Southeast Division Preview
As we continue to go through the Eastern Conference this division is going to be the worst in the league and will only have one all-star represented. This will be the only division that a team will not win 50 games this season.
Atlanta Hawks: This team is doing the best Sixers impression the fans will be willing to handle. Drafting Luka Doncic then trading him to Dallas to get an extra first round pick in next years draft could be the biggest blunder a new GM can make. Pushing all-in on Trae Young will backfire and won’t prove to be a smart move due to Young not having an NBA body with no defense and not tall enough to be a team leader at the point guard position. Atlanta however does have some nice young pieces in Taurean Prince and John Collins, this won’t be close enough to have a good record. Expect the Hawks to have the worst record in the league of 16- 62 and try to win the lottery in what looks like to be a weak draft.
Orlando Magic: With a new GM and coach the Magic are looking to revamp themselves in what will look like a year in flux for this roster. Drafting Jonathan Issacs and Mohamed Bamba will be bright spots for a team that is so unexciting that fans will be few and far between. Aaron Gordon has a new contract and is finally ready to step up to give someone the team can build around. The development of Issacs and Bamba this year will be crucial to what the team will look like going forward. This season the Magic will go 32-50 with no playoff run. Look for the Magic to make the playoffs during the 2019-2020 season with this core exceeding expectations and start adding better veteran talent after bad contracts come off the books.
Charlotte Hornets: If you want to look up NBA Purgatory, then look no further than how Michael Jorden has constructed roster. Kemba Walker is their best player and he is on an expiring deal as a good trade asset. Once you look at Nicolas Batum and his contract NBA GM’s cringe on how expensive he is for what you get player wise. Charlotte has drafted poorly and signed the wrong guys in free agency over the years to put them in this place. Stuck not knowing what direction this team is doing Charlotte will end up with a record of 36-46 Walker won’t get traded and will beg a team to take on Batum’s contract.
Washington Wizards: Another year of a solid starting lineup and another year with depth questions. Welcome to a team that thinks they can beat Boston but can barely get to the playoffs. Adding Austin Rivers and Dwight Howard is a significant upgrade to this roster and will prove to pay dividends by having a respectable record and a short-lived playoff run. Rivers bolsters a bench that is in desperate need of upgrading and Howard will provide an inside presence this team has needed for a long time. Wall is starting to become a liability with the size of his contract and his continuing knee problems. If Otto Porter Jr can’t stay healthy this season, this team has no shot at winning a playoff series. Washington will get in as a seventh seed with a record of 46-36 just short of a division title and a first round exit.
Miami Heat: Armed with the best coach in the division and the best player Miami will challenge anybody in the conference with a balanced roster and good player development with the right coach expect the Heat to make some noise come playoff time. Josh Richardson is the best player in this division and he is only getting better. Richardson can do it all from ball handling, three-point shooting, defensive ability he is the total package and only getting better. Throw in Waiters Island, Goran Dragic & Hassan Whiteside and you have a division champion who will have a record of 49-33 the fifth seed in the East and win a playoff series.