but it's no secret that the Magic star has no interest in staying with the team.

    Orlando should let Howard go. A disgruntled player is only a cancer for a team, and the Magic should focus on getting as much as they can for D12 and move on.

    If they keep Howard this season, expect the Magic to finish with a record above .500.

    Prediction: 42 wins, 40 losses

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Re-signing Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen were smart moves on the Sixers' part, and Nick Young is a welcomed addition to a team that barely made last year's playoffs.

    Hopefully, adding the 27-year-old shooting guard will stabilize the 76ers and give them another chance at next year's postseason.

    Prediction: 42 wins, 40 losses

Phoenix Suns

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    I might catch some flak for this, but my prediction is that Phoenix will struggle next season.

    Coming off a 33-33 season in which they missed the playoffs, the Suns are in transition after trading Steve Nash to the Lakers. They're putting forth a valiant effort to quickly rebuild, but replacing All-Star point guard Nash will not be easy.

    On the positive side of things, however, kudos to Phoenix for bringing in Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley and attempting to nab Eric Gordon.

    It will be a few years before the Suns are relevant again.

    Prediction: 32 wins, 50 losses

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Sacramento Kings

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      Sacramento succeeded in hanging on to Jason Thompson, a top goal, and although they didn't do much in the free agency period, the Kings drafted Kansas forward Thomas Robinson to add depth to their frontcourt.

      The Kings are making steps in the right direction, but they're still missing several integral pieces.

      Prediction: 31 wins, 51 losses

    San Antonio Spurs

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      One thing's for sure: The San Antonio Spurs won't have many more years left to make a run at the trophy.

      Tim Duncan, at 36 years old, continues to be one of the best big men in the league. The veteran team has been accused of being "boring" to watch, but you can't argue with the numbers—San Antonio tied with Chicago last season for the best record in the league.

      The Spurs re-signed Duncan in confidence, and I expect them to make another solid run.

      Prediction: 53 wins, 29 losses

    Toronto Raptors

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      Following last year's losing record, the Toronto Raptors were able to walk away from the 2012 NBA draft with shooting guard Terrence Ross. Ross averaged 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore in Washington, and he will greatly strengthen Toronto's perimeter game.

      Veteran Jose Calderon will continue to be an anchor at point guard, but the Raptors still need some more depth in the frontcourt.

      Prediction: 29 wins, 53 losses

    Utah Jazz

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      The Utah Jazz barely sneaked into the postseason last year, and they'll look to land in the playoffs again this season.

      Unfortunately for the Western Conference squad, it didn't land any high picks in the 2012 NBA draft and hasn't made any major offseason moves—the most recent transaction being the signing of the mediocre Randy Foye to a one-year deal.

      However, Utah retains—for the time being—a stable core with Al Jefferson, Josh Howard and Gordon Hayward, and I expect the Jazz to pick up where they left off.

      Prediction: 42 wins, 40 losses

    Washington Wizards

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      Washington won only 20 games last season, and it desperately needed a strong shooter.

      Fortunately for the Wizards, they received the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, and they used it to grab Florida guard Bradley Beal.

      The 19-year-old averaged 14.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while in college, and he's projected by many to make a smooth transition to the NBA.

      The Wizards will have an extremely young backcourt with Beal and John Wall, but they're building a solid base for upcoming seasons.

      Prediction: 30 wins, 52 losses

      ***

      Editor's note: Win-loss figures have been adjusted so all teams' records combine to realistically project a full NBA schedule.

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