The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Comeback Season In The Works: 2019 NBA Draft Preview


For the New York Knicks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns, the 2018-2019 NBA season isn’t over yet. With the 2019 NBA Draft less than a month away, these teams have the opportunity to rebuild their franchises into up-and-coming title contenders.

The Knicks, Suns, and Cavaliers clocked in with the worst records out of all 30 teams in the NBA, winning a combined 55 games, which is less than the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks with 60 wins.

Going into the 2019 offseason with very disappointing records, these teams have subsequently put themselves in a great rebuilding position for next season.

Each team has a 14 percent chance of getting the number one overall pick in the draft, and with standout players such as Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Ja Morant on the draft board, these teams could improve substantially..

Story continues below advertisement

NBA fans don’t realize that these three teams have put themselves in a position to excel in the future.

The common misconception is that their constant losses were a result of bad management and player performances only, but in reality there was incentive to “tank” this season. Tanking is a common strategy among developing NBA teams, referring to teams purposely losing in an effort to receive odds at a higher draft pick for the following draft.

 Sports news site Bleacher Report claimed, “It’s not the most innovative strategy, but it’s a sound one, one they’ve [Knicks] remained committed to.”

Interestingly, the tables could turn next season. With the array of talented free agents and draft prospects, these seemingly laughable teams could turn into potential NBA dynasties.

The last time the New York Knicks reached the postseason was in 2013 when they finished in second place, led by future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony. Even worse, the last time the Phoenix Suns made it to the playoffs was the 2010 season, back when Hall of Famer Steve Nash was in the twilight of his career.

The only exception of the three teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, who prior to this season had made it to the past four NBA finals. It wasn’t until star player LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving his hometown team for the bright lights of L.A. The Cavs finished with a mere 19 wins, 31 fewer wins then they had in their previous season.

Here’s how those three teams could completely turn around following the draft:

New York Knicks

Over the past five years, the New York Knicks have struggled to find a balanced roster capable of making the playoffs. Having drafted Frank Ntilikina and picking up undrafted free agent Luke Kornet, the Knicks struggled to find a consistent point guard and power forward to lead their team. Many media outlets have claimed that Ja Morant and Zion Williamson are the only two players who could transform this Knicks into something unseen before.

When asked for his thoughts on the Knicks’ potential next season following the draft and the offseason, Robert Wolkenbrod of claimed, “Zion Williamson is the only player in this draft class capable of transforming a franchise into a title contender.”.

He also noted that the NBA is a multi-star league, and with the extra cap space in free agency as well, Knicks fans are in for a treat. “Potentially working with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving? That’s exciting for Knicks fans and frightening for everyone else,” Wolkenbrod said.

Phoenix Suns

As previously mentioned, the past couple of years have been a true playoff drought for the Phoenix Suns. Through the drafting of sharpshooter Devin Booker in 2015 and Deandre Ayton in 2018, the Suns have added essential building blocks to their roster. Not to mention the recent acquisition of 6’7” small forward Kelly Oubre Jr, the Phoenix Suns have a young core, but they are desperate for that game-changing factor like Willamson or Morant. The Suns are projected to have a top 5 pick for this draft, and this years draft class offers many individuals capable of taking over the franchise.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs, who went to four straight NBA finals and upset the 73 win Golden State Warriors took their realm as one of the greatest franchises in NBA history, are now at the bottom of the NBA standings. What happened? They traded their young point guard Kyrie Irving and lost arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, LeBron James.

Left with merely unfinished puzzle pieces, the Cavs need some sort of spark for next season. There is clearly hope, however, with the developing point guard Collin Sexton, and the experienced Kevin Love, the team lacks a consistent offensive powerhouse. For the first time since 2014, the Cavs appear poised for a top 5 pick in the NBA draft, and with speculations concluding that Duke’s RJ Barrett is under their radar, Cavs fans can now believe that they’re headed for a comeback.

The draft is only a month away, so at this point, these teams must continue planning out their future. For these struggling NBA fans, there is clearly hope, but all we can do is wait.


By: Diego Maldonado

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All International Dateline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *