Last Word On Basketball

NBA Power Rankings, Post Free-Agency

NBA Power Rankings

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21: Paul George #13 of United States celebrates after defeating Serbia during the Men's Gold medal game on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

After a wild Free-Agency and offseason, NBA fans are ready for the season to kick off and to watch their favorite teams play. As the first sets of NBA power rankings are being released, post-free agency, how do teams stack up with one and other?

NBA Power Rankings

30. Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are at the bottom of the NBA power rankings. Michael Jordan may be an amazing basketball player, but he struggles as a front office executive. The Hornets lost many pieces, most noticeably star point guard Kemba WalkerThey did replace him with a disgruntled Terry Rozier however. This Hornets team will be bad. 

29. Cleveland Cavaliers

Poor Cleveland Cavaliers fans. If you actually still support the Cavaliers and didn’t jump on the bandwagon to the Los Angeles Lakers, you deserve better than this. They made a questionable move by selecting a point guard last year in the NBA draft in Collin Sexton l and then selecting a point guard in the NBA draft again this year in Darius Garland. The hope is that they will be able to play together. The Cavaliers should look to trade Kevin Love as he doesn’t fit their timeline.

28. New York Knicks

Why are the New York Knicks so low in the NBA power rankings? Another free agency year passed with the Knicks failing to sign a top-flight free agent. The hope for Knicks fan is James Dolan decides to sell the team soon. They did, at least, pick up a solid player in free agency, Julius Randle.

27. Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies traded away Mike Conley and replaced him with rookie Ja Morant. This team seems to be set up entirely for the future. The duo of Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. will be something to behold of in the future. Although the future is bright in Memphis, Grizzlies fans need to accept their fate of being in the lottery.

26. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Paul George trade shocked everyone. Nonetheless, that one decision is what changed the Oklahoma City Thunder’s direction for years to come. While everyone thought Russell Westbrook was going to be a Thunder for life, he too got shipped out to the Houston Rockets to reunite with James Harden. The Best case scenario for the Thunder, is they find a trade for Chris Paul and get even more assets in return.

25. Phoenix Suns

Remember when Devin Booker said he was done with not making the playoffs? Well, barring a trade, he is not going to the playoffs. It’s not his fault either. The Phoenix Suns organization is very poorly run. Maybe in later years, the team will learn to play together more, but as of right now, it’s not looking good.

24. Chicago Bulls

Yet another team with a bright future. The Chicago Bulls have a bevy of high potential young players such as Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. However, a few more years of rebuilding should be expected with this young of a team.

23. Washington Wizards

While the Bradley Beal trade rumors are still running rampant, the Washington Wizards franchise is left with no other choice than to rebuild. John Wall is coming back from a serious injury and will most likely not look like his old, explosive self. The best plan of action is to trade the two and try to maximize the profits in return.

22. Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have been improving in recent years but still nowhere near title contention. Hopefully, for their sake, Markelle Fultz can go reach his potential as a number one pick while combining that with the exciting play of Aaron Gordon and the growth of Jonathan Isaac.

21. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a splash in the NBA draft by trading up to the sixth pick to select Jarrett Culver. Now, with Karl-Anthony Towns coming off another year in the league, the Timberwolves will improve. The ceiling of their improvement will be gauged on the development of Andrew Wiggins. If he can get to his true level this year, they should be higher on the mid-season power rankings.

20. Atlanta Hawks

Trae Young had an amazing year for the Atlanta Hawks last year, as well as John Collins. Adding Cam Reddish to the team will even further improve the team’s three-point shooting. This is going to be a Hawks team to look out for in years to come. This will be the first year that they all play together, and through that, they will gain chemistry together to become a bigger threat in the future. 

19. New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans team won the Zion Williamson lottery. They also received a good package of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade. That’s a lot of young, unmolded talent on the team. If Williamson lives up to the hype, they might make the playoffs.

18. Detroit Pistons

The addition of Derrick Rose should help the Detroit Pistons out in the upcoming season. Blake Griffin finally gets some help with this team, and they should be a decent seven or eight seed in the East.

17. Dallas Mavericks

Coming off of his rookie of the year season with the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic and Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis will make an interesting European duo in Dallas. They have a shot to be a playoff team, maybe better depending on Porzingis’ comeback from his injury.

16. San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs will be a team to watch next year. Lonnie Walker will have a more solidified role in the organization and DeMar DeRozan will be more motivated than ever to win a title seeing as his old team, the Toronto Raptors win it last season.

15. Miami Heat

The acquisition of Jimmy Butler will be a great addition to this Miami Heat team. They also traded Hassan Whiteside, which sets the stage for Bam Adebayo to have a breakout year. Rumors are swirling around about a possible Bradley Beal trade. If that happens, it makes the situation more interesting.

14. Sacramento Kings

A breakout year by De’Aaron Fox left the Sacramento Kings on the brink of the playoffs, and have them perhaps, a little higher in the NBA power rankings than expected. One more year of improvement from him and Marvin Bagley makes the team a playoff contender. If other role players come through when they are needed, the Kings will be a six to seven seed in the West.

13. Toronto Raptors 

The Toronto Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard this summer, but they still retained most of their key pieces. This includes breakout player Pascal Siakam. With Siakam being the primary option this upcoming year, look for him to average about 20 points per game. They should still be in the playoffs. 

12. Indiana Pacers

The addition of former rookie of the year Malcolm Brogdon should prove to be an exciting addition for Indiana Pacers fans. Losing both Wesley Matthews and Tyreke Evans hurts this team for sure, but Victor Oladipo is back. He should be as motivated as ever and for sure is ready to lead this team to a high playoff berth.

11. Golden State Warriors

Losing Kevin Durant will take a toll on any team. But losing Klay Thompson for most of the year will also affect this team. Stephen Curry cannot do it all by himself. That’s why the Golden State Warriors traded for D’Angelo Russell. The fit of Curry and Russell is a questionable one, however, they should be able to figure it out throughout the regular season.

10. Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets made arguably the biggest splash in the NBA Free-Agency by signing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Durant will be out for most of the year though, and as we have seen from last year, Irving is not a good leader. Until Durant comes back, this team will not be championship contenders.

9. Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz won 50 games last season. Now they added Mike Conley to support their defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert. This team would be higher up, but their bench is of concern. They need to improve that before they can go any further.

8. Boston Celtics 

The addition of Kemba Walker is a big one for the Boston Celtics. They signed a perfect replacement for Irving. They replaced Al Horford with Enes Kanter, who is a very good scoring big man. Second-round pick Carsen Edwards has been dominating in the Summer League. Add Romeo Langford and Grant Williams into the mix to support Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and the Celtics have a great foundation to try to compete.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trailblazers still have a clutch, Damian Lillard. They get back Jusuf Nurkic from his injury. Oh yeah, and they added Hassan Whiteside. This team should definitely go deep into the playoffs and could compete for an NBA championship.

6. Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers lost Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick. They signed Al Horford and Tobias Harris and received Josh Richardson in a sign and trade from Miami. The depth on this team is absolutely incredible. The final piece for them is to add more shooting.

5. Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are young and hungry. Jamal MurrayNikola Jokic, and Paul Millsap will lead this team through the West with ease. The home crowds should fuel them a lot as well. With all of their young pieces and an impressive season last year that they can build on, has them in contention for an NBA championship.

4. Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have James Harden and Russell Westbrook. If they learn to share the ball, they’re championship contenders. If they don’t, it’s going to be a problem. They have chemistry from their Thunder days, which should help. The Rockets will need to rely less on isolation plays and on more ball movement, but Mike D’antoni’s system is based a lot on isolation. The Rockets have the potential to be title contenders but they need to figure out how to play together.

3. Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks should be at the top of the Eastern Conference standings this year. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the MVP and is only bound to get better in the coming years. They signed Kyle Korver to improve shooting, after losing Malcolm Brogdon. The Bucks are still the number one team in the East.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers now have a star duo in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, if they mesh well together, the Lakers will be title contenders. They also re-signed Rajon Rondo, and added DeMarcus Cousins and Danny Green, so depth should not be an issue.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

The top team in these NBA power rankings is the Los Angeles Clippers. Their defense has Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverley. The team that took the Warriors to six games in the playoffs last year just added Leonard and George. The Clippers look poised to contend for their first NBA title.

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