Which teams in the NBA will rise and fall the most next season from their positions in 2021-22? The Locked On NBA podcast makes their predictions.
LOS ANGELES — Which NBA teams will move the most next year after finishing at the end of the 2022 season?
Though there are some obvious answers like when you look at the Los Angeles teams like the Lakers who surprisingly missed the playoffs after Anthony Davis was injured for most of the year. And the Clippers, who finished eighth in the standings without Kawhi Leonard, who will return next season.
But there has also been a lot of movement outside the season. Who got better? Who didn’t get better and could slip next season?
That was the subject of Thursday’s Locked On NBA podcast, as hosts Nick Angstadt and Pat The Designer looked at the teams they expect to rise and fall next season.
SUBSCRIBE to the daily Locked On NBA podcast for league round coverage, or find the daily podcast about YOUR NBA team, only on the Locked On NBA podcast. Your team, every day.
Angstadt started Locked On NBA, knocking out the five teams he thinks are most likely to rise in 2022-23 from their positions in 2021-22: The Clippers, Blazers, Nuggets, Hawks and Timberwolves.
“The Clippers are going to be the most soaring for me,” Angstadt said. “They were eighth in the West last year, 42-40. I don’t know if there’s another team that’s going to make a bigger jump. They’re getting Kawhi Leonard back, they’re getting Paul George back, their team is almost too deep. I buy them.”
Angstadt also expects a big move from the Portland Trail Blazers, who finished 13th last year after swapping out CJ. McCollum and an injury to Damian Lillard. They picked up Jerami Grant from Detroit off-season.
“The Blazers were 13th in the West last year,” Angstadt said. “They tanked the whole thing, they pulled the rug from under them. They added Jerami Grant. Damian Lillard is coming back. Anfernee Simmons, they signed him. I don’t know if they’ll rise to the top six in the West, but if they make it to .500 they would move up five places from their standings last year.”
Pat had a few teams that he thinks should be there as well, including the New Orleans Pelicans who made it to the playoffs and gave the Suns a run for their money, but still only finished 36-46 on the year.
“If they’re healthy, I think the Pelicans are a top 5 teams in the Western Conference,” Pat said. “They have a guy on their team who shoots over 60% of the field. And they get a whole year of CJ McCollum.”
Plus, Pat likes a healthy Cleveland team to get a better run in 2022-23. And the Nets could also improve from their eighth series if they end up keeping Irving and Durant, he says.
“Based on health, I think the Cleveland Cavaliers will be a lot tougher this season,” said Pat. “Another is if the Nets find a way to keep Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and they decide to play a full season, then they should.” upwards.”
Among the teams they both expect to fall in 2022-23 are the Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies.
Watch the episode of Locked On NBA for their full talk on next season’s biggest risers and fallers.