Becoming a powerhouse in the NBA is extremely difficult, especially for those franchises that need to build through the Draft. Even so, there's a handful of teams that have stacked enough talent to be at the top of the NBA Power Rankings for the next decade or so.
Their scouting team and development staff have done an outstanding job choosing the players with the highest upside on and off the court, either via Draft, free agency, or trades; meaning they also have enough cap space to keep them around for a very long time.
Obviously, they'll always have to cope with big market teams trying to lure them away from their current franchises, so that's something to keep an eye on. But, barring anything major, this is how the 5 NBA teams with the most promising future are going to look like in the NBA Power Rankings for the foreseeable future.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies were supposed to go through a rebuilding process and miss the playoffs for a couple of seasons. Then, Ja Morant came out of the blue and proved that this young core was good enough to compete for a playoff berth already.
Morant looks like the kind of leader that can turn a franchise around right away. He's got the upside to be the best point guard in the league and the mindset of a champion. Add Jaren Jackson Jr's two-way skill set and you're in for a treat.
The Grizzlies can continue to add more pieces around their star duo via trade, as they have plenty of cap space and flexibility. They'll have to deal with the Western Conference powerhouses but are definitely trending in the right direction.
4. Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks have been near the bottom of the standings for some years now but it has paid off big time. They've put together one of the most stacked young cores in the league with Trae Young, John Collins, De'Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter.
They've finally added a rim protector on Clint Capela and Trae Young has proven to have the potential to be the league's leading scorer and playmaker in no time. They have unlimited upside to be the league's flashiest offense.
Also, considering how the Eastern Conference has fared compared to the West, it seems like the Hawks are just a couple of good stretches away from their first playoff run next season. They can also trade some of their young pieces for a proven veteran.
3. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks pulled off one of the most surprising moves of the past decade when they landed Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks. Adding that to a team with Luka Doncic leading the way made them a huge dark horse right away.
Their European duo is must-watch television for basketball fans. Both have seemingly unlimited upside in the offensive end and can put on a show any given night, and keeping them together for the long run is the team's top priority.
The Mavericks are a top-notch organization. Their management and young core can lure plenty of free agents to Texas in the years to come, so expect them to be perennial championship contenders.
2. New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have the best young core in the league and it's not even close. Thye landed Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart on the Anthony Davis trade and then added a once-in-a-lifetime kind of player in Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans have a history of struggling to keep their superstars on board (Chris Paul, Anthony Davis) but this time seems different. For the first time, their stars are surrounded with enough talent and that talent fits their timeline perfectly.
If Zion can stay healthy and Ingram and Ball continue to develop as the two-way studs they can be, it's only a matter of time before the Pelicans make their first trip to the NBA Finals in franchise history. This team is special and has the potential to enter the record books.
1. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have two things no other team on this list has. They're one of the biggest markets in the world so their players won't be tempted to leave for greener grass, and their young players are already mature with plenty of playoffs experience.
The Celtics have arguably the best young two-way player in the world in Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown is also quite young, as well as Marcus Smart. Add promising studs like Romeo Langford and even Robert Williams III and you have a strong contender for the future.
Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward will continue to be productive players for the next 5 years or so and the Celtics will always be a prime destination for top-tier free agents. They'll win their 18th ring within the next 5-6 years.