The NBA landscape has changed dramatically in the past 3 weeks. From Kahwi Leonard signing with the Clippers, to Russell Westbrook being traded to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and future picks. But with all of the off-season chaos, there are still young NBA teams that have bright futures ahead of them. There are many top notch young cores in todays NBA that have the potential to grow together and only get better. So, here are the top five cores in the NBA today.
1. Denver Nuggets
The Mile High City has a promising young core consisting of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Michael Porter Jr. The Nuggets reached the second round of the western conference finals last year. Nikola Jokic showed why he was arguably the best center in the NBA last season. He averaged 20.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG and dished out 7.3 APG in his first outing in the 2019 playoffs. The big man can do it all, from taking his defender in the post to making plays out of the post. His court vision is one of the best in the league. Jokic also flourishes in the pick and roll with point guard Jamal Murray. The 21 year old sniper Jamal Murray also had a superb playoff run.
The duo of Jokic and Murray will be one hell of a tandem for years to come. Garry Harris and Michael Porter Jr will also grow with the dynamic duo, Harris already shows flashes that he can one of the best two way players in the league. As for Michael Porter Jr, he has yet to step foot on the hardwood for the Denver Nuggets due to his injuries. But he has tremendous upside that will most certainly help the this young core get even better.
2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have signed Kemba Walker, and lost Terry Rozier. And the dynamic duo of Brown and Tatum’s growth together was put on pause this past season due to Kyrie Irving’s leadership. But now that Kyrie is gone, Brown and Tatum can now lead the Celtics in the right direction.
Boston may have lost two point guards, but in the draft the organization reloaded by drafting Romeo Langford, Carson Edwards, Grant Williams and Tremont Waters. This collection of talent will only propel the Celtics for years to come. For Carson Edwards, he will most likely get minutes with the second group. The pairing of Tatum, Brown and Edwards could be something special if the Celtics play their cards righ
3. Atlanta Hawks
General Manager Travis Schlenk has done a great job thus far. Drafting Trae Young in the 2018 draft was a great move pairing him with another young star John Collins. Also in the same draft the Hawks selected Kevin Huerter. The three are a perfect fit. This season Trae Young added spacing to not only the Hawks system, but he also helped John Collins in that aspect as well.
In this years draft the Hawks added De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando. Hunter brings length, size, and the ability to defend multiple positions. Reddish has the most upside on this young Atlanta Hawks team. He is a knock down shooter who can also defend multiple positions as well. Next season should be interesting to see this young core get started and to see what they can really do down the line .
4. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have had a crazy year to say the least. But in the midst of all of the Chaos that has occurred within the league and the franchise, the Pelicans have reshaped their future in a matter of months. New GM David Griffin has pulled all the right strings by trading for young assets and a number of picks. And he also landed Zion Williamson with the #1 pick in this years draft.
So, to list out the core of the future for the Pelicans starts of with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart. This core is going to be exciting to watch because of the versatility up and down this list. Yes, they are all unproven players but this group has a chance to be special if they all are still linked 3 years from now.
5. Tie, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks
For the 5th and final spot has come down to tie. The Kings have a young star studded point guard in De’Aaron Fox. And they have two bigs with a lot of promise being Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles. These three young studs are only going to get better as time goes on. And with the speed of Fox and the unique skill set of Bagley and Giles, this group will be a force to be dealt with.
Now lastly, the Dallas Mavericks have set them selves up with a couple of young Euro stars. That is Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. You could also throw in Kostas Antetokounmpo. The Mavs are now in position to make a push for the playoffs come next season.