The NBA looks a whole lot different than it did since the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in this year's Finals.
New offseason signings have completely changed the landscape of the league, as many teams have acquired some serious talent which could really alter the league in the years to come. This year's draft class was also one of the deepest we have seen in years, as many NBA teams are excited and looking forward to the future. Looking into the future is what this article is all about, as we will be predicting the contestants and the winners of the next five NBA Finals. While it may look like teams such as the Warriors and the Cavaliers have their Finals positions secured for next year, great young teams will soon be ready to take the league by storm, as new rivalries and new superstars are just around the corner.
In this article, we will be predicting the Eastern and Western Conference winners, and which team will bring home the championship for the next five years. Using factors such as new signings, development of young players, future draft selections, and multiple others, this is most likely what the NBA Finals will look like for the next five years.
15 2016-17 Eastern Conference Champions: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are fresh off their historic series win against the Warriors this year, as they came back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals, something no NBA team has ever done before. Cleveland's championship drought is now over, and the team and fans are hungry for more. The Cavaliers have the star power needed to compete against the great teams in the league, as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are some of the NBA's top players. The team's chemistry is also at an all-time high, as they will most likely improve on their 57 win season last year, and will probably break the 60 win mark this season.
14 2016-17 Western Conference Champions: Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are a hot topic in the NBA right now, as their recent acquisition of superstar Kevin Durant is extremely interesting. Adding the superstar to the roster may seem like a dream come true, but the Warriors are a tight-nit group, and there will be a lot of pressure on KD to not affect the chemistry of the team. No, the Golden State Warriors will not win every game this season, as they will probably even have a worse record than their historic 73-9 season last year, as they will be working out a lot of kinks throughout the season. The Western Conference isn't as tough as it was last year, as the Thunder are no longer a big threat due to Durant's departure, and the Spurs will miss Tim Duncan's presence greatly.
13 2016-17 NBA Champions: Cleveland Cavaliers
This is a bold prediction, but I don't think the Warriors will be able to beat the Cavaliers in next year's finals. LeBron will be on a mission all series, as he will know that a championship series win against the seemingly over powered Golden State will help greatly for his G.O.A.T considerations. While the Warriors had the entire regular season to get their chemistry where it needs to be, who will be the leader of the team will still yet to be determined, which will hurt the Warriors.
12 2017-18 Eastern Conference Champions: Cleveland Cavaliers
11 2017-18 Western Conference Champions: Golden State Warriors
The problem the Warriors had the previous year in our fantasy world, team chemistry, has since been resolved, and the Warriors absolutely walked their way to the championship, as their offensive fire power was too much for the other teams in the league to handle. Breaking their own record of 73-9 two years earlier, the Warriors starting five is a well oiled scoring machine. Kevin Durant finally feels at home when he plays, and his presence will be no longer a burden for the Warriors, and he will contribute big buckets in the team's path to the finals.
10 2017-18 NBA Champions: Golden State Warriors
9 2018-19 Eastern Conference Champions: Philadelphia 76ers
8 2018-19 Western Conference Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
That's right, by the 2018-19 NBA Season, the top two teams in the league will be the 76ers and the Lakers. Similarly to the Sixers, their acquisition of Brandon Ingram in the 2016 NBA Draft was the final piece for the Lakers becoming a top tier team in the league, as L.A. once again became a respective basketball destination. Most likely signing a big name in one of the offseasons leading up to this, the Lakers team will most likely be the favorite against the Sixers in this match-up. The 2001 NBA Finals rematch will look very similar, as the Lakers will be a better team than their opponent, but nothing is guaranteed in the NBA.
7 2018-19 NBA Finals Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers will win their 17th NBA championship by the 2018-19 NBA season, which would tie them with the Boston Celtics for most all-time. As a Sixers fan, it pains me to say that the Lakers will be a bit better than the Sixers three years from now. Considering the 2001 Lakers steamrolled the Sixers other than Game 1, the 2018-19 rematch wouldn't be as easy for the Lakers this time however. With Los Angeles being such a big market, the slight edge the Lakers have over the Sixers is free agency, which will ultimately give them the series win over Philadelphia.
6 2019-20 Eastern Conference Champions: Milawaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are quietly building a very strong team and a few years from now, when LeBron's stranglehold over the Eastern Conference is over, the Bucks will be one of the team's emerging to challenge for the NBA Championship. The Bucks have a solid team in Michael Carter-Williams, big man Greg Monroe and the 'Greek Freak' Giannis Antetokounmpo is a very promising young star. They'll have to hope that second overall pick from 2014 Jabari Parker proves to be a star.
The Bucks are already very strong defensively and by 2020, their offense will have improved significantly enough to make a run to the NBA Finals. Perhaps LeBron's Cavs will be standing in their way, with their run on top coming to an end. The Bucks haven't made it to the NBA Finals since 1974, but that drought could end at the turn of the next decade.
5 2019-20 Western Conference Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
4 2019-20 NBA Finals Champions: Los Angeles Lakers
The new Lakers dynasty is official underway by now, as the team brought home it's league leading 18th NBA championship. It does feel a bit odd saying that D-Loading is a superstar, but as a rookie, he showed many flashes of what could be, and he has the ceiling to be one of the greatest Lakers of all time. The help of Brandon Ingram never hurts either, as he will be one of the leagues premier scorers due to his nice touch and length on the court.
3 2020-21 Eastern Conference Champions: Philadelphia 76ers
2 2020-21 Western Conference Champions: Minnesota Timberwolves
Similar to the Sixers, the talent the Timberwolves have right now will garner them a lot of success in a few years. Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and new addition Kris Dunn, will be the strong core of the Timberwolves, as they will be one of the hardest teams to beat in the league. Most likely beating out the Lakers for their championship birth for the 2019-20 NBA season, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be in the finals for the first time since being established in 1989. The young T-Wolves players have developed a lot since 2016, as all of their young stars will most likely be some of the best players in the league by the time the 2019-20 season rolls around. The Lakers and the Timberwolves will most likely battle for Western Conference dominance for years.
1 2020-21 NBA Finals Champions: Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers will be the champions of the basketball world after the 2020-21 NBA season! It was a long road for the team, as they went from being the laughingstock of the league to gradually becoming a force in the association. While the Sixers would be better equipped this time around to try to compete against the Lakers, which they lost to two years earlier, they will not get the chance here. In any event, in this fantasy 2021 series, the 76ers were the overall better team going into the showdown against the T-Wolves, and capitalized on it. While there will be a lot of celebrating going on in the great city of Philadelphia, the years ahead will be even tougher, as the rivalry between the Sixers and the Lakers could garner some of the greatest battles in the NBA's great history.
So share this article, and in five years, come back to it to see if I'm utterly wrong on these predictions or if you've actually read the works of an NBA genius!
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