Brick by Brick: Five NBA Teams Who Should Start Rebuilding

Brick by Brick: Five NBA Teams Who Should Start Rebuilding image

📖 Published on: May 17th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 20th, 2024

⏳ 12 mins read


A rebuild can be seen as tedious work and can be boring for many fans who are keen to see their teams rise into promising elite squads in the league. Of course, every team goes through that process in order for them to build a team that is capable of putting up impressive campaigns in the NBA. But who should get started in rebuilding in their respective squads this offseason?


What is a Rebuild?


A rebuild is a basketball strategy not in the game, but for the management as a whole. It is the act of revamping the whole team in terms of players and coaching staff. This can be either moving on from their respective stars, either by trade or waiving, as well as accumulating draft capital. There are also certain moves by the organization to come up with trades to acquire what they think can be future stars in the game, which is why there are many gambles taken by teams with the hopes of creating the best teams that we are seeing right now.


Victor Wembanyama is a product of the Spurs rebuild image


Of course, a rebuild isn’t done overnight as well. There are times when teams have to play patient in their games and wait for their chance. This can be seen in waiting for their draft picks to turn out in the lottery, players to get playoff experience – it is a step-by-step process that requires teams to wait out for the right moment to contend on the big stage, and carry a bigger presence in the postseason after that.


Oklahoma City has a chest box of draft picks up to 2029 image

What makes a rebuild more of a gamble is that there are no guarantees. No rebuild is going to guarantee that you can actually come up with a winning team right away. For instance, there are many teams that are so-called “black eye of the league” and “poverty franchises”. These are organizations that went on a rebuild but have failed to come up with impressive strides in their games. Some of these teams right now are the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards, who have nothing to show for their rebuild so far.


Successful Rebuilds for Blueprint


As said before, not all rebuilds are successful at an instant, and not all guarantee championships right away. Some of the biggest rebuilds we have seen over the years have taken some time before they actually translated into big wins with a promising roster full of young talent. Still, there are still a few teams that have managed to build their rosters out from scratch and have made their presence felt in the NBA this season.


Orlando Magic


The Orlando Magic made a surprising leap and exit from their rebuild image


The Orlando Magic finished the regular season with a 47-35 record, finishing above .500 for the first time since the 2018-19 season. They built around a core of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs, along with a set of quality players to fill their squad. It also proved to be crucial in Jamahl Mosley’s leadership as they waited three seasons to get back into the playoff stage. This rebuild took three years to complete – at least until the team made its return to the big stage. Their first appearance since 2019-20? The Magic forced a Game 7 battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, showing off their promising potential in the playoff stage.


Oklahoma City Thunder


Well, if we’re going to talk about rebuilds, you won’t have to look far than the Oklahoma City Thunder, which arguably came up with the fastest rebuild in the history of the NBA. OKC started its rebuild after Game 7 exit to the Houston Rockets in the 2020 Playoffs. Since then, OKC had two losing seasons – with their third overall season ending up with a loss in the Play-In Tournament, but having a +16 win jump from their previous campaign. OKC built around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, while amassing a hoard of draft picks that spans all the way to 2029. They have landed talents such as Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Josh Giddey, as well as a well-rounded supporting cast. This season, OKC finished with a 57-25 record, earning the first seed for the first time since 2013 and the best record in the West, even sweeping the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.

OKC has officially finished their rebuild after a promising playoff run image


Which Teams Should Get Started in Rebuilding?


Looking at the season right now, the NBA is locked in a battle with the teams waging war in the Conference Semis. It is worth noting that these teams are composed of teams that have been built well through time, such as the Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Indiana Pacers. And wouldn’t you know it, the eliminated teams are composed of those teams that were assembled with existing stars and more focus on quick fixes.


Here are some of the NBA teams that should get started on the rebuild process now:


Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers had great chances to win a title image


The Los Angeles Clippers is the least successful team in the NBA over the years. The team has managed to come up with 18 postseason berths, but no championships to show for it. The Tyronn Lue-led Clippers did enjoy some impressive strides with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the core, reaching the Conference Finals for the first time in the 2020-21 season. However, it has been downhill ever since. Injuries to Leonard and George have led them to miss the 2021-22 season, and suffered first-round exits in the next two years, including the recent loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Even with James Harden and Russell Westbrook added to the mix, the team still failed to show up big in their games. The only thing is, the team doesn’t have draft capital after trading for Paul George, giving it all to Oklahoma City. Now their only option for a rebuild? Trading away their stars.


Philadelphia 76ers


The Process needs to start over for the Sixers image

The Philadelphia 76ers have never made it past the second round since the “Process” era of Joel Embiid began. Embiid was drafted in the 2016-17 season, and wanted himself to be the defining icon of the Sixers, and he did well to become the team’s leader and proved his worth over the years. However, the Sixers have lost five times in the Conference Semis, not being able to push through, even suffering two first-round exits in that seven-year stretch, including a 4-2 loss to the New York Knicks. It is high time for them to move on and come up with a rebuild and build around another budding star instead, Tyrese Maxey. They do have some good draft capital and tradeable assets, which should aid them in that rebuild, especially if you trade Embiid away.


Phoenix Suns


Well, it does seem that star-studded teams don’t really turn out as promising as they can be. The Phoenix Suns did a soft rebuild of their own when they initially added Kevin Durant to the mix of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and DeAndre Ayton. Nothing has been the same since the Suns reached the NBA finals in 2021, with two second-round exits in a row to the team. When they lost to the Nuggets last year, Paul and Ayton were shipped off to free up cap space, and the Suns added Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurkic in return – only to get swept in the first round at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team should get rid of their stars now and amass the draft capital they lost, or they’ll be a poverty franchise in the years to come.

The Suns are in limbo with their stars right now image


Miami Heat


The Jimmy Butler era is ending now more than ever image


The Miami Heat has been running with the same core since the 2019-20 season, and they have done some beautiful strides over the years. Two trips to the NBA Finals, and a consistent rally in the postseason in the last five years. However, they haven’t made their stride to win the championship, which says a lot about their lack of success even with a consistent presence in the playoffs. It is time to call the Jimmy Butler era quits and create a team-based squad that relies well on one another – and a rebuild should help them with some good trades. That should give them a chance to become one of the best contenders in the East in no time.


Golden State Warriors


End of an era in Golden State image


Every dynasty has its end, and it does seem that the Warriors seem to notice that. Golden State may have won the 2022 NBA Finals, but a Conference Semis exit in 2023 and a Play-In blowout loss this year seems to be the nail in the coffin. The trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are all built via draft, which shows you the most successful rebuild that the Warriors have seen so far. But now it is time to call it a successful legacy and move on, especially with a lot of key young players coming into the mix for the team. There’s still hope to build around the big three should they want it, but all signs point towards a possible rebuild and start off anew for the team now more than ever.


Special Mention: Los Angeles Lakers


The Lakers have some tough decisions this summer image

As far as rebuilds go, no other team deserves to be mentioned than the other five teams. However, the Lakers are in some of the weirdest positions in the game as well. LeBron James is already mulling his options to go into the free agency market, and there are even talks of Anthony Davis moving on and hoping for a trade. Let’s not forget the fact that Darvin Ham and the rest of the coaching staff have been fired, which hints at a possible revamp for the team. To be fair, this Lakers squad is built off of trades, especially in last season’s trade deadline, which just says a lot about how the team needs to come up with a rebuild and start over, this time with draft assets and key trades in use.


What to Expect in the NBA Offseason


The NBA offseason is going to be wild with a lot of possible firings, trades, signings, and many other eventful happenings that will definitely shake up the league’s balance of power, and nothing can be more than a promising twist than to see some of the most fiery teams initiate a rebuild in their squads in the coming months, which just shows how much of a big twist it will be for the NBA now more than ever.


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