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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1) Memphis Grizzlies

The Raptors team that has come out of all of the recent moves is the kind Ujiri likes to employ. The team is full of young, fast, scrappy players. The headliner is Scottie Barnes. Fran, this team isn't drastically different from the one that earned a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference a year ago. The fact that they fell all the way to the lottery is stunning, but their level is probably somewhere healthy between the two poles.

The reasons for hope are the same factors that have ruined the Grizzlies this season. Ja Morant missed virtually the whole season between a suspension and an injury. Desmond Bane has missed much of the season. Same goes for Marcus Smart, the key offseason addition, who has played only 20 games and none in nearly three months.

Left to shoulder the load alone, Jaren Jackson Jr. has reminded fans why he's destined for superstardom. This year, the big man is averaging 22.6 points per game, despite a small downturn in his three-point shooting efficiency.

There's also been some intriguing player development as young players have been thrust into major minutes. Among those who have stepped up to the plate and could be contributors next year: Vince Williams Jr., Lamar Stevens, GG Jackson, and Scotty Pippen Jr.

It's just hard to believe the Memphis Grizzlies will have such bad luck again next year. Even in a loaded Western Conference, they should get back into the playoffs next year.