Chicago Bulls: Ranking NBA’s best young cores today

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves

Hot take: Karl-Anthony Towns is good at basketball. Like, really good. Following the trade of much-maligned teammate Jimmy Butler, Towns put the league on notice and reclaiming the Timberwolves as his team. Towns averaged a stellar 25.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game after the trade, with an incredible 62.8 true shooting percentage and 26.3 player efficiency rating.

Although the contract bestowed upon former number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins has been met with well deserved criticism, the situation in Minnesota is still salvageable. Dario Saric, Tyus Jones, and Keita Bates-Diop are all potentially great complementary pieces for a team hoping to reload instead of rebuild; and hey, there’s always the chance Wiggins decides he actually wants to play basketball.

Sacramento Kings

For the first time in over a decade, Sacramento finally seems to have a direction as a franchise. With 39 wins in a hyper-competitive Western Conference, this current iteration of the Kings is the best since 2006, thanks in no small part to the production from De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. Although the young core did not get the opportunity to display much of their ability, players like Harry Giles and Frank Mason still carry interesting amounts of potential.

While the pair of cornerstones have enjoyed a fair amount of early success, question marks still engulf this Kings team heading into next season. Is Fox capable of sustaining his elevated play and lead Sacramento back into the playoff picture?

Can the youngsters live up to the expectations placed upon them by a veteran supporting cast and a new head coach? Will Bagley crack under the spotlight as he is promoted the starting lineup? Only time will tell, but the Kings are quickly becoming a team that’s hard to root against.