In this article, we will be discussing the needs of every NBA team, and what they should do by the beginning of the 2020 NBA season. This list is subjective, as it’s what I believe each team needs.
Atlanta is in one of the best positions for the future in the NBA, as they are starting to get a solid young core to build around, and they had 3 picks in the 2019 draft in the top 20 alone, but were able to trade up with those picks and take DeAndre Hunter. They were also able to fill a massive hole that they had at the shooting guard position by taking Cam Reddish in the draft. The only real holes in their roster that they have to fill are a starting caliber small forward, and then either a power forward or center to pair with John Collins in the front court. As long as they can acquire players at those positions, they will be in good shape going forward
Main Needs: Continue to develop young talent and get them committed to staying long-term.
Boston is in a very peculiar situation, as they might be losing their star players in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford to free agency this offseason. They also might potentially be losing their backup point guard in Terry Rozier, and a starting-quality power forward in Marcus Morris. If that happens, they have a lot of holes to fill, and their main objective is to keep at least two of those free agents, and find a replacement for the third, whoever that may be.
Main Need: Replace any free agents lost with valuable ball players.
The Nets have a dilemma here, as they can choose to build traditionally, or gain two max contracts immediately. If they choose to build traditionally and re-sign D’Angelo Russell, they still have a max free agent slot available, as well as some extra cap space if they don’t give Russell the max. The only advice I would give Brooklyn is to not pick up Kyrie or any other point guard in free agency, as that’s your best shot at keeping Russell.
Main Needs: Keep Russell, and use that cap space!
Charlotte is considered by many NBA fans to be in a terrible position, which they are. They have a star who is about to enter his prime, they don’t want him to leave, and they have not proven that they are able to surround him with stars. The Hornets need to either make some big time trades and surround Kemba with young trade assets and draft picks, or let him walk.
Main Need: Impress Kemba enough to stay, if he leaves, then rebuild
Chicago has been circulating in many trade rumors recently, as reports have stated that they have been in talks with Cleveland about sending Lavine, and were also in trade talks with the Pelicans and Lakers to be a part of the Davis deal. Yes I am a Cleveland fan, and that means I would love this trade. But, this trade would be terrible for the Bulls. Lavine was one of the best players in basketball this year, and the team at times showed a lot of promise if they were to stay together.
Main Needs: Keep core unless massive trade comes along in which case they need to maximize the worth of their assets.
The Cavs are another team that many people see as being in a good place for the time being. They had a disappointing draft lottery though, and were only selecting 5th when they were tied for best odds to pick 1st. However, they were able to make light of a bad situation and had arguably the most successful draft of any team this year. As mentioned before with the Bulls, they have been in talks to acquire Lavine, and I would say go for it if this trade is offered. You also have to get rid of JR Smith- who now has a team-friendly contract- in a trade, and also trade away Tristan Thompson for salary cap relief and draft picks. If they can do those trades, and draft well with future picks, the Cavs could easily be a playoff team in the next couple of years.
Main Needs: Dispel of the lower tier, bad contracted players, make trades for better contracts, and develop draft picks.
The Mavericks made headlines as they decided to trade for Kristaps Porzingis mid-way through the season. What this means is that they have one of the most exciting duos in the entire NBA with Porzingis and Doncic, and are poised well for the future. The main thing that they need is a center, as KP is more of a power forward. They don’t have any first round draft picks this year, so this would have to be gained either by free agency or trade.
Main Need: Starting quality center
The Nuggets were one of the best teams in the NBA this year, but inexperience caught up to them. They are one of the youngest teams in the entire league and their time will come with age. They have many young stars such as Jokic and Murray, and an unproven, fully healthy Michael Porter Jr. to add to the mix. And let us not forget about Bol Bol, who is angry about his draft selection and wants to prove everyone wrong. Only time will tell if this team is the real deal or not, but if they continue to develop their talent the way they have been, Denver is in for some fun times in the next few years.
Main Needs: Continue development of young stars, bring Porter Jr. and Bol Bol in and make them fit.
The Pistons just barely made it to the playoffs this season, as it wasn’t guaranteed until the final day of the season. They showed promise at times and were able to win games when healthy and playing well. But, as we all know, that isn’t the case every night. The main thing they need is a better quality shooting guard or small forward, whether that be through drafting or trades. They have the assets and pieces to make a deal happen, they just need to get the right things back in return.
Main need: Obtain a quality shooting guard or small forward
Golden State Warriors
I really hope that both Durant and Klay can come back from their respective injuries, whether they are on different teams or not. They are both amazing players that will be hall of fame candidates in the future. With that being said, all the warriors can do is try to resign Klay and let Durant walk. Durant doesn’t want to be there and Klay does, so offer Klay the max immediately. Analysts and writers have floated around the idea of Durant resigning, rehabbing for a year, and being traded at the trade deadline of his second year under contract. If that happens, I have no idea what the Warriors will do about Klay.
Main Need: Get Klay Thompson to re-sign
The Rockets are a team that is currently in turmoil. They are shopping anyone not named James Harden, and it’s rumored that Chris Paul and Harden hate each other now. The only thing you can really do is try your best to trade Harden away to a young team that needs a point guard and get a starting quality guard and other key bench players in return. That’s the only way to really salvage this team and giving them the chance to win in a Western Conference that is now wide open.
Main Need: Try and trade Chris Paul
The Pacers got really unlucky with Oladipo getting injured, as they were a surprise team that was top 3 in the Eastern Conference. Even with that injury, they still were a playoff team that a lot of people had high hopes for. The main thing they need to do is try and replace Tyreke Evans as he was suspended this Summer. If Tyreke is struggling with addiction, I hope he finds a way out of it. But the Pacers need to focus on their team, and making themselves better so they can get to that next level. Maybe sign a point guard like Ricky Rubio and trade away either Collison or Joseph for a starting caliber small forward.
Main Needs: Get a better starting point guard and replace Tyreke Evans
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers surprised everyone as they were the only team that really gave Golden State a challenge in the playoffs before the Raptors, as they took the Warriors to 6 games in the first round. They were a very fun team to watch this season as they have a young core that has a lot of potential in this league. They also have 2 max free agent slots this Summer that they need to take advantage of and sign a center and a shooting guard with.
Main Need: Use those max slots to get a center and a shooting guard
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are one of those teams that you can tell they really don’t have any idea what they’re doing. They got Davis which is cool, but they also shipped most of their young core and their picks for the next 5 years to the Pelicans to do so. They no longer have a max slot to sign a free agent, and they have no depth. The Lakers need to stop thinking “star power” and focus more on gaining some depth to their roster and sign 3-5 guys that are pretty good, but won’t command too much money. Whether that is resigning Rondo and JaVale, or getting new guys to come in, that is up to them. The last thing they need to do now is get another star player.
Main Need: Gain depth
The Grizzlies have suddenly gone from a team trying their hardest to contend to a rebuilding team from a mere 2 trades. They traded Marc Gasol to the Raptors and Mike Conley to the Jazz. They now have young players that have potential (especially Ja Morant) and, if patient, can turn into a playoff team in the future.
Main Need: Develop young core
The Heat are in kind of a weird position right now. The front office likes to think that they are a playoff team, but I think Pat Riley’s head might be stuck back in 2014. The Heat are a cluster of undeveloped talent, older former stars, and injury-riddled players. They are most likely about to lose their best player in Hassan Whiteside as everything looks like he is going to request a trade. The Heat need to blow their roster up and commit to a full rebuild before they get stuck in no mans land like the Hornets.
Main Need: Trade star players and get draft picks in return
The Bucks are looking like a future dynasty. They need to hold onto their core of Bledsoe, Middleton, Giannis, and Lopez as long as they are able to. If you are able to to get a better bench, do it by all means. The only other move I would really consider here is maybe trading Bledsoe for a better point guard . Other than that, the Bucks are considered title contenders for the next few years at least.
Main Needs: Keep Middleton, and keep core in tact unless deal that improves team gets offered
The Timberwolves are another team that is in a bit of a weird spot right now. They have a star player in Towns, and also have a player that should be a star in Wiggins, but they can’t seem to surround those two with any legitimate talent. They have Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague, yes, but those are two players that were exciting earlier in their careers and then fell off for various reasons. The Wolves need to get real here and decide if they really want to move forward with this core, or if they want to blow up and rebuild. Because what they’re doing right now is not working at all.
Main Need: Find an identity
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pels have been busy this off season, as they traded away Davis, and then traded away the 4th overall pick to the Hawks for 2 first rounders. I am loving what this team is doing right now, and if they can surround their core and can keep Randle, they can be a dangerous team as soon as this season. Their potential starting 5 is looking like Ball, Holiday, Ingram (if he gets healthy again), Zion, and Randle. They also have people like Okafor, Hayes, Alexander-Walker, and Payton coming off the bench. They have a lot of depth and if they can develop their talent, they have the chance to be a contender in the very near future. You can argue that they have too many players on their roster now and they need to let some people go in trades and get a bigger name to go along with those guys, or get even more picks. I would actually agree with that, as they need just one final push to really scare the rest of the NBA.
Main Needs: One last trade? Keep Julius Randle, and develop the young core
New York Knicks
The Knicks had a 3-step plan this offseason, and it went as follows:
- Draft Zion
- Sign Kyrie and KD
- Win NBA Title
This obviously did not work as KD is hurt and is likely going to Brooklyn, Kyrie is likely going to Brooklyn, and Zion was drafted by the Pelicans. It’s not all bad, though as they did get RJ Barrett in this draft. But Barrett is really the only player worth mentioning on this team other than DeAndre Jordan, who is likely leaving New York this Summer. The Knicks are just simply the worst-run team in the entire NBA, and in my opinion, are just an over-hyped version of the Phoenix Suns. But hey, go Knicks, right?
Main Needs: Everything other than a small forward because of RJ Barrett
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder need to find a way to get out of the first round. They made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2016, and have been beaten by the Rockets, Jazz, and Blazers ever since. They signed Paul George back after his first year, and they have a pretty solid bench as well. They just need to change things up like the Rockets are trying to do. There have been a lot of trade rumors surrounding players like Steven Adams, and they have been talking about signing other lower tier free agents. I think if the Thunder can handle the offseason right, they are able to get out of the first round for the first time since 2016. They have the talent to win, but they just need to capitalize.
Main Needs: New coach, make blockbuster trade.
Another team that is in NBA limbo, the Magic finally reached the playoffs under the Vucevic/Gordon era. But, I believe that era should be closed. If the Magic can resign Vucevic and trade him away to a team that needs to replace a center or change their team up a bit like the Celtics or the Rockets, they could get a lot back. Vucevic is 28 years old and is just hitting his prime. He was a first-time all star this year, which means his value is sky high. I would definitely say to get rid of Nikola, but you can’t let him walk in free agency if you do. Gordon shows more promise, though, as he is only 23 years old. They need a center that fits their play style, as well as a point guard to play with Gordon and whatever center they have when the season starts.
Main Needs: Sign and trade Vucevic for another center, and get a point guard.
The Sixers had one of the most historic rebuilds, as they stocked up on draft picks and bad contracts for years to try and get star players in the draft. They turned from a lottery team to the 4th seed from 2017 to 2018, and they don’t show any signs of stopping any time soon. They have three massive free agents this summer in Butler, Harris, and Redick, which means this team could fall apart really quickly. The main goal for the Sixers is to keep Redick and one of Butler or Harris. If they could keep both, that would be amazing, but it’s not likely as they would both want max contracts and there’s not enough cap space in Phili for that. If you can let one of them walk and then sign the other to a max/close to a max and then trade picks and bench players to replace them, then you are in good shape.
Main Needs: Keep 2 of 3 free agents, replace the one you lose
As stated before, the Knicks are just an over hyped version of the Suns, which does not bode well for Phoenix. The Suns had only 19 wins this year, traded their 6th overall pick for Dario Saric and pick 11, and then gave TJ Warren away for cash. The Suns owner needs to find a new GM and fast, as James Jones is not working out. I really hope that the Suns have something planned with these moves, as they have been bad for a while now and show no signs of turning it around. If they continue to make terrible moves like their draft day trades, I believe that they will be sending their GM to the unemployment line.
Main Needs: Trust the process part 2? Get a new GM if not
Portland Trail Blazers
If we’re being honest here, I think the Trail Blazers had a real shot at taking down the Warriors, if Nurkic was healthy. Since he wasn’t, though, Portland is just going to have to wait another year for their chance. But, that is good, as they can make a few moves to help improve themselves. You could argue they could make trades with pieces like Jake Layman and Myles Leonard to acquire a young starting quality forward to take place of Aminu or Harkless. Maybe Nassir Little is the answer, but I think he needs a year or two to develop still. If they can get one more piece of the puzzle, and Nurkic can return healthy, the Trail Blazers have a real chance of being the 2020 champions.
Main Need: Young forward to give them that push
The Kings are historically one of the worst teams in recent memory, but they have possibly changed their fortunes as they have a solid young core of Hield, Fox, Cauley-Stein, and Bagley. They just missed the playoffs and have a chance to be formidable in the future as long as they can keep everything in tact.
Main Needs: Keep the core, let them develop
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have been struggling as of late. They lost Kawhi, got Derozan in return, and they’re getting older. They have no valuable draft picks and they are starting to look as if they dynasty is truly over. I understand that they were going to lose Kawhi anyways, but you have to get something valued at the same level back, and Poeltl and Derozan are not equal to Kawhi and Green. If the Spurs are still able to be contenders, they need to get a good point guard, and a good center. Derrick White is good, but he just doesn’t cut it as the starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs.
Main Needs: Decide which way you’re going, get a point guard and center if you choose to contend again
I think that this one is pretty obvious, and that is that they need to keep Kawhi and Danny Green. If you lose Danny Green, go out and get a legitimate guard like JJ Redick. But, if you lose Kawhi, there is no chance of repeating.
Main Goals: Keep Kawhi, replace Green if he goes
The Jazz made a great move in trading for Conley. You now have a backcourt that can score 50-60 points combined on any given night, the most dominant defensive center in the NBA, and a solidi 3-and-D guy in Joe Ingles. They will be running out a starting 5 of Conley Mitchell, Ingles, Favors, and Gobert with people like Bazley, Exum, and O’Neale on the bench. They just need a couple more bench pieces and they should be good to go to contend for that Finals spot in the West next season.
Main Need: Hope everything works out