Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 8/15/12

Back in February, ESPN’s Chad Ford and John Hollinger released the latest (at that time) Future Power Rankings. For those unfamiliar, the FPR examines every team’s roster strength, cap situation, front office prowess, market desirability, and future draft picks to decide which teams have the brightest future.

In that installment, the Cavaliers jumped all the way from 29th in the previous version to 18th. Obviously that jump was mostly1 thanks to Kyrie Irving. Now that Irving has taken home Rookie of the Year honors and the Cavaliers added a couple more first round draft picks, the future in Cleveland should look even brighter.

Hollinger and Ford agree with that sentiment and they have moved the Cavaliers all the way up to 12th in today’s update to the Future Power Rankings:

It’s getting better, Cavs fans. After spending a season in the FPR basement following the loss of LeBron James, Cleveland suddenly sports one of the brightest futures of any team in the league.

Much of that has to do with the addition of Kyrie Irving. The top overall selection in the 2011 draft showed enough potential in his rookie season to make us believe the Cavs may have a future All-Star on their hands. The long-term futures of fellow second-year player Tristan Thompson and rookie Dion Waiters also look promising, and we believe Anderson Varejao still has enough juice to man the middle for the Cavs the next few seasons.

The team also has plenty of draft picks coming its way. The Cavs will likely have another lottery pick in 2013, and possibly again in 2014, and they own future picks from both the Kings and Heat.

They also have such a good cap situation going forward that we’ve ranked them second in money heading into the summer of 2013. Cleveland isn’t a top destination for free agents, but there’s no question the team has the flexibility to continue to add to its roster.

For the record, the Cavaliers rank 21st in players, 14th in management, 2nd in money, 20th in market, and 5th in future draft.

In many ways, the speed with which Dion Waiters gets in shape and acclimates to the NBA game will largely determine when the Cavaliers return to contention. Based on Hollinger’s schedule, the Cavaliers are sill 2 years away from being in the playoffs, which likely places them 4-5 years away from Championship contending.

No matter how far away the Cavaliers are, the good news for Cavs fans is that the rebuilding plan is in place, is being followed with patience by the front office, and according to ESPN, the future is looking good for our Cavaliers.

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