Even though the free agency period is still ongoing, there are very few decent free agents available it is very clear where most of the NBA teams stand. So here is my take on the current Power Rankings starting from 30 and going to 1.
The Charlotte Bobcats are coming off of the worst season in NBA history and although they had a productive off-season, it is hard to rank a team that went 7-59 last season anything but dead last.
Sorry to the Magic fans out there, but your team is going into the dreaded “rebuilding mode.” The new GM Rob Hennigan has made it very clear that he plans to build like the Magic using the OKC method of building through the draft, and even though OKC is one of the NBA’s best teams now, it took them a long time to make that team a consistent winner. So it seems like the Magic plan on being in the cellar of the NBA for the next 3 to 4 years at least. Their lack of depth and quality at Point Guard, Power Forward, and Center all but guarantees this Magic team to be one of the NBA’s worst after losing Dwight Howard.
Jeremy Lin and Omar Asik are risky signings for Houston considering what they paid those two unproven players. Asik has never been a starter and Jeremy Lin is the 1st player to be paid $25 million by a team after just 3 weeks of work. Outside those two guys, the rest of the roster is in complete disarray. No one in the league knows what the hell Houston is doing. They currently have 20 players on their roster, they are a mess.
Many people are optimistic about the Pistons this year, but I am not. I don’t think that their roster really gels together, and any team with Corey Maggette is completely screwed. I love Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, but not much else on that roster.
I read the other day the new Blazers coach Terry Stotts thinks that they can compete for a playoff spot… Come on man, be real. I think that they have great young talent in Lillard and Leonard, but I think there is no shot that Nic Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge can carry that team anywhere close to a playoff spot. They are 2 or 3 years away from being competitive in a really stacked Western Conference.
I think that Kyrie Irving is going to be a star point guard for a long time, but he has really young and weak roster backing him up. I think that the Cavs are in the same spot as the Blazers, and are a few years away from being a playoff team.
#24-New Orleans Hornets
Many Power Rankings out right now have the Hornets ranked far above where they should be. Anthony Davis is not the savior for this franchise. However, he is a great players to build around and Eric Gordon is a great sidekick to have by his side, but this roster is not talented enough to do much more than produce a developmental team this season.
I think that this Sacramento team has some really great young players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Thomas Robinson, Marcus Thornton, and Issiah Thomas, but this team is going nowhere if they don’t get rid of Tyreke Evans. They now have him playing small forward, and at 6’6″ 215lbs, he is too undersized to play that spot and will get abused nightly by the stellar 3’s in the NBA. They need to trade him for a 1st rounder or small forward who can help them now.
Don’t let the nice looking starting lineup of Wall/Beal/Ariza/Nene/Okeafor fool you because this team is all those 5 guys. There is no depth at any position on that roster, and I think that they won’t make the playoffs with just a starting lineup.
This team definitely signed some decent players, but I am not sold on Michael Beasley all of sudden becoming a good starting 3 in this league or Goran Dragic being able to fill the shoes of Steve Nash, who gave that team an elite floor general for years and years. I think that had they cashed in on Eric Gordon, they would be competing for a playoff spot, but they got unlucky and are stuck with a team that just won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the West.
I truly hope that the Raptors make me regret this ranking because I actually love their roster, as well as their ability to compete in a weaker Eastern conference. Signing Landry Fields and bringing in Kyle Lowry makes their back court completely stacked. The only thing about this roster that makes me uneasy is the uncertainty of how Jonas Valanciunas will play as well as the other Toronto big men. I think that their are a bit weak at the 4 and 5, and that could hurt them over the course of the season.
Without Derrick Rose for a good chunk of the season, this roster is going to struggle and I think that they won’t be able to recover in the standings for the time that DRose misses. The group that Chicago is going to put on the floor is weaker than last year’s team and they will most likely miss the playoffs or barely get in with an 8 seed.
I think that the Timberwolves and the Warriors are just about equal talent wise on paper, they both have similar injury concerns and I believe that healthy this T’Wolves team is a threat to make the playoff hopes of the Warriors difficult to achieve. KLove is my boy.
#17-Golden State Warriors
I am only placing the Warriors here because they haven’t proved anything yet. I think that on paper this is a 6-8 seeded playoff team, but actually need to get out on the court and perform before I can rank them as such. I love every move that they have made this off-season, by bringing in Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack, and the 3 draft picks as well as re-signing Brandon Rush. This is a deep team, that is poised for a playoff spot IF they can stay healthy.
I also love the roster of the Utah Jazz and it is my belief that they could be one of the teams making life difficult for the Warriors all season. They have size, toughness, and rebounding which are all qualities that most recent Warriors teams have lacked. Plus they always are a tough win for us.
Monta. Ekpe. Brandon Jennings. Plus Rebounding and defense. Enough said…
I don’t like ranking the Nets here, but they had a great free agency period and that starting 5 is one the top 3 or 4 in the NBA. They have absolutely no depth, which is why they will probably be a low end playoff team with 1st round upset written all over them.
I am not that excited about this Mavs team, but they still have Dirk and a ridiculously consistent record of consecutive playoff appearances, so I will not be a hater. Darren Collison and OJ Mayo will be interesting to watch on this team. Maybe the Mavs have found gold in those two guys.
This another consistent playoff team that I will not bet against, so that is why I have them ranked here. Can’t count out All-Stars Al Horford and Josh Smith. Lou Williams also has a chance to prove himself as a legitimate starter in the NBA. Will be a great defensive squad, and great defensive teams win games.
This is a really exciting team now that they acquired Andrew Bynum. This is another starting 5 that is amongst the best in the entire league, and what I love about this team is their ability to play elite defense and their ridiculous depth. They could be a Eastern Conference Finals dark-horse.
This is a great team, but the bench worries me a little bit. Darrel Arthur coming off of major knee surgery is a big red flag for them. I was really surprised that they traded away Dante Cunningham, but we will see how their bench looks. Definitely not one the best benches out there, and may force them to fight with teams like Minnesota, Dallas, Utah, and Golden State for a low end playoff seed.
#9-New York Knicks
This is a very deep team, but I think that I am not sold at how these guys will all fit together. Carmelo and Amare gelling will be the biggest issue, but developing a rotation of guys to come off of the bench will also be a big thing for the Knicks to deal with. They could compete for a championship if those things get hammered out over the course of the regular season.
This is a scary team, could be a 3-6 seed in my opinion, but Igoudala, Lawson, McGee, Faried, and Galinari is a great starting 5. Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, and Andre Miller coming off the bench is what makes this team very good and very annoying for the Lakers, Spurs, and Thunder come playoff time.
#7-Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Griffin’s knees are a big concern for this team as well as the fact that DeAndre Jordan is showing that they paid him way too much money. But they have a much better bench this season and are a big threat in the West. CP3 and Blake rocking “Lob City” in the playoffs is going to be a fun watch.
A ton of people have been hating on Danny Granger this off-season and it has to stop. I love his heart, his swagger, and his game. This is a team that took a small step back in the free agency period so far, but re-signing Leandro Barbosa should be a top priority and will get them back on the straight and narrow.
The Celtics won free agency in my mind because they turned a whole bunch of nothing into what looks to be another title threat by bringing in JET, CLee, and Jeff Green. KG, Rondo, and Paul Pierce and the big 3 now and they want another ring, so watch out NBA.
#4-San Antonio Spurs
It’s so easy to explain the Spurs ranking, THEY ARE COACHED BY GREG POPAVICH AND ARE STARRED BY THE BIG FUNDAMENTAL. Enough said.
#3-Los Angeles Lakers
Nash, Kobe, MWP, Pau, DH12… ummmm I just shit my pants. This is just an unreal starting 5. Might be the best ever assembled, but their bench is thin. And I am a big believer in the bench playing a large role on a successful team, so I look at Jodie Meeks, Antwan Jamison, and Jordan Hill and think that there has to be more there to make this team a lock to win a title.
Repeating Western Conference Champs that are lead by KD, Westbrook, Ibaka, and James Harden. This team is the top of the West in my mind until someone dethrones them. The Lakers are going to be hunting them all year and it makes me hope for a Lakers-Thunder western finals this year.
Three Words are all that is needed here: Champs, DWade, LeBron…..