August 13, 2012

The Bleak Future of the NBA

By - Kyle Malinowski

To win in the NBA, it is said that drafting well is the sure way to build a dynasty team. That may have been true in early years of the league, but in today's NBA, the reality is much different.

Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers don't need to draft to reload their team for a title run. All they must do is trade for All-Stars like Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, sign a role playing veteran such as Antawn Jamison, and still somehow not have to give up Kobe Bryant or Pau Gasol.

Photo by: Kevork Djansezian
Do you think the Milwaukee Bucks could do this? Could the Toronto Raptors? How about even the perennial contenders such as the Chicago Bulls or the San Antonio Spurs?

The fact is, the National Basketball Association is going to face a major crisis in the next 5 years if the NBA brass can't figure out a way to keep All-Stars in smaller markets and cold weather cities.

If we look ahead to next season, these teams probably have the most realistic shot at winning the title: LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

How many teams are in the NBA again? 30, right? Well if only 6 teams -- and probably even more realistically -- 3 teams have a shot at winning the title, then the NBA is going to find its popularity dramatically reduced.

What is fun about watching a new season in which only a tiny fraction of the teams have a real shot at winning the title? The answer is -- it won't be fun at all. I wish I could say that this problem could be fixed somehow, but I honestly don't think it has any chance of being remedied. The era in which teams such as the Sacramento Kings or the Milwaukee Bucks can be annual contenders is over.

Superstar players just don't want to play for a majority of the teams in the league anymore, either because of the bad weather or possibly because of the limited endorsements available in smaller markets. Therefore, superstars outside of Kevin Durant can't wait until they can force a trade or become free agents.

What I think is going to make the NBA even worse in the next 3 or 4 years is that teams like the Spurs, Celtics, and Mavericks will lose their veterans and not be able to attract a superstar player to continue the tradition laid down by the Tim Duncan's of the world. Instead, a team like the San Antonio Spurs who annually contends like the Heat will fade into irrelevancy and become just another team.

Lebron, you may have opened Pandora's Box and it might be impossible to close it. Dwight Howard to the LA Lakers, Deron Williams on the Brooklyn Nets, and Chris Paul on the Clippers? The Clippers of all teams have emerged as a destination team for star players to go.

Maybe the Mayans have the end of the world prediction correct -- if the other LA team is an attractive option for free agency.


  1. I don't think the league has a bleak future, it's just over expanded as far as teams go. Same as the NHL. You could probably do away with 10 teams in both sports and no one (out side of that cities population) would even notice. But players will always be drawn towards big market teams with other star players. That's never going to change.

  2. The Clippers ain't title contenders. They need alot more then just Paul and Griffin to be in that category. And Paul would have never even went there in the first place had Stern not cock blocked the original deal that would have had him going to the Lakers.

  3. This is why football is my favorite sport. Atleast in the NFL about half the league has a shot at winning the Super Bowl every year.

  4. Unfortunately, this isn't exclusive to basketball. Athletes are becoming so spoiled that they think they have the right to name the teams they will play for (e.g., Dwight Howard). Free agency has gotten WAY out of hand. I'm not opposed to free agency, per se, but the way it works now needs to be looked at, as well as the ability to build these type of "super teams." The leagues need to do everything in their power to push parity. A few years ago, baseball had several consecutive years with a different World Series winner. In my opinion, it was the best of times for that sport. Spread the wealth.