The 2019-20 NBA Season hasn’t started yet but odds are already in place as to whom the favorites are to win the championship. Who will be ROY, MVP, and DPOY? What about who will claim the moniker as the worst team in the league? Last season, the New York Knicks walked away with that distinction and still didn’t end up with the top pick.
As the new season approaches, there will be a number of teams on the outside looking in when the playoffs start.
With title favorites such as the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and others, the Lottery is not an option. But for these three teams below, it’s their destination. No matter what happens, the talent level is just not there. Yes, a team can get lucky and receive a few good calls or bounces and win a few extra games, but in the end, it still comes down to talent.
Here are three teams that will be in a fight for the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft
No more Kemba Walker. This means that the Charlotte Hornets will be in the race for the top pick in 2020. With Terry Rozier taking on the lead guard role, will he be able to duplicate the success Walker had? If so, does that equal a trip outside of the bottom three teams? No. Rozier is a solid player but not quite on the level of Walker. That means that Nicolas Batum will finally be forced to earn is salary. Not only him but what will Miles Bridges do in his second season?
The wins will be tough to come by. Last season, with Walker, the Hornets finished 19th in scoring and 17th in defense but with Walker and Lamb gone, those numbers will change drastically. The Hornets will throw their season in the hands of Rozier, Batum, and Dwayne Bacon and hope they can keep up in the Eastern Conference. Not likely to happen.
They still have Kevin Love. Well, for now, that is. The Cleveland Cavaliers had their run. They won a title with the help of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Love but now, they will have a hard time reaching 20 wins next season. In the 2018-19 season, the Cavs finished the year ranked 29th in scoring and 24th in defense. The Cavs are in trouble. But what if this is part of the rebuilding plan? If so, then they will all but secure themselves a chance to land the top pick next summer.
If Love stays, that will give the Cavs a scoring option. But if he’s moved or can’t stay healthy, then who gets and receives that call? Jordan Clarkson seems like a good choice but he’s buried behind players who still must prove themselves. Cedi Osman played well last season but the ups and downs he’s provided are not that encouraging. In the end, the Cavs will have the most ping-pong balls but even that doesn’t guarantee Lottery success.
For whatever reason, Hawks fans believe they have a shot. How? Who on their roster is capable of leading the charge? Trae Young can be explosive at times but he now has to manage being a leader and the big playmaker. Is he ready for that? Last season, the Hawks went 29-53 and finished the year ranked 12th in scoring and 30th in defense. So what’s changed heading into the new year for them? Nothing really. The roster still reads like a G-League team.
This offseason, the Atlanta Hawks added no one of pure value. Their draft was so-so but no real homerun hitters joined. With that said, how can the Hawks avoid the fight for the No.1 draft pick in 2020? The truth is, they can’t. John Collins (19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds) is a stud in training. But who will step up after that? The race for No. 1 is on and despite what fans may think, the Hawks will be in it.