4 lottery teams guaranteed to make the NBA playoffs in 2024–25

Washington Wizards v Houston Rockets
Washington Wizards v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Most of the NBA is still jockeying for a spot in the playoffs, or at least the play-in tournament. Some teams, however, are jockeying for draft positions after seeing their seasons slip away.

As of this writing, four teams are already out of contention for the postseason: the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, the Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs. Many more will follow suit in the coming days and weeks, until we're left with 16 playoff teams and 14 lottery teams.

While those two groups are broad, neither is a monolith, particularly in the lottery. Some teams are on the playoff fringe, some are far from contention but lining up top picks (and talent) quickly, and some are just treading water.

The playoffs are the bare minimum goal for virtually every NBA team in every season. But not every team that misses the postseason this year is going to have a shot at making it next year.

What NBA teams tied to the lottery in 2023–24 are poised to break through and reach the playoffs in 2024–25?

There are a few teams that will make it to the play-in tournament, only to fall short of getting the one or two victories they need to advance to the proper postseason. Those teams are obvious candidates to jump from the lottery to the playoffs.

But there are also franchises that just need to make one or two moves to make a big leap next season and can do so in free agency or the draft. Here are four teams that can make the leap next season.