The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider's projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Consider this a convenient way to see the direction in which your favorite team is headed.
Each of the NBA's 30 teams received an overall Future Power Rating of 0 to 100, based on how well we expect each team to perform in the next three seasons.
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 50 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 expect the team to have in the future.
To rank the 30 teams, we asked ESPN Insider analysts Chad Ford, Amin Elhassan, Tom Haberstroh and Kevin Pelton to rate each team in each category.
Here are our latest rankings:
The bar graphs reflect the average points given by the voters for each category.
This is the first time in Future Power Rankings' five-year history that the Spurs have ranked No. 1. Winning a championship will do that, and despite the age of San Antonio's three long-tenured stars, the Spurs' short-term future still appears bright. San Antonio brings basically everyone back from last year's roster with exception of reserve center Aron Baynes.
Given the way coach Gregg Popovich has managed his players' minutes, there's reason to believe the Spurs can wring at least one more championship-caliber season out of aging veterans Tim Duncan (38) and Manu Ginobili (37).
Looking ahead, the question of replacing Duncan -- when he decides to head off to retirement -- looms large. San Antonio is counting on Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, 23, developing into the kind of player who can anchor a contending team.
Leonard is likely to sign a long-term extension this fall, the Spurs having already locked up point guard Tony Parker through 2017-18 this summer. San Antonio also will have to re-sign starting guard Danny Green, which will cut into the team's cap flexibility the next two summers.
Still, if there's any management we trust to manage the future, it's the Spurs, who earned a perfect score. Popovich is clearly the league's best coach -- he might be as difficult to replace as Duncan when he decides to retire -- and GM R.C. Buford earned overdue honors as the league's Executive of the Year in 2013-14.
-- Kevin Pelton
(Previous rank: 4)