Since the influx of young superstars began flooding the NBA after the 2003 draft, the league has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance.
Players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony have been able to resurrect franchises that had been going through some fairly rough times.
Here are a few of the teams currently at the bottom of the standings that could be rising to the top in the very near future.
It's been a nightmare season for what was once one of the most popular and most exciting teams in the entire league, the Sacramento Kings.
At 16-65 with one game left, the Kings have the worst record in the NBA. However, they have what looks to be a decent crop of young talent to build around for a few years.
Sharpshooter Kevin Martin, at just 26-years-old, missed a large portion of this season with injury, but still averaged just under 25 points a game and shot a superb 42 percent from three-point range. At 6'7", Martin is a height mismatch for most other shooting guards.
While not possessing much strength at just 185 pounds, Martin has shown the ability to get through the lane and score from anywhere on the floor.
The Kings also have what could develop into one of the NBA's best frontcourts, with second-year center Spencer Hawes and rookie power forward Jason Thompson.
The seven-foot Hawes has seen his minutes consistently go up this season and is averaging 11 points with seven rebounds and a block per game in just 29 minutes. Just 20-years-old, Hawes has the unique ability to shoot from the outside, and is shooting 34 percent from three. His post game is also developing slowly, and soon, he could be one of the league's top offensive centers.
Many eyebrows were raised around the league when the Kings decided to select little-known Jason Thompson out of Rider with the 12th overall pick in last year's draft, but Thompson has had a great rookie season.
His stats are almost identical to those of Hawes, at about 11 and seven. He's 6'11", and is very polished in the post already for a 22-year-old rookie.
While the Kings have several holes still to fill before they'll be able to get back into contention in the West, there are definitely some bright spots looking toward the future.
2008-2009 has been a disastrous season for the Wizards, but most of the issues can likely be attributed to major injuries that have occurred up and down the roster.
The $111 million man Gilbert Arenas has missed almost all of the season due to his recurring knee injury, and the team has been very careful with making sure he's completely healthy before letting him run out there.
However, barring injury, it seems to be commonly believed that the Wizards have plenty of talent on the roster to be right back in the playoffs next season.
Injuries to veterans have allowed younger players like Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire, and Nick Young to play extensively this season and earn some valuable experience that will definitely help Washington next year.
The Wizards have also just hired former Timberwolves and Pistons coach Flip Saunders as their new head coach. Despite his well-documented struggles in the playoffs, Saunders boasts a stellar regular season record at 587-396. That's a win percentage of just under .600.
Combine the more developed young players with Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, and a very high lottery pick in this year's draft, and the Wizards really should be contenders once again in 2009-2010.
Like the Wizards, the Warriors are a team that has had their season derailed by a slew of injuries to their major players.
Monta Ellis has missed most of the season as a result of injuring his ankle in the low-speed moped crash last offseason.
Team captain Stephen Jackson's season ended prematurely as well after he was sidelined to nurse a nagging toe injury.
The 29-52 Warriors have been able to find a few diamonds in the rough, such as point guard CJ Watson, shooting guard Anthony Morrow, and fellow swingman Kelenna Azubuike.
Lanky 6'10" rookie Anthony Randolph has also been able to flourish in the absence of some of the veterans, and is looking like a steal for the Warriors with the 14th pick in last year's draft.
The other night against San Antonio, Randolph was doing a lot of ball handling, and finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds. He's supremely skilled for a player his size, and looks like a budding superstar, should he continue to gradually develop his game.
If Golden State can get their big-time players like Ellis and Jackson back healthy next season, along with Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, and Andris Biedrins, the Warriors have the ability to make significant strides again towards becoming one of the most dangerous and exciting teams in the NBA.
The Thunder's first season in Oklahoma City had a forgettable beginning, with the team starting off going a horrendous 3-29. PJ Carlesimo lost his head coaching job after just 11 games.
However, under interim coach Scott Brooks, the Thunder appear to have found their identity and are playing at a fairly high level for a team with so many young players.
Second-year forward Kevin Durant has improved immensely from his first year in the league, and is already sixth in the league in scoring at 25.3 points per game. At 6'10", Durant has the uncanny ability to shoot the lights out from the outside as well as slash to the basket and get easy points inside. He's a total mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses, and, at just 20-years-old, is only going to get better.
Fellow second-year player Jeff Green has quietly put together a stellar sophomore season in the league. Green is averaging 16.5 points and almost seven rebounds a game this season for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has also brought in a few players that didn't work out in other places, but are young enough to still improve and make a difference down the road, including Thabo Sefolosha, Shaun Livingston, and Nenad Krstic.
While the Thunder likely won't be able to break into the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference next season, it won't be long at all until they'll be leaping right to the top.