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 Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers

This year’s trade deadline debacle surrounding superstar Anthony Davis shined a lot of light on just how much the rest of the league truly values the Lakers young core. Although Kyle Kuzma has been a bright spot in a rough season, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball fell short of expectations as the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs even under LeBron James’ guidance.

In fact, James’ presence may have even extracted a negative toll on a team that failed to reach their win total from the season prior.

With seemingly every young player on the chopping block in pursuit of Davis, the Lakers suffered through chemistry issues and locker room tension that ultimately culminated in Magic Johnson stepping down as president of basketball operations.

Oh yeah, that trade that sent Ivica Zubac to the Clippers doesn’t look so great now either… then again did it ever? Time is short and the stakes are high as King James and co. appear on the verge of self-imploding.

Dallas Mavericks

If you gamble long enough, the only winner is the casino. Don’t tell that to Dallas Mavericks owner and infamous billionaire Mark Cuban though, because he’s betting the house on his two newly acquired European prodigies. The cost to obtain the pair of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in essence amounted to five first-round picks (including the 21 year old and former ninth overall selection Dennis Smith Jr.) and long sought after free agent Deandre Jordan.

Although nobody can deny the talent Doncic and Porzingis possess, it’s now up to Dallas to field a competitive roster with their young depth and future picks already shipped out.

Considering Porzingis is reportedly opting into a one-year qualifying offer for a measly 4.5 million dollars, the Mavericks will have approximately 50 million dollars of cap space to navigate this summer’s blockbuster free agency. If the Mavericks can attract a fresh crop of free agents to play with their duo, and young players like Jalen Brunson continue to surpass expectations, Dallas’ playoff drought may be nearing its end.