The NBA's seven worst teams for next season
On the basis of offseason changes made and not made, here's a projection of the NBA's seven most impotent teams.
1. New Jersey Nets
Even though getting rid of Vince Carter will give the youngsters more time and space in which to grow, the Nets could easily be the worst team in the league. That's because their roster is clogged with too many useless players — Yi Jianlian, Tony Battie, the chronically injured Eduardo Najera and Bobby Simmons. Also because Devin Harris is their only proven go-to scorer.
With Rafer Alston's hometown pals living just across the Hudson River, it will take enormous discipline for him to accept being Harris' backup and to avoid being a troublesome malcontent.
Too many youngsters have to suddenly blossom for the Nets to escape the league's cellar — Brook Lopez, Chris Douglas-Roberts and blue-chip rookie Terrence Williams. In addition, Courtney Lee is still in shock after being evicted from Orlando's sunshine and winding up in the New Jersey swamplands.
What a mess!
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Michael Redd is a shoot-'em-up scorer and Andrew Bogut is one of the most unathletic centers in the league. Brandon Jennings is a brash, undisciplined rookie who's not at all ready for prime-time competition. The only defensive-minded players currently on the Bucks' roster are Kurt Thomas (who's rapidly approaching his 37th birthday), and Bruce Bowen (age 38).
The Bucks will lead the league in at least one category: Being on the short end of the most blowouts.
Indeed, the only realistic goal for the Bucks is to avoid finishing behind the Nets.
3. Sacramento Kings
The Kings feature a roster full of flawed players. Kevin Martin can score points by the dozen, but rarely passes and his version of playing defense is to outscore his opponent. Both Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson are still learning the pro game, but meanwhile, they're forever in foul trouble because of their serious shortcomings on defense. The two young bigs are also extremely turnover-prone.
Francisco Garcia can scoot-and-shoot. Tyreke Evans had better be good enough to move Beno Udrih back to the bench where he rightly belongs. If the oft-injured Andres Nocioni is the best two-way player on the team, it's highly doubtful that his ferocious intensity can keep the Kings from going belly-up by the All-Star break.
4. Indiana Pacers