4 Terrible NBA Teams With Bright Futures

By: 02.04.13  •  32 Comments

Every rebuilding team wants to be the next Oklahoma City, brimming with homegrown talent. And, God bless them, these four teams seem to have a chance at pulling off such a lofty task. One of the more self-explanatory lists we’ve done, consider this a remedy for those of us who don’t particularly care if Dwight Howard was caught imitating Kobe Bryant’s scowl behind his back at a Lakers practice. Because, believe it or not, the NBA is more than a five-city league.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Why they will be good:

We do little to hide our Kyrie Irving fandom around these parts, but Uncle Drew isn’t the only reason Cavs fans should be optimistic. Tristan Thompson has been looking like a grown-up ever since Anderson Varejao got hurt (his January averages: 15 ppg and 11 rpg), and Dion Waiters has been getting buckets all season. A big reason behind LeBron’s departure stemmed from the pathetic roster moves Cleveland undertook. This rendition of the team has drafted more quality players in two years than the James-led team did in seven. And considering the three extra first-round picks that they have over the next several years to go along with copious amounts of cap space, look for more talent to continue to come to Cleveland.

What they need to do:

Draft a second star. Thompson and Waiters could end up being very, very good, but if we’re going to be using the OKC model, there is no Russell Westbrook on this roster. #ShabazztoCLE

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Washington Wizards

Why they will be good:

Washington has won seven of its past 10; think that it’s a coincidence that this run coincided with John Wall’s return? Still only 22, Wall still has time to become what everyone wants him to be, even if his climb to superstar status has taken a bit longer than we would have liked. And Bradley Beal’s up-and-down rookie year doesn’t detract from his potential. Three years from now, Washington could have the best backcourt in basketball.

What they need to do:

Find a young big man. Emeka Okafor and Nene are both solid, but both are 30 years old. They won’t be obsolete in three years, but if we’re to believe Washington is going places, the Wizards need a four or a five capable of growing and maturing at the same rate as Wall and Beal.

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New Orleans Hornets

Why they will be good:

Everybody knows about Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon, but Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Anderson are what make this team so intriguing. The Venezuelan point guard is second in the league with 9.1 apg, to go along with 14 points per game, and at 26, New Orleans should be able to count on him as their starting one for a while. Anderson, meanwhile, picked up right where he left off in Orlando, averaging 17 ppg. Although he primarily comes off the bench, he gives his team some incredible depth.

What they need to do:

Out of all of the teams on this list, the Hornets seem like the one team that will benefit the most from simply playing together. There really aren’t many holes on this team moving forward, especially if Davis blossoms into more of a scoring threat. Another defensive-minded big would help their cause; despite Anderson’s success, his defensive is sub-par, making it hard to envision a future in which he starts alongside Davis.

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