Last week, one of our Community Shootaround discussions focused on this year’s non-playoff teams in the East, asking which of those clubs had done the most to improve its roster so far this summer. The Knicks and Sixers received the most support, but several lottery teams got positive reviews from Hoops Rumors commenters for their offseason work.
Today, it’s time to look at the other eight teams in the East. The Cavaliers, Raptors, Heat, Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Pacers, and Pistons all earned spots in the postseason. How many of those teams will be back in 2017, and how many will drop out?
The Heat had the most notable departure of any of those eight playoff teams, when Dwyane Wade left Miami to sign with his hometown Bulls. But Miami wasn’t the only club to lose a notable player. The Hawks saw Al Horford depart, and the Raptors parted ways with breakout rim-protector Bismack Biyombo.
The Hornets and Pistons, meanwhile, managed to re-sign their own key free agents, including Nicolas Batum and Andre Drummond, and added some complementary pieces. But Charlotte, at least, will have to deal with some notable departures as well, including Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin, and Courtney Lee.
Finally, the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Pacers have all received solid reviews for their summer decisions — in Cleveland’s case, it’s simply enough to bring back most of the team that beat the 73-win Warriors for the championship. For Boston and Indiana, the changes are more notable — the C’s added Horford and No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown, while the Pacers brought in Jefferson, Thaddeus Young, and Jeff Teague, among others.
What do you think? Which of the Eastern playoff teams is most likely to slide down the standings in 2016/17? How many of these eight clubs do you expect to finish in the lottery next year? Is Miami the most obvious candidate to take a step or two backwards, or is there another team more in danger of underachieving?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the Cavs, Raptors, Heat, Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Pacers, and Pistons. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.