May 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) high fives shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) after the play against the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter of game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Rank Fifth In ESPN's "Future Power Rankings"

It’s a worn out topic, but the Golden State Warriors’ future is bright, and more and more people are starting to take notice.

ESPN published (Insider subscription required) their annual “NBA Future Power Rankings” on May 30, and the Warriors  were ranked fifth. The four teams ahead of them are the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs’ spot is debatable for the very reason that they’re old (yeah, you guessed it). Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are all in their mid 30’s. Parker is the only exception at 31.

San Antonio doesn’t lack for alternative talent, mind you. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter round out the next wave of Spurs basketball, but of the three, none of them appear to be a cornerstone piece.

That could change. In fact, it’s not out of the question because they haven’t been featured in San Antonio’s offense, so no one truly knows how they would react to being the focal points.

The Thunder and Rockets deserve their respective spots, but the Heat’s future is a bit foggy. LeBron James is LeBron James, but Dwyane Wade is declining and Chris Bosh feeds off James and Wade.

After knocking off the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Miami has a chance to win consecutive championships. In the present, they make up the upper echelon. They’re the cream of the crop, best of the best, and so on. Those are “duh” statements. But if LeBron uses his early termination clause after the 2013-14 campaign to bolt for greener pastures, Miami’s future wouldn’t look all too bright with a hobbled Wade and less-effective Bosh. I know, there probably isn’t a greener pasture than Miami, but the circumstances will be different in a couple years.

So, the Warriors are in a select group, and their placement can’t be argued with the trio of Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson holding down the team’s fort as they foray into a new era of Golden State Warriors basketball.

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