NBA Teams That Need to Start over from Scratch
As anyone who has played sports before can tell you, things don't always go exactly as planned.
Such is the case for many NBA teams and their management. While team owners have glorious plans for their franchises with visions of Larry O'Brien trophies dancing in their heads, reality can be a cruel, cruel mistress.
Whether it be hanging on to the past, a failed rebuilding plan or the false belief they're running a contender, some teams would be better off to just begin a complete revamp of the franchise.
These are those teams.
Note: All statistics and records are accurate as of January 4, 2013.
If the season ended today, the Milwaukee Bucks would actually be in the playoffs.
Four games later, and the Bucks would likely be out of the playoffs.
Not to come off as sounding cruel to the good people of Wisconsin, but Milwaukee just doesn't have the talent to compete with the big boys in the East.
It's been this way for years now, with the Bucks neither being good enough to entertain a long playoff run nor bad enough to collect consistently high draft picks.
What you get from that is a good but not great roster with a couple of shoot-first guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
Milwaukee's two best players, both face uncertain futures and could be gone after this season. Jennings will become a restricted free agent and Ellis can opt out of his contract.
The Bucks have a good enough team now to make the playoffs, but that's about it.
Milwaukee should consider trading one of their two star guards in hopes of balancing the roster and not risk losing both this offseason.
The Orlando Magic are stuck in the dreaded rebuilding-with-veterans mode.
Starting off the season a respectable 12-13, the Magic have been anything but magical in dropping their last seven games in a row.
Now at 12-20, Orlando is 11 games back in their division with no signs of turning it around anytime soon.
Their second leading scorer, Glen Davis, has been out with a strained shoulder, and Orlando's third leading scorer, J.J. Redick, faces impending free agency after this season.
It's unclear what the Magic's plan is, because they're clearly not contenders now or in the near future.
Instead of freeing up over $14 million in cap space last offseason, Orlando opted to pick up their team option on Redick and re-sign 30-year-old Jameer Nelson to a three-year deal. These were questionable moves for a team that should be opting for cap space and young talent instead.
Orlando would be wise to scrap the high-priced veterans that they can and stick to building around players like Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless.
The Sacramento Kings' plan the past decade has been as follows: lose a bunch of games, grab a high draft pick, provide promise for fans, fall short of expectations, repeat.
While some of their high draft picks have come with plenty of talent, they've not come without their share of issues.
One of the main problems with Sacramento, besides not having a true point guard, is a lack of veteran leadership. The Kings have exactly two players on their roster in their 30s, and it's likely high salaries are the only reason they haven't been moved.
At 13-20 to start the year, Sacramento is once again one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Some of their young players (Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins) do carry value, however, and could be dealt for future picks.
The Kings need to start over with new headache-free talent, this time balanced out with a few veterans to help teach some professionalism to the youngsters.
NBA Finals winners just two seasons ago, the Dallas Mavericks suddenly look very old, slow and nonathletic.
Beginning the season 13-20, the Mavericks have dropped eight of their past 10 games. Hopes of remaining a playoff contender are quickly fading, even with the return of Dirk Nowitzki.
The Mavs are 1-4 in Dirk's first five games this season, with their only win coming against the lowly Washington Wizards. Veterans Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Shawn Marion are showing their age and likely spend time playing NBA Live 2002 to remember how good they used to be.
They've tried inputting some youth this season with rookies such as Jae Crowder, Bernard James and Jared Cunningham, but none are even averaging more than six points per game.
O.J. Mayo has been the best player on the Mavs this season with his 18.6 points per game but can opt out of his contract following the season.
The good news? Dallas will have some cap space this summer, with some free agents (Chris Paul, Al Jefferson) worth going after.
The Mavericks just aren't good enough to make a run in the Western Conference anymore and should do all they can to clear salary for this summer's free-agent class.
The Los Angeles Lakers get all the headlines, but it could very well be the Boston Celtics who have earned the title of most disappointing team.
Many thought Boston was the second-best team in the Eastern Conference going into the year, having pushed the Miami Heat to seven games in last years playoffs.
Instead, the Celtics now find themselves fighting just to make a playoff spot.
At 15-17, the Celtics have had major problems scoring (18th overall), defending (17th overall) and rebounding (30th overall) this season, per ESPN.com.
Players like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are still very good, but can no longer be relied upon to carry a team.
Unless the Celtics can swing a deal for a player that could turn their season around (Anderson Varejao?), they should seriously consider starting over this offseason.