In a championship or bust environment, nobody is going to challenge the Warriors. So I don’t look at a team’s chances this year or next year. The Lakers have tremendous cap space and young players who could develop.
San Antonio’s core is basically Kwahi Leonard (26) and a bunch of guys who are over 30 (Aldridge, Gasol, Gay, Ginobli, Green Lee, Parker). They signed Patty Mills (28) to a big contract, but he’s at best a small back up point guard on an elite team. Other than that, they have very little cap space and three players under 23 who might become good.
As bad as the Lakers might be this year, they have a better chance to become really good in the near future than San Antonio.
For now Boston is on top, but it’s up to Danny Ainge to finally get a big deal done, instead of hoarding assets that may turn into nothing (given the uneven quality of his draft pick track record). I think losing Bradley is going to hurt the team more than people realize — the Jaylen Brown/Jae Crowder/Marcus Smart/Gerald Green rotations are going to allow teams to double team Thomas and dare someone else to beat them from outside.
It should not be forgotten that, without Rondo’s injury against the Bulls and Kelly Olynyk’s miraculous performance in game 7 against the Wizards, we would be comparing Boston to the Atlanta Hawks right now.