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5 Contenders That Will Be Afterthoughts Within Three Years

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5 Contenders That Will Be Afterthoughts Within Three Years
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Ah, the good times.

They don't last forever.

The NBA changes somewhat radically from one year to the next, and it's pretty amazing that teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs have remained so good for so long. Those winning formulas should ensure some measure of stability even as aging superstars decline and eventually move on.

But, that stability won't come without a few bumps in the road. 

Today's elite teams won't necessarily suffer through long-term rebuilding projects. With savvy front offices and cultures that draw (and foster) top-notch talent, we're more likely looking at transition projects than anything too severe.

The Lakers won't be the next Cavaliers, and the Spurs won't be doing their best impression of the Bobcats. Nor will they be entirely recognizable though.

Here's a look at five contenders who are coming to an end–even if it's just a temporary end.

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