Biggest Offseason Questions for Every NBA Team in the Eastern Conference

Biggest Offseason Questions for Every NBA Team in the Eastern Conference
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Boston Celtics: What’s their long-term tax plan?

The Celtics have a championship-caliber team but face significant financial decisions. With key players like Jayson Tatum and Derrick White due for extensions, and having already extended Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis, managing the luxury tax and avoiding the punitive second apron is crucial. This summer, Boston needs to strategize how to maintain their roster while balancing the financial impact over the next few years.

New York Knicks: Is this the summer they get their superstar?

After a successful playoff run, the Knicks are poised to hunt for a superstar to pair with Jalen Brunson. The key question is whether they will trade Julius Randle and draft picks for a top-tier player this summer or wait for the ideal superstar to become available. The Knicks need to determine if they will make a significant move now or remain patient for a future opportunity.

Milwaukee Bucks: How are they going to find perimeter defence?

With the departure of Jrue Holiday, the Bucks’ perimeter defence has significantly weakened. Deep into luxury tax territory, the Bucks must explore creative options, potentially involving trades of key players like Khris Middleton or Brook Lopez, to shore up their defensive capabilities. This offseason, the Bucks need to address their defensive deficiencies to remain competitive.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Who’s getting traded?

Cleveland faces a potential roster shake-up with Donovan Mitchell’s uncertain contract extension status. If he doesn’t extend, Mitchell might be traded, or Darius Garland could seek a trade. Jarrett Allen’s fit with Evan Mobley is also in question, making him a likely trade candidate. The Cavaliers need to decide whether to maintain their current roster or make significant changes to better align their player combinations.

Orlando Magic: Where are they finding shooting?

The Magic have a surplus of wing players but lack reliable backcourt shot creation. They need to add shooters to complement playmakers like Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. Potential targets include veterans like Klay Thompson or younger options like Anfernee Simons. Improving their shooting is essential for Orlando to take the next step.

Indiana Pacers: Is this team willing to pay the tax?

With max contracts for Tyrese Haliburton and Pascal Siakam and potential extensions for T.J. McConnell and Andrew Nembhard, the Pacers are approaching the luxury tax threshold. The ownership’s willingness to pay the tax will be critical in determining whether they can retain their core players and continue building a competitive team.

Philadelphia 76ers: How are they finding depth?

The 76ers are expected to pursue a third superstar to join their roster, potentially using around $60 million in cap space. However, constructing a deep and balanced team with the remaining cap space will be challenging. Philadelphia must focus on finding quality role players to support their top talent and ensure a well-rounded roster.

Miami Heat: Are they ready for a reset?

With Jimmy Butler nearing 35 and seeking an extension, the Heat face a tough decision. Trading Butler for assets could position Miami to rebuild around Bam Adebayo and prepare for future success. However, the Heat traditionally prefer to add stars rather than rebuild, making this a pivotal offseason for their strategic direction.

Chicago Bulls: Will they finally tank?

The Bulls’ recent trade of Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey signals potential changes. Chicago needs to decide whether to retain veterans like Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan or embrace a rebuild focused on developing young talent around Giddey. A commitment to tanking could position them better for the future, especially with draft considerations in mind.

Atlanta Hawks: Is there a worthwhile trade offer out there?

The Hawks need to address the fit issues between Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. While exploring trades for Murray, the market has yet to offer substantial returns. Atlanta must evaluate their trade options and decide whether moving one of their star guards is necessary to improve team cohesion and performance.

Brooklyn Nets: Do they understand how badly they need to trade Mikal Bridges?

The Nets aim to find a star guard to pair with Mikal Bridges, but the potential ceiling of such a duo is limited. Trading Bridges for draft assets, particularly from Houston, could facilitate a more comprehensive rebuild. Brooklyn needs to assess the long-term viability of their current strategy and consider embracing a full rebuild.

Toronto Raptors: Can anyone emerge as a co-star?

Scottie Barnes’ emergence as an All-Star is promising, but the Raptors need other players to step up as reliable co-stars. With recent trades for younger talents like Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, Toronto is banking on its development program. Success will depend on these players realizing their potential in expanded roles.

Charlotte Hornets: Will they start defending?

Charlotte’s defence has been lacklustre outside of Mark Williams. Improving team defence, especially from key players like LaMelo Ball, is crucial. New coach Charles Lee needs to instil a defensive mindset in the young roster to make the Hornets competitive.

Washington Wizards: Can they find a way to just be normal?

Amid a rebuild, the Wizards need to avoid the chaotic play that marked last season. Adding a veteran presence and establishing a more disciplined approach will be key to developing their young talent and avoiding becoming a perennial bottom-dweller.

Detroit Pistons: Can they balance out the roster?

The Pistons have a mix of young guards and big men but lack versatile wings. Adding shooting and veteran leadership to balance the roster is essential for creating an environment where their young talent can thrive. Detroit needs to make strategic additions to support its core players.

These key questions will shape the offseason strategies for each Eastern Conference team as they prepare for the upcoming NBA season.


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