NBA Lottery Teams That Could be in Playoffs Next Season

By Evan Caulfield on June 24, 2014

NBA Lottery Teams That Could be in Playoffs Next Season

Is your favorite NBA franchise still stuck in the bottom of the standings?

Don’t you wish they’d quit landing ping pong balls every season and instead clinch a playoff berth?

Well I’ve got great news for some of you and not so pleasant news for others.

With a super stacked draft class and list of decent free agency options, your team may have enough talent to head back to the postseason and bring joy to your city that’s been trapped in a dark cloud of basketball purgatory.

So without further ado, cross your fingers and read on to see if your team has what it takes to make the cut.

On the Bubble:

Boston Celtics

The Celtics are really only one superstar away from turning into a fringe playoff contender by next season.

The problem is their roster isn’t the sexiest, as the team needs a legitimate starting center and still has plenty of holes to fill across the board.

Unless they somehow land a high caliber player like Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony, expect to see them take at least one more season to get back into the playoff hunt.

Philadelphia 76ers

With Nerlens Noel returning from injury and reigning rookie of the year Michael-Carter Williams running the offense, the Sixers appear like a team on the rise when compared to a year ago.

However as promising as their core appears, this roster still has little to no experience and will need time to marinate into a winning product if they’re to make the postseason any time soon.

Sorry Sixers fans, not this year but the next just sounds a lot more realistic given the lack of overall experience.

Legit Playoff Contenders:

Cleveland Cavaliers

Yeah yeah I know, the Cleveland Cavaliers were supposed to turn things around last year.

But hear me out.

Unlike last season, this team will have a legitimate offensive option (Wiggins or Parker) to pair next to Kyrie Irving and a talented lineup featuring Irving-Waiters-Wiggins/Parker-Thompson-Hawes (if he returns).

The Cavs were one of the worst offensive teams in the league a season ago, averaging a paltry 98.2 points. Their addition from the draft as well as a piece or two from free agency alone should be enough to revive their offense and get them back into the postseason hunt for the first time since the LeBron era.

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans were another team many thought had the potential to make the postseason last season, but unfortunately came up short due to a string of injuries that stripped the roster bare.

With star caliber players like Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon returning to full strength, along with plenty of cap space to go after a top tier player in free agency, expect to see the Hornets in the playoffs by next season.

Denver Nuggets

Just like the Pelicans, Denver’s postseason hopes were completely shattered due to injury, as the team lost key pieces like JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson and Danilo Gallinari too early in the season.

With their main core returning and the team slated to grab a decent prospect in the lottery, the Nuggets should be in the hunt for a postseason berth by next season if Gallinari and McGee can remain fully healthy.

Phoenix Suns

If it weren’t for the Memphis Grizzlies late season surge, the Suns wouldn’t even be apart of this last, as the team was only 1 game away from clinching the eighth seed in a loaded Western Conference.

Now with a bevy of draft picks and the determination to land a star like Pau Gasol or Luol Deng in free agency, the sky is the limit for Phoenix’s win total next season as they try to prove that last season’s surprising record wasn’t a fluke at all.

Agree or disagree? Hit me up on twitter @fieldhoops and lets talk basketball!

 

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