Every NBA team's playoff chances ranked from pipe dream to probable

Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets
Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages
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The Pipe Dream Tier

Charlotte Hornets (13-41)

The inability of LaMelo Ball to stay healthy this season was the death knell for the Charlotte Hornets. Ahead of the trade deadline, Charlotte punted on the season, dealing away Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, and Gordon Hayward, while hanging on to Miles Bridges (per his request). Charlotte has plenty of draft picks to work with in the future, but a roster in tatters for the rest of this year.

Detroit Pistons (8-46)

Unsurprisingly, the team with the longest losing streak in the history of North America's "Big Four" sports doesn't appear to be playoff-bound. The team acknowledged as much by trading away Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to the New York Knicks (without even getting a second-round pick in return). Cade Cunningham is a star in the making, but he can't do it on his own.

Memphis Grizzlies (20-36)

Name a more snakebitten team in the NBA this season. Steven Adams is lost for the season (then traded). Desmond Bane is lost for an extended period. Ja Morant begins the year with a 25-game suspension, then is lost for the season shortly after his return due to injury. It quickly became a lost season in Memphis.

Portland Trail Blazers (15-39)

If Portland somehow gets to a play-in spot, they could have a sneaky shot at success. The Trail Blazers had a quiet trade deadline, hanging on to veterans such as Malcolm Brogdon. There are definitely some young players to like in Rip City, but this core is still a year or two from being a legitimate postseason threat.

San Antonio Spurs (11-44)

Victor Wembanyama is the real deal, and that's pretty much all that matters for the San Antonio Spurs this season. Otherwise, the franchise is going to keep stashing awy draft picks in hopes of contending in a few years.

Washington Wizards (9-45)

The Washington Wizards were widely expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA after training away Bradley Beal in the offseason, and to that end, they did not disappoint. The Jordan Poole trade has been a disaster, Wes Unseld Jr. has lost his coaching job, and the direction of the franchise is uncertain after a quiet trade deadline limited to the moving of Daniel Gafford. Washington has already clinched a sixth straight season with a losing record.