A chef is only as good as the grocery available to him. It’s pretty difficult to cook a five-star meal with only Top Ramen noodles.
The same idea could be said with an NBA team. Even the best coaches have a hard time with replacement level NBA players or players who don’t quite fit their schemes. Below are the best teams at picking groceries. In other words, these teams’ front offices do a good job working the market and improving their rosters.
Honorable Mention – Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers receive a huge bump by landing LeBron James. Add on the promising young talent they have accumulated in the past three years and the groceries in this cupboard are pretty excellent. There are two reasons why they are not in the top five.
First, they traded away a D’Angelo Russell without letting the youth movement run its’ course for a small amount of time in Los Angeles. Lastly, they took on Luol Deng and his massive contract that has handicapped them especially this offseason. Magic Johnson should be a busy man for the next few offseasons.
5. Miami Heat
Pat Riley dresses like an Italian godfather and operates like one as well. He landed LeBron and Chris Bosh eight years ago. Those moves are still sending ripple effects around the league. Since LeBron went back to Cleveland, Riley has done a good job keeping a competitive roster in Miami.
Riley found a hidden gem in Hassan Whiteside. He acquired Goran Dragic too. The Heat could turn heads next year with James in LA now.
4. Houston Rockets
The heist of James Harden is a good place to start. That is ski mask Hall of Fame material. Since then, Daryl Morey has found a nice gem in Clint Capela, orchestrated a trade for Chris Paul, and assembled a team that’s been the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors even with Kevin Durant on the roster. Might Morey have another trick up his sleeve to get them over the hump?
3. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are a model of excellence. They haven’t missed the playoffs in 20 years. Despite the lack of household names to the casual NBA fan, they’re consistently a tough out in the playoffs. They got everyone hip to the idea of scouting and drafting foreign players. When you think of NBA consistency, you have to think of San Antonio with RC Buford running the show. The only reason they’re not higher is that of the Kawhi Leonard situation.
2. Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge is definitely on the ski mask Mount Rushmore as the ultimate thief in the night when it comes to acquiring talent or assets. The trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett buoyed them into this period as potentially the new dominant team in the East. The drafting of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier have been good moves that are paying off. The Celtics have two budding stars in Brown and Tatum while Rozier is coming into his own.
Being active past the draft has made them even more lethal. Signing Gordon Hayward and trading for Kyrie Irving has them sitting nicely as they are the early favorites to make it to the NBA Finals out East. The only thing holding them at number two on this list is a lack of championship hardware.
1. Golden State Warriors
First and foremost, the front office did a good job drafting Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The addition of Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have paid off too in getting their young stars to understand the importance of winning. Firing Mark Jackson and hiring Steve Kerr, instead of Stan Van Gundy was a bold move too that paid off.
Joe Lacob and Bob Myers finding a way to sign Kevin Durant and, now, DeMarcus Cousins could put the Dubs in the conversation of greatest dynasty ever. Golden State has taken team building to a level the league has not seen before. They have top five talent at every position.