Every summer, ESPN releases a summer forecast of record projections for both conferences. Earlier this afternoon they began posting their Western Conference predictions, one team at a time.
As of now 12 teams have been released. The projected standings are as follows:
15. Minnesota (24-58)
14. Los Angeles Lakers (26-56)
13. Denver (27-55)
12. Sacramento (31-51)
11. Portland (31-51)
10. Phoenix (35-47)
9. Utah (40-42)
8. Dallas (41-41)
7. New Orleans (47-35)
6. Memphis (51-31)
5. Oklahoma City (55-27)
4. Los Angeles Clippers (56-26)
- Phoenix only wins 35 games? Even if Markieff Morris is traded for a single second-round pick that seems like a stretch. I really don't understand ESPN's logic here. The Suns lost some talent but focused on adding mature, professional veterans who are great fits for the roster. Teletovic could be the stretch four they've been missing, while Chandler is the defensive anchor they've always dreamed of. And don't forget the vast potential for internal development as players such as Warren, Goodwin, Len and Knight get older.
- ESPN only gave Sacramento two additional wins, but the Kings added Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli, Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein this offseason. It's strange to think that they would win the same number of games as Portland, who will be starting Ed Davis and Mason Plumlee in the frontcourt.
- Of all teams to give the 8th seed to, they chose Dallas? The Jazz were a truly dominant force to be reckoned with after the All-Star break in 2015, and yet they also only get two wins added to their record.