The end of the regular season is near. That means playoffs for half the league, and it means vacation comes sooner for the other half of the teams.
Heading into the offseason, each team will need to upgrade their roster to have a chance at the title in 2022. In this article, TGH is taking a look at each team’s wish list heading into the 2021 offseason.
Need: Defensive presence off the bench
This is a pretty obvious necessity. The Nets have everything they need except for defense. Whether that’s through a big man, guard or forward, the Nets need defense. They will prioritize that in the draft and free agency.
Need: Talent off the bench
The Sixers have a great starting five. Their problem is that they don’t have a threat off the bench. They need to go out and get a young player that will be the it-factor in backing up Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Need: A deep playoff run
It’s hard to find a flaw in the Bucks’ roster. They have a lot of solid guys; however, they just can’t make deep playoff runs. Maybe that’ll happen this year. Regardless if it does or not, this is a clear wish for Milwaukee.
New York Knicks
Need: Become a desirable free agency spot
The Knicks have done the impossible this year. They also have an emerging star in Julius Randle. They just need another star to pair with him. Hopefully this season has proved that New York is still a place that free agents will want to sign.
Need: A second all-star
Trae Young can’t do it all by himself in Atlanta. The Hawks have built themselves a solid roster this season, but a second player that would fit well with Trae Young would be a dream.
Need: A roster overhaul
The Celtics are in the middle in the East. Their problem is that they can never get over the hump of being a contender. This season was a failure. They need to just find new players to surround Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum with.
Need: Players to stay healthy
The Heat are a great team. They’ve struggled this year because players have been dealing with injuries and COVID-19. If they keep the same roster next year, and everyone is healthy, they’ll be dangerous.
Need: LaMelo Ball to stay healthy
If LaMelo Ball stays healthy, everything will fall in place in Charlotte. Ball is a young star, and he alone can elevate the Hornets’ franchise.
Need: Find Sabonis help in the paint
Myles Turner has been decent for the Pacers, but they need to find Domantas Sabonis help in the paint. A big man with similar skill as Sabonis, or a big with a specialty. If they do this, they’ll be solid.
Need: Anyone to help Westbrook and Beal
This is easy. Outside of Westbrook and Beal, the Wizards suck. They need to surround their stars with great role players.
Need: Improved guards off the bench
Need: Get rid of Kyle Lowry
It’s time to be honest with yourself Toronto. Kyle Lowry just isn’t that guy anymore. It’s time to rebuild, and trading Kyle Lowry will get you good draft capital in return. Time to start a new era in the Six.
Need: Help the young talent
The Cavs suck. Coming from a Cavs fan, they need a lot more than just one thing. They need to help out Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen. Yes, develop them, but if winning is the objective, they have a lot to fix.
Need: Hope the young talent pans out
The Magic are in full rebuild mode. All they really can do is hope that the young players they have will turn into great players.
Need: Have a great draft
The Pistons are also really bad. Just like a few other teams, they just have to hope they find their star in the draft. No one is going to Detroit in free agency, so their only hope is through the youngsters coming into the league.
The Jazz have proven to be on the rise over the last few years. All they need next season is to prove that they can do what they did this season again. Get better than what they were before.
Need: Find another star
Los Angeles Clippers
Need: Win a title
Isn’t this obvious? Paul George and Kawhi Leonard came to LA to do just that, and they were heavy favorites in their first season. If they don’t win this year, then next season will be a “title or bust” year.
Need: Jamal Murray to still be good when he returns
Jamal Murray tore his ACL earlier this season. The Nuggets need him to come back the same player he was before his injury. If he is, the Nuggets will continue to be on the rise.
Los Angeles Lakers
Need: Win another title
This is pretty simple. The Lakers have LeBron and AD. LeBron doesn’t have much time left in the league, so winning another title is vital. They have the pieces; they just need to do it.
Need: Find Luka a sidekick
Kristaps Porzingis has not lived up to expectation in Dallas. The Mavericks need to ship him out and find another guy to be the star alongside Luka.
Portland Trail Blazers
Need: Fire Terry Stotts
Terry Stotts has had a good run in Portland; however, it’s been a bust. The Trail Blazers have a heck of a roster. They have a superstar and great players surrounding him, yet they just can’t seem to make it deep in the playoffs. Clearly, the head coach is the problem.
Need: More time
The Grizzlies have proven themselves this year. Ja Morant is their franchise player, and they have great young talent surrounding him. They just need more time because in a season or two, they’ll be a top team in the West.
San Antonio Spurs
Need: Accept and Rebuild
The Spurs have one of the best dynasties in NBA history. Now, it’s the end of an era. San Antonio needs to accept the fact that Gregg Popovich is in his last days of coaching, and they need to start over. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing; it’s just the life cycle of a franchise in pro-sports.
Golden State Warriors
Need: Klay Thompson
It’s that simple. If the Warriors had Klay this season, they’d be a six or seven seed in the West as opposed to the ten seed. They just need Klay Thompson to stay healthy. On the bright side, he’s a shooter, and you won’t need fully healthy knees to shoot a basketball.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are a confusing team. They have very solid players: Brandon Ingram, Zion, Steven Adams, Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe, yet they stink. Luckily, they have David Griffin at the helm, and he’ll be able to fix the problem that is the New Orleans Pelicans.
Need: A good big man
The Kings can’t seem to ever get it right. They haven’t been good since the days of Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic. They have great young guards, but they’re lacking in the big man category. A solid big might be a solution to their problem.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Need: Draft well
The story of OKC is that they have 34 draft picks from 2021 through 2027. All they need is to draft correctly and hope the talent they draft is good.
Need: A winning culture
A winning culture is what Minnesota desperately needs. They can’t seem to get it right, ever. Between drafting Karl Anthony-Towns and trading for D’Angelo Russell, it hasn’t translated to winning. Minnesota needs a culture change.
Need: A fresh start
This season has been a catastrophe for Houston. Between the James Harden drama, John Wall and Christian Wood injuries, Houston can’t catch a break. They have a lot to look forward to. They just need a new beginning.
All stats were taken from ESPN.com and basketballreference.com.
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