Ndamukong Suh and 7 Other Athletes a Team Can Build a Powerhouse Around
J. Meric/Getty Images
A championship team has to start out somewhere, and usually it starts out with a couple of players acquired through the draft or a trade. The Bulls were able to build a dynasty around Michael Jordan, and the Lakers did the same thing with Kobe Bryant.The Pittsburgh Steelers have become one of the greatest football teams of all time due to contributions by Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu.
This particular article is about teams that are on the verge of becoming powerhouses but are lacking a few other players to compliment their one or two established stars. These are the players who represent the futures of their respective organizations.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Bulls have found the future of their team in a Chicago native who, at the age of 22, recently became the youngest player to win the NBA MVP Award.
When the Bulls signed free agent Carlos Boozer in 2010, it was clear that the Bulls were serious about giving Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah a little help. Now all the Bulls have to do is see if their hard work will pay off in the next few years.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
The Carolina Hurricanes barely missed the playoffs last year, however there was one bright spot in the disappointing season. Enter Rookie of the Year Jeff Skinner, who became the youngest winner of the award at the age of 18.
Skinner was named to the NHL All-Star Game as a replacement for Sydney Crosby, who was injured. Skinner became the first 18-year-old All-Star since Steve Yzerman. The Hurricanes are still a young team but they have shown a ton of potential during the last season. Eric Staal is already an established star for the Hurricanes and will form an excellent combination with Skinner for quite some time.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Ndamukong Suh has been a magnet for fines recently due to his brutal hits. His hits and tackles have made him one of the most feared players in the NFL in just one season. He won the Rookie of the Year award and became the first Lions rookie since Barry Sanders to be selected as a starter for the Pro Bowl.
Since Matt Stafford has been about as durable as a piece of glass during his brief career, it's clear Suh is the future of the Lions. If the Lions continue to improve, make good draft picks and trades, Suh could be the man to lead the team to glory.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Andrew McCutchen was a first time All-Star this year and from the looks of things it will be the first of many All-Star invites for him. The Pirates looked to be coming back from nearly 20 years of irrelevance this year until they fell of the face of the earth during the second half of the season.
However, Andrew McCutchen has been a very consistent player for Pittsburgh this year; he has already posted career highs in home runs and RBI. If Pirate owner Robert Nutting is serious about spending money to help build a winner, he should start signing guys who can compliment McCutchen's ability.
The Los Angeles Clippers have had only two winning seasons since moving to L.A. in 1984. Things have been looking up since Blake Griffin burst onto the scene, dunked his way to an NBA Rookie of the Year Award and an All-Star nod.
Griffin was the first unanimous winner of the award since David Robinson. Eric Bledsoe also had an impressive rookie year for the Clippers and was named to the NBA's Rookie Second Team. These two look like they will lead the Clippers to success in the future.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Tyler Myers is a tall glass of water, standing at 6'8". Myers has proven himself to be an excellent defender for the Buffalo Sabres. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010. The Sabres were knocked out in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, but Myers can be the future of the organization
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Sam Bradford had one of the best rookie years for a quarterback ever. He had 354 completions which is the most all-time for a first-year quarterback. This broke Peyton Manning's record which was set in 1998.
This performance led to Bradford being awarded the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The St. Louis Rams have their franchise quarterback, now they need to develop more promising players in order to achieve greatness.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
When the Angels lost All-Star first baseman Kendrys Morales for the rest of the season, many wondered who could possibly take his place. Mark Trumbo has since eased fans' minds since taking over first base and he looks to be a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate.
Trumbo is a good sign for Angels management; the team is in a period of transition right now as the playing time for the aging Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu goes down. The Angels will be looking for younger players to pick up the torch. Trumbo looks to be the first piece of a potential powerhouse in Anaheim.