Sports Writer and Analyst. Occasionally, I will write about other topics.
The 2020 NBA draft will greatly benefit teams close to making a playoff run
Many of the NBA teams that were close to clinching the 8th seed in either the Western or Eastern Conference will have the ability to make major improvements this offseason thanks to the 2020 NBA draft.
The race for the playoffs will only intensify in the NBA. The push for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference was really tight last season. Many fans don’t realize how close the race was for the 8th seed and how the 2020 NBA draft has positioned many teams to make a run for the playoffs. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Atlanta Hawks were within 5 wins of the ninth seed. These teams also feature a lot of young talent that is still developing.
The Hornets has the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft and were the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2019-20 season. Them adding the third overall pick could easily help propel them to the 8th seed. The Hornets desperately need to improve defensively and need a center. James Wiseman would be a perfect pick for the Hornets.
The young Chicago Bulls could make a splash as well when they add the 4th overall pick to their roster. They have also hired Bill Donovan as a head coach. Cleveland gets to add the 5th seed to their roster. They already have Drummond, Kevin Love, Collin Saxton, Larry Nance Jr., and Darius Garland on their roster. Deni Avdija could help improve the Cleveland at the small forward position.
The Pistons can add to their depth to their roster with the 7th overall pick. Surprisingly, the Knicks saw some improvements last season. They will be able to add 8th pick on their roster to go along with adding Tom Thibodeau as the head coach. They also have the 27th pick in the 1st round as well.
Let's not forget about the Wizards. The Wizards were the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference and will have the ninth pick in the NBA draft. The Wizards could also have nearly $30 million dollars in free cap space for the 2020-21 season. Likely, John Wall will be coming back from his injury soon.
Atlanta will continue to improve by adding the 6th pick in the 2020 NBA draft. And they already have some of the best young talented players in the NBA including Trae Young, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, John Collins, and Kevin Heurter. They have added Clint Capella to their roster. The Hawks also could have over $59 million dollars in cap space for the 2020-21 season. The Hawks seen in 2020 were derailed because Collins only played 41 games and Young only played 60 games.
Many of these teams also have significant cap space. The Cavaliers will likely have over $20 million more in cap space for the 2019-20 season. The Hornets could have over $40 million dollars being freed up to bring in talent this offseason. I give the Hornets the edge to clinch the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference
The race for the 8th seed in the Western Conference will heat up next season as well. With many teams that are close to clinching the 8th seed having a lot of cap space and lottery picks.
The Timberwolves have performed the past two seasons. The Timberwolves feature two former All-Stars on their roster. They are also going to be adding the first overall pick in the 2020 draft. Anthony Ewards has a rare blend of size and athleticism. Moreover, the Timberwolves could have over $36.0 million dollars significant cap space free this offseason.
The trusted San Antonio Spurs will have the 11th overall pick and were within 3 wins of making the 8th seed of the 2020 playoffs.
Phoenix gets the 10th overall pick and they were the 1 win away from the 8th seed. They also could have over $27 million dollars in cap space free this offseason. Moreover, the Grizzlies might have over $15 million dollars in free cap space this summer and they were 1 win away from making the 2020 playoffs. This team added Ja Morrant last season and they are still building team chemistry.
The Pelicans will start to see the benefits of the Anthony Davis trade and will have the 13th overall pick in the first round and 3 second-round picks. Moreover, they likely also have over $34 million in cap space. Let's not forget that likely Zion healthy for next season. Despite Zion only played 24 games last season, the Pelicans were 5 wins away from being the 8th seed.
The Kings will have the 12 pick in the first round and 3 second picks. They could also have over 20 million dollars in free cap space this offseason. The Kings and Pelicans were within 5 wins away from making the 8th seed. And the Pelicans are looking for a new head coach. If Zion can remain healthy, the Pelicans have an edge in clinching the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
Either way, making the NBA playoffs is only to get more competitive this season.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Michael Mannen