March Power Rankings: Every NBA Team’s Biggest Need

MARCH 2021 NBA Power Rankings Team Needs

March is here and it’s time for another NBA power ranking! In this one we will also identify the biggest need for each team ahead of the March 25 trade deadline.

Check out my previous power rankings: December | January | February

  1. Utah Jazz

Record: 27-7

Previous: 4

Utah has dominated the league this season and currently holds the top record. With two games left before the All-Star break, the Jazz need to keep everyone healthy and prepare for the second half of the season.

Biggest Need: Stay healthy

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Record: 22-13

Previous: 7

Despite being without Kevin Durant for most of February, the Nets have started to find their rhythm due to stellar play from James Harden. With the trade deadline looming, look for Brooklyn to strengthen their roster by bringing in a big man.

Biggest Need: Trade for a center

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Record: 22-12

Previous: 2

Joel Embiid has been fantastic this season and recently put up a career-high 50 points against the Bulls. Although rumors have suggested the 76ers are interested in making a big trade for Kyle Lowry, they need to keep the roster that has posted the top record in the Eastern Conference to this point. 

Biggest Need: Decline big trades

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Record: 24-12

Previous: 3

The Clippers had a tough stretch of games in February but still hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Similarly to Utah, Los Angeles needs to stay healthy and prepare for the second half of the season.

Biggest Need: Stay healthy

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 21-13

Previous: 5

With Jrue Holiday returning to the lineup after missing 10 games due to COVID-19 protocols, the Bucks should be in line for a better second half. Milwaukee’s only need at the moment is to strengthen their bench scoring.

Biggest Need: Trade for a bench scorer

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Record: 24-11

Previous: 1

Los Angeles has struggled without Anthony Davis who is out 3-4 weeks with an Achilles injury. If the Lakers want a chance to repeat as champions, they’ll need to get their All-Star big man healthy for latter half of the season.

Biggest Need: Get the big man healthy

  1. Phoenix Suns

Record: 22-11

Previous: 10

Phoenix has been on a roll lately, winning eight of their last 10 games. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are fresh off of All-Star selections and leading the Suns to the fourth best record in the East. Bringing in a bench scorer could push this team to the next level.

Biggest Need: Trade for a bench scorer

  1. Toronto Raptors

Record: 17-17

Previous: 19

After starting the season under .500, the Raptors have turned it around and currently hold the fourth seed in the East. Kyle Lowry has emerged as a trade target for several teams, however Toronto will be better off keeping the veteran point guard this season.

Biggest Need: Hold onto Lowry

  1. Miami Heat

Record: 17-17

Previous: 11

Miami is still battling with several injuries and COVID-19 issues, and therefore holds an average record entering the month of March. Getting their key players back into action is the biggest need at the moment.

Biggest Need: Get healthy

  1. Boston Celtics

Record: 17-17

Previous: 6

Boston had a difficult stretch in late February. However, they have a $28 million traded player exception to spend and welcome Marcus Smart back next week. Trading for a bench scorer or perimeter defender could fill a major hole on this Celtics’ roster.

Biggest Need: Use the Traded Player Exception

  1. Denver Nuggets

Record: 18-15

Previous: 9

The Nuggets continue to ride their star players Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and are looking more like last year’s team. Getting Gary Harris back from injury is their biggest priority at the moment.

Biggest Need: Get Harris healthy

  1. Portland Trail Blazers 

Record: 18-14

Previous: 16

Portland currently sits in the sixth spot in the West, despite being without CJ McCollum who continues to rehab from a foot fracture. Damian Lillard is putting up MVP numbers, however the Blazers will need McCollum healthy if they want to make a splash in the postseason.

Biggest Need: Get McCollum into the mix

  1. Golden State Warriors

Record: 19-16

Previous: 13

Golden State has exceeded expectations this season without Klay Thompson. Stephen Curry is playing phenomenal and Kelly Oubre Jr is becoming a solid second option. The biggest need for the Warriors is to get their rookie James Wiseman more minutes.

Biggest Need: Play James Wiseman more

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Record: 16-16

Previous: 12

Luka Doncic put on a show against the Boston Celtics last week, hitting the game winning step-back three pointer over two defenders. As good as Doncic is, the Mavericks need Kristaps Porzingis and their role players to stay healthy if they want to compete with the best teams.

Biggest Need: Stay healthy

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Record: 17-12

Previous: 17

The Spurs were the latest team to get hit with COVID-19 protocols, resulting in four games being postponed. They too have exceeded expectations this season and should hold off on all major trades before the deadline.

Biggest Need: Decline big trades

  1. Indiana Pacers

Record: 15-17

Previous: 8

After starting the season on fire, Indiana finds themselves out of the playoff picture in the East. On the other hand, Caris LeVert’s debut is near, which could help push this team to the next level.

Biggest Need: Get LeVert healthy

  1. New York Knicks

Record: 18-17

Previous: 20

Another team that has exceeded expectations, the Knicks are currently the fourth seed in the East. Julius Randle earned his first All-Star appearance and Derrick Rose looks to be a good pickup. 

Biggest Need: Decline big trades

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Record: 15-15

Previous: 15

Ja Morant’s hot start to the season has ended and subsequently the Grizzlies have faded. Getting back starting center Jaren Jackson Jr from a knee injury is a must for the Grizzlies if they want a playoff berth.

Biggest Need: Get Jackson Jr healthy

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Record: 16-17

Previous: 21

Charlotte has been average throughout the first half of the season, however they have a solid group of players. If they can stay healthy, the Hornets could make the playoffs for the first time in a while.

Biggest Need: Stay healthy 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Record: 14-19

Previous: 23

New Orleans has been one of the more disappointing teams this season and are trending in the wrong direction. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are superstars but the Pelicans may need to enter a mini-rebuild. Trading J.J. Redick (a restricted free agent this offseason) for younger players would help.

Biggest Need: Trade Redick

  1. Chicago Bulls

Record: 15-17

Previous: 24

Zach LaVine has been on a tear, earning his first All-Star appearance. Unfortunately, the Bulls are still not ready to put their rebuild on halt. Dumping Otto Porter Jr’s massive contract could go a long way.

Biggest Need: Trade Porter Jr

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Record: 14-20

Previous: 14

After recently firing their head coach, the Hawks need to find a new one and address the many problems with the franchise. Trae Young is a superstar but he will have to wait before making his first playoff appearance.

Biggest Need: Hire a good coach

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Record: 14-20

Previous: 26

After accumulating 18 first round picks over the next few years, the Thunder have met the expectation of being a bottom tier team this season. They need to continue to develop their young players who are likely to become the future of the franchise.

Biggest Need: Play for development

  1. Orlando Magic

Record: 13-21

Previous: 22

The season ending injury to Markelle Fultz has hurt the Magic, but they were in the midst of a rebuild and not expected to make the playoffs. Trading Nikola Vucevic for serious draft capital will help the Orlando build for the future.

Biggest Need: Trade Vucevic

  1. Washington Wizards

Record: 13-19

Previous: 28

Washington continues to struggle in the new year, despite having the league’s leading scorer in Bradley Beal. Dumping Davis Bertans’ massive contract could help this team reset next offseason.

Biggest Need: Trade Bertans

  1. Sacramento Kings

Record: 13-21

Previous: 25

The Kings have never really found a groove and have lost nine of their last 10 games. Trading their unused center Hassan Whiteside could help them shed salary and enter a rebuild.

Biggest Need: Trade Whiteside

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Record: 13-21

Previous: 18

Injuries have prevented the Cavaliers from being substantially better this season. Their backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland looks promising for the future, but the massive contracts of Kevin Love and Andre Drummond are holding the team back. Drummond, who is being held out while the team searches for a trade is the biggest concern at the moment.

Biggest Need: Trade Drummond

  1. Houston Rockets

Record: 11-21

Previous: 27

Christian Wood has proven to be a fantastic signing, but the Rockets group of players are a mess. They need to trade Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker and start building for the future.

Biggest Need: Trade Gordon and Tucker

  1. Detroit Pistons

Record: 9-25

Previous: 30

From the minute the season started, the Pistons have struggled. They will need to bring in an entirely new front office and continue rebuilding. On the bright side, Jerami Grant looks to be a fantastic offseason acquisition.

Biggest Need: Hire a new front office 

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Record: 7-28

Previous: 29

Injuries and poor coaching has held Minnesota back this season. Their roster is surprisingly good, with star players Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell and young guys like Malik Beasley and Anthony Edwards. Bringing in a veteran coach could help this team make the playoffs next year.

Biggest Need: Hire a new coach

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Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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