Two of the premier up-and-coming teams in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, are being re-established.
Not counting the last year for the Thunder and the last two years for the Trail Blazers, these two teams have dwelled in the cellar in the Western Conference.
The Thunder, who have begun to make a reputation after leaving Seattle, were able to win 50 games and take the Lakers to six games in the first round of the playoffs. They have Kevin Durant, whose future looks the brightest in the NBA, and a great young point guard in Russell Westbrook. They have other young players who make a difference on their team such as Jeff Green, James Harden, Thabo Sefolosha, and Serge Ibaka.
The Blazers, though, have won at least 50 games each the last two years and despite the injuries, were able to take the Phoenix Suns to six games in the playoffs. With a healthy roster next year, Portland has arguably the best depth in the NBA. To make it better, they're full of young depth. But they really need to focus on staying healthy if they want to compete.
Both teams are really expecting to compete with the Lakers next year. The Lakers may be champs now, but Portland and Oklahoma City are the future in the Western Conference.