A new decade has arrived in the league, which means it is not long before we see a new team dominate the league for multiple years. So, who are the teams that could potentially become the apex predator in the league?
These are the top 3 teams that I think have a chance to become the team to beat over the next 10 year.
No. 3 – Philadelphia 76ers
The duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid is already making noise in the league. Although, it hasn’t translated to titles yet, the Aussie-Cameroonian connection has proven to be a problem in the league.
Embiid came in as the third overall pick of 2014 draft but didn’t play for two years because of a foot injury. But in his official rookie year in the 2016-2017 season, he showcased his talent and became a three-time All-Star after his rookie year and was selected twice already in the All-NBA Second team and All-NBA Defensive second and solidified himself as the best offensive big man in the game.
Simmons, who was the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft, had almost the same situation. He too missed his first year in the league because foot injury as well. But he won the Rookie of the Year next year and became a two-time All-Star the year after that.
As soon as the duo started clicking, success came at the doors of the 76ers as they carried their squad to the Eastern Conference semifinals in two consecutive seasons.
With a 6’8 Point Guard with Magic Johnson like game and a seven-foot tall Center with Hakeem Olajuwon moves, it is impossible not to expect the Philadelphia 76ers became a dominant team in the next decade.
Of course, the Sixers have already had some disappointing playoff performances with their young core, and management may run out of patience with the Embiid / Simmons duo. They’ll have to start making more noise soon.
No. 2 – New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans had the chance to become a championship team during the era of Anthony Davis from 2012 to 2019. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out despite acquiring players like Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins.
But things are looking up for the Pelicans as they have a young and competitive Big 3 in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
Ball received a lot of criticism early on in his career after failing to completely live up to the hype his Father, LaVar Ball, created for him. A lot of fans and critics questioned his ability as the second overall pick of the 2017 draft. The Lakers trading him didn’t help his image as well but he proved that he can step up and be a team facilitator in New Orleans, averaging 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and seven assists this season.
Ingram is another player that was heavily criticized as well during his time with the Lakers but proved all doubters wrong when he made his first All-Star game this season after becoming the Pelicans’ main guy on offense. Averaging 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists, the second overall pick of the 2016 draft proved that he is an assassin on the floor.
He is one of the top candidates to win the Most Improved Player award this season.
Williamson was being compared to Charles Barkley and LeBron James before he made his debut in the league. And he certainly lived up to the hype in his 19 games this season.
Coming in late because of an injury “Zhanos” has a slim to none chance to win the Rookie of the Year title but his 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game is no question an early sign of greatness. Although, he still has a lot to improve in his game, there is no doubt that if he stays healthy, he has the potential to be a multiple-time MVP.
With a top tier all-around floor general, an assassin scorer and an all-around beast, there is no question the New Orleans could become a force to be reckoned with in the next decade if all three will improve and kept together.
No. 1 – Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks hit the jackpot in the 2018 NBA draft by drafting Trae Young and trading him to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Dončić.
They then continued to build strong by trading for athletic version of Dirk Nowitzki in Kristaps Porziņģis
In just two seasons, Dallas went from a struggling team to acquiring two of the best international players in the league and set themselves up to compete for titles over the next few years.
Dončić showed his excellence as soon as he entered the NBA stage. Winning the Rookie of the Year in a tough and deep 2018 draft class. He continued to cook everyone with his pure skill on the court this season by averaging 28.7 pojnts, 9.3 rebounds and 8,7 assists, which led to his first All-Star selection in just his second season.
He is already considered as one of the best players in the league in just his second season and is currently one of the candidates to win the MVP title.
Porziņģis, on the other hand, had some minor setbacks in his career. Suffering a torn ACL in 2018 caused him to sit out the rest of the season. He was unhappy with his situation with the New York Knicks and asked for a trade which landed him to Dallas.
Before his injury though, Porziņģis has shown greatness. Being selected as an All-Star in 2018 and averaging 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and two blocks per game in his first three years in the league.
Porziņģis is slowly redeeming himself this season by averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He has proven to be a perfect duo for Dončić.
It is the first season of the Dončić / Porziņģis tandem and they have already carried the Mavericks to a seventh-seed in the West with a 40-27 record and are very likely to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.
Given another year or two of playing together Dončić and Porziņģis will no question turn Dallas into the one of the teams to watch over the next decade.
Who do you think becomes the next NBA dynasty? Share your thoughts in the comments below!