It almost seems unfair to continue to levy the conferences the way they are currently arranged. The disparity in team talent has been great over recent years, and this year promises to be no exception. While Kevin Love takes his talents eastward to Cleveland, the Minnesota Timberwolves were never ar relevant team in the Western Conference Playoff picture, anyway.
Kobe Bryant is declining, and the Lakers are in a strange sort of rebuild. Several teams feature rising young stars; from the Splash Brothers in Golden State to Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and the multitude of talented players in the West.
And that isn’t even to mention the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs, the best team that everyone always says is too old. We’re not sure when that excuse will become valid, especially given the fact that the primary proof is an ageless, timeless wonder in Tim Duncan. Tony Parker is still in his prime. Kawhi Leonard is a budding star. And as long as the organization holds the same brass, the Spurs will continue to be a contending team, year in and year out. That tends to happen when every late round pick turns out to be a starting caliber player.
Not every team has been as lucky, and the Sacramento Kings enter yet another year with immense talent that probably won’t translate to many wins. The Utah Jazz have it even worse with a young roster still a long ways from reaching its potential, but Dante Exum promises to bring some excitement to a team desperately in need of it.