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Early offseason NBA power rankings

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Way-too-early NBA power rankings

What an ending to the NBA season with Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors took down the Warriors dynasty and took home the franchise’s first NBA Title. This is our first power rankings list of the offseason, but as we all know, the offseason will be a wild ride and many of these positions will change throughout the summer. Although the Raptors’ and Warriors’ rosters will change from how they were shaped in The NBA Finals, they find themselves in the top two spots to give them credit for being the final two teams remaining at the end of the season.

  1. Toronto Raptors
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Milwaukee Bucks
  4. Philadelphia 76ers
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Portland Trail Blazers
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Denver Nuggets
  10. Los Angeles Clippers
  11. Oklahoma City Thunder
  12. Utah Jazz
  13. Dallas Mavericks
  14. San Antonio Spurs
  15. Brooklyn Nets
  16. Indiana Pacers
  17. New Orleans Pelicans
  18. Sacramento Kings
  19. Detroit Pistons
  20. Charlotte Hornets
  21. Atlanta Hawks
  22. Orlando Magic
  23. Minnesota Timberwolves
  24. Washington Wizards
  25. Miami Heat
  26. Memphis Grizzlies
  27. Phoenix Suns
  28. Chicago Bulls
  29. New York Knicks
  30. Cleveland Cavaliers

Now let’s take a deeper look at some of my notable rankings.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics will be without Kyrie Irving’s services next season, and that may work out just fine for them. Let’s not forget the run this team made in the 2017-2018 playoffs, without Irving. The young talent on this team is second to none, and with another year of development and building chemistry under Brad Stevens, look for the Celtics to make another deep run in the playoffs next season.

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Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are making power moves early in the offseason. Adrian Wojnarowski dropped one of his famous “Woj Bombs” onto the basketball world by breaking the Anthony Davis-Lakers trade.

The Lakers core now includes Lebron James, Davis, and Kyle Kuzma. This core, along with a few free agent acquisitions (Kemba Walker, Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler, to name a few of their big targets), can take the Lakers to the next step and get to the playoffs. Don’t forget that the Lakers were the fourth seed in the Western Conference before LeBron went down with an injury. You can bet that LeBron will end his playoff-less “streak” at one season.

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Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets had a season that not many saw coming. They will be one of the main contenders for a few big name free agents this offseason. The Nets could be in for a big season if they continue to build off last season’s success and sign a big name or two, especially in a very shallow Eastern Conference. They must make a big decision on D’Angelo Russell, but that will mainly depend on the decision of Irving. Regardless of which point guard they decide to roll with next season, the future is looking bright for these young Nets.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks will be a very intriguing team when the 2019-2020 season rolls around. It is almost certain that Mark Cuban will give Kristaps Porzingis a huge extension or will match any offer sheet the restricted free agent signs this offseason. Given this certainty, the Mavericks will be lead by Luka Doncic and KP, but they will also have some solid role players (Justin Jackson, Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell) that could play a huge part in getting the Mavericks back to the playoffs. If Luka and Porzingis stay healthy for the majority of the year and fit well together, the Mavericks could push for a playoff spot in the very tough Western Conference.

New Orleans Pelicans

If we are going to discuss the Lakers side of the Davis trade, we can’t forget about the little people, the New Orleans Pelicans.

David Griffin has already begun putting his mark on the franchise by executing this monumental trade. But this is just the beginning for Griffin, look for him to continue his wheeling and dealing throughout the offseason.

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The Pelicans, led by Jrue Holiday and all-but-likely Zion Williamson, now have a chance to make a push for the playoffs in the 2019-2020 season. Holiday may be the most underrated player in the NBA, but if he can lead this team to a playoff appearance, that will change in a big way.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are placed last in my early power rankings, and for good reason — they ended the season with the worst record in the NBA. In addition to this, they also whiffed on Anthony Davis, one of their main targets this offseason. To make matters even worse, they will be without Kevin Durant’s services next season even if they sign him, due to his Achilles injury in the Finals.

However, it is not all bad for the Knicks. They do have a young core of players, headlined by Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith, that can eventually develop into a solid squad. They will also have the chance to add (most likely) RJ Barrett in the draft, but until the Knicks land a superstar to lead this team, they could remain toward the bottom of the power rankings throughout the season.

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Tyronn Lue, NBA
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