After a climatic offseason, following a monumental Finals, it appears a new era of basketball has been ushered into the Association. No Big 3’s, no major favorites, and a Larry O’Brien trophy that is completely up for grabs. With the Golden State era of dominance now in the past and the Toronto Raptors doubtful to repeat as Champions after losing Kawhi Leonard, let’s take a look at which teams are best set up to win multiple championships over the next 5-years.
PSO’s Future Dynasty Rankings are based on the team’s record in 2018-19, how the team’s current talent in place project over the next 5 years (5-year Talent), the 5-year potential of the best player on the team (Franchise Player), Draft Picks from 2019-2023, and the Organization itself, that takes into account market, management, history, free-agent appeal, etc. Create your own rankings below.
The Bucks took a quantum leap forward last season, winning 60 games and taking the eventual champion Toronto Raptors six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Locking up Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez long-term keeps their core intact, and Giannis is an MVP at only 24 years old, with plenty of room to improve as a shooter and passer.
Nobody had a better offseason than the Los Angeles Clippers. Adding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to an established playoff team makes them title favorites, albeit at the expense of future first-rounders. With a first-class front office running the show, the Clippers can re-write the history books for supremacy in Los Angeles and the entire NBA.
After coming within a few bounces of defeating the Raptors in the conference semifinals, the 76ers swapped out Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick for Josh Richardson and Al Horford, both just a smidge below all-star tier. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris are borderline all-stars, while Joel Embiid is only 25 years old with the potential to be a league MVP in the midst of Philly’s title window.
Give Brooklyn’s front office credit, they transformed from the laughing stock of the league to a marquee free agent destination in a matter of years. Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have a strong supporting cast with Caris Lavert, Jarrett Allen, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks garnered respect last season as one of the league’s best HC-GM combos in the Association.
Most teams would have thrown in the towel on having four All-Stars after losing an all-time great like Kevin Durant, but not Golden State. Acquiring a 23-year-old All-Star in D’Angelo Russell while Durant was already out the door was a savvy move, and Steph Curry will be truly unleashed for the first time since his 2015-2016 MVP campaign.
New Orleans ruled draft night with three first-round picks, highlighted by once-in-a-generation talent Zion Williamson. David Griffin and the new management team got back a monster haul for Anthony Davis [Transaction Reaction] and the tutelage from savvy veterans like JJ Redick, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick Favors will pay dividends for the young core’s development.
The combination of Anthony Davis and Lebron makes the Lakers contenders for the next couple years, but it’ll be up to AD to carry the load once Lebron reaches the twilight of his career. They’re without first-rounders in 2021 and 2023-24, but Los Angeles is still a prime free-agent destination with a history that no franchise can match.
After making All-NBA 1st team last season, Nikola Jokic took his game to another level in the playoffs, averaging 25.1 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 8.4 assists. The scariest thing about him? He’s only 24. If Jamal Murray becomes an all-star and Michael Porter Jr. can stay on the court, they’ll compete for titles for years to come.
People can talk about a lack of draft picks and basketball fit all they want, but the fact is the Rockets now have two of the three most recent MVPs in the prime of their careers. Mike D’Antoni worked magic with James Harden and Chris Paul during their first season together and if he can make it work with two of the most ball-dominant players in the NBA, what’s going to stop them?
The Celtics took a step backward last season, but they still have a good mix of established players, young prospects, and quality draft picks. Danny Ainge is one of the best general managers in the NBA and Gordon Hayward should improve next season. Jayson Tatum is the key here though. If he can take that next step to superstardom, there’s a path for the Celtics hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy for an NBA record 18 times.