NBA poverty franchises: Brooklyn Nets, Mavericks, Hornets
The competitive life of an NBA franchise is delicate. A team’s championship relevance depends on many factors, including the competence of the front office, the coaching staff, and the total amount of star power on the court. “Poverty” in the NBA sense can be defined by the corrosion of team ethics and business method.
The line between poverty and purgatory is a razor’s edge. Many franchises oscillate between the two as they balance front office scandals while appeasing superstar talents (see the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets). But there are usually a few acceptable metrics to label a franchise as “poor.” The term can be misleading and is assumed to mean a team is broke in terms of talent, cap space or project capital. These factors contribute, but it’s more about the moral and existential dilemmas that haunt a team on and off the court. We’ve rounded up the franchise that has fallen off the ethical cliff as we also head into internal implosion to find out who has earned the title of poverty franchise.
Because of the proximity to the coast, franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors can have prolonged success as free agent destinations. Smaller markets rely on the draft and calculated trades to stay competitive, but may see their window close when their star looks for a more cosmopolitan city. For years, the league’s poverty franchises were the usual suspects, the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. These three teams were the epitome of NBA poverty, racking up losing records and squandering young talent and draft picks while mired in controversy on and off the court. But all three teams have turned the corner over the past two years into competition and mediocrity, a level above poverty in Dante’s NBA Inferno. This list will indicate which three teams, due to recent mistakes on and off the court, have taken their place as poverty franchises.
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