Looking Ahead

futureBy Stefan Anderson

The 2014-2015 NBA Season is coming to abrupt ending, and 16 teams are gearing up for the postseason but there are other teams looking to expand on their progression this off-season. Like we have seen in teams like the Thunder, Wizards and Raptors, these are teams are on cusp of becoming the next franchises to make noise in the association. Let’s take a look at the budding talent arising for the upcoming season.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks have already made the biggest step into the future this season, hence their social media tag #OwnTheFuture and at the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference the skies are the limit.  The wisdom of Jason Kidd was best suited for this young roster who accepts the knowledge of Kidd unlike the mature Nets did last season.  With glue guys like Zaza Pachulia, Jared Dudley and Khris Middleton, Milwaukee has the right mix of players to go alongside their young talent of Michael Carter Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo.  Not to mention how good they can become when their top draft pick, Jabari Parker returns. With the great cast of characters, the Bucks will continue to remain amongst the best as they long as they keep the same team together.

Orlando Magic: The Magic have stayed at the bottom of the NBA’s totem pole since the departure of Dwight Howard, but after their years remaining at the bottom it appears that success will be in the near future for the Magic. It will all start after the Magic find the appropriate leader to propel them to the next level from the bench. On the floor, it is looking very promising with steady improvements of Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic, but the ceiling for Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon is what makes its scary for the league. Orlando will be in the lottery once again and could put together a great team filled with young talent that can fight its way to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Minnesota Timberwolves: After trading away their former All-Star Kevin Love, the T-Wolves found their answer with the acquisition of Andrew Wiggins.  Wiggins has shown that he is in fact the next great shooting guard the league has to look out for. Minnesota brought back their former leader in Kevin Garnett to be a mentor for the young talents like Ricky Rubio, Adrien Payne, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad who have all shown the great improvements this season will all be needed for the Wolves to make that next step. Pending their upcoming lottery draft pick, Minnesota will have a good amount of talent to attempt to steal one of the bottom seeds in the West.

Utah Jazz: The Jazz have been able to assemble talent through the draft because of their inability to gather talent through Free Agency. The Jazz have found a gem in Rudy Gobert, the center who gives Utah a prominent rim protector an makes life easier defensively. But their major issue is offensively where they lack with players like Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward, great players but  do not possess consistency to give that offense output needed on a nightly basis. If those two along with whoever they acquire in the offseason can boost their offense, the Jazz will be back in the mix for the first time in years.

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