NBA teams that missed the playoffs always have several reasons for optimism. There are a number of ways for teams to improve in the offseason.
For instance, take a look at the Detroit Positions, the number 9 seed in the Eastern Conference. They will get back Reggie Jackson from injury (they sat in the 4 seed before he got hurt). Also, Blake Griffin, their new mid-season addition, will have a year to study the playbook.
Getting players back from injury and more playbook study time is nice. However, the real difference in the offseason is superstar free agent movement. This is the way to upgrade your squad quickly. Here are some free agents that could change club fortunes next year.
Paul George: Los Angeles Lakers
Paul George is a young player, and his injury profile (outside of a gruesome broken leg) is actually fairly clean. That makes him an appealing player. He could stay with the Thunder, but he also has shown great interest in the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lebron James: Los Angeles Lakers
There’s another high profile player the Lakers are linked to- Lebron James. There are plenty of rumors the King is attracted to Los Angeles because he’s interested in an acting career, and the increased exposure that Los Angeles brings. If the Lakers get Lebron, the playoffs are virtually guaranteed. The Lakers have a lot of potential this offseason.
Demarcus Cousins: Phoenix Suns
Most NBA free agents have a great chance at resigning with their own team, and Cousins is no exception. However, Demarcus Cousins comes with a lot of risks. He had an Achilles injury, and he is known for being ill-tempered on the court. These negatives may not scare away Phoenix, who has an acceptable young core and wants to get out of the basement quickly.
Josh Mcroberts and Quincy Pondexter: New York Knicks
It’s important to note that not all teams can sign splash free agents because of cap issues. The New York Knicks are one of these squads. They have to sign the low-cost free agents with the best upside available. Josh Mcroberts and Quincy Pondexter are two such names, but they won’t be exciting fans.
The teams with the most to spend have the best chance to improve next year. The Lakers, in particular, are in a dynamic situation. However, you never know what will happen in the offseason.