The Warriors decidedly have now, but who has next? We took a look at which team’s assets look most likely to ensure future success down the road.
Owning assets sets teams up for a promising future. The teams with the best collections of assets are teeming with young talent, most of them on the back end of a fruitful rebuild. The right combination of young players and future picks could set a team up for years to come even if they aren’t an immediate threat for contention. Having the best asset collection gauges the confidence level that a teams fans have about their team in five seasons more than this current one.
With special apologies to fans of the Bucks, Suns, and Timberwolves, who nearly made it, here are the organizations with the best asset collections in the league.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
All-Stars: Brook Lopez (29)
Young assets: Lonzo Ball (19), Brandon Ingram (20), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (24), Julius Randle (22), Larry Nance Jr (24), Jordan Clarkson (25), Ivica Zubac (20), Kyle Kuzma (22), Tyler Ennis (23), Josh Hart (22)
Future picks: 2018 first to Boston or Philadelphia
A period of prolonged rebuilding is foreign to the Lakers organization. Los Angeles last made the playoffs in the 2012-13 season and have missed the last four postseasons. Prior to their current drought, the Lakers hadn’t missed the playoffs more than two seasons in a row in franchise history. While this rebuild may be new to the organization, it has allowed them to accumulate a number of young players for the next period of successful Lakers basketball.
Los Angeles has quality young talent at every position. Lonzo Ball and Tyler Ennis should ensure quality young point guard play for years. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Clarkson, and Josh Hart will fill out the guard minutes. The Lakers organization sounds confident that forward Brandon Ingram will justify the second overall selection in his second season. Los Angeles has a triumvirate of young talent at power forward with Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr, and Kyle Kuzma all generating buzz. And while Brook Lopez probably isn’t in their long-term plans, Ivica Zubac showed the potential to be their center of the future last season.
There is a lot of team building flexibility that comes with accumulating as much young talent as the Lakers have. They can easily package a couple of players for a more valuable asset in the trade market as opportunity arises. Another form of flexibility they have at this point is with cap space: the Lakers will have roughly $47 million available to them at the beginning of next year’s free agency. That number can swell to $65 million if they can find a way to unload Luol Deng’s deal as well. If the rumors about the Lakers upcoming free agent targets are true then they are certainly in position to chase them. Don’t expect the Lakers to be down for too much longer.