With the extreme level of competition in the west this year, a lot would seem to depend on (i) other teams' having health problems, as we need to take some wins from Denver, GSW, Houston, LAC, LAL, Portland and Utah if we're going to win more than 35, (ii) Ayton stepping up, so we have the talent necessary to win series against competitive teams like Sacto, Minny, OKC, San Antonio, Dallas, and New Orleans, and to a lesser extent, (iii) Ty Jerome and/or Cam Johnson being able to contribute in year one, so we have the depth necessary to win games when our starters inevitably suffer injury.
No one can confidently say that we'll be better than all of Dallas, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, SAS and Sacto, which would seem to be the base requirement for us to nab the 8th seed, unless one of GSW, Houston, Denver, LAC, LAL, Portland or Utah somehow slip (GSW seems to be the most vulnerable to me, which doesn't bode well for our chances to move higher than #8). So even if you're a big believer in this team, projecting playoffs for this group seems foolish.
Sad to consider how good we'd look in the East. Just looking at wins for next season, I could see us plausibly getting as high as #3. It's like we have two leagues... Damn. Just look at the enormity of the disparity! Of the 16 best teams in the league, arguably 14 of them would come from the Western Conference if the schedules weren't so lopsided! Would next year's TOR, BOS or BKN make the playoffs in the west? I tend to doubt it!
Here's hoping James Jones manages to trade next year's lottery pick for multiple future firsts and continues to manage the cap wisely. Keep this team together another year or two and perhaps we'll be able to eke into Playoff Bracket A, aka, the Western Conference Playoffs.
I voted 30-34 wins, and I think that's optimistic.