The Chicago Bulls have one of the best young cores in the NBA. How do their youngsters stack up against other young cores in the NBA, though?
The NBA Draft means different things to different ball clubs. For a team like the Golden State Warriors, they were treating the draft as a way to add shooting and depth to a roster that’s already proven it has championship-level talent. For teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls, though, the goal of the draft is to add more pieces to an already young, up-and-coming core. And hopefully, one of those pieces can wind up being an All-Star someday.
Some teams have the benefit of luck. The New Orleans Pelicans, for example, lucked into landing transcendent talent Zion Williamson. There was no way to plan for that. It just happened. They won the lottery, and their future is now changed forever. The NBA lottery is almost like the real lottery in that way! Wait, maybe that’s why they call it a lottery… moving on.
Teams like the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers, though, did not have luck on their side this year. Both of those teams won an embarrassing 19 games in the 2018-19 season, but neither landed a top-4 pick. In fact, Phoenix didn’t end up drafting until no. 11 (more on that later).
A lot goes into ranking young cores. I mean, do the Boston Celtics qualify as having a young core? What about the Denver Nuggets? I would argue that both of those teams qualify as having young cores. Just because your team isn’t perennially tanking, doesn’t mean the best guys on your team aren’t a few years away from their primes. Good, winning, contending teams can still revolve around youngsters.
With all that being said, let’s rank the 10 best young cores in the NBA post-draft.
Sidenote: I’m not considering the Milwaukee Bucks as a team that has a young core. Khris Middleton will be 28 years old at the start of the 2019-2020 season.