Joel Embiid seems to be having a fine rookie season, but like so many lottery teams, his Sixers are struggling to find some measure of overall success.
Here's a look at this year's teams who are out of the playoffs at the moment, ranking them from worst to best in terms of their overall outlook for the future.
The Kings, as always, remain a disaster. There's no right answer in terms of what to do with DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay has already said he wants out, and now Arron Afflalo is reportedly refusing to sub into games during garbage time.
Sacramento is by far the worst off of any team on this list, because there doesn't seem to be any semblance of a plan in place.
New Orleans Pelicans
The good news in New Orleans is that the Pelicans have a top-five player in the league in Anthony Davis under contract for three more years beyond this one. The bad news is that the franchise is essentially starting from scratch in terms of building a competitive team around him.
Hassan Whiteside is a nice piece, and the coaching and front office are extremely stable. Beyond that, there are questions as to whether Miami will keep Goran Dragic if the Heat remain out of playoff contention as the trade deadline approaches.
Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, and nothing else -- not even future first-round draft picks. Brooklyn's in bad shape.
The Nuggets have some talented players like Nikola Jokic on the roster, but overall this is a bad team that's rebuilding in every sense of the word.
The Magic were aggressive in free agency, inking Bismack Biyombo to a deal, extending Evan Fournier, trading for Serge Ibaka and hiring Frank Vogel as a new head coach.
The result: A 12-17 start, just three games in the loss column ahead of the worst record in the East.
Dirk Nowitzki might technically be the face of the franchise until he hangs 'em up officially, but Harrison Barnes is the team's future star. Dallas is currently tied with the Sixers for the league's worst record, but Mark Cuban isn't afraid to spend money to make sure his team stays competitive on an annual basis.
What do you do when your two highest-paid players struggle to get along, and you're 12-15 on the season? That's the problem in Washington these days, and there are no easy answers.
The Hawks have gotten progressively worse in each of the past two seasons. There are few young studs on the roster besides Kent Bazemore, and the current pieces aren't fitting nearly as well as the previous Atlanta teams did over the past two seasons.
If there's a bright side here, it's that (besides Dennis Schroder, Dwight Howard and Bazemore) the bulk of the roster isn't locked up on long-term deals. If the Hawks continue to slide, it'll be fairly easy for the front office to retool the roster as it sees fit.
Stan Van Gundy in a dual role as president of basketball operations and head coach is certainly a positive, but when your team's three highest-paid players are Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson, that's only going to get you so far.
How has The Process worked out, you ask? If you're not a Sam Hinkie sycophant, the results are questionable at best.
Joel Embiid seems like he may be the real deal, but Jahlil Okafor can't play defense, and Nerlens Noel can't get off the bench. Brett Brown is the right man to guide the team through these difficult times, but there's a real frontcourt logjam that needs to be addressed before the right combination of talent can be added to make this a formidable NBA roster.
The Suns appear to be in a great position for future success, but there are too many veterans getting playing time at the expense of the rookies, at least in the early part of the season before the playoffs are completely out of reach.
Eric Bledsoe is a real first option, and guys like Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss seem poised to develop into legitimate NBA talents. Earl Watson says all the right things as head coach, and the culture he's trying to create should set the franchise up for long-term success.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have young players in D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. who should make for a nice core for the future. And, head coach Luke Walton appears to be the right choice to the lead the franchise back to prosperity.
The only problem is the highly paid veterans, like Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, who don't seem capable of pulling their weight from a production standpoint, even if they are providing valuable leadership to the young guys on the roster.
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Tom Thibodeau is an excellent head coach, and in a dual role as president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, there will be no conflicts with the front office.
Minnesota is set up nicely with players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, and if Kris Dunn can overtake Ricky Rubio for the starting point guard spot, the team will be in an excellent position to make real strides in the very near future.