Several NBA teams have built their rosters around young talent through the draft, free agency and trades and are looking to take the next step.
Despite past struggles, these teams have shown glimpses of potential.
Here are the five young cores that are hoping to become more competitive in the coming years.
Last season, the Kings finished ninth in a tough Western Conference, led by rising star point guard De’Aaron Fox.
In his second season, Fox not only showcased his speed and athleticism, but also his scrappiness on defense, as he averaged 1.6 steals.
Shooting guards Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic are both 26 and in the prime of their careers.
They are solid shooters, as they have shot 41.9% and 37.5% from three-point respectively in their careers.
Marvin Bagley III had a strong second half of the season, averaging 18.5 points and 9.2 rebounds after the All-Star break.
This team could be poised to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans drafted one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory in Zion Williamson.
After the weird season with the Anthony Davis saga, the Pelicans overhauled their roster and finally traded Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.
They got a trio of exciting young players in return in Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram.
These three along with rookies Williamson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes have plenty of athleticism.
The potential of Ball-Williamson and Ball-Hayes alley-oops is a scary thought for opposing teams.
The Pelicans length on defense combined with a potential new “Lob City” will generate headaches for defenses.
The Hawks were headlined by their dynamic duo of Rookie of the Year runner-up Trae Young and versatile power forward John Collins.
Young averaged 24.7 points and 9.2 assists in 23 games after the All-Star break while Collins almost averaged a double-double for the season, putting up 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds.
Sharpshooter Kevin Huerter also shot 38.5% from three-point.
Top-10 2019 lottery picks De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish were quality defenders in college, something that the Hawks need, as they gave up the most points and had the third worst defensive rating in the NBA last season.
The Suns have arguably one of the most pure scorers in the NBA in Devin Booker.
After De’Andre Ayton was drafted in 2018, he said that he could see him and Booker being “a little Shaq and Kobe 2.0.”
Ayton was the third rookie since 2010 to average a double-double, putting up 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.
The Suns also have Kelly Oubre Jr., Mikal Bridges and rookies Cameron Johnson and Ty Jerome.
Oubre Jr. averaged 16.9 points in 40 games with the Suns after he was traded from the Washington Wizards, while Bridges averaged 1.6 steals which led all rookies.
Johnson and Jerome were efficient shooters in college, shooting 45.7% and 43.5% from the field respectively.
The Bulls drafted Coby White who is another quick, athletic guard like fellow backcourt mate Zach LaVine.
White averaged a balanced 15 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the Summer League.
If White and LaVine’s shooting continues to improve, they will be able to space the floor for the offense.
Wendell Carter Jr. only played 44 games last season, but he flashed skill on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, showing that he can be a defensive anchor and rim protector.
Like other teams on this list, the Bulls have an exciting young duo in LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, who averaged a combined 42.4 points last season.