Each year, there are several teams that sit in NBA mediocrity as they are either on the edge of the playoffs or at the back of the draft lottery. Frustrating players and fans alike, these teams need to take control of their future by either making trades or focusing on young players. These five NBA teams need to blow it up!
The Hornets are in salary cap hell and have no conceivable way of improving the team in the short team. Shortsighted trades and mammoth contracts for mediocre players have been the hallmark of Michael Jordan’s ownership of the team.
Having only made the playoffs once in the last four years, management needs to push the rebuild button. This is probably because they have All-Star Kemba Walker on their books.
Rather than pair Walker with another All-Star, Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist received pay increases like All-Stars. Though they are good role players, spending 65% of your cap on four year deals for these guys was a terrible decision.
This year they are one game out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. If they were to make the playoffs, they would likely be bounced in the first round.
It gets worse for the Hornets as Walker is a free agent this year. He will demand a max salary on top of the $102 million that the Hornets owe to their current players. Rather than pay the luxury tax for a team that can’t contend for a title they may be better to let Walker go.
If they feel they have to pay Walker rather than lose him for nothing, then the best course of action would be to trade everyone else and rebuild through the draft.
Washington is having their worst season in recent memory. John Wall is out for 12 months while key players Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre have been traded away. With no cap space and only one star in Bradley Beal, Washington has no hope of improving their team in the short term.
Bradley Beal is a BAAAAAD man!!! pic.twitter.com/r6CxnBBfyR— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 10, 2019
Wall’s $170 million contract starts next year. Between he, Beal, and Ian Mahinmi, money is extremely short. Though they have their first round picks moving forward, they have given away their second round picks for the next five years.
Already four games back from the eight seed, it’s nearly impossible for them to make the playoffs. Trading Beal and later Wall would be wise to usher in a new era in the nation’s capital.
The Memphis Grizzlies have had one of the stranger seasons in recent memory. After starting the season 12-5, the Grizzlies have struggled since the All-Star break. Young rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. was one of the shining lights through an up and down first 50 games.
Around the trade deadline, franchise cornerstones Marc Gasol and Mike Conley were both put on the trade block. Season-ending injuries to Jackson, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson killed any chances of Memphis making the playoffs. No one wanted to take on Conley’s contract meanwhile Toronto swooped in for Gasol.
Trading away misfit pieces is what Memphis should look to do to kick start a rebuild. Conley must go then everything else will fall into place.
New Orleans Pelicans
If the Pelicans haven’t already blown it up, the time is right to push the reset button. Having never really been in the playoff race this year, Anthony Davis put the league on notice when he requested a trade.
Having foolishly turned down a mega offer from the Lakers for superstar Davis, New Orleans now move into an uncertain off-season. Though they may have a strong offer round the corner from the Celtics, New Orleans should have looked to move Davis and others with the first strong offer that was received.
With plenty of expiring contracts and intriguing prospects on the books, NOLA should look to be sellers in the off-season. Through the last 20 games they can play their lottery picks from 2017 and 2018 to see who is worth investing in. Davis is as good as gone this off-season when the right deal comes. It’s important they look to secure the future of their franchise.