The NBA is back, and Sportsnet is breaking down everything you need to know about each of the 30 teams in the run-up to Tuesday’s announcement.
Today, we look at the best and worst case scenarios for the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. (Teams are listed in the order we believe they will finish in the 2021-22 standings.)
End of 2020–21: 40-32, second place in the Southeast, lost in the first round.
The main additions: Kyle Lowry, Markiv Morris, Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker.
Main offering: Precious Ochiwa, Goran Dragic.
Best scenario: With additions from championship-caliber veterans not too far from what would have been the pinnacle of their abilities in Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker, it’s clear that the Heat are seeking tops in the Eastern Conference and are looking to complete the business of winning a title they left unfinished two seasons ago. Adding Lowry – still a two-way guard – to the core of Jimmy Butler, Pam Adebayo, Tyler Hero and Duncan Robinson feels just right on paper where Lowry’s tough mentality fits perfectly with “heat culture”. . “
Worst case scenario: And as strong as Heat sounds, this is seeing it more through the lens of the post-season, specifically. This is a veteran-packed squad with key players who may not be healthy during all 82 games, which means Miami may be subject to fewer seeds than her talent suggests she should probably get.
2021–22 season predictions: 48-34 fourth in the East.
End of 2020–21: 41-31, first in the Southeast, lost in the Conference Finals.
The main additions: Georgie Deng, Lou Williams, Dillon Wright.
Main offering: Unavailable.
Best scenario: After a relatively surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks now need to sustain that momentum they’ve built and establish themselves as a legitimate force in the East this season, and there’s no reason to believe they can’t be. . Nate Macmillan’s mid-season leadership appears to have unleashed the immense talent that Atlanta is proud of, led by budding star Trae Young, talented seniors John Collins and Clint Capella, dead bowlers Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Galinari and now the sixth player of the year Lou Williams has added three times to add more firepower coming from the bench.
Worst case scenario: The Falcons seem good enough that this doesn’t happen to them, but you can’t rule out the possibility that last season was more an anomaly than it being a real sign that this club is ready to take the next step as a legitimate force. If that proves true, the Hawks’ off-season moves – particularly bringing in veteran Williams – wouldn’t seem like a very smart decision.
2021–22 season predictions: 45-37, fifth in the east.
End of 2020–21: 33-39, fourth in the Southeast, lost in Game One.
The main additions: James Bucknight (right), Kelly Ober Jr., Mason Plumley.
Main offering: Devont Graham.
Best scenario: The Hornets are a very exciting rookie team because they seem to have a legitimate rising star in the last season of the LaMelo Ball. The ball alone raises the bar for what the Hornets can do as he is already among the best playmakers in the game and is a solid defender. Ball seemed to revive Gordon Hayward’s career last season, his talent should unleash the budding skills of newcomer Kelly Ober Jr., and should work miracles for dynamic rookie goalkeeper James Bucknight. The Hornets just need to keep building on what was a very successful season before, and look to make headway into the appropriate playoffs.
Worst case scenario: The Hornets can’t take a step back this season. Ball seems too good to start trying to win in some ball games. Last season, Charlotte played the starring role and this should be the basis for the Hornets this season.
2021–22 season predictions: 41-41 ninth in the east.
End of 2020–21: 34-38, third in the Southeast, lost in the first round.
The main additions: Kentavius Caldwell Pope, Spencer Dinwiddy, Montrezel Harrell, Cory Kispert (right), Kyle Kuzma.
Main offering: Robin Lopez, Russell Westbrook.
Best scenario: For The Wizards, it will all be about proving superhero guard Bradley Beal that this is a situation worth wrapping around, or otherwise looking to facilitate the trade to recover pieces they can start rebuilding. Beal has a player option for next season who will likely drop out and talks about his future will revolve all season around Washington, so it would be in the Wizards’ best interest to win some games and try to make a post-season to try to dissipate some of that noise, at least until the end of the season, ie.
Worst case scenario: Unfortunately for Washington, things can start very ugly as it is unclear if Bale (knee) will be available to start the season, and the same is true for newcomers Spencer Dinwiddie (recovering from surgery) and Roy Hatchimura (a personal matter). The worst thing that could happen to Washington is if Bill gets so frustrated that he demands a mid-season trade, forcing the Witches into an untenable position around a trade deadline where they likely won’t get the return they actually want. . It will be difficult, but the magicians need to try to win matches.
2021–22 season predictions: 34-48, 12 in the East.
End of 2020–21: 21-51, fifth in the Southeast, did not qualify for the post-season.
The main additions: Robin Lopez, Galen Suggs (right), Franz Wagner (right).
Main offering: Unavailable.
Best scenario: The Magic embarked on a surprise sale on Deadline Trade last season, trading away both Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevich in the hopes that they could reach the cornerstone of the franchise to begin another rebuilding of Disney World. The plan worked as they ended up with the No. 5 overall pick and used it to pick Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs, as well as Franz Wagner with the No. 8 pick. These two rookies are just players, and it looks like the magic still has a long way to go before they compete for anything. So the best thing they can do this season is give Wagner and Suggs, in particular, a sizable cast, and again play for pingpong balls. Even if exposing a talent like Suggs to a losing environment could be dangerous to his long-term growth, Magic simply doesn’t have enough on the roster to be remotely competitive this season.
Worst case scenario: The Magic is already off to a somewhat inauspicious start to its 2021-22 campaign. Markelle Fultz won’t be ready to start the season with a knee injury, and Jonathan Isaac, who is coming off an ACL injury and may also not be ready to start the season, has expressed reluctance to take the COVID-19 vaccine another whole can of worms regarding whether He can play in certain markets. This is the disruption that Magic likely does not want to get into a valuable asset like Suggs and that could affect its growth early on.
2021–22 season predictions: 23-59, 15 in the East.