Not all post-lottery campaigns are created equal.
Certain NBA lottery teams prepare for their next season fully aware things aren't getting any better. Perhaps they've improved. Maybe they'll even snag a few extra wins here and there. But their relative ceiling remains the same: They're going back to the lottery.
It's not as simple for other teams, those with actual hope and expectations after making smart offseason decisions (so, not the Sacramento Kings). After one or more years of lottery-squatting, they're under pressure not only to improve, but to avoid a repeat of last season.
Another lottery berth in 2015—whether they own their first-round pick or not—is unacceptable. These lottery indwellers can continue bottom-feeding no more for many different reasons. Perhaps they've been stuck in lottery purgatory for too long. Maybe they missed the playoffs in 2013-14 when they weren't supposed to. In some instances, they may even be victims of previously unforeseen success.
Teams that meet the criteria find themselves here: on the heels of a disappointing season and/or significant roster upgrades, tasked with making something of themselves, replacing losses with wins, pessimism with hope and late-April vacations with trips to The Show.