Detroit Pistons: The next tier
I think the Detroit Pistons could make the leap into the next tier of teams. These teams range from the waning veteran squad trying to stay healthy to the next generation of young contenders in the NBA.
Any of these teams could be in the mix for a lower playoff spot and will be competing for the play-in with the Detroit Pistons:
- Chicago Bulls: The Bulls are a big question mark, as they were one of the best teams in the East before suffering a load of injuries. Can Lonzo Ball stay healthy? (No) Can DeMar DeRozan put together another All-NBA season? Is LaVine 100 percent? A lot of questions and they didn’t really add much (other than Andre Drummond) to make me think they’ll be better, it will all just come down to health.
- Toronto Raptors: The Raptors are another middling team that could go either way next season, as they haven’t made any big offseason moves so far and will be relying mostly on internal improvement.
- Cleveland Cavaliers: I see the Cavs as a potential regression team next season, as they haven’t really added much this offseason and got big years from a lot of their guys. Can Jarrett Allen stay healthy? Does Darius Garland have another level? Is Kevin Love washed?
- Charlotte Hornets: After the nightmare offseason they’ve had, it’s possible they are going to take a big step back next season. They added more draft picks but are losing Miles Bridges and weren’t really that good last season anyway.
- New York Knicks: It’s hard to see Jalen Brunson making that big a difference in New York, as the Knicks were really mediocre last season. They may have another big move up their sleeves for Donovan Mitchell and if that happens, they are playoff contenders, but if it doesn’t, I see them on the fringe again.
- Indiana Pacers: The Pacers tried to make the big move for Deandre Ayton, but the Suns eventually matched their offer. They should still be frisky though, as they have a nice young core and the backcourt of Haliburton and Mathurin should be dynamic.