The future is impossible to predict, especially in the NBA. When looking at some NBA teams, it’s easy to see that they have the brightest futures in the league. For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers were bottom five in the league just three years ago; both squads now have championship aspirations and high expectations once the season resumes in Orlando. However, the volatile nature of the league won’t stop fans from projecting who will reign supreme in the coming years.
Ranking the Top Five NBA Teams With the Brightest Futures
5 – Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks were one of only eight teams who weren’t invited to participate in the league’s resumption, but that doesn’t stop them from having one of the most exciting young nuclei in the NBA. Trae Young is already one of the most potent offensive players in the league and could develop into the number one option for a championship team. Meanwhile, John Collins is having one of the most efficient scoring seasons of all-time and is still improving.
Furthermore, rookies De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish got better as the year progressed and Kevin Huerter is one of the best shooters in the league at the age of 21. Trade deadline acquisition Clint Capela will also help shore up Atlanta’s defense, which is the team’s main weakness. All four players could become vital supporting pieces to Young and Collins as Atlanta’s ascension continues.
4 – Memphis Grizzlies
Much like the Hawks, the Memphis Grizzlies will also try and build around their point guard and versatile big man. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. have both shown off their seemingly limitless talent this season; no one expected the Grizzlies to be fighting for a playoff spot coming into the year. Morant has drawn comparisons to former MVP Russell Westbrook due to his athletic ability and fearlessness. Amazingly, the rookie’s true shooting percentage is already better than the league average. This suggests that he could become an efficient volume scorer, which is something that Westbrook never managed to accomplish.
On the other hand, Jackson Jr. seems destined to become one of the best defenders in the league while also being a 40 percent three-point shooter. More importantly, he possesses great ball-handling abilities that could cause matchup nightmares for the opposition. Rounding out the dynamic trio is Brandon Clarke, who also had an eye-opening rookie campaign and could become an All-Star in the near future.
3 – Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are arguably the most well-prepared team on this list to go on a long playoff in Orlando. This is a testament to how well the organization has been run over the past decade, as the Celtics have made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons. Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge form one of the best coach/general manager tandems in the entire league; it wouldn’t be surprising for them to continue finding hidden talent as the team has one of the brightest futures in the league.
In hindsight, it seems like Ainge was right to keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown instead of trading them away. With both players are still in their early 20s, Boston’s window of contention will remain for far longer than if they had acquired big-name players who might’ve left in free agency. The Kyrie Irving trade is the lone exception, but the Celtics didn’t give up much in that deal either. With Tatum and Brown leading the way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an 18th championship banner soon being unveiled in TD Garden.
2 – New Orleans Pelicans
After Anthony Davis demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans last season, many fans envisioned a bleak future for the team. Fortunately, New Orleans secured the number one pick in the 2019 draft and selected Zion Williamson, a generational talent. With their new franchise cornerstone in place, general manager David Griffin was then able to trade Davis to the Lakers for one of the biggest hauls in NBA history.
Most importantly, the Pelicans were able to snag Brandon Ingram in the deal. The forward blossomed into an All-Star and could serve as the number two option beside Williamson for years to come. They received Lonzo Ball as well, who reinvented his jump shot and is still only 22 years of age. On top of all this, New Orleans also acquired a bevy of unprotected draft swaps with the Lakers; these picks could help the team form a strong supporting cast alongside Williamson and Ingram. With two young stars on their side, the Pelicans have one of the brightest futures in the league.
1 – Dallas Mavericks
The youth of the Dallas Mavericks might not be able to compete with the other teams on this list, but the team arguably has the most valuable asset in the entire league in Luka Dončić. The 21-year-old has put up historic numbers while leading the most efficient offense in NBA history during his sophomore campaign. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Doncic is on pace to become one of the greatest players of all-time.
Dallas isn’t a one-man show, either; Kristaps Porzingis will continue to improve as he works his way back from an ACL tear. In fact, the Latvian big man averaged 24.5 points and 10.8 rebounds during February and March when the team was finally comfortable with him playing big minutes. Moreover, the Mavericks are one of the most well-run organizations in the league. Owner Mark Cuban will do anything to improve the team and Rick Carlisle is among the best coaches in basketball. With Dončić leading the way, it’s only a matter of time before the Larry O’Brien trophy returns to Dallas.
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