The present belongs to the Warriors, Spurs and whichever team LeBron is in, but in the next 3-5 years, some of these teams that are whiffing in F.A. and are building through the draft can be the next contender, possibly even the next Championship Dynasty team.
Keep in mind, not everyone comes into a Magic Johnson situation where they are a championship contender with superstars. Some of these guys are rebuilding from a disaster of an organization because even the top drafts need time to develop and learn how to win at the pro level. Best example; Durant, drafted 2007, didn't have a winning record until 2009 and he had Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka and a great bench, first finals were in 2012.
This list has 5 teams who have drafted high these past few years, traded for top picks and/or have more than 2 players with a high potential in becoming superstars at 26 or younger. Honorable mentions and need to be built around Devin Booker and Kristaps Porzingis.
5. Utah Jazz
Looks like missing the playoffs last year by half a game and having Kobe drop 60 on the final game of the year pushed the Jazz to develop and make sure they don't miss again. They are and have been a playoff team all year long with signs of improvement.
If Dante Exum can stay healthy, they could have a really good balance between backcourt and frontcourt. Their starting lineup is very good at this moment, and maybe they need a few players on the bench to help them against the best teams in the Western Conference.
Dante Exum (21) Guard: 2014 1st Round (5th). 6 PTS / 1.8 REB / 1.7 AST
Derrick Favors (25) Forward: 2010 1st Round (3rd) by Nets. 9.4 PTS / 6.1 REB / 1.1 AST
Rodney Hood (24) Forward: 2014 1st Round (23rd). 13.7 PTS / 3.6 REB / 1.9 AST
Rudy Gobert (24) Center: 2013 1st Round (27th) by Nuggets. 12.9 PTS / 12.7 REB / 1 AST
Gordon Hayward (26) Guard: 2010 1st Round (9th). 22.2 PTS / 5.6 REB / 3.4 AST
Prediction: "I don't believe they will win a championship"
4. Milwaukee Bucks
Unfortunately, Jabari can't catch a break and stay healthy. They are just outside the Playoff picture being lead by The Greek Freak, who is starting to turn heads and is getting highly regarded as one of the best up and coming Small Forward in the league and he isn't alone.
They really have a great potential, but injuries are their biggest problem. If they can stay healthy for one season, maybe Jason Kidd can create top 4 team in the Eastern Conference. They have all positions except point guard and they should search for PG in the future.
Thon Maker (19) Forward: 2016 1st Round (10th) 3.5 PTS / 1.6 REB / 0.1 AST
Malcolm Brogdon (24) Guard: 2016 2nd Round (6th) 9.4 PTS / 2.7 REB / 4.2 AST
Khris Middleton (25) Guard / Forward: 2010 2nd Round (39th) by Detroit Pistons 13.6 PTS / 3.8 REB / 2.7 AST
Greg Monroe (26) Forward: 2010 1st Round (7th) by Pistons 11.3 PTS / 6.8 REB / 2.1 AST
Jabari Parker (21) Forward: 2014 1st Round (2nd) 20.1 PTS / 6.2 REB / 2.8 AST
Giannis Antetokounmpo (22) Forward: 2013 1st Round (15th) 23.2 PTS / 8.6 REB / 5.5 AST
Prediction: "I don't believe they will win a championship"
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
Besides the fact that their high-flying star guard is out with a torn ACL and could potentially affect his athleticism in the future, they still have a top 5 Center and Small Forward both under 22 with more growing room and no signs of slowing down.
Defense. Defense. Defense. They need to become a better defensive team. Tom Thibodeau is one of the best defensive coaches but he need more time to learn them how to play better. Now, they have to wait for LaVine, and maybe to trade Rubio until the February trade deadline.
Shabazz Muhammad (24) Guard: 2013 1st Round (14th) by Jazz 9.3 PTS / 2.9 REB / 0.4 AST
Zach LaVine (21) Guard: 2014 1st Round (13th) 18.9 PTS / 3.4 REB / 3 AST
Andrew Wiggins (21) Guard/Forward: 2014 1st Round (1st) by Cavs 22.6 PTS / 4.2 REB / 2.5 AST
Karl-Anthony Towns (21) Center: 2015 1st Round (1st) 23.7 PTS / 11.8 / 2.9 AST
Prediction: "I believe they can win a Championship within 7 years"
2. Philadelphia 76ers
The highly anticipated debut of Ben is approaching, possibly after the All-Star break. This team has been a lottery team and joke for years after Iverson was gone. Those picks are going to start making their way up. A roster with Simmons running the point, Embiid as a versatile center and Noel as a defensive presence, the only thing that awaits is if they keep Okafor or trade him and for what they receive in return.
Trust The Process.
Ben Simmons (20) Guard/Forward: 2016 1st Round (1st) Undefined
Robert Covington (26) Forward: 2013 Undrafted 11.6 PTS / 6.1 REB / 1.6 AST
Nerlens Noel (22) Forward/Center: 2013 1st Round (6th) Pelicans 8.6 PTS / 4.9 REB / 1 AST
*Jahlil Okafor (21) Center: 1st Round (3rd) 11.6 PTS / 4.8 REB / 1 AST
Joel Embiid (22) Forward/Center: 2014 1st Round (3rd) 20.2 PTS / 7.8 REB / 2.1 AST
Prediction: "I believe they can win a Championship within 6 years"
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Kobe Bryant era is over and the future is in the hands of not 3 or 4 , but 8 potential stars. Since Kobe tore his Achilles the organization has taken multiple hits in the chin and has become a disastrous lottery team. Prior to 2014, the last Lakers 10 or under draft pick was in 2005 (Bynum 10th), since then they were always contending and winning. Now the rebuilding mode is on with no restrictions and I believe it will start paying out in at least 2 years.
Thomas Robinson (25) Forward/Center: 2012 1st Round (5th) by Kings 3.9 PTS / 4.4 REB / 0.7 AST
Ivica Zubac (19) Center: 2016 2nd Round (2nd) 6 PTS / 3.9 REB/ 0.6 AST
Tarik Black (25) Forward: 2014 Undrafted 6.1 PTS / 5.6 / 0.7 AST
Larry Nance Jr. (24) Forward: 2015 1st Round (27th) 7 PTS / 5.6 REB / 1.4 AST
Brandon Ingram (19) Small Forward: 2016 1st Round (2nd) 8.1 PTS / 4.1 REB / 1.9 AST
Julius Randle (22) Forward: 2014 1st Round (7th) 13 PTS / 8 REB / 3.6 AST
Jordan Clarkson (24) Guard: 2014 2nd Round (16th) 13.7 PTS / 2.8 REB / 2.1 AST
D'Angelo Russell (20) Guard: 2015 1st Round (2nd) 14.2 PTS / 3.8 REB / 4.8 AST
Prediction: "I believe they can win a Championship within 5 years"