We are about halfway through the NBA free agency process and I just thought I’d give my thoughts on where I’d rank teams if the season started today. The West is still the best, but the East has gotten more compelling. These are my NBA offseason power rankings.
1. Bulls- Adding Rose, Gasol, and Mirotic should give them the offense they need to go with their stellar defense.
2. Cavs- LeBron makes a big difference. I think they’ll get a better Anthony Bennett this year, and adding Wiggins will be big. If they get Love, they go to the top spot.
3. Nets- I’m betting on that great second half right and don’t think Pierce’s loss will hurt them, as much as return of Lopez will help.
4. Wizards- Pierce/Porter will give them more than Ariza and betting on chemistry.
5. Raptors- Like them as the same team coming back, don’t love them, but benefit from playing the Atlantic.
6. Bobcats- Really like their offseason of Stephenson and Vonleh.
7. Heat- I appreciate what they are trying to do, but they’ll have to prove me wrong to rank higher.
8. Pacers- I’m a bit stunned too, but can’t get their crumbling down the stretch out of my mind and they’ll miss Stephenson.
9. Knicks- Melo should have more help this year, but not enough barring another trade.
10. Pistons- They have a chance to be better, but increasing competitiveness of East keeps them down and out.
11. Hawks- Having Horford back will be great, but still feel like a team in transition. Easy to forget they weren’t good last year.
12. Bucks- I’m buying a slight bump with the Greek Freak, Parker, and Larry Sanders return.
13. Magic- I anticipate some really rough offensive nights. They’ll compete, but just don’t have enough talent.
14. Celtics- They look potentially worse on paper. Rondo moving would cinch it.
15. Sixers- Remember 26 straight losses? They might be worse this year.
1. Spurs- Same team coming back, and why not? Respect.
2. Thunder- Like some of the tweaks. They could be the best team in the league no question, but showing respect to the champs.
3. Clippers- Might be a player away from being the best team in the league.
4. Warriors- A healthy Golden State is worthy of this spot.
5. Blazers- They got a little better and still might not be able to take a step forward in the West.
6. Rockets- Got a little worse losing Parsons, Asik, and Lin for Ariza.
7. Mavericks- I worry about their point guard spot, but Parsons and Chandler are nice additions.
8. Pelicans- Davis and Asik front-line, plus return of Holiday makes them much better on defense. Still would like to see them move Evans or Gordon.
9. Grizzlies- Had to really rally last year to make the playoffs. They’ll be in the mix. Like Vince Carter add.
10. Suns- Bledsoe unsigned, unsure their front-court is good enough and do they have enough minutes for all these point guards?
11. Lakers- I expect Kobe to return to form, but he just doesn’t have enough help. No true center on the team, and no defense.
12. Nuggets- Aaron Afflalo is wrong, they’re not good enough to win title, but will battle for playoffs.
13. Wolves- Love uncertainty makes me not know what to do here. I actually think Minnesota can make playoffs with good health and keeping Love.
14. Kings- Losing Isaiah Thomas and replacing him with Darren Collison doesn’t do it for me.
15. Jazz- They have a lot of young talent, but no great players.