The Los Angeles Clippers, the Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Pelicans are among the teams that are at the lowest risk of losing their postseason spots, according to the NBA.
“We’ve looked at the teams, and they’re not as vulnerable as they might have been,” NBA vice president of basketball operations Jeff Van Gundy said Thursday, via ESPN.
Van Gundy made his remarks to ESPN after the league released its final rankings of the league’s 32 teams on Thursday.
The Los Angles Clippers, who have been the NBA’s No. 1 seed for the past five years, are the only team not to have been included.
The NBA is considering adding the Hawks, who finished with the best record in the league last season and are now searching for their first postseason berth since 2004.
The other four teams to be considered for postseason play include the Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
“I’m not looking for teams that have a good record in a short period of time,” Van Gundys statement read.
“I’m looking for those that have good teams that want to make a push and they have to be smart about how they move forward.”
The Clippers are the reigning NBA champions and won their fourth straight championship last season.
The Hornets are in the midst of a rebuild, which has led to them dropping their first-round playoff series against the Warriors.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are in a rebuilding phase, as they finished last season with a franchise-worst 24-63 record and are searching for a new coach after Mike Budenholzer.
Heat president Pat Riley, who is in his first season in Miami, has also been mentioned as a candidate to replace Budenheimer, who left the Heat for the Knicks last summer.
The Heat are in desperate need of a top-tier point guard to bolster their frontcourt, as Goran Dragic was acquired in a trade with the Boston Celtics.
While it is unclear what will happen with the NBA Finals, Van Gundyds prediction is that all 32 teams will make it to the playoffs.
Follow @Basketball_Pete on Twitter for up-to-the-minute NBA coverage.