Race to the bottom: 11 NBA teams closer to Michael Porter Jr. than the playoffs

While the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics added stars this summer in hopes of competing for championships, a significant portion of the NBA is nowhere near contention. Next year's draft class is headlined by a couple of potential franchise players, Luka Doncic and Michael Porter Jr., and there are several teams that seem to be angling to get one of them. Here's a look at the landscape of the league through a lens where losing big is not necessarily a bad thing:

Brooklyn Nets

Record in 2016-17: 20-62

Offseason moves: The Nets used almost all of their cap space to absorb the large contracts of Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe while adding D'Angelo Russell, a first-round pick, a second-round pick and rookie Jarrett Allen in the process. They'll miss Brook Lopez and they might regret sacrificing that space next summer, but if Russell fulfills his potential, Sean Marks' front office will look brilliant.  

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 21.7

Draft pick situation: The Celtics own their pick, and it is unprotected. Brooklyn owns the Raptors' lottery-protected pick, thanks to the Carroll trade.

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Not happening, obviously. Boston, meanwhile, must hope that Russell struggles to coexist with Jeremy Lin and Brooklyn winds up with an awful record again. This is certainly within the realm of possibility, but the Nets quietly have accumulated some intriguing young players over the past couple of seasons. Much hinges on their development. 

Orlando Magic

Record in 2016-17: 29-53

Offseason moves: Orlando's new front office, led by Jeff Weltman and John Hammond, had a nice offseason, but did not completely change the club's identity. Rookies Jonathan Isaac and Wesley Iwundu are promising; free-agent signings Jonathon Simmons, Arron Afflalo, Marreese Speights and Shelvin Mack will make them deeper. The roster is more interesting now, but there's still no real star or team leader. The Magic were the second-worst offensive team in the league last season -- merely being competent on that end would be a cause for celebration. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 26.3

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Not bad, even though Orlando is more balanced than it was last season and coach Frank Vogel won't be trying to turn Aaron Gordon into a small forward this time around. If the Magic planned to tank, though, they wouldn't have bothered going after the free agents they signed. They've missed the playoffs each of the five seasons since Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard left, and they would like to get closer to being competitive.  

Phoenix Suns

Record in 2016-17: 24-58

Offseason moves: Not a ton of change. Rookie forward Josh Jackson is now part of the core, and guard Mike James should be a fan favorite. They retained Alan Williams, waived Leandro Barbosa and lost Brandon Knight for the season because of a torn ACL. Also, they might not be done -- Phoenix is involved in the Kyrie Irving trade rumors because nobody seems to think Eric Bledsoe has much of a future there. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 29.9

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. They also have Miami's top-seven-protected pick from the 2015 Goran Dragic deal. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Well, the Suns already have proven to be good at tanking. They shut down their veterans late last season and, while they weren't rewarded with the No. 1 pick, they came away with a player lots of teams coveted. They have loads of young talent, and if they keep everyone together, they could win 30-plus games this time. The more likely scenario might be trading Bledsoe and punting another season.  

Chicago Bulls

Record in 2016-17: 41-41

Offseason moves: Sigh. Chicago traded Jimmy Butler to Tom Thibodeau's Timberwolves, and it is basically irrelevant. The future is tied to Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and young players already on the roster. (The Justin Holiday signing was nice, though.)

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 29.9

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Pretty good, which would make the Butler trade a bit more understandable. If Chicago really wants to stink, though, it should move dependable center Robin Lopez and complete the destruction of its solid defense. Dwyane Wade might as well be bought out, too. 

Indiana Pacers

Record in 2016-17: 42-40

Offseason moves: They traded Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, a package that seems as unimpressive now as the day it was done. Jeff Teague walked in free agency, replaced by the two-headed monster of Cory Joseph and Darren Collison. They also waived Monta Ellis, drafted TJ Leaf and replaced C.J. Miles with Bojan Bogdanovic. Not great. 

SportsLine's projected  2017-18 win total: 31

Draft pick situation: They own their pick.   

Likelihood of getting a top pick: A lot depends on Oladipo. He never really meshed with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, but Indiana made a bet he will shine in a bigger offensive role. This is his chance to silence the many, many critics of the George trade. Part of the logic for the deal seemed to be that the Pacers could position themselves to be absolutely atrocious this coming season, tanking for the first time in franchise history. Indiana president Kevin Pritchard has said that he does not want to bottom out. Would a slow start change his mind? 

Atlanta Hawks

Record in 2016-17: 43-39

Offseason moves: Atlanta hit the reset button. Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. This is a team truly without an identity, and it will have seven new players -- Marco Belinelli, Nicolas Brussino, John Collins, Dewayne Dedmon, Tyler Dorsey, Miles Plumlee and Diamond Stone -- to integrate. If the Hawks were to remain in the playoff picture, it would be shocking. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 34.7

Draft pick situation: They own their pick, and they have extra first-rounders from Houston and Minnesota; the latter is lottery-protected. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Looking pretty good. As much as there is to like about the potential of second-year players Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry, Atlanta is extremely low on play-makers. Dennis Schroder once again will have to assume an enormous role on offense, which ranked 27th last season, and the defense won't be great anymore. If this group doesn't stumble upon some magical chemistry, it could be the worst team in the league. 

Dallas Mavericks

Record in 2016-17: 33-49

Offseason moves: They finally have their point guard of the future, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. Other than that they've been quiet; they haven't even re-signed restricted free agent Nerlens Noel

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 38.5

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: You could argue that winning 33 games last season was overachieving based on the roster, and with the West improving this summer, it's going to be a challenge to reach that point again. Noel and Dirk Nowitzki fit nicely with Smith, and Dallas' offense could get better. This team will probably be too good to get a great pick and not good enough to be in the playoff race. 

Sacramento Kings

Record in 2016-17: 32-50

Offseason moves: Everybody loved Sacramento's summer, as the team had an exciting draft and added real professionals in free agency. With De'Aaron Fox, George Hill, Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles and Frank Mason on the roster, this is a genuinely fresh team. Only six players remain from the DeMarcus Cousins era, and three of them were rookies last season. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 35

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: This team is rebuilding in the West, so wins will be hard to come by. The Kings aren't exactly trying to lose -- they wouldn't have signed the vets if that were the case -- but they aren't ready to win much yet. That doesn't mean that they have a good chance of winding up with Porter or Doncic. They probably sacrificed that opportunity when they brought in Hill, Randolph and Carter. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Record in 2016-17: 26-56

Offseason moves: Lonzo Ball is the future face of the franchise, according to Magic Johnson. Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will help next season. Rookie Kyle Kuzma looked like a steal in summer league, and Josh Hart could prove to be the same. Russell, Mozgov, Nick Young and Tarik Black are gone, and the front office is banking on the Lakers being respectable enough to attract two max players next summer. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 35.3

Draft pick situation: Their pick will go to Boston (if it falls between Nos. 2 and 5) or Philadelphia. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Zero. But LaVar Ball's prediction that Los Angeles will make the playoffs seems rather optimistic.

New York Knicks

Record in 2016-17: 31-51

Offseason moves: So much drama. Phil Jackson is out, Derrick Rose is in Cleveland and Carmelo Anthony wants to be in Houston. The Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina, overpaid Ron Baker and really overpaid Tim Hardaway Jr. It is hard to call the summer complete as long as Anthony is on the roster.  

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 35.3

Draft pick situation: They own their pick. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Again, hard to say without knowing how the Anthony situation plays out. It's not quite clear that Kristaps Porzingis is ready to be an anchor an offense, and Hardaway might end up being the second option. There definitely are less talented teams in the East, but don't dismiss New York's capacity for dysfunction. It's easy to imagine this season going sideways quickly, and there's a (pretty persuasive) argument that being horrible is its best path toward finding Porzingis a co-star.

Philadelphia 76ers

Record in 2016-17: 28-54

Offseason moves: They acquired the top pick in the draft to select Markelle Fultz and solidified their rotation by signing J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson to one-year deals in free agency. The summer could hardly have gone better for Philadelphia, and let's not forget Ben Simmons is essentially another addition because he missed his entire rookie season. 

SportsLine's projected 2017-18 win total: 41.7

Draft pick situation: They have their own pick. They also have the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick as long as it doesn't fall between Nos. 2 and 5 in the draft. If it does, then that pick goes to the Celtics. 

Likelihood of getting a top pick: Not nearly as great as the past few years. If they somehow get the No. 1 pick yet again, it will be because injuries derailed their season or the Lakers are truly terrible. Both are possible, but a healthy Philadelphia team could make the playoffs and a cohesive Los Angeles team could be pretty fun.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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