3. San Antonio Spurs
Cue the “Spurs are old” jokes. All done? Okay, let’s keep going.
The Spurs’ own vintage Big Three–Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili– has owned the team and city for a long, long time and won them a ton of games. Since Duncan was drafted, they haven’t won less than 50 games in a season (except for the 1998-99 Lockout, where they won a paltry 37 against 13 losses). Even in a 50-game season, they won more than three times as many as they lost. Add that to the fact that they’re in the Finals again this year, and we have ourselves a dynasty. But why do they have such a great future?
Their role players have stepped up a ton this year. Danny Green has turned into one of the postseason’s best three-point shooters, along with his defensive prowess. Kawhi Leonard is a bigger, longer defender. He adds that to a crazy amount of athleticism and sky-high potential on offense as a forward. Even Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw have found themselves this year.
DeJuan Blair, another role player, also makes contributions. Even Cory Joseph adds something. And none of the above players will make more than $5 million a year on the rest of their contracts. That’s a promising, young, cheap core. And they’ll play with Parker at point, who’s entering “Best point guard in the NBA” talks.
Plus they’re coached by one of the best ever. Yeah. And to boot, they’ve only got $42 million on the books next year, and just over $26 million the year after. What isn’t looking good after Duncan and Ginobili call it quits? Not much.