The NBA draft is all about building for the future around basketball's stars of tomorrow, but if a team can stick to its long-term blueprint while improving its prospects of winning in the short term, then even better.
After all, assuming the ultimate goal of any draft strategy is to get better, doing so right away should validate the success of said strategy, shouldn't it?
In any case, turning a team's fortunes around from one season to the next is no easy task, though it has been done before. Just ask the Orlando Magic, who made a 20-win jump with Shaquille O'Neal, the Dallas Mavericks, who leaped from 13 wins to 36 with Jason Kidd, the San Antonio Spurs, who went from the lottery to playoffs twice (with David Robinson in 1989-90 and Tim Duncan in 1997-98) or the Chicago Bulls, who pulled off similar turnarounds with Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose, albeit a quarter of a century apart.
That's not to say that these five teams (listed in ascending order according to their highest pick) are all bound for postseason glory in 2013, but rather that they figure to fare considerably better this coming season than they did during the one that landed them such primo draft picks in the first place.