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Team Future Rankings

flyerhawk

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Bucky's list was pretty messy so I figured I would give my view of the future rankings of various teams. I will give 2 rankings, near term(next 1 to 2 years) and long term(3+ years out) with a 1-10 grade with 1 being Isiah Thomas Era Knicks bad and 10 being 2014 Warriors good.

I'm listing the teams in near term order.

LA Clippers(Near Term- 9, Long Term-3) - This team is a win now team. And they very well may win it all. But they gave up a TON to get that win now chance and given the brittleness of their 2 stars and the picks they gave up, it is hard to see this team being competitive in 5 years)

Milwaukee Bucks(Near Term - 8, Long Term - 6-8) - There are still questions about how playoff ready this team is and whether they will always be a regular season monster that fades in the playoffs as constructed. But they have plenty of talent and a relatively easy change could vault them to title favorites. Long term it will all depend on Giannis and what he chooses to do. He leaves and they will be back to obscurity.

LA Lakers(Near Term - 8, Long Term -4) - Similar to the other LA team they gave up the future for a chance to win a title now. The Lakers could win it this year but probably my No. 3 team in terms of odds. Their long term future is not great given their lack of assets and Lebron's age.

Philly Sixers(Near Term - 7, Long Term - 7) - They have arguably the most talented starting 5 in basketball but they continue to struggle to make it work. OTOH, the team was built for the playoffs so they may never look super smooth in the regular season. They are likely to make some small changes near term. Long term they have 2 elite level talents in Ben and Embiid that they may need to break up to reach their fullest potential. Remains to be seen on that.

Houston Rockets(Near Term 7, Long Term 5) - Harden is incredible but it is hard to see this team having enough horses to beat the LA teams in the playoffs. They gave up a bunch of assets to get Russ their. Going to be tough for them to fill gaps. Long term would be higher if not for Morey's bad image right now because he is a great GM.

Miami Heat(Near Term - 6, Long Term - 6) - They have some nice young pieces in Bam and Herro but their star is a mercurial tricenarian(looked that word up) who has a lot of miles in the odometer. They lost a bunch of assets going forward.

Boston Celtics(Near Term - 6, Long Term - 8) - The Celtics are a really good team but as constructed they just aren't title contenders. They are asking way too much from guys like Kanter. Long term Brown and Tatum are 2 great pieces to have and give them a lot of optimism.

Denver Nuggets(Near Term - 6, Long Term 7) - Deep roster that will win a lot of regular season games. It's unclear how dedicated Jokic is to reaching his max potential though and they need that to have a chance. Lots of depth but no real No. 2. But all that depth gives them plenty of assets to move to build in the future.

Utah Jazz(Near Term -6, Long Term 6) - Really nice collection of talent but there are lots of questions about whether Gobert is a playoff caliber star. The Jazz could be a 50+ win team for the next 3 years and never get past the 2nd round of the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors(Near Term 6, Long Term - 8) - Raptors have some really nice pieces. Siakim is a budding star. But this team is back to being a good regular season team that has dim title hopes. But they have a bunch of contracts clearing up and an aggressive GM who has shown an ability and willingness to make big moves.

Indiana Pacers(Near Term 5, Long Term 6) - The Pacers are stuck in pretty good basketball purgatory. Not bad enough to be able to draft a superstar, not good enough to really threaten for a title. They have some nice pieces though.

Dallas Mavericks(Near Term 5, Long Term 8) - Doncic looks like a guy that will be a 1st team All-NBA player for a lot of years. Ziggy is still a candyass so it's hard to believe that he will somehow stay healthy long enough for this team to be a real title threat. But you can't deny the potential over the next 5-8 years if they can get lucky with a player or two.

OKC Thunder(Near Term 5, Long Term 9.5) - You have to be impressed with how the Thunder have been playing. Given up your two best players. Get a treasure trove of picks back plus SGA and Chris Paul. They are a 1st round exit team but given they have something like 15 1st round picks over the next 7 years, they are going to have a LOT of bites at the apple.

Brooklyn Nets(Near Term 5, Long Term 7) - They have no chance this season but who knows next year. Of course their chances live purely on whether Kyrie can ever learn to be a good teammate. It's possible certainly but I don't love the odds.

Orlando Magic(Near Term 5, Long Term 6) - OK team team Hell. Not enough talent to take it to the next level. But they have some pieces they could work with and if Fultz ever remembers how to shoot, who knows?

New Orleans Pelicans(Near Term 5, Long Term 7) - We still have to see what Zion can actually do in the NBA. But the Pels have turned it around pretty nicely and have a nice mix of young players and vets.

San Antonio Spurs(Near Term 4, Long Term 4) - Pop has a year maybe two left. The cupboard looks pretty bare. They had an incredible run but now they have to live with the transition.

Sac Kings(Near Term 4, Long Term 6) - They have some nice pieces. But they aren't playing nice with each other now. Their front office has been a problem for a long time. So the 6 may be more optimistic than they really deserve.

Portland Trailblazers(Near Term 4, Long Term 4) - Classic example of good team purgatory. They need to blow things up.

Detroit Pistons(Near Term 4, Long Term 5) - Their super expensive star can't stay healthy. No one will take that contract. Looks like Piston fans will just need to wait out the storm for a few years.

Charlotte Hornets(Near Term 4, Long Term 2) - Playing better than I expected but this team has no future.

Memphis Grizzlies(Near Term 4, Long Term 7) - Playing better than I expected and may have hit the jackpot with Morant. Jackson still has loads of potential as well.

Minnesotate T-Wolves(Near Term 4, Long Term 6) - Their long term would be worse if not for KAT. But ultimately they won't be able to keep him unless they can do something dramatic to change things around.

Chicago Bulls(Near Term 4, Long Term 5) - The Bulls seem to be perpetually mired in being a later lottery team. No reason to think that is going to change.

Washington Wizards(Near Term 3, Long Term 2) - Also playing better than I expected. But they have an albatross of a contract that will screw them for the foreseeable future.

New York Knicks(Near Term 3, Long Term 2) - This team is screwed until Dolan finally sells them

Cleveland Cavaliers(Near Term 2, Long Term 2) - Not much to get excited about here. Their best player is about to get traded and their young guys have not exactly lit the world on fire.

Atlanta Hawks(Near Term 2, Long Term 6) - They are going to be forever crucified for trade Doncic for Young. Young is a pretty good player. Might make an all star team. Doncic is a transcendant player. Seems like this team is barely trying right now.

Golden State Warrirors(Near Term 1, Long Term 6) Hard to know what Klay and Steph will look like a year older with a largely new team. But they will have a Top 4 pick and whatever they can get for trading Russell.
 

CitySushi

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@flyerhawk

Pretty great list. Only issue I have with it is that near term and even long term don't take into account ownership and front office. And of course I believe the Warriors should be much higher near term (shocker I know). A healthy Steph, Klay and Draymond are immediately better than a dozen teams above them next season.
 

flyerhawk

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@flyerhawk

Pretty great list. Only issue I have with it is that near term and even long term don't take into account ownership and front office. And of course I believe the Warriors should be much higher near term (shocker I know). A healthy Steph, Klay and Draymond are immediately better than a dozen teams above them next season.

Yeah. I thought about including ownership and front office but outside of a few teams, I think we judge them by their results and have no other mechanism to evaluate them.

The Warriors could definitely turn it around but I think that it would take a near miracle for them to do so next year. Klay, and probably Steph, will be a year older and coming off injuries. Draymond's game has been declining. The rest of their team is going to be very young. So while I do think they will be much much better next year, I don't think it will be a playoff caliber season for the Warriors.
 

trojanfan12

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Yeah. I thought about including ownership and front office but outside of a few teams, I think we judge them by their results and have no other mechanism to evaluate them.

Agree with Sushi, good list.

You use things like potential future injuries/brittleness to downgrade the Clips future, but don't want to consider FO/Ownership?

I think we can use the history of an FO/Ownership just as we can use a players injury history.

For example, maybe you downgrade the Clips future because of the relative brittleness of Kawhi and PG...but you can also give them an upgrade because they have a really good coach, The Logo in their FO and their owner is willing to spend a shit ton of money.

The Lakers are interesting and I think where you have their future is probably about right, given what we know right now.

For their players, Lebeon is old, but AD is only 26 and if Kuzma can continue to develop, they'll be good at those 2 spots. But, AD has an injury history and while the organization has a history of really good FO moves, this FO is largely unproven.
 

flyerhawk

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Damn, no Suns.

Darnit. Sorry about that.

Phoenix Suns(Near Term 5, Long Term 5). They made some nice draft and have some pretty promising players. But there doesn't seem to be any plan in place other than just get lucky with draft picks. Honestly I really don't know what to make of their future. So I'm kinda hedging on this.
 

flyerhawk

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Agree with Sushi, good list.

You use things like potential future injuries/brittleness to downgrade the Clips future, but don't want to consider FO/Ownership?

I think we can use the history of an FO/Ownership just as we can use a players injury history.

For example, maybe you downgrade the Clips future because of the relative brittleness of Kawhi and PG...but you can also give them an upgrade because they have a really good coach, The Logo in their FO and their owner is willing to spend a shit ton of money.

The Lakers are interesting and I think where you have their future is probably about right, given what we know right now.

For their players, Lebeon is old, but AD is only 26 and if Kuzma can continue to develop, they'll be good at those 2 spots. But, AD has an injury history and while the organization has a history of really good FO moves, this FO is largely unproven.

I generally tried to stick to on court factors because it's hard to know the other stuff. Is the Lakers FO good now? I dunno. Or the Twolves? Or the Sixers? I know that Danny Ainge is very good. I know that Ujiri made a huge move that really paid off. I know Morey has done a lot of stuff in the past. I guess we could do an NBA owner power ranking and FO power ranking and use that to influence their overall ranking.
 

msgkings322

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Yeah. I thought about including ownership and front office but outside of a few teams, I think we judge them by their results and have no other mechanism to evaluate them.

The Warriors could definitely turn it around but I think that it would take a near miracle for them to do so next year. Klay, and probably Steph, will be a year older and coming off injuries. Draymond's game has been declining. The rest of their team is going to be very young. So while I do think they will be much much better next year, I don't think it will be a playoff caliber season for the Warriors.

The rest of their team will include a 4th name who they get for DLo and the pick. Probably not young. They are a playoff team next year for sure, and possible contenders depending on who that 4th guy is.
 

thunderc

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So long term the Thunder have the best outlook?
 

thunderc

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With all those draft picks, probably so

Just depends what they do with them. Definitely have a winner with Alexander for another 6 years.
 

bksballer89

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Have you considered what the Heat can likely do in the summer of 2021?
 

tlance

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With all those draft picks, probably so

No way.

none of those picks project to be high lotto selections, not even their own.

They have a nice future, but no way they should be ranked ahead of teams with multiple young stars on long term deals or teams with a bonafide prime superstar under contract long term.
 

msgkings322

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No way.

none of those picks project to be high lotto selections, not even their own.

They have a nice future, but no way they should be ranked ahead of teams with multiple young stars on long term deals or teams with a bonafide prime superstar under contract long term.

Good point

Although, they could trade those picks (some of them) smartly as well. They definitely have a bright future.
 

flyerhawk

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No way.

none of those picks project to be high lotto selections, not even their own.

They have a nice future, but no way they should be ranked ahead of teams with multiple young stars on long term deals or teams with a bonafide prime superstar under contract long term.

They essentially have 2 1st round picks every year for the next SEVEN years!!! How can you possibly project where those will be?
 

flyerhawk

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The rest of their team will include a 4th name who they get for DLo and the pick. Probably not young. They are a playoff team next year for sure, and possible contenders depending on who that 4th guy is.

Nothing is certain. And certainly not for a team in such a transitional state as the Warriors. I think contender next year is a WILDLY optimistic outlook.
 

flyerhawk

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Have you considered what the Heat can likely do in the summer of 2021?

You mean other than not have a draft pick? Having a lot of cap space only matters if teams want to come and play there.
 

msgkings322

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Nothing is certain. And certainly not for a team in such a transitional state as the Warriors. I think contender next year is a WILDLY optimistic outlook.

I would say homerish optimism, not WILD optimism. The book has yet to be written...
 

flyerhawk

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I would say homerish optimism, not WILD optimism. The book has yet to be written...

Well true. The book has yet to be written. Someday the Knicks will win a title again. Could be next year. Could be in the 23rd century. I'm leaning towards the 23rd century but you never know.
 

msgkings322

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Well true. The book has yet to be written. Someday the Knicks will win a title again. Could be next year. Could be in the 23rd century. I'm leaning towards the 23rd century but you never know.

Ouch! Don't be mad you guys haven't won since '83 now...
 
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