FanPost

How Are the Neighbors Doing?

This team has a lot of potential for growth in the next 5 years. Without going into detail, I think the ceiling for our core is probably perennial west conference semifinalist. We'd need some more development/big trade to make the leap. And we should count ourselves lucky--in the Pacific, things are pretty murky for most of the teams. Lets take a look at our neighbors and what kind of teams we'll be facing a combined 16 times every year.

SUNS: We're all excited to see what kind of beast Luke Zeller will turn into, right? No, I'm just kidding, and I dont think I'm being to hyperbolic (or harsh) when I say that the Suns have serious potential to become the biggest pile of 'meh' in the entire league. Between Michael Beasley's 37% shooting and Wesley Johnson's Wesley Johnson-ness, this is a team without a core to build around. Dragic is nice, but the dude is in his prime now. This isn't a two year overhaul, this is a spiritual cleansing that will take a lot longer than good ol' Goran's gonna stick around in the desert for them to reach the level the Warriors are on now. On the bright side, those shaman they have in the medical staff will keep Beasley healthy enough to keep on chuckin' gloriously. Keep on chuckin', rock on. Mediocrity will reign supreme.

KINGS: I don't even know if they'll be in Sacramento in 5 years, but whatever. If anyone ever claims chemistry isn't important, show them the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. Completely unrelated note, but I'm writing this free flowingly and here: http://www.nba.com/kings/roster/2012 . Tell me Isaiah Thomas doesn't have a matching star tattoo with DMC, there on his left forearm. Is this a thing that the cool kids get, or did they seriously coordinate body ink together? Moving on, the Kings are a sad example of why veteran presence in the lockerroom is important. Rookies are but fetuses, and they need nurturing and care to mature emotionally and mentally. Barnes, Green, and Festus are all pretty mature dudes, but they have a foundation being laid for them that DMC, Tyreke, etc etc never had. Sucks that they may be damaged goods, but this whole thing needs to be blown up. They'll stick around the bottom of the Pacific (and West.. and overall ranking), but hopefully this time they'll rebuild correctly. They will be bad and stay bad for more than 5 years. And hopefully no more bro tattoos.

LAKERS: The hardest of our foes to pinpoint. With each pro-Laker heist their front office manages to create, I find it harder and harder to believe another lopsided trade will happen. And then it happens. Barring a Andrew Gouldelock-for Lebron James straight up swap, this is an aging unit that most likely will not be around in 5 years. Dwight Howard. The Lakers will be all about the true Big Baby in 5 years. He doesn't look right at the moment, his back is still bothering him. But that only increases the chance he takes big money with the Lakers--maybe he fears this is his last big contract. Andre Drummond is the only one banging on his doorstep, and the passing of the guard for best center is still years away. Dwight is sticking in LA, and he'll be a pain in the ass for Bogut every time they meet. Lakers can only trend up from where they are currently, and will probably be back in the playoffs with regularity for the next 5 years. Kobe'll probably retire, SportsCenter will cry, yadadadah.

CLIPPERS: Dwight'll be a thorn in our side. The Clippers will be the alpha dog. Chris Paul is staying, cause Blake Griffin is scary and he'll only get better. DeAndre Jordan is overpaid, but in an era where Roy Hibbert is an All Star, you can live with that. In 5 years, Blake and Jordan will be in their primes, and Paul doesn't rely on his athleticism, so I expect the same level of play from him. The Clippers will be elite, true title contenders, end of story.

So that's the shakedown of what I expect the Pacific to look like in 5 years. Clips, us, Lakers all making the playoffs in that order, Phoenix being mired in the doldrums of mediocrity, and the Kings wallowing in how bad they are.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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