My Power Rankings Post-Free Agency

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.

#30-Charlotte Bobcats

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.

#29-Orlando Magic

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.

#28-Houston Rockets

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.

#27-Detroit Pistons

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.

#26-Portland Trailblazers

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.

#25-Cleveland Cavaliers

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.

#23-Sacramento Kings

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.

#22-Washington Wizards

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.

#21-Pheonix Suns

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.

#20-Toronto Raptors

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.

#19-Chicago Bulls
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.

#18-Minnesota Timberwolves

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.

#16-Utah Jazz

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.

#15-Milwaukee Bucks

Monta. Ekpe. Brandon Jennings. Plus Rebounding and defense. Enough said…

#14-Brooklyn Nets

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.

#13-Dallas Mavericks

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.

#12-Atlanta Hawks

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.

#11-Philadelphia 76ers

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.

#10-Memphis Grizzles

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.

#8-Denver Nuggets

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.

#6-Indiana Pacers

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.

#5-Boston Celtics

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.

#2-OKC Thunder

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.

#1-Miami Heat

Three Words are all that is needed here: Champs, DWade, LeBron…..

 

 

 

Do the Warriors Have a Top 5 Bench?

The Warriors have accumulated a wealth of bench talent this off-season. They have added Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, Festus Ezeli, and Draymond Green. They also brought back last year breakout player in Brandon Rush.

The current bench set up (rotation) is:

PG: Jack/Jenkins

SG: Rush/Jack/Bazemore

SF: Jefferson/Rush/Green/Bazemore

PF: Landry/Green/Tyler

C: Biedrins/Ezeli

I believe that this bench unit, that is full of veteran talent as well as an infusion of youth, is poised to be one of the best in the Western Conference as well as the entire NBA. Jack, Rush, Jefferson, and Landry could all be starters on a lot of NBA teams, and I fell that they complement the talents of the players in the starting unit. I think that the bench will be just as important in the Warriors success this season as the starters.

Thoughts on Recents Signings

After a nice vacation, I come back to a few nice roster moves made by the Warriors. Bring Landry and Rush aboard where great signings at a great price. It seems to me the Warriors front office understands how to build a roster that has pieces the really complement one another. They are blending the youth with veterans in both the starting lineup and bench and have brought on players like Jack, Rush, Green, and Landry who bring toughness, energy, and defense. This new Warriors squad in my opinion has one of the top 5 benches in the NBA and the talented group of starters that are going to compete for not just for the 8th playoff spot, but for a higher seed in the 5-7 range.

The new roster is:

PG- Curry/Jack/Jenkins

SG- Thompson/Rush/Bazemore

SF- Jefferson/Barnes/Green

PF- Lee/Landry/Tyler

C- Bogut/Biedrins/Ezeli

I think that Barnes may not start right away, but I could easily be wrong about that. Also, I think that Biedrins will take the backup Center duties to start the year.

Young Talent

I have been thoroughly impressed with our young players in the NBA Summer League so far. It seems as though there has been a visible chemistry between Klay, Barnes, Green, Ezeli, and CJenk. This is making me very excited that the young guns on this team can contribute in a big way.

The only player that has looked out of sorts has been Jeremy Tyler, which is a bit scary because as of right now, he is the backup to David Lee. He is averaging just 3pts, 1.5rebs, and 3.5fls in 13 minutes per game.

The most surprising player so far, to me, has been Draymond Green. He is averaging 7.5pts, 7.5rebs, 2asts, 2stls, and a +\- of 23.5 a game. He has shown toughness and a high basketball IQ that I believe will translate to the league really nicely. He has also shown me that he has the skills to be an important role player for the Warriors in the future.

The team we have in right now is full of legitimate NBA guys and that is why we are, and will continue, to dominate the Summer League.

Summer League Game 1

I know that this is just Summer League but damn, we are doing work. Beat the Lakers by 40! That’s right, 40! Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green look really good and they are making me get really pumped for this season. I think that if healthy the Warriors will be a playoff team for sure! Especially if Harrison and Klay keep going ham!

Why Don’t Free Agents Like the Warriors?

Well we are officially 20 hours away from 12:01 am, July 11th, when players can sign their contracts or offer sheets and to my surprise the Warriors have absolutely no players to sign. The Warriors do have 12 players on their current roster, but it is strange that they have made little noise with any of the key free agents that they could have brought in. They were snubbed by BRoy, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that many of the players they could use went to other teams for deals that the Warriors could have been competitive with. I mean Andre Miller 3yr/9mil, Kirk Hinrich 2yr/6mil,  and  Chauncey Billups 1yr/4.3mil where just a few of the players that got deals that were in the Warriors range, but they Dubs couldn’t make it happen. It brings me to the key question, why don’t many guys want to come to the Warriors?

 

There is a few simple answers:

1- Losing tradition

2- A lot of question marks with the roster

3- Unestablished Head Coach

4- OAKLAND

5- Below average arena and practice facilities

 

These are big problems when trying to convince good NBA players to the Bay because many players don’t recognize our loyal and enthusiastic fan-base, or our talented core of players like Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Lee, Bogut, and Rush. But, fortunately our owners are trying to solve those problems that free agents see with the Dubs. They are trying to put together a better roster by assembling players like Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes to bring new energy to the organization. They have announced a move to San Francisco in 2017 that will include a new arena and new site for their headquarters and practice facilities. With those nice ongoing solutions to these issues, the way free agents will look at Golden State will change, but it will do this over time. In a few years. But basically… Not Now. Not this off-season. So the Warriors are going to have to do what they have been doing, which is being patient and waiting for the right player, or players, to come to us and see what the Bay Area has to offer them.