Franchises That Have the Brightest/Dimmest Futures
Every team in the NBA strives for the chance to win championships. For that to happen, the front office of any team must work diligently to make the correct moves in order to build a successful roster.
Similar to most things in life, some are better at this than others. There are numerous franchises in the league that make regretful decisions that ultimately set their team’s back years in the rebuilding process.
Here’s a few franchises that have promising futures, and some that may wish there was a do-over button.
Considerably Bright: Philadelphia 76ers
“Trust the Process” is in full effect this season, as Joel Embiid has turned in an incredibly impressive rookie season to this point. Along with Embiid, Philadelphia awaits the debut of #1 overall pick Ben Simmons.
Simmons and Embiid will most likely headline one of the east’s best front courts in the coming years. The Sixers also have an abundance of cap space to spend on players, since they’ve avoided signing anyone to big deals. The Sixers have a bright future thanks to the unprecedented talents of Embiid, and the potential of Simmons.
Aggressively Dim: Orlando Magic
I use the word aggressive because the Magic did make some big moves this past offseason to try and improve. Unfortunately for them, it hasn’t panned out like they’d hoped, starting the year with a 19–32 record. Now Orlando has found themselves with numerous players on big contracts that don’t work well together.
The way out of this for the Magic is to consider trading their talent to start over. The problem there is that the league knows Orlando’s combination of players does not mesh, so the Magic won’t be able to get an ample return. This is a cautionary tale for teams that consider spending on risky free agents.
Immensely Bright: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have made all the right moves building their core. Drafting Zach Lavine, Karl Anthony Towns, and Kris Dunn give the Wolves multiple potential All Stars. Also, trading an expiring contract in Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins was a great move in getting another potential building block for a player (Love) that was most likely leaving after his contract was up.
The last piece for Minnesota is to try and acquire veteran talent to help take their young core to the next level. The Wolves usually start games well, but collapse due to their inexperience. If the Timberwolves attain some veteran leadership, watch out.
Incredibly Middling: Atlanta Hawks
Believe it or not, the Atlanta Hawks are still in the NBA’s “No Man’s Land.” For the last ten years, the Hawks have been too good to get the top talent in drafts, but never good enough to compete for championships. If you ask me, they only have themselves to blame. They overvalue their assets.
Last season, when the Hawks realized they weren’t a championship contender, they placed Al Horford on the trade block. Nobody met the Hawks high asking price, so they didn’t trade the All Star big man. Then, Horford leaves for Boston, and the Hawks sign Dwight Howard as an emergency fix.
This year, it was the same story with Paul Millsap. The Hawks know they can’t win it all, place Millsap on the block, but don’t trade him because nobody will meet their high asking price. Now they run the risk of losing another talented player for nothing. Have fun in the middle of the standings for a couple more years Atlanta! Your middle tier point guard Schroder, and aging center in Howard will make sure you stay there.
Bright as can Be: Boston Celtics
No team in the NBA is in the position the Celtics are. Thanks to a legendary fleecing of the Brooklyn Nets, Boston has the ability to compete for championships while selecting at the top of the draft. The Nets are 9–40 this season, so it looks like the second seeded Celtics will receive another top three pick.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge has a lot of options in what to do with his valuable assets, but it is a problem any team would like to have. With a great coach, solid core, and great picks coming in, the Celtics have a chance to build a dynasty. That makes Boston the franchise with the brightest future.
Complete Darkness: Brooklyn Nets
The Celtics have the brightest future thanks to a great trade they made. It makes sense that the darkest future in the league belongs to the team on the other side of that deal. The Nets are in a place in which there is no easy way out. They do not own their own first round pick until the 2019 draft.
Kenny Atkinson is a good coach, and it would be wise for the Nets to keep him on while they work through this rebuild. Simply put, this one is going to take a while. For Celtics fans, that’s great news, but not for the rest of the NBA.