"Let’s sum up: teams who are pretty bad, winning less than 25 games in a season, get better the next year. On average they move up from 20 wins to 28. The year after that they get to 32 wins, then 36, then 39. That obviously isn’t contender level, or even quite playoff-worthy on average (maybe in the East). But it gets you on the treadmill of mediocrity that WoW advises, or at least a move away. The worst teams in this group tend to continue being a little worse than the better teams of the group, but the difference shrinks to the point of non-statistical-significance within two years. So being ridiculously bad isn’t really any worse than being bad. This is probably a reflection of the lottery system (the worst team has typically not ended up with the best pick) and the inaccuracy of draft projections (even when they end up in the right place, teams may end up with a non-superstar player)."