NBA Off-Season Previews: Forecasting The Summer's Biggest Moves

The NBA off-season is nearly upon us. With that in mind, it's time to look at teams no longer in the playoff picture and forecast their future.
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With the NBA playoffs behind us, the 2017 off–season is here and many teams must make massive decisions. CBA expert Danny Leroux breaks down the major challenges and opportunities for The Crossover's NBA Summer Preview series.

So far, he's touched on the major players in the NBA, touching on teams who suffered early exits from the postseason, including the Bulls, Rockets, Clippers, Raptors, Jazz and Wizards.  

Boston Celtics

While their playoff run ended in dispiriting fashion at the hands of Cleveland, Boston is in a truly remarkable position moving forward because the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference also has significant future assets at their disposal. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Celtics' Win-Now Approach Could Become Costly

Charlotte Hornets

Like so many teams, the Charlotte Hornets spent assertively last summer. They were coming off a playoff appearance and opened the coffers to retain Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams while also giving center Cody Zeller a reasonable extension. After a disappointing 36–46 season, the Hornets now have to figure out how to improve their roster without any salary cap flexibility, made even more challenging by their horrendous acquisition of Miles Plumlee at the trade deadline. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Hornets Have Little To Work With This Summer

Chicago Bulls

A three-day span in mid-April could end up shaping the Chicago Bulls for years to come. The eight-seed won the first two games of their series against the Boston Celtics before Rajon Rondo missed the remaining contests due to a wrist injury. That short success could give executives Gar Forman and John Paxson cover to bring a substantially similar team back next season, which would be a massive mistake. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Jimmy Butler's Future In Chicago Remains Tenuous

Dallas Mavericks

Last summer, Dallas had one of the more successful off-seasons in the league. Outside of overpaying big man Dwight Powell, they were able to bring in Harrison Barnes on a max contract, Andrew Bogut via trade and Seth Curry on an excellent two-year deal. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Mavericks Prepping For Life After Dirk

Houston Rockets

Houston's season ended with a thud, but the off-season offers hope. Last summer, GM Daryl Morey and the Rockets made big moves by signing both Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to four-year contracts while also renegotiating and extending MVP candidate James Harden. Despite those expenditures, the Rockets could potentially become players in the free agent market this summer. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: How Will The Rockets Rebound?

Indiana Pacers

After sneaking into the playoffs only to be swept, the Pacers have an incredibly challenging off-season ahead of them. With Larry Bird gone, new GM Kevin Pritchard will have to decide if the Pacers should try and improve (with insufficient assets to change their fortunes) or rebuild and move key contributors. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Should The Pacers Trade Paul George?

L.A. Clippers 

The Clippers are at a series of crossroads. While many will focus on the franchise’s big decisions more broadly, they only have a modicum of control over the situation because each of their key free agents is unrestricted and can leave of their own volition. READ MORE

NBA off-season preview: The Pressure Is On For L.A. Clippers

L.A. Lakers

On Tuesday night, the Lakers got something very close to their best-case scenario. Beyond keeping their top-three protected first round pick, they also have a very good chance to have local product Lonzo Ball on the board when they pick second overall. That good fortune also means that the team will not have to send a 2019 first round pick to Orlando, instead shipping their second round choices in 2017 and 2018 in order to complete their 2012 trade for Dwight Howard. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Lakers Will Have Massive Opportunity On Draft Night

Miami Heat

With Friday’s news that Chris Bosh’s tenure with the Heat has reached a dispiriting conclusion, Miami’s off-season has come into clearer focus. Moving his $25.3 million off the books takes a heavy burden off the Heat's cap sheet. Pat Riley and the team's front office needs to figure out where they want to go from here. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Will The Post-Bosh Heat Rebuild Or Reload?

Milwaukee Bucks

After some surprising front-office turnover, which saw GM John Hammond leave for the same position in Orlando, the Bucks have a compelling set of challenges this summer. Most importantly, who is going to make them? READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Can The Bucks Grow Into A Contender?

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a fascinating, unique position. They have high-end young talent in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins coupled with a serious amount of cap space after clearing the decks for years. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Wolves' Summer Could Determine Championship Window

New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis is the most recent New Orleans Pelicans first round draft pick on their roster five years after they selected him first overall. Trading all of their selections since, including this year’s for DeMarcus Cousins, has put the organization in a challenging position. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: The Pelicans Are Facing A Ton Of Pressure

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City had an unambiguously successful season after Kevin Durant left for the Warriors without compensation or much of a chance to replace him. Russell Westbrook had an MVP-caliber campaign, the Thunder made the playoffs and their key contributors are under team control moving forward. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Thunder Rebound From Kevin Durant Decision

Portland Trail Blazers

Last summer, Portland’s aggressiveness led them down a perilous path. They had an expiring opportunity to use salary cap space before re-signing their restricted free agents and eventually used it on Evan Turner before retaining Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard on lucrative contracts. After a somewhat disappointing season where they finished with the eighth-best record in the Western Conference, the Trail Blazers have an impressively expensive team with a potentially prodigious luxury tax bill. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Blazers' Hands Largely Tied This Summer

San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio’s first season without Tim Duncan continued their remarkable run of 50+ win seasons, finishing with the league’s second-best record and making the Western Conference finals before losing Kawhi Leonard to an ankle injury and falling to the Warriors in a sweep. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Spurs Playing The Long Game

Toronto Raptors 

Last summer, Toronto retained All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan with a five-year, $139 million contract that appeared to lock in their direction as a franchise for years to come. After all, they had already ponied up to sign DeMarre Carroll and extend Jonas Valanciunas and Terrance Ross in 2015. Even with the rising salary cap, those four contracts plus the eventual big deal for Kyle Lowry was enough to put them on the brink of the luxury tax. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Should The Raptors Keep The Band Together?

Utah Jazz

After years of anticipation, the Utah Jazz finally started delivering on their potential, winning 51 games in the regular season and defeating the Clippers in seven games in the first round. Astonishingly, they were able to reach those heights without their full complement of players, as the projected starting five of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert only played 152 minutes together in 14 games during the regular season. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Jazz's Future Hangs In The Balance

Washington Wizards

Washington finished with the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference and made the second round of the playoffs. As expected, the decisions they made last summer largely locked in their roster for seasons to come but they still have some fascinating challenges. READ MORE

NBA Off-Season Preview: Wizards Primed To Take Next Step