5 Most Hopeless Teams in the NBA
NBA teams that do not have a star player often struggle to win games on a consistent basis. Although it is not impossible to win without a true star (i.e. the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons), it is extremely difficult to win come playoff time.
None of these five teams have a shot at winning a championship this year, but that is not the sole reason that they are on this list. These teams are all going to be bad for the foreseeable future unless something dramatic happens like landing a star in an upcoming draft. In fact, one team on this list is likely to make the playoffs this season, but that does not mean that they have a promising future.
One thing that all of these teams have in common is the lack of stability in their front offices and with their coaches. This turmoil in the front office has caused these teams to appear to be going nowhere anytime soon. Until these five franchises get any type of stability, look for them to be bottom feeders in their respective conferences.
Stats courtesy of basketballreference.com and are accurate as of 1/23/2013.
5. Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have a few talented young players, which would lead most people to believe that team has a bright future ahead. However, that is not the case, as they have too many dysfunctional parts that do not fit together.
DeMarcus Cousins is by far their best player, but he has a major attitude problem that may run him out of town. Tyreke Evans is only three years removed from being named rookie of the year in the NBA, but he looks to be nothing more than a solid role player. Thomas Robinson, the fifth-overall selection in the 2012 NBA draft, looks lost on the NBA level.
Although the Kings have some nice pieces and an upcoming lottery pick, their future is still not looking good.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are stuck in the worst position in the NBA—the bottom half of the playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. These teams don't really have a shot at winning a championship and will also not have a lottery selection.
To make things worse for the Bucks, Brandon Jennings is likely in his last season in a Bucks uniform, as he is a restricted free agent after this season.
Jennings has often hinted that he would like to play for a big-market team, which does not bode well for Milwaukee. One possible positive from Jennings leaving would be the fact that the Bucks will have around $17 million in cap space to work with this offseason. However, it is very difficult to land a top free agent in a small market such as Milwaukee.
3. Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic have surprised a lot of fans with their record this season. However, without any real building blocks, the Magic are going to be a bad team for a long time.
Their starting lineup of Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo, DeQuan Jones, Glen Davis, and Nikola Vucevic does not have very promising players for the future. With that said, the team does have some nice young role players in Vucevic, Davis, Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson. In addition, the team accumulated multiple first-round picks in the Dwight Howard trade that will help them improve.
One of their most surprising players, J.J. Redick, is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Magic are unlikely to retain him. In addition, the Magic will not have much cap space to lure a top free agent to Orlando.
2. Charlotte Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats are going to struggle for years to come because of some critical draft mistakes by Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bobcats front office.
The Bobcats do have a good amount of cap space in the next couple of years, but again, not many free agents are attracted to the idea of playing in Charlotte. Although the Bobcats will likely have a high pick in the 2013 NBA draft, this class is very weak and the Bobcats will likely only get a solid player out of the top of the draft.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has played well in his rookie season, but he does not look like a star to build a team around. The Bobcats look to be a team that is a few years away from a bottom-half playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
1. Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a mess right now. Not only did they fire coach Alvin Gentry, but according to reports, Jermaine O'Neal and general manger Lance Blanks got into a heated argument about the promotion of new head coach Lindsey Hunter.
The only players that have done anything productive this season are Goran Dragic, Marcin Gortat, Louis Scola and Jared Dudley. Other than those four players, the Suns have no players that are above average NBA players according to John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating. Although the Suns have some cap space for next summer, they could have had much more if they didn't agree to Michael Beasley's awful contract.
The Suns franchise appears to have no idea about what direction the franchise is headed, and it looks like they will be going nowhere in the foreseeable future.