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Thread: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

  1. #1

    Default ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Huh- positive words on the Pacers....

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-4-100803

    17. Indiana Pacers | Future Power Rating: 497
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    126 (25th) 85 (16th) 167 (1st) 38 (21st) 81 (4th)

    The Pacers are coming off a terrible season, yet rose a whopping nine spots from No. 26 to No. 17 in our rankings. Given that the team is essentially Danny Granger and a lot of question marks, what gives? A couple of factors are fueling our optimism at the moment.

    First, center Roy Hibbert continues to show promise, as do three new Pacers: Via the draft, Indiana added swingman Paul George and two sleepers, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle, to the roster. Stephenson, who has a lot of Tyreke Evans in his game, looks like a steal.

    Second, the Pacers are also flush with assets. They have a whopping $37 million in players with expiring contracts, including several -- Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford -- who could contribute to a playoff team, improving the odds that the Pacers could get a significant piece in return on the trade market.

    If the Pacers can't make a deal, they can walk into next summer with the most salary-cap space of any team in the league. Given their young stable of talent, they might be able to persuade a good free agent to go to Indy.

    The Pacers' struggles since the 2004 brawl are well-documented, but team execs Larry Bird and David Morway now have the franchise set up to make a big leap in 2011. It has been a painful journey in Indiana, but there isn't a team in the league with more flexibility.

    (Previous rank: 26)

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  3. #2
    Member luis3ep's Avatar
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    Default ESPN NBA Future Power Rankings

    They have the pacers at 17, whats your take on this?
    (ESPN Insider)

  4. #3

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    ESPN is doing this in segments. Here are rankings 11-15:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-3-100803

    Future Power Rankings: Teams 11-15
    How will your favorite team fare in future seasons? Our experts take a close look
    EmailPrintComments
    By Chad Ford and John Hollinger
    ESPN.com

    Jennifer Pottheiser/Getty Images
    He's not the savior New York had hoped for, but Amare's signing puts the Knicks in the right direction.
    Note: This is a new, updated version of ESPN's Future Power Rankings of NBA teams. The previous edition ran on March 2, 2010, the second edition launched on Dec. 15, 2009, and the first edition on Nov. 10, 2009.

    The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider's projection of the on-court success expected for each team during the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

    HOW FUTURE POWER RATING IS DETERMINED
    PLAYERS (0 to 400 points): Current players and their potential for the future, factoring in expected departures
    MANAGEMENT (0 to 200 points): Quality and stability of front office, ownership, coaching
    MONEY (0 to 200 points): Projected salary-cap situation; ability and willingness to exceed cap and pay luxury tax
    MARKET (0 to 100 points): Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city's desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans
    DRAFT (0 to 100 points): Future draft picks; draft positioning
    Consider this a convenient way to see the direction your favorite team is headed.

    Each of the NBA's 30 teams received an overall Future Power Rating of 0 to 1,000, based on how well we expect each team to perform in the three seasons following this season.

    To determine the Future Power Rating, we rated each team in five categories (see table at right).

    As you can see, we determined that the most important category is a team's current roster and the future potential of those players -- that category accounts for 40 percent of each team's overall Future Power Rating.

    At the same time, we looked at many other factors, such as management, ownership, coaching, a team's spending habits, its cap situation, the reputation of the city and the franchise, and what kind of draft picks we expected the team to have in the future. With all the big moves around the league this summer, it's time for a new edition of the Future Power Rankings. Two important notes: (1) Now that the NBA calendar has flipped, we are evaluating the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons; and (2) we are not considering the changes that might be made to the collective bargaining agreement, since there is no way to know how those changes will reshape the league.

    We'll roll out our rankings for three days this week.

    Here are our current rankings, from 11-30:

    Future Power Rankings: 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25 | 26-30

    11. New York Knicks | Future Power Rating: 523
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    200 (15th) 97 (15th) 140 (4th) 77 (3rd) 9 (29th)

    The Knicks didn't hit the home run they were hoping for this summer in free agency, but they still significantly improved their roster. In fact, the Knicks moved up a whopping 12 spots in our player ratings, the most of any team this summer. Of course, the fact that they ranked 27th out of 30 in March puts the major move forward into perspective.

    Last season, the Knicks didn't have a lot going for them as they tried to keep the payroll lean in an attempt to lure two superstars to New York. The addition of Amare Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph, Raymond Felton and Ronny Turiaf to holdover Knicks Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Toney Douglas and Bill Walker should make a significant impact in the win column.

    But the summer rebuilding effort wasn't enough to propel the Knicks into the overall top 10 in our future rankings. Knicks fans might have been hoping for more after years of waiting, but ranking fourth in the East (11th overall) means that fans should eventually get to see their team win a playoff series for the first time since 2000.

    The good news for the Knicks is that the team will retain some cap flexibility in the future. Once Eddy Curry comes off the books next summer, the Knicks should have enough money to make another significant addition (assuming the new CBA allows it) or could use Curry's expiring contract as a trading chip at the deadline.

    The bad news for the Knicks is that they paid a high price to get Amare and Co. this summer. The team lost All-Star forward David Lee in the Anthony Randolph swap and traded 2009 lottery pick Jordan Hill in February to create cap space (as part of the Tracy McGrady deal). The Rockets now have the right to swap picks with the Knicks in 2011 and own the Knicks' 2012 first-round pick as well (though it's top-five protected). That has pushed the Knicks to No. 29 in our draft category.

    (Previous rank: 16)

    12. Sacramento Kings | Future Power Rating: 518
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    214 (11th) 69 (21st) 143 (3rd) 21 (28th) 71 (8th)

    You might be surprised to see the Kings in the top half of the rankings given how the past two years have gone.

    The Kings still have several negatives -- a dinosaur of an arena, a tiny market, and a front office that has saddled the team with several bad deals -- but two overwhelming positives have the Kings on the rise.

    The first is financial: Sacramento should be well under the cap next year and could be in position to expand its talent base quickly.

    The more tantalizing one is the current roster. Sacramento scored DeMarcus Cousins with the fifth pick in the draft and will pair him with 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans -- meaning it's very possible the Kings somehow got the best player from each of the past two drafts in addition to two other solid contributors, 2009 first-rounder Omri Casspi and 2008 pick Jason Thompson.

    We don't know if this is the right organization to keep Evans and Cousins on the straight and narrow, but we do know the team is in a much better position with them on the roster.

    (Previous rank: 19)

    13. Boston Celtics | Future Power Rating: 517
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    186 (19th) 155 (7th) 84 (20th) 63 (10th) 29 (24th)

    The defending Eastern Conference champs are showing their age, but Celtics president Danny Ainge spent his summer setting up his veteran team to make two more title runs and then begin rebuilding in 2012.

    While the Celtics are likely to remain an elite team in the East in the near future, their long-term potential is still very much up in the air. The Celtics' core of Kevin Garnett (age 34), Paul Pierce (33 in October), Ray Allen (35) and Rajon Rondo (24) is among the best in the league, but age and injuries reduced the C's to a 50-32 record last season and likely will accelerate the team's decline. Adding big man Jermaine O'Neal (32 in October) to replace an injured Kendrick Perkins didn't do anything to move the needle on our Future Power Rankings.

    Rondo, Perkins and role players Nate Robinson, Glen Davis and rookie Avery Bradley are the only young talent on hand, and only Rondo seems to be a potential bridge to the next great Celtics era. He's enough to keep the Celtics in the top half of our rankings, but that's all.

    (Previous rank: 15)

    14. Dallas Mavericks | Future Power Rating: 515
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    208 (12th) 147 (8th) 65 (26th) 71 (5th) 24 (25th)

    The Mavericks continue to be more of a "now" team than a team looking to the future, which explains their low-ish ranking for a contender.

    The Dallas core is aging, with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood all 30 or older, past their prime and likely to provide diminishing returns in future seasons. Two other potential impact players for the Mavs -- Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler -- are also no longer youngsters and will be free agents next summer. Their future with the Mavs is still up in the air.

    The Mavs' up-and-comers consist of one guy: 21-year-old point guard Rodrigue Beaubois, whose potential is still a question mark.

    On the financial front, the free-spending Mavs are projected to be over the salary cap until 2011 or, more likely, 2012.

    The good news for Dallas fans is that owner Mark Cuban is creative and has perpetually found ways to keep the Mavs competitive. After 10 consecutive seasons with 50 or more wins, this is a hard franchise to count out.

    (Previous rank: 11)

    15. New Jersey Nets | Future Power Rating: 514
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    154 (22nd) 72 (20th) 152 (2nd) 52 (14th) 84 (3rd)

    The Nets had the worst record in the NBA last season, and almost the worst in history. But everything was supposed to change this summer, with the arrival of a new, billionaire owner, loads of salary-cap space and the groundbreaking for a new arena in Brooklyn.

    As it turns out, the summer of the Nets never really happened. The team struck out with all the major free agents, team president Rod Thorn retired, and the team, while stronger than it was last season, still doesn't look like a playoff contender.

    Furthermore, the Nets made two hires that are getting mixed reviews. New coach Avery Johnson had an amazing win-loss record in Dallas, but his personality grated on players and he has already made his presence felt within the Nets' embryonic new front office. Meanwhile, Billy King is the new general manager, but his track record doesn't give him the authority to rein in Johnson.

    So how do the Nets still rank in the top 15? Two reasons: talent and the opportunity to add more.

    Brook Lopez could become an All-Star center, while point guard Devin Harris seems to have regained his stride. Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams have shown promise on the wings.

    Also, the Nets made significant additions this summer. Rookie Derrick Favors has a chance to be special if the Nets are patient. Free-agent signees Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar will add some much-needed depth to the core.

    Furthermore, the Nets should have about $15 million in salary-cap space next summer, and an owner who won't be shy about spending it. And they likely will be able to add another lottery pick to their up-and-coming roster of talent.

    (Previous rank: 18)

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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    It's gonna be a bright...

    BRIGHT!

    Bright, sunshiny day!

    “WE NEVER SURRENDER, WE NEVER GIVE UP, WE KEEP ATTACKING”- Frank Vogel
    momentarygodsblog.com https://twitter.com/momentarygods

  6. #5

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    The rest of 16-20:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-4-100803

    16. Los Angeles Clippers | Future Power Rating: 513
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    204 (13th) 53 (24th) 104 (13th) 63 (8th) 89 (1st)

    The Clippers squandered a tremendous opportunity this summer to upgrade its roster, going into the summer with enough cap space to sign a max contract and walking away with the underwhelming haul of Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes. Forget the sugar-plum visions of having LeBron line up at small forward; they couldn't even get Rudy Gay. In retrospect, they would have been better off just keeping Marcus Camby and Al Thornton and soldiering on.

    Part of the reason no good free agents signed with the Clips is the disastrous tenure of owner Donald Sterling. They rank No. 24 in management rather than 30 largely because new GM Neil Olshey doesn't have a track record -- we can at least consider the possibility he knows what he's doing. Also, L.A. has shown more of a willingness to spend money in recent years.

    And in spite of themselves, they might be pretty good. Blake Griffin has a chance to be a big star if he can stay healthy, Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu are solid young pieces, and veterans like Baron Davis and Chris Kaman should still contribute strongly next season and in the near future.

    The Clippers also benefit from an asset that's been in their back pocket for along time and will finally come to fruition soon: A completely unprotected 2012 first-round pick from Minnesota. Between their own picks and that one, the Clips had our top draft rating.

    (Previous rank: 14)

    17. Indiana Pacers | Future Power Rating: 497
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    126 (25th) 85 (16th) 167 (1st) 38 (21st) 81 (4th)

    The Pacers are coming off a terrible season, yet rose a whopping nine spots from No. 26 to No. 17 in our rankings. Given that the team is essentially Danny Granger and a lot of question marks, what gives? A couple of factors are fueling our optimism at the moment.

    First, center Roy Hibbert continues to show promise, as do three new Pacers: Via the draft, Indiana added swingman Paul George and two sleepers, Lance Stephenson and Magnum Rolle, to the roster. Stephenson, who has a lot of Tyreke Evans in his game, looks like a steal.

    Second, the Pacers are also flush with assets. They have a whopping $37 million in players with expiring contracts, including several -- Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford -- who could contribute to a playoff team, improving the odds that the Pacers could get a significant piece in return on the trade market.

    If the Pacers can't make a deal, they can walk into next summer with the most salary-cap space of any team in the league. Given their young stable of talent, they might be able to persuade a good free agent to go to Indy.

    The Pacers' struggles since the 2004 brawl are well-documented, but team execs Larry Bird and David Morway now have the franchise set up to make a big leap in 2011. It has been a painful journey in Indiana, but there isn't a team in the league with more flexibility.

    (Previous rank: 26)

    18. Milwaukee Bucks | Future Power Rating: 494
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    180 (20th) 129 (11th) 100 (15th) 38 (22nd) 47 (17th)

    The Bucks continue their rapid rise. In our first Future Power Rankings, the Bucks were ranked 29th. Less than a year later, the team is ranked 18th. A strong rookie performance from Brandon Jennings, a breakout year for Andrew Bogut, a midseason trade for John Salmons, and some hardnosed play down the stretch turned Milwaukee into a solid playoff team.

    This summer, Bucks GM John Hammond did his best to keep the momentum going. He re-signed Salmons, traded away two zero-impact players for Corey Maggette, drafted an intriguing and athletic big man in Larry Sanders, and brought in Drew Gooden to help on the boards.

    The moves weren't entirely helpful for the long run. The Bucks overpaid Gooden and perhaps Salmons too, and they gave up future cap space to get Maggette.

    But the Bucks look like a team that could be quite competitive in future seasons if things fall into place -- and if Jennings and Bogut continue to improve, they could be downright dangerous.

    (Previous rank: 21)

    19. Atlanta Hawks | Future Power Rating: 484
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    246 (9th) 76 (19th) 71 (24th) 46 (17th) 45 (18th)

    Atlanta dropped seven spots since our last Future Power Rankings, largely due to two factors.

    First, a depressing playoff performance took some of the shine off their roster -- although they won 53 games and got the third seed in the East, it's hard to credibly call this a contending bunch. A mix of three good young players -- Al Horford, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams -- along with a veteran in Joe Johnson is nice, but this group needs more to get over the hump. New coach Larry Drew will have a tough time coaxing similar results given how injury-free the Hawks were last season.

    Second, the enormous free-agent contract given to Joe Johnson is likely to be a significant liability going forward, especially given the franchise's reluctance to go into the luxury tax. As a result, money is likely to be extremely tight. As if to prove that point, the Hawks have barely dipped a toe into the free-agent market, and it may be difficult for them to keep Jamal Crawford as a free agent a year from now.

    (Previous rank: 13)

    20. Washington Wizards | Future Power Rating: 452
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    152 (23rd) 59 (22nd) 119 (9th) 48 (15th) 74 (7th)

    Washington was the biggest mover in our rankings, jumping up nine spots as a result of winning the lottery and grabbing John Wall with the first overall pick. Other, smaller positives also improved the Wizards' score. The change in ownership to Ted Leonsis promises to usher in a more reasoned approach (if his stewardship of the Capitals is any sign) after the team largely flew by the seat of its pants under Abe Pollin.

    Washington still has a toxic contract clogging up its salary cap with Gilbert Arenas, but in spite of it the Wizards should be well under the cap next summer. That might allow them to build a roof and some windows around Wall (sorry). In any case, with two decent frontcourt pieces already in place (JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche), the Wizards should be reasonably competitive in our three-year window.

    (Previous rank: 29)

  7. #6

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    21-25:

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-5-100802

    21. Golden State Warriors | Future Power Rating: 450
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    190 (18th) 40 (27th) 127 (8th) 42 (19th) 51 (14th)

    Rejoice, Warriors fans. After spending a year near the very bottom of our Future Power Rankings, thanks to a terrible management rating, Golden State is moving up. Chris Cohan is selling the team, and while we don't know what the new owners will do, we're confident they can't make as big a mess as Cohan, GM Larry Riley and coach Don Nelson have made.

    Still, the Warriors aren't ready to join the NBA's elite. Stephen Curry is a terrific talent, and he'll have a solid new pick-and-roll partner in David Lee. But the Warriors gave up promising youngster Anthony Randolph to get Lee, whose new $80 million contract is also a big one for the team to carry. And lottery pick Ekpe Udoh, out for five months with a wrist injury, will be an unproven 23-year-old rookie when he finally suits up with the Warriors.

    In part, Golden State's future depends on how things go with Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins, who appear to be available. Whether they are Warriors building blocks or can be traded for players that help the team fill its many holes, they are important young assets. That will be a big test for the new management team, when that team is in place.

    (Previous rank: 28)

    22. Detroit Pistons | Future Power Rating: 444
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    103 (26th) 113 (13th) 111 (11th) 38 (20th) 79 (5th)

    Add the Pistons to the ever-growing list of problems in Detroit. After an amazing run last decade, Detroit fans can no longer be confident in the franchise's future.

    Owner Bill Davidson has passed away and the team is up for sale. The Pistons lack a legitimate star, are stuck with a couple of bad contracts on their books, have no long-term solutions in the middle and have been plagued by injuries and apathy. And fans are no longer flocking to the Palace like they used to.

    One problem is that they don't have much to rally around, and team president Joe Dumars didn't shake things up this summer, either. Greg Monroe is a rookie with potential, but Pistons fans will need to be patient after his up-and-down performance in summer league. Among the youngsters, Austin Daye has shown promise and Jonas Jerebko should be a good role player. Veterans Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon are solid building blocks. But none of them is enough to get fans excited.

    For the Pistons to progress further than we've projected here, they'll need to get Richard Hamilton off the books, trade Tayshaun Prince for something of value before his contract expires after the 2010-11 season and get strong development from their young players. That adds up to a lot of ifs for a franchise that once seemed the steadiest in the NBA.

    (Previous rank: 20)

    23. New Orleans Hornets | Future Power Rating: 434
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    198 (16th) 52 (25th) 93 (18th) 26 (25th) 65 (11th)

    It's a good-news, bad-news situation in New Orleans. The good news is that the Hornets' disastrous cap situation will ease after this season, especially if they can pay somebody to take James Posey off their hands. Alas, New Orleans could be facing an even worse problem. Point guard Chris Paul appears to be trying to force his way out of town, taking with him the Hornets' lone source of star power.

    Even with the superstar guard, it's hard to get excited about the team's future. They have two good young guards in Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton and a minor star in power forward David West. The ownership is in flux while George Shinn negotiates a sale to Gary Chouest; the threadbare front office is now under the control of Dell Demps, who was fourth on the totem pole in San Antonio until his recent hiring; and the market is one of the least appealing for free agents. And while it's possible the Hornets could be well under the cap next summer, it's also possible West could leave as a free agent.

    (Previous rank: 24)

    24. Memphis Grizzlies | Future Power Rating: 428
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    204 (14th) 39 (28th) 113 (10th) 13 (30th) 59 (13th)

    Memphis has some pretty decent players, even if Zach Randolph doesn't stick around, and the fact the Grizzlies actually paid one of them to stay (Rudy Gay) is a positive sign going forward -- even if the deal wasn't terribly sensible. Memphis is in a good position cap-wise going forward, too, so its rating in the "money" category improved significantly from last time.

    Unfortunately, the negatives still strongly outweigh the positives. Owner Michael Heisley has largely usurped the GM role from Chris Wallace, with disastrous consequences -- most recently the selection of center Hasheem Thabeet -- and that's why the Grizzlies' management ranks 28th. And it's hard to get too giddy about the money when they're locked in a salary tussle with first-round pick Xavier Henry. Regardless of Randolph's future, the Gay-O.J. Mayo-Marc Gasol nucleus will prevent the Grizzlies from being terrible, but it's also hard to see them taking many steps forward.

    (Previous rank: 23)

    25. Philadelphia 76ers | Future Power Rating: 404
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    164 (21st) 77 (18th) 62 (27th) 36 (23rd) 65 (12th)

    The Sixers, coming off a 27-win season, will probably continue to struggle for a while. But the addition of college player of the year Evan Turner and the potential of second-year point guard Jrue Holiday provide hope. With Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams returning as well, Philly fans can be somewhat optimistic.

    The problem, as Sixers fans are well aware, is that GM Ed Stefanski's plan for the team is still a mystery. In recent years Philadelphia has signed Elton Brand to a huge contract, let Andre Miller walk to save money, brought in another expensive veteran in Andres Nocioni, traded away center Samuel Dalembert, hired and fired coach Eddie Jordan, hired a new coach in Doug Collins and made other moves that demonstrate no particular direction. So while the Sixers have an interesting young core, the team is also bogged down by players with bad contracts, is overloaded with overlapping talents and lacks shooting and an inside defensive presence.

    Philly also has no real ability to spend until the summer of 2013 and will be just good enough to pick in the late lottery (or lower) each year, significantly hindering its chances of becoming any better in the short term.

    (Previous rank: 22)

  8. #7

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    And 26-30. No love for the Bobcats....

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-6-100802

    26. Toronto Raptors | Future Power Rating: 402
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    94 (28th) 81 (17th) 110 (12th) 47 (16th) 70 (9th)

    These are pretty depressing times to be a Raptors fan. Team president Bryan Colangelo miscalculated with the team he put around Chris Bosh, failed to move the power forward when he had the chance last year and then lost him for relatively nothing this offseason. Now Toronto is in worse shape than when Colangelo arrived on the scene in 2006.

    Losing Bosh didn't have the same devastating effect that losing LeBron James had on the Cavs, but the Raptors still fell a whopping nine spots in our Future Power Rankings, a drop-off topped only by Cleveland's.

    A bolting Bosh wasn't the only factor contributing to Toronto's slide. 2009 free-agent signing Hedo Turkoglu was a major disappointment and was jettisoned to Phoenix after only one season. Meanwhile, the Raptors continue to shop starting point guard Jose Calderon, whom at this point they would be happy to get rid of for salary-cap relief.

    Furthermore, the Raptors ate up all their potential cap space by overpaying role players -- in a moment of apparent panic after Bosh's departure, Colangelo inexplicably gave Amir Johnson $34 million. Although the other summer additions, Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza, will contribute, they won't save this sinking ship.

    The only good news comes from a couple of young players who appear to have bright futures based on their talent and performances in the 2010 Las Vegas summer league. DeMar DeRozan had a breakout summer and has star ability if he puts it together. Toronto also lucked out when Ed Davis slipped to it at No. 13 in the draft, as he eventually could help fill Bosh's shoes.

    (Previous rank: 17)

    27. Phoenix Suns | Future Power Rating: 399
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    136 (24th) 55 (23rd) 95 (17th) 63 (9th) 50 (15th)

    The enthusiasm over the Suns' terrific run to the Western Conference finals was seriously dampened by a pretty crappy June and July.

    When team president and GM Steve Kerr resigned, owner Robert Sarver took over front-office operations and managed to do a great deal of damage in just a few weeks.

    First he lost Amare Stoudemire in free agency, and then he took on Hedo Turkoglu's huge contract while also overpaying Josh Childress (who plays the same position as Turkoglu), Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick. Sarver eventually brought on respected player agent Lon Babby as the team's new president, but at that point, most of the damage had been done.

    Sarver's moves will help keep the Suns respectable for the moment, but for the future, the picture is bleak. As Steve Nash ages, it's hard to imagine how the role players Phoenix has put around him will be able to prevent a Suns slide into irrelevance.

    (Previous rank: 25)

    28. Cleveland Cavaliers | Future Power Rating: 331
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    45 (29th) 45 (26th) 133 (7th) 22 (27th) 86 (2nd)

    We hate to pour salt on the wound, but LeBron's "Decision" destroyed his hometown franchise now and for the foreseeable future. Cavaliers fans continue to insist that it's the way LeBron ditched them that has caused so much anger, but over time, the real pain will be watching this Cavs team without him.

    In his open letter condemning LeBron, owner Dan Gilbert guaranteed the Cavs would win a championship without their former star, but that's easier said than done. Cleveland traditionally has not been a top free-agent destination. Now, the team has another problem: Gilbert's heat-of-the-moment diatribe against LeBron was read by players around the league, and a number of player agents have told us their clients don't want to play there after seeing how Gilbert treated a guy who made him hundreds of millions during the past several years. In any case, as we've seen this summer, players just won't flock to Cleveland without the lure of LeBron.

    The roster itself is another weak point. Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Anderson Varejao and J.J. Hickson are good pieces but not the kind of young talent that could carry the franchise forward in future seasons. The Cavs lack trade assets as well.

    Cleveland did get a bounty of draft picks from Miami in the LeBron sign-and-trade. But given how stacked the Heat are right now, those picks likely will be the worst in the first round -- and the Cavs aren't going to replace LeBron with a series of No. 30 draft picks.

    (Previous rank: 8)

    29. Minnesota Timberwolves | Future Power Rating: 326
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    101 (27th) 6 (30th) 140 (5th) 13 (29th) 66 (10th)

    The baffling tenure of general manager David Kahn and the long-running incompetence of owner Glen Taylor combine to give the Timberwolves the lowest score for management in our ratings. A $20 million deal to Darko Milicic, a bizarre infatuation with Milwaukee point guards and a sweetheart of a trade that sent out Al Jefferson are the major points of contention, but there are plenty of others. In short, nobody is quite sure whether he's coming or going.

    Minnesota has two other negatives. The first is a built-in one called winter, which helps make it one of the least favorable markets. But the second was inflicted by the previous and equally disastrous regime of Kevin McHale: There's a good chance the Timberwolves will owe the Clippers a completely unprotected first-round draft pick in 2012.

    The Wolves aren't devoid of talent; Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and, if he ever arrives, Ricky Rubio, are three nice pieces. Additionally, they'll have as much cap room as anyone, and Taylor has shown he's willing to spend. But the structure isn't in place for success.

    (Previous rank: 27)

    30. Charlotte Bobcats | Future Power Rating: 176
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    40 (30th) 25 (29th) 40 (30th) 26 (26th) 45 (19th)

    Despite the Bobcats' first playoff appearance last season, we remain more bearish on their future than on any other team's. In fact, Charlotte not only came in last in our ratings, it also achieved barely half the score of the No. 29 Timberwolves. (How's that for a slogan: "Our future is twice as bleak as Minnesota's!")

    The Bobcats continue to accumulate veteran players with bad contracts and lack the financial resources to get out of the hole that awaits them. They have one decent young player (Tyrus Thomas) but still owe a future first-round pick to the Bulls for him, and they already have started stripping the roster, losing point guard Raymond Felton without a fight and swapping Tyson Chandler in a deal that hardly saved any money and dashed any hope of having significant cap space in 2011.

    Unfortunately, the short-term mindset of both new majority owner Michael Jordan and coach Larry Brown is likely to make matters worse. Brown's draft input has been particularly disastrous -- instead of grabbing Ty Lawson, Brook Lopez and Nicolas Batum, the Bobcats' past three first-rounders were Alexis Ajinca, D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson. In that sense, perhaps it's a good thing they already traded away next year's pick.

    (Previous rank: 30)

  9. #8

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Hollinger and Ford are responsible. Here are rating criteria:

    HOW FUTURE POWER RATING IS DETERMINED
    PLAYERS (0 to 400 points): Current players and their potential for the future, factoring in expected departures
    MANAGEMENT (0 to 200 points): Quality and stability of front office, ownership, coaching
    MONEY (0 to 200 points): Projected salary-cap situation; ability and willingness to exceed cap and pay luxury tax
    MARKET (0 to 100 points): Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city's desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans
    DRAFT (0 to 100 points): Future draft picks; draft positioning

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-6-100802

  10. #9
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    I study nuclear science
    I love my classes
    I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
    Things are going great, and they're only getting better
    I'm doing all right, getting good grades
    The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

    I've got a job waiting for my graduation
    Fifty thou a year -- buys a lot of beer
    Things are going great, and they're only getting better
    I'm doing all right, getting good grades
    The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

    Well I'm heavenly blessed and worldly wise
    I'm a peeping-tom techie with x-ray eyes
    Things are going great, and they're only getting better
    I'm doing all right, getting good grades
    The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

    I study nuclear science
    I love my classes
    I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses
    Things are going great, and they're only getting better
    I'm doing all right, getting good grades
    The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
    I gotta wear shades, I gotta wear shades

  11. #10
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    I find it discouraging that the Celtics appear - from this list - to have a better future than the Pacers.

    For the 2012 season, is:

    Rondo/ TBD/ TBD/ TBD/ Perkins backed up by TBD/ TBD/ TBD/ TBD

    really better than

    TBD/ Rush/ Granger/ George/ Hibbert backed up by TBD/ Lance/ Tyler/ Magnum

    ???

    Ouch.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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  13. #11
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I find it discouraging that the Celtics appear - from this list - to have a better future than the Pacers.

    For the 2012 season, is:

    Rondo/ TBD/ TBD/ TBD/ Perkins backed up by TBD/ TBD/ TBD/ TBD

    really better than

    TBD/ Rush/ Granger/ George/ Hibbert backed up by TBD/ Lance/ Tyler/ Magnum

    ???

    Ouch.
    Rondo appears to be the best player of the bunch, playing a premium position. Perkins is probably considered (accurately) better than Hibbert. Jury's out on George, and no one outside of this board really cares one way or the other about Rush, Lance, Tyler, or Magnum.

    Better market and better management.

    If you look at the ratings, the only reason the Pacers even make middle of the pack is because they've got lots of money coming of the books, and they're expected to suck - resulting in good draft picks.

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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Rondo appears to be the best player of the bunch, playing a premium position. Perkins is probably considered (accurately) better than Hibbert. Jury's out on George, and no one outside of this board really cares one way or the other about Rush, Lance, Tyler, or Magnum.

    Better market and better management.

    If you look at the ratings, the only reason the Pacers even make middle of the pack is because they've got lots of money coming of the books, and they're expected to suck - resulting in good draft picks.
    we can only hope

  16. #13
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    we can only hope
    I'd rather see us win, I'm tired of rooting for us to lose by midseason for draft picks.

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  18. #14
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    #17? If the top 16 teams are playoff teams, then we're right where we've been... best of the worst.
    Welcome to Pacers Digest! New around here? Here are three tips for making the forum a great place to talk about Pacers basketball.

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    Enjoy your time at PD!

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  20. #15
    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    well the negative way to look at it is that they think our future looks slightly more bleak than the Clippers'

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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by cdash View Post
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    I'd rather see us win, I'm tired of rooting for us to lose by midseason for draft picks.
    I go by the Herm Edwards way of thinking. "You play to win the game.....Hello...You play to win the game" So as much as it might be smart to want to lose for a "better" draft pick, and there's no certainty there, I want the W!!
    Doing the twitter thing JonnyB83
    Also JonnyB83 on facebook....we should be friends!

  22. #17
    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    #17? If the top 16 teams are playoff teams, then we're right where we've been... best of the worst.
    #17 isn't bad when you have over 35 million in cap space to help you climb that ladder

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  24. #18
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    #17 isn't bad when you have over 35 million in cap space to help you climb that ladder
    My thoughts exactly. I am also... excited at the prospect of another high draft pick... But I'm always wanting the W's. Makin the playoffs. I'll take the 8 seed man!!

    Ok thats out. For real though, I couldn' be more excited by this upcoming season, regardless of what does or does not go down from here.

    Win or lose this year, We WIN! lets let that feel good for the start of this fresh *** new season.
    Reggie Miller is a God. Period.

    Passion. Pride. Pacers.

    It's ALWAYS Miller Time.
    #31 & Only


  25. #19
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Count55
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    If you look at the ratings, the only reason the Pacers even make middle of the pack is because they've got lots of money coming of the books, and they're expected to suck - resulting in good draft picks.
    we can only hope

    Are you starting this bull*hit already? Christ, we haven't even inflated the balls for the season, let alone thrown one up and this nonsense has already been posted...

    I can see what this season is going to be about already...
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

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  27. #20

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Its really hard to project the future but I do think that this draft has given us the shot in the arm that has been missing for 3-4 seasons.

    But why we are ranked ahead of teams like the Hawks, Griz, Suns, Bucks and even Wolves is kind of amazing. We have only one All Star and its hard to project 2nd round picks as future all stars or even Paul George for that matter.

    Hibbert has upside but his flaws are as obvious today as they were when he slid to the 17th pick as a college senior. Tyle and McBob are up and coming players to be sure but the backcourt remains a black hole deft of any real talent besides Lance and George at the 2.

    I like our upside as well but I can make a betetr case for a team with Johnson, Horford and Smith. Or one with Mayo, Gay, Gasol, Randolph and Conley and a slew of talented young guys. And Phoenix' no name bench was awesome last year giving LA all it wanted in WCF. Its not just Nash and Grant Hill anymore and they have JRich about to expire as well.

  28. #21

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    6 through 10...

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insid...kings-2-100805

    6. Portland Trail Blazers | Future Power Rating: 593
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    278 (6th) 142 (10th) 81 (22nd) 58 (12th) 34 (21st)

    Portland's management dropped from No. 4 to No. 10 in this survey based almost entirely on its ham-handed handling of general manager Kevin Pritchard's dismissal. We may never know the real story that led to his ouster, but we do know that one of the league's best talent evaluators was bizarrely shown the door on the day of the draft, and the team allowed itself to limp through a crucial free-agency period with nobody at the tiller. The Blazers righted themselves with the hiring of Rich Cho, but the shadowy "Vulcans" working under Paul Allen in Seattle remain a concern.

    The other concern for the Blazers is that three key starters, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and Nicolas Batum, all had serious injuries last season. That trio plus LaMarcus Aldridge is the core of what should be a perennial Western Conference contender. But there are enough question marks in Portland that despite the Blazers' highly rated personnel department, several clubs now outrank them.

    (Previous rank: 5)

    7. Orlando Magic | Future Power Rating: 591
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    316 (4th) 129 (12th) 53 (28th) 75 (4th) 18 (26th)

    We liked Orlando's roster the best in March, but now the Magic don't even have best roster in Florida. Plus, we're focused down the line, past this coming season, and that hurts the outlook for four of the five Magic starters. Nonetheless, this team looks stacked for the long term with Dwight Howard at center and a constellation of minor stars surrounding him. Additionally, keep an eye on young forward Ryan Anderson, who could become a better version of Troy Murphy.

    Orlando's market looms as another big factor in its favor. With a new arena, a balmy climate and a dominant big man, it's already near the top of Chris Paul's short list of future destinations and could pop up on other players', too.

    The only major concern is the serious money the team is taking on. Orlando is a small market, but the team is well into the luxury tax and probably will remain that way for a while unless ownership demands a budget slashing. For now, it hasn't, and with that, solid personnel moves under GM Otis Smith and the exacting coaching of Stan Van Gundy, the Magic get good marks for management.

    (Previous rank: 3)

    8. Utah Jazz | Future Power Rating: 578
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    262 (7th) 161 (4th) 84 (21st) 44 (18th) 17 (27th)

    The Jazz remain under the radar but consistently impressive. In fact, in our rankings, they managed to move up in four of the five categories. However, Utah, no longer armed with the Knicks' first-round pick, slid 17 spots in our draft ranking and, as a result, fell from No. 6 to No. 8 overall.

    Despite multiple setbacks this summer, Utah's future continues to look bright. In particular, Deron Williams shines at point guard and Paul Millsap is a young, tenacious power forward. In the short run, losing Carlos Boozer and Wesley Matthews will hurt, but Al Jefferson should fill Boozer's shoes as an interior scorer and rookie Gordon Hayward brings a lot to the table as well.

    The Jazz also have a very interesting trading chip in Andrei Kirilenko. Although he has an expiring contract, he's also a valuable player whom a contender might target. If the Jazz are willing to take back a longer deal, they could add even more firepower by the trade deadline.

    (Previous rank: 6)

    9. Denver Nuggets | Future Power Rating: 567
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    254 (8th) 142 (9th) 85 (19th) 53 (13th) 33 (23rd)

    Denver has a lot to be worried about. Carmelo Anthony can be a free agent after the season, and Nene and J.R. Smith also can depart. Chauncey Billups isn't getting any younger, the front office is in flux with execs Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman heading out the door, and although it's a very pleasant city, it's not exactly a free-agent magnet.

    That said, the Nuggets have a lot of positives. The most important is that their cash crunch will ease when Kenyon Martin's $17 million deal comes off the books after the season, finally allowing the Nuggets to go on the market without one hand tied behind their back. Additionally, they already have a superstar in place -- a major advantage compared to the competition. As long as Melo and Nene stay on the roster, the Nuggets should keep a high ranking for the foreseeable future.

    (Previous rank: 7)

    10. San Antonio Spurs | Future Power Rating: 555
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    194 (17th) 183 (1st) 80 (23rd) 64 (7th) 34 (22nd)

    The Spurs have been the league's model franchise of the past decade. Although they've shown signs of slippage on the court, we continue to have faith that the top front office in the league will help them remain a winning team for the foreseeable future.

    Injuries and age have taken their toll in San Antonio, particularly with Tim Duncan (age 34) and Manu Ginobili (33), but the Spurs also have some young legs: Tony Parker (28) remains in his prime, and George Hill (24) and DeJuan Blair (21) appear to have bright futures. If Tiago Splitter, their long-awaited import, can fulfill expectations, the Spurs could be a lot more formidable going forward than most realize.

    Given the brainpower and spending power of the Spurs' stellar management, we think they'll continue to find ways to stay in contention.

    (Previous rank: 12)

  29. #22

    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    1 through 5....

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/news/...kings-1-100805

    1. Miami Heat | Future Power Rating: 707
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    387 (1st) 174 (3rd) 46 (29th) 99 (1st) 1 (30th)

    Despite a middling 2009-10 regular season, Miami ranked No. 4 in the previous edition of the Future Power Rankings. Now you know why.

    For those of you who spent July spelunking in Borneo, the Heat pulled off one of the great coups in NBA history, inking LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join forces with Dwyane Wade and then surrounding them with a decent crop of role players.

    Miami's management also jumps nine spots to the No. 3 position, as Pat Riley showed he can still make the decisive big-picture moves to steer a franchise the right way. (On smaller moves, the track record remains mixed -- witness Joel Anthony's five-year, $18 million deal.)

    Money now looms as an issue for the Heat, who were No. 2 in the category last time, and they will have to rely on the midlevel exception to build out a somewhat limited roster in future seasons. Additionally, ownership has been reluctant to pay the luxury tax in the past, although that may change with the arrival of the Miami Thrice cash cow.

    Despite those concerns, the Heat are an easy choice for the No. 1 spot. They have the best market -- a tax-free, warm-weather city with a vibrant night life and three superstars. They have the best players, with James, Wade and Bosh. And for the three seasons that run from 2011 to 2014, they have the best outlook.

    (Previous rank: 4)

    2. Los Angeles Lakers | Future Power Rating: 697
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    346 (2nd) 176 (2nd) 70 (25th) 96 (2nd) 9 (28th)

    The Lakers were No. 2 the last time we did this and remain there this time around. But in two important respects, L.A.'s outlook has changed.

    First, their market is no longer rated as the most desirable -- Miami surpassed the Lakers with their additions this summer, although Los Angeles remains a close second because of its great weather, rabid fan base and superior cachet.

    The Lakers also moved up three spots to No. 2 in our management ranking. GM Mitch Kupchak has made a series of shrewd moves -- the de facto swap of Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest last offseason and the trade for Shannon Brown the year before -- that have kept L.A. a step ahead of the league. And he's done it all from the shadows while managing several outsized egos. Owner Jerry Buss, meanwhile, has figured out how to spend for quality while paring down excess costs, preventing the salary bloat that has hamstrung other large-market teams through the years (cough, New York, cough).

    On the court, the Lakers also have to worry about the knees of Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, and whether Phil Jackson will be game for yet another go-round after the upcoming season. Nonetheless, a Kobe-Pau Gasol-Bynum combo looks more formidable than any other roster in the West.

    (Previous rank: 2)

    3. Oklahoma City Thunder | Future Power Rating: 679
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    316 (3rd) 159 (5th) 135 (6th) 35 (24th) 34 (20th)

    The Thunder have fallen from their perch atop the Future Power Rankings to third, even though they've done little wrong. But they didn't have the offseason Miami did, obviously, and the Lakers slid past them too as a result of their continued success putting the right pieces around their core.

    Can the Thunder do the same? Kevin Durant is an MVP candidate, and having him under contract for five more seasons should make Oklahoma City a much more desirable destination for other players -- at least for those not angling for good weather or a bustling night life.

    While the Thunder have plenty of good young players around Durant, it remains to be seen whether any will join him on the journey to stardom. To match up against the likes of L.A. or Miami, they'll need somebody like Russell Westbrook, James Harden or Serge Ibaka to become an elite-level player.

    (Previous rank: 1)

    4. Chicago Bulls | Future Power Rating: 606
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    288 (5th) 102 (14th) 101 (14th) 68 (6th) 47 (16th)

    The Bulls didn't get LeBron, Wade or Bosh, but they still made a major move up our rankings.

    Some of their rise comes from our belief that young players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah will continue to blossom in Chicago. But a lot of it has to do with three pieces they added this summer: Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.

    Boozer especially looks to be a terrific fit for Chicago. The Bulls have desperately needed a low-post scorer since trading away Elton Brand nine years ago, and Boozer should command a double-team in the paint. Korver is also a godsend, as he joins a team with almost no other outside shooting.

    Chicago gets a slight bump in its management rating, too, for hiring new coach Tom Thibodeau. While it's too early to project what sort of success he'll have as a head coach, Thibodeau, a former Boston assistant, was a critical part of the Celtics' success the past few years and is widely regarded as the best defensive coach in the league. Vinny Del Negro was a better coach than he got credit for, but Thibodeau brings a lot to the table that Del Negro just didn't have.

    On the downside, the Bulls had to give up Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich and the No. 17 pick in the draft to get all of that cap space this summer. Thomas, a recent lottery pick, showed enormous potential but was inconsistent and never won the confidence of his coaches. Hinrich, on the other hand, was a veteran anchor who will be missed.

    (Previous rank: 9)

    5. Houston Rockets | Future Power Rating: 605
    PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
    214 (10th) 157 (6th) 96 (16th) 60 (11th) 78 (6th)

    Houston has a lot of assets thanks to a trade-deadline fleecing of the Knicks that could give the team high draft picks in both 2011 and 2012. But the Rockets rank in the top five in our rankings because the cast already on hand looks strong.

    Yao Ming's health is obviously a concern, but Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry, Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier, Chase Budinger, Luis Scola, Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson give Houston a nice foundation. If Yao comes back reasonably healthy (the odds of which we disagreed about), the Rockets could be very good, indeed.

    Additionally, the Rockets rate fairly well in the money category despite being well into the luxury tax. Most of the contracts on the books are short, and ownership has shown a willingness to spend money, both with contracts and paying for draft picks. Houston has shown strong management, as well, mixing GM Daryl Morey's analytics focus with solid scouting, as evidenced by a string of successful drafts.

    (Previous rank: 10)

  30. #23
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's Future Power Rankings: Pacers at #17

    Quote Originally Posted by pwee31 View Post
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    #17 isn't bad when you have over 35 million in cap space to help you climb that ladder
    Not to rain on your parade, but that money is taken into account in the ranking. From a player perspective, it has us around 25th, but this ranking basically says that they think we can get from being a bottom-of-the-barrel team to a borderline playoff team by using that cap space and the expected high draft picks.

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