27. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets may not be making much waves this season but they're quietly in a good spot heading into the second half of the season and, eventually, into the offseason. Let's start with LaMelo Ball, who looks like a solid foundational piece for the Hornets. Is he going to be the face of the franchise for the next decade? Who knows. However, he's a quality player that is only going to get better.
Additionally, Brandon Miller and Mark Williams appear to be quality pieces of a rebuild. Add in they're likely going to get good returns on the trade block for both Terry Rozier (either this year or next season) and Gordon Hayward (likely at this year's NBA Trade Deadline) and have a top 5 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, and it's easy to see how fans can sell themselves on where the Hornets are at this point in their rebuild.
In 1-2 years, I don't think it's all that outlandish to suggest that the Hornets could be in the playoff picture again.