In Good Position?

Posted by By at 27 April, at 18 : 11 PM Print

In Good Position?

This season has come and gone and as always, there are good teams who are either in the Playoffs or on the verge of making it next year and there are Lottery bound teams who can only take a seat and plan for next season.

In the case of the latter description, a few teams come to mind who will not only plan for next year, but who have good reason for optimism.

For the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trailblazers and Sacramento Kings, this season is one that can be considered a major building block in each teams future.

For the Sacramento Kings, it was once again a disappointing season that saw them struggle. The most disheartening part about their struggles is the recent success they have had in recent NBA Drafts. With Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Issiah Thomas on board the team has quality pieces who after yet another season together should gel quite nicely next year. Throw into the mix an expected Top 5 pick once again and a little cap space and you can see why hope is not dead in Sacramento.

In Portland, it’s a bit of a different scenario where the Blazers focused the season on dumping salaries and players that were all but assured not to return. With the deal that sent Gerald Wallace to New Jersey, finally letting go of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy’s retirement, the Blazers went from Playoff contender to Draft buzz central. Portland is now armed with New Jersey’s 1st round pick (top 3 protected) and their own 1st rounder giving them a possible 2 top 10 picks in one of the deepest drafts in quite some time. Add them to some cap space (Jamal Crawford will not return) plus LeMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews and now J.J Hickson and the Blazers should look for a possible return to the Playoffs next year

North of the Border in Toronto, things got real bad last season. Now however, the light at the end of the tunnel is oh so close. New Head Coach Dwayne Casey has steadied a ship that was sinking worse than the Titanic and has taken this young team and given them an identity. They play hard and focus on defense every possession. Injuries derailed their season as leading scorer Andrea Bargnani was out for the majority of the year as well as injuries to both Point Guards in Jose and Jerryd Bayless. Hope is near for GM Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors as last years 5th overall pick Jonas Valunciunas will be ready to debut next year. Add to his debut yet another top Draft pick along with cap space (Barbosa’s contract, Aaron Gray, Rasual Butler) and an amnesty release still available and it is looking pretty bright in Raptors land. Add to that mix Andrea and an up and coming star in DeMar DeRozan and you can see why it pays to be optimistic in Toronto.

These teams aren’t alone in having bright futures. Golden State, Cleveland, Washington and Detroit all have strong young nucleus’s and will look to make strides next year.

Until then, let the Playoffs begin!

The Bowse's Word

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