The 2019-20 NBA season is set to resume at Walt Disney World in Orlando late next month. While most of the focus will be on that, multiple front offices are already preparing for what will be a truncated offseason.
From the nation’s capital to two different cities in Texas, there’s a number of squads that simply need to change things up and start anew. It’s in this that we check in on five NBA teams in need of a complete rebuild when the offseason gets going this fall.
The Achilles injury John Wall suffered last season could very well expedite the rebuild for these long-downtrodden Wizards. Wall’s freak injury coupled with the firing of general manager Ernie Grunfeld seems to suggest that said rebuild is now in the cards in D.C.
Sure the Wizards will return to the season at Walt Disney World in Orlando next month. They have nearly no chance of earning a playoff spot. Once the season does conclude, it’s going to be all about getting the roster in order and potentially replacing head coach Scott Brooks.
From there, a decision will have to be made about packaging a first-round pick or two in order for Washington to rid itself of Wall’s contract. Washington could potentially receive some draft pick compensation in a hypothetical sign-and-trade involving impending free agent Davis Bertans. Though, the million-dollar question here is the future of stud guard Bradley Beal. If Washington is to start anew with a rebuild, trading Beal for a whole host of assets makes the most sense.
San Antonio Spurs
It was noted prior to the season being suspended that San Antonio was looking to go into full-scale rebuild mode. Nothing has really changed since then. Gregg Popovich and Co. head to Orlando with a 28-36 record and with an outside shot of earning a playoff spot. Even if the Spurs were to sneak into the postseason, pushing back this rebuild makes no sense.
Star guard DeMar DeRozan has a player option on his deal, which he will likely utilize. Fellow veteran LaMarcus Aldridge has only one year remaining on his deal at $24 million. Both players could be moved for young assets, as could Patty Mills.
It might be hard for the 71-year-old Popovich to stomach a rebuild. That’s more than understandable. But these Spurs have proven since the start of last season that they are nowhere near contenders. Blowing the whole thing up makes the most sense.
As with San Antonio and Washington, the Magic will return to Walt Disney World with a shot at earning a playoff spot. Even if that comes to fruition, the idea of this team competing with the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in the postseason is laughable. Orlando finds itself at 30-35 and with way more questions than answers.
The Magic considered trading Aaron Gordon at February’s deadline. Star center Nikola Vucevic has pretty much tapped out in terms of potential. Meanwhile, guard Evan Fournier could decide to opt out this fall and his free agency. It’s high time Orlando decides to move on from this experiment and rebuild with Markelle Fultz as the centerpiece. That would include trading both Gordon and Vucevic.
This seems a bit ridiculous on the surface. Houston sits at 40-24 on the season and could potentially make a run at the Western Conference championship moving forward. That’s all fine and dandy. But everything we have seen during the James Harden tenure suggests this squad is going to bomb out in the playoffs.
If this were to happen, general manager Daryl Morey might make the unpopular decision to scrap everything. An early-round loss to a less-talented team such as the Utah Jazz or Oklahoma City Thunder would only add another layer to this. Yes, that means dealing away Harden and attempting to find a trade partner for Russell Westbrook. The definition if insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. We might be at that point in Houston.
Detroit’s season is already over. It finishes the truncated campaign with a 20-46 record. The team former head coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy attempted to build has bombed out in a big way. The Pistons traded Andre Drummond for pretty much nothing back in February. Blake Griffin continues to deal with injuries. Outside of those two, we’re looking at one of the worst rosters in the NBA.
It wouldn’t take much for the Pistons to start anew. This process would begin with the team getting anything it can for Mr. Griffin. From there, be smart during the NBA Draft and provide some hope in Detroit that contention isn’t just a pipe dream. For now, this team is legitimately irrelevant on the broader league stage.