Which bad team has the best young core?

Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball during the game against Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

There were five teams in the NBA that won 25 games or fewer last season and the Detroit Pistons were one of them.

We recently took a guess at which bad team would be good first, and looked at the Pistons, Pacers, Magic, Rockets and Thunder, the five worst teams in the NBA last season.

None of these teams will be bad for long, as all have exciting young talent that should be the future All-Stars of the league.

All five of these teams have a solid core of young talent to build around, but which team is the best?

For the purposes of these rankings I looked at only players under 25 that are considered to be part of the long-term rebuilding plans of their franchise. Every team has a couple of projected stars, as well as solid role players who should have long careers in the NBA.

Detroit Pistons: Ranking the young cores of the bad teams

#5: Indiana Pacers

Young core

  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Benedict Mathurin
  • Chris Duarte
  • Jalen Smith

The Pacers are in between a full rebuild and trying to reload, so they still have plenty of veteran players on the roster. Haliburton and Mathurin could end up being a very good backcourt for them, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if neither of those guys ever made an All-Star team.

Haliburton is a very good player already, but Mathurin is yet unproven, Duarte is already 25-years-old (I included him only because he’s entering his second season) and Jalen Smith projects to be more of a role player than a star.

The lack of more high-end talent is what landed the Pacers in this spot, although I wouldn’t be shocked if they won the most games of these teams next season given the veteran talent they have on the roster.

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