The Cavaliers and the Warriors will face off in the Finals for a third straight season, but even though they've continually been the favorites to come out of their respective conferences, nothing in the future is guaranteed.
By using the draft and free agency (along with the massive amount of potential trade possibilities that exist), teams will do everything they can to retool their rosters this summer in an attempt to catch up to the superteams that have been assembled in Cleveland and Golden State.
Here are seven squads that could reach the Finals next season.
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The Jazz may deserve a higher ranking here, based on the way the team came together this season and with Rudy Gobert emerging as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. But there are too many questions in terms of the roster's future.
Gordon Hayward and George Hill will become unrestricted free agents, and Joe Ingles will hit restricted free agency, as well. The Hayward question is by far the largest, but Hill and Ingles were key players for a 51-win Utah team all season long.
The Jazz are poised to make a leap, certainly. But it'll be up to the front office not to screw things up.
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Another team with huge question marks heading into the summer, the Clippers will see Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick all become unrestricted free agents. L.A. could attempt to bring them all back and blame injuries for the fact that the team has yet to advance past the second round of the playoffs.
But it's more likely we'll see some changes instead, if not in the form of Griffin or Paul (who would have to leave a ton of money on the table to sign somewhere else), then perhaps by moving some of the other pieces.
Even if things remain status quo, a healthy Clippers team as currently constructed would continue to be a threat in the West.
The Spurs are always in the playoff mix, and Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich will make sure that doesn't change next season. But the roster probably will look significantly different than it did during the team's run to the Western Conference finals this year.
Manu Ginobili likely is heading into retirement, while key role players like Dewayne Dedmon and Patty Mills both will be unrestricted free agents. Jonathon Simmons will be a restricted free agent, and the Spurs, of course, will have the right to match any offer he may receive. But the way he performed while Leonard was injured may have driven the price too high for San Antonio's taste.
There's always the possibility of adding talent in free agency, and the Spurs have a proven track record of reshaping the roster and contending season after season. We wouldn't expect anything different in 2018.
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The Rockets were arguably the best equipped to take down the Warriors in a series this season, thanks to the way James Harden orchestrated an anylytics-heavy offense that resulted in plenty of open looks from three-point distance. Houston was the one team that could try to outscore Golden State, but a meltdown against the Spurs robbed us of the chance to see that very intriguing matchup.
Depending on how the roster evolves next season (all the key rotation players are under contract except Nene, who's an unrestricted free agent), the Rockets could secure enough talent to provide the Warriors with a significant challenge.
But he's got to slow down at some point, and the Celtics were good enough to finish first in the East during the regular season this year, even with James at the height of his powers.
The Cavaliers essentially will be the same team next season, save for a few reserves or veteran role players who may come aboard on minimum-salary deals. Other teams (like Boston) have a far greater chance of making a significant leap in terms of improving the roster.
The Celtics already finished with the best record in the East in 2017 and have the No. 1 pick in the draft and plenty of assets to work with if they want to add another star to the roster. It remains to be seen whether Danny Ainge will attempt to do so now, or simply wait until we see the skill set of LeBron James finally start to decline before pulling the trigger on any more franchise-altering moves.
But no matter what Boston decides, this is the one team that has the best chance of ending LeBron's seven-year streak of reaching the Finals — and we think that can happen as early as next season.
Golden State Warriors
As stacked as the Warriors are, there are more potential threats in the West than there are in the East, which could make for a tough road through the playoffs one of these years if all of their opponents are ever healthy at the exact same time.
We're not ready to predict it'll happen next season, but no matter how invincible this version of the Warriors seems, the combination of trades, free agency and potential injuries means that eventually, another team is bound to catch up.