Not every NBA team deserves the consideration of quality free agents.
Market size and appeal is often used to begin this kind of discussion. We’re throwing it out the window. No, you can’t wander around shirtless in Minnesota during the middle of January, but players would be foolish to think syncing up with Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins is a bad basketball decision.
And this is the focus here: squads that don’t offer much basketball value in the short or long term—or both.
Some of these teams will have cap space no matter what. Spending power for others is predicated on secondary roster decisions and moves. Each inclusion will be evaluated against their probable free-agent pursuits—superstars, pricey role players or ring-chasing vets willing to sign below-market deals.
For a variety of reasons, these teams are no-fly zones. They don’t have enough talent, failed to put the right people in power, are headed for an unavoidable nosedive or sport unsightly track records that cannot yet be purged from the record.
Unless they’re being overpaid for their services, players in their target audience would do well to stay away.