5 NBA Teams That Would Love to Fast Forward Through the 2012-13 Season
Progress is often painful in the NBA. Even if an organization has the right plan set in motion for their team, it doesn't always mean that it will unearth quick results.
For a handful of NBA teams, a big part of their plan is the development of young players. These teams could probably cobble together a roster full of veterans that would make a run at the playoffs, but legitimately they would just get clobbered once those playoff games begin.
While the NFL and NHL are leagues built around parity, the NBA is a league in which there are a handful of contenders and then everyone else. The worst place to be as an NBA franchise is .500. A team that wins as many games as it loses has no real shot of getting demonstrably better as they are likely shut out from the draft lottery.
In today's NBA, it is better to lose 60 games than it is to win 40.
Here are five teams that would not mind fast-forwarding through this season.
Golden State Warriors
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For the better part of the last decade, Golden State has been aimlessly roaming the NBA landscape without a discernible plan or course of action.
They just seemed to collect prospects that didn't necessarily fit with any type of specific style of play; rather, they hoped that with enough talent they would just get better as a byproduct.
Luckily for fans in the Bay Area, the team finally has decided on some semblance of a plan and are filling their roster with the appropriate talent.
Unfortunately for those that would like to see some more banners in the house, the one bad thing about collecting talent is that you need to develop that talent.
Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Harrison Barnes will be the focal points of the roster and other young guys like Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli should provide depth.
But a lot of the current vets on this squad will probably only figure into the equation as pieces to acquire other pieces. Richard Jefferson, Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins probably are short-term pieces that will figure into the equation largely as trade chips.
Either way, the Warriors need to be sure that the young guys will indeed help the organization, so they need to get all the run they can regardless of how many wins this team racks up.
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The Cavs have been pushing all the right buttons lately.
Besides getting lucky and earning the No. 1 overall draft pick two years ago, this team has made some excellent selections and modest free agent moves.
Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters all figure to have bright futures in Cleveland. But those that are thinking playoffs after an impressive opening victory over a depleted Washington Wizards club are delusional.
This team has literally no depth, a huge hole at small forward and questions up front. They will likely be good in a couple of years, but they need to deal with growing pains in the mean time. Waiters in particular is likely to go through some growing pains this year, and fans will need to be patient with his development.
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After some disastrous moves after the team won its third title in 2004, the Pistons finally seem to be on the track towards contention.
But before contention comes respectability. In order to reach even that lofty goal, this team will need to play their young guys early and often.
With an opening day roster that included four rookies as well as another rookie on their inactive roster, this team will be employing the sink-or-swim method.
The core of this team is set with Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond as well as role players such as Jonas Jerebko, Kyle Singler and Kim English. But these guys will need to discover their games for themselves and learn to play together.
Is that core the makings of a contender? Perhaps. But the only way to know is if they get a shot at playing.
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On Friday night fans in Charlotte were treated to a glimpse of how this team's future could eventually become.
With Kemba Walker getting to the hoop at will, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist providing lock down defense and Bismack Biyombo turning back errant shots. Heck, even Gerald Henderson got into the action with five steals and 18 points.
But this was only a glimpse, not the reality. This team is still massively short on talent and tradable assets. They will need to continue to develop their young guys and not get discouraged when they get blown out from time to time.
Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Biyombo appear to be good young players that may eventually become the core of a contender. But right now they are young guys that are on a very bad team that will need to accumulate more talent before they even sniff the playoffs.
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Here is the good news in Sacramento. The levees have held up so far and the city is not underwater. Also, they still have an NBA franchise.
Okay, so things aren't necessarily that bleak. This team has some solid young guys like DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Thomas Robinson.
They also have some young guys that could develop into solid bench guys like Jimmer Fredette and James Johnson.
But they also have some players that don't seem to fit any set personnel plan. Where exactly will Tyreke Evans play? Is Marcus Thornton in the team's long-term plans? Is Jason Thompson capable of eventually breaking out?
They also have some vets that likely will not be in Sacramento long such as Aaron Brooks and Travis Outlaw. Overall, this is an organization that is collecting talent without a coherent plan for the future.
Might as well fast-forward through this season and get another good lottery pick to throw into the mix. With a few good trades and some luck, this team might be on the verge of an eventual playoff run. Eventual is the key word there.