How should each NBA team approach trades, the draft and free agency as the 2021-22 season comes to a close?
We’re breaking down the key priorities, big questions and potential moves for each franchise. This includes projected salary-cap sheets, depth charts, roster restrictions, dates to watch, extension candidates and draft intel.
Some teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have been eliminated from the playoffs but have the core talent in place to make a deeper run next year, and getting there is just a matter of making some smaller moves to improve their depth.
Then there’s a long list of teams in the middle of the pack including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks. Those teams probably won’t find themselves contending for a championship next year, but could at least make a run at the play-in tournament with some smart offseason moves.
Teams will continue to be added as they are eliminated from the postseason.
What are the key priorities and questions for each team?
• Find a backup center.
• Re-sign Robert Covington.
• How can the team improve its rebounding?
• Consolidate their three first-round draft picks or move players on the current roster.
• Make a decision on Lonnie Walker’s future with the team.
• Restructure Russell Westbrook‘s contract or find a way to move him.
• Get Anthony Davis healthy.
• Find bench depth without much cap space or high draft picks.
• Make a decision on Richaun Holmes‘ future with the team.
• Find back-court depth, with an emphasis on shooters.
• Hire an experienced head coach.
• Invest in the development of Anfernee Simmons and Nassir Little.
• Find front-court starters.
• Use cap space and draft picks to acquire a star via trade (Tobias Harris).
• Acquire veteran depth that doesn’t impede the development of young players.
• Find a starting and backup point guard.
• Acquire a defensive playmaker in the front court.
• Should the team buyout the last year on John Wall‘s contract?
• Get Ben Simmons healthy
• Have Kyrie Irving opt into his player option for the upcoming season
• Add bench depth
• How can the team avoid injuries to key players next season?
• Make a decision on Collin Sexton‘s future with the team.
• Sign Darius Garland to a long-term contract.
• Extend Miles Bridges.
• Who is the right head coach for LaMelo Ball‘s development?
• Find a legitimate starting point guard.
• Should Julius Randle be a part of the team’s future?
• Extend Bradley Beal to a long-term contract.
• Be patient with Kristaps Porzingis.
• Extend Myles Turner to a long-term contract.
• Acquire a dependable starting power forward.
• Find depth at small forward.
• Acquire a starting point guard to complement Cade Cunningham off the bench.
• Find more shooters off the bench through free agency or the draft.
• Find a backup small forward and center.
• How can the team develop its young nucleus?
• Find bench depth at all positions.