The Golden State Warriors stand alone on the top of the heap after the 2015 NBA Playoffs, but they're just one of several teams that are legitimate title contenders in 2016. However, while the Warriors have a championship window that is open for the next decade or so, some of those contenders are aging need to win now. Here are the three contenders with the shortest championship window:
San Antonio Spurs
This one is fairly predictable. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both expected to retire after the season, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker are both over 30, and who knows how much longer Gregg Popovich will continue coaching. This season is (probably) San Antonio's last stand with their current roster, and while they'll still be a consistent playoff team after, they won't be title favorites.
The Cavs are the favorites to win the East again this year, but the pressure is on LeBron James to win a title in Cleveland as soon as possible. He already showed signs of starting to decline last season, and he's not getting any younger. While he'll still be one of the league's best players, he won't be as dominant as his athleticism starts to diminish. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have shown that they can't carry a playoff team by themselves, so the window is closing as LeBron exits his prime.
Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph are 27, 30, and 34 years old, respectively, and all are on the backside (or out) of their primes. The Grizzlies are determined to keep their core together and have brought in more high-level free agents to give them a better chance at making a run through the West, but they aren't getting any younger. If Memphis doesn't win a title in the next two or three years, they'll be forced to undergo a long rebuild with nothing to show for their years as a contender.Back to the NBA Newsfeed