For the 14 teams denied entry to the 2022 NBA playoff party, the promise of the upcoming 2022-23 campaign is a reminder they don't have to be resigned to the same fate.

Not most of them, at least.

While a few squads have seemingly already committed to piling up losses and increasing their draft lottery odds in hopes of adding a Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson, the majority haven't made that concession. They're out to reverse their fortune and use the fuel from last season's sorrows to power them into the 2023 postseason.

Most, however, won't be able to make that jump. There just aren't enough openings to accommodate a huge party of new playoff teams. A fortunate few, though, will make the cut.

Who will be so lucky? Well, it's funny you asked, as we're here to forecast the fates of all 14 lottery teams by buying or selling their postseason chances.

 

Long-term Rebuilders and Tankers

Detroit Pistons

The additions of lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren to a young Pistons core already featuring the likes of Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III should have the Motor City excited. Still, there should also be the recognition that the excitement is tied to the team's long-term potential and not its immediate outlook.

The Pistons could be demonstrably better this season and still never sniff the playoff field. Detroit's 59 losses in 2021-22 were the fourth-most in franchise history.

 

Houston Rockets

It's possible the Rockets assembled their next playoff core over the past two drafts as they added seven first-rounders, including potential centerpieces in Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. Green took a star turn after the All-Star break (22.1 points on 47.6/38.7/75.6 shooting), Sengun flashed a wealth of offensive skills and Smith was expected to go first overall this summer before mini-sliding to Space City at No. 3.

The problem is Green is the senior member of that trio, and he won't be able to legally down an adult beverage until February. This roster is ridiculously young, and it will only get greener once Houston brokers the seemingly inevitable Eric Gordon trade

 

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers finally pulled the plug last season, trading away Domantas Sabonis ahead of the deadline and Malcolm Brogdon over the summer. Subsequent trades involving one (or both) of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield would shock exactly no one. Indy finally seems ready to embrace the rebuild, and it's willing to take a few lumps now to reach the potential prize down the line.

"This is the path we want to go down," Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said, per Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star. "But it only gets us so far. There's a freaking ceiling. What I want to do is remove the ceiling, and it takes time."

Indy may not be shield-your-eyes brutal, as Tyrese Haliburton has a non-zero chance of making the All-Star Game, Hield and Turner will contribute as long as they're around and up-and-comers like Chris Duarte, Jalen Smith and Isaiah Jackson could make big steps forward. Still, the Pacers seem committed to seeing this rebuilding effort to completion, even if that only means maximizing lottery odds for the 2023 talent grab.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

At some point, the Thunder will decide they don't actually need more draft picks and will start converting their many assets into on-court contributors. That turnaround will not happen this season, though.

They've already ruled out No. 2 pick, Chet Holmgren, for the entire season with a foot injury, and an MCL sprain will shelve Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at the start of training camp. Oklahoma City will continue exercising caution wherever it can, as it keeps tanking its way toward a brighter future.

 

Orlando Magic

The Magic are relatively interesting, as they fielded an impressive young core even before adding top pick Paolo Banchero, the draft's most polished scorer, this summer. Throw in the returns of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz—unfortunately delayed by a fractured toe—and Orlando could be fun.

It won't be good, though. Not playoff-good, at least. This offense was grotesque last season, ranking in the bottom five of efficiency, points, field-goal shooting and three-point accuracy. Banchero's arrival and further seasoning of the incumbents will help, but even mediocrity appears out of reach for this attack.

 

San Antonio Spurs

Already in 2022, the Spurs have traded away: Bryn Forbes, Thaddeus Young, Derrick White and Dejounte Murray. With Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson unsigned beyond this season, further swaps could absolutely be in the cards.

In other words, get ready for San Antonio to have the least number of recognizable faces in the Association. Oh, and Keldon Johnson, the most productive player on the roster, will lose at least parts of training camp and the preseason to a dislocated shoulder.