Similarly to the NFL Christmas Lists for each team, I will be doing a list of each NBA team’s Christmas wish. It is still early in the season, but each team has their needs. What better time as well! As Santa Clause is coming to town, and could be giving each team their much needed Christmas Miracle.
A Decent Roster Around Trae Young
Kevin Huerter, Jabari Parker and John Collins are good pieces to start an exciting young roster. Cam Reddish hasn’t lived up to his ceiling and DeAndre Hunter has been just okay. Evan Turner, Vince Carter, and Alex Len are rotational pieces in Atlanta. Come on! Get Ice Trae some HELP!
An Actual Center
Boston feels very undersized. Sure the lineup of Gordon Hayward (once healthy), Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum is sunshine and rainbows now. But come playoff time, who is stepping into the Al Horford role. Who is stopping Giannis? Embiid? Smart isn’t bad, just not big enough. Daniel Theis and Robert Williams are good rotational big men. However the Celtics will need a starting caliber center. Looking at guys like Tristan Thompson, Andre Drummond, or if they’re lucky, one of the Pacers big men, Sabonis or Turner.
This is fine Nets fans. Some of your All-Stars aren’t meshing and Kyrie Irving is on this team? Nothing to worry about? Right? I truly don’t believe there is anything to worry about. But KD had his problems in Golden State, and Kyrie in Boston wasn’t all great either. It might be an overreaction, but the Nets need to mesh better.
Continue to Compete
Currently the 10 seed in the East, the Hornets have been a surprising team to some. Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier have made an impressive guard tandem, and Bridges has taken a step forward. Rumors are circulating around the Hornets and Drummond as well. With that being said, for now the Hornets should be wishing to compete for a playoff spot.
A REAL Point Guard
Yeah Coby White has been a nice guard piece. Zach LaVine can score as well. However the Bulls need a point guard who doesn’t look for his own shot. A guy like Lauri Markkanen can really benefit from a player of that style. Look at Phoenix, they get Rubio, a point guard who gets shooters the ball in good spots, and here they are taking a step forward. The Bulls need a pass first point guard in order to take the next step.
To Be Relevant Again
Sorry Cavs fans. Once LeBron left it has been back to mediocrity, and nobody has been clamoring to watch Cleveland Cavalier basketball. On top of that, Kevin Love is on the trade block, and that’s been the only major Cavs story I’ve seen this year. The Cavaliers should be aiming to gain relevancy once again.
Kristaps Porzingis to Become His Old Self
The Mavericks have been one of the surprises this season. But it is mainly due to Luka Doncic. Porzingis has looked like a player who hasn’t played NBA ball in 2 years. If the Mavericks want to compete to get into the Western Conference Finals, Porzingis will have to get back to the player we saw in his early days with the Knicks.
An Exercise Plan
Sure the Nuggets have been one of the best teams in the West behind the 2 teams in LA. However, Jokic has looked out of shape, and if they want to win the west, he’s going to have to get back into form.
To Play Up to Their Potential
I know they have been Bad Boys in the past, and probably on the naughty list. But Detroit has a nice lineup now with Kennard, D-Rose, BG and Drummond. Let them play up to their potential. The Pistons are struggling to get into the top 8 of a top heavy Eastern Conference and really shouldn’t be.
Golden State Warriors
For Nobody to Watch Them Until Next Season
The Warriors have been one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. But due to their past success, they have gotten a lot of nationally televised games. They should be begging fans not to watch until Steph and Klay get back on the floor because what they put out on a night to night basis is stinkier than reindeer s**t.
Danuel House has been a decent rotational piece playing alongside of Harden and Westbrook. With that being said, Eric Gordon has fought injuries and Gerald Green is out for the year. If Houston truly wants to make some serious noise, they need better wing play.
The Pacers are one of the more intriguing teams in the Eastern Conference. Malcolm Brogdon has taken a massive step forward. Paired with a dominant pair of big men in Sabonis and Turner. The Pacers can make noise in the playoffs. Although they need their superstar if they want to contend for the title.
Los Angeles Clippers
Picture a lineup that has Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Andre Iguodala on the same floor. Now imagine trying to score on that lineup. Exactly.
Los Angeles Lakers
Sure KCP has played better. With that being said, J.J. Redick seems to be a perfect fit alongside of LBJ and AD. He has shown he can be a valuable floor spacer on playoff teams. A move for Redick would make that offense even scarier.
Continue the Young Player Progression
The young trio of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke is going to be a fun trio to watch as the years progress. Right now, Memphis aren’t world-beaters by any means. However, if the trio can continue to progress, the Grizzlies could be a playoff team in the near future.
Another Borderline -Star
Demar Derozan, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Lamarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul. All of which are or could become available as the season progresses. Jimmy Butler is a nice start. But the Heat have a roster make-up that can make a huge splash in the trade market.
A Playmaking Floor Spacer
Bogdan Bogdanović from Sacramento is the name that comes to mind here. Bledsoe is a fine point guard, and Middleton is a good option as well. With this being said, losing Brogdon hurt Milwaukee. Bogdan Bogdanović would give the Bucks a young wing who can run an offense and also stretch the floor for Giannis.
Karl-Anthony Towns needs more recognition for what he has done this season. 26 points a game with 11 rebounds per game with 53.5% shooting, and I do not see much about him. On top of that, Wiggins has taken a step forward as well. Show some love, even though they have fallen off the wagon since their hot start.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pretty simple one here. Their number one pick has not played at all this season. Rumors are circulating about him not playing at all this year either. The Pelicans and their fans can agree that having him healthy will be #1 on their NBA Christmas wish list.
New York Knicks
It’s MSG. It’s the New York Knicks. But they don’t have any starpower. Randle is close, but other than that they have R.J. Barrett, a rookie. They need a guy who can handle the bright lights and thrive in them. After missing out KD and Kyrie, the Knicks need a lot of a help, but getting a superstar could be a start.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Get off Chris Paul’s Contract
The Thunder have made a point to get off of big money. Starting this past offseason, Westbrook and Paul George were both traded. It’s clear there is a rebuild in OKC, and CP3 isn’t a part of their long term plans.
It’s a pretty simple idea. But for the Orlando Magic, they are one of the league’s best defenses and one of the league’s worst offenses. If they want to contend in the playoffs, they will need more scoring. Whether it is a trade, a signing, or a change in scheme, the Magic need to consider it, because that offense is hit or miss on a nightly basis.
Take this as you may. Whether you think Ben Simmons needs to start shooting more, or the 76ers as a whole need more shooting, you are correct either way. There’ll be buyouts and players in the trade market that will make floor spacing better in Philly. But it certainly should be priority #1 on their Christmas Wish List.
Similar to the Timberwolves, the Suns came out of the gates HOT! However they have cooled off recently. However, being in a western conference with the likes of the Grizzlies and Warriors, the Suns deserved to be looked at as a middle of the pack team now.
Portland Trail Blazers
No Zach Collins and Nurkic has really hurt the Trail Blazers. Now going without Rodney Hood as well, Portland’s season has been derailed by injury. Safe to assume Dame and CJ are asking Santa for some healthy players.
De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III Healthy
Many fans penciled them in as a surprise team out west, but they have not lived up to expectation. This is partly due to Fox and Bagley fighting injuries all season long. That duo is the future in Sacramento and if they are on the sidelines watching in a suit, the Kings are in trouble.
San Antonio Spurs
To Move Towards Modern Basketball
Aldridge and Derozan are the big duo for San Antonio. Not a lot of 3 pointers taken there! It’s 2019, teams are taking more three pointers than ever before. The Spurs have to make a move into today’s NBA if they want to compete.
One More Borderline Star
Similar to the Heat, the Raptors have been a pleasant surprise in the East. But if they want to get into the Bucks tier, they need one more scorer. Toronto has the depth, defense, and coaching to be a top 4 team in the Eastern Conference. However, if they want to contend for a back-to-back finals, another scorer could help them do just that.
To Move Into the Eastern Conference
It will never happen, but the Jazz will never be able to beat the Clippers, Rockets, or Lakers in a playoff setting. If they were out east, they might have a better shot to get to the Finals. But until then, the Jazz are stuck with either a first or second round exit.
Washington is the complete opposite of the Orlando Magic. The Wizards have one of the best offenses in the league, but one of the worst defenses in the league. Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans have been nice pieces, as well as their rookie, Rui Hachimura. However, if the Wizards want to make some moves in the East, the defense has to get better.
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