July 19, 2012

NBA Power Rankings: Free Agency Edition


Here it is, our first NBA Power Rankings of the off-season. We are in full effect, as teams have improved through the draft, and free agency. Where to teams stand right now? Who are some teams that could surprise? And who are the favorites to win it all?




 1. Miami Heat
Division: Southeast | Last Season Record: 46-20


Analysis: The defending champions were already considered favorites to repeat this year, and they definitely have a strong chance to do so. Not only have they kept their core roster intact, but they have added one of the best shooters in NBA history in Ray Allen from their Rival the Boston Celtics, not to mention they've added Rashard Lewis to the mix. With so many options now on offense, the Heat may be very well unstoppable. The Big 3 may have now become the Fantastic Four with the addition of Allen, and they are certainly the favorites to win the East.

Previous Rank: (1)

Key Additions: Ray Allen (Celtics), Rashard Lewis (Hornets), Justin Hamilton (Draft)

Key Losses: N/A

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole
SG: Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Mike Miller
SF: Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis, James Jones
PF: Lebron James, Udonis Haslem
C: Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony, Justin Hamilton, Dexter Pittman





 2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Division: Northwest | Last Season Record: 47-19


Analysis: Oklahoma City is still the favorite out West despite the Lakers' huge off-season move. Losing in the NBA Finals will motivate this Thunder team, not to mention their experience and chemistry should give them an opportunity to reach the Finals once again. Perry Jones is a fine addition as well, as he was a steal for them at pick #28.

Previous Rank: (2)

Key Additions: Perry Jones III (Draft), Hasheem Thabeet (Blazers), Hollis Thompson (UDFA)

Key Losses: N/A

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Russell Westbrook, Eric Maynor, Reggie Jackson
SG: Thabo Sefolosha, James Harden, Daequan Cook
SF: Kevin Durant, Perry Jones, Lazar Hayward, Hollis Thompson
PF: Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison,
C: Kendrick Perkins, Cole Aldrich, Hasheem Thabeet





 3. Los Angeles Lakers
Division: Pacific | Last Season Record: 41-25


Analysis: LA is now a serious contender for the NBA Title. While OKC is still the current favorite to represent the West, trading for Steve Nash was huge. Even at age 38, Nash is still one of the elite point guards in the league, and seeing him and Gasol in P&R will be difficult for opponents to defend. Andrew Bynum has the potential to pass Dwight Howard and become the league's best center, and he will also benefit from Nash's presence. Kobe Bryant now has someone who can run the point effectively, allowing him to have less control and less pressure put on him. This will all be beneficial to the Lakers in the long run. Now they just need to establish their bench.

*LA is on the verge of signing forward Antawn Jamison, who would give them a much needed scoring punch off the bench, as well as three-point shooting.

Previous Rank: (3)

Key Additions: Steve Nash (via Suns), Antawn Jamison (Cavaliers), Darius Johnson-Odom (Draft), Robert Sacre (Draft)

Key Losses: Ramon Sessions (Bobcats)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Darius Morris
SG: Kobe Bryant, Andrew Goudelock, Darius Johnson-Odom
SF: Metta World Peace, Devin Ebanks, Christian Eyenga
PF: Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison, Josh McRoberts
C: Andrew Bynum, Robert Sacre





 4. San Antonio Spurs
Division: Southwest | Last Season Record: 50-16


Analysis: The Spurs, still a little older, are definitely a Championship contender. Re-signing Tim Duncan cannot be understated, and re-signing Boris Diaw and Danny Green keeps the core team intact. They haven't made any huge moves or upgrades, but with Head Coach Gregg Popovich, and their own big 3 of Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili, they can make one last run at a title.

Previous Rank: (4)

Key Additions: Marcus Denmon (Draft)

Key Losses: N/A

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Tony Parker, Gary Neal, Cory Joseph
SG: Daniel Green, Manu Ginobli, James Anderson, Marcus Denmon
SF: Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson, Derrick Byars
PF: Boris Diaw, DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter





 5. Boston Celtics
Division: Atlantic | Last Season Record: 39-27


Analysis: Even though they lost Ray Allen, the Celtics still look like a threat to the Miami Heat in the East (though not a serious one). They've had a busy off-season, re-signing Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green, while adding Jason Terry through free agency. They also have two future starters inside in draft picks Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. Once Avery Bradley gets healthy, this team could easily secure the #2 seed and potentially make a run.

Previous Rank: (5)

Key Additions: Jason Terry (Mavericks), Courtney Lee (via Rockets), Jared Sullinger (Draft), Fab Melo (Draft), Kris Joseph (Draft), Chris Wilcox (Pistons)

Key Losses: Ray Allen (Heat), JaJuan Johnson (Traded to Rockets), Sean Williams (Traded to Rockets), E'Twaun Moore (Traded to Rockets)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee
SF: Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Kris Joseph
PF: Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger
C: Kevin Garnett, Fab Melo, Chris Wilcox





 6. Indiana Pacers
Division: Central | Last Season Record: 42-24


Analysis: Indiana is one of the most balanced teams in the NBA, and they are very deep. Keeping Roy Hibbert is huge, as he has emerge as one of the league's top centers. Trading Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to Dallas for a backup center was a head scratcher, but they did agree on a one year deal with point guard D.J. Augustin. Even though this team doesn't have a superstar (but Danny Granger is very close), they are serious contenders again this year.

Previous Rank: (6)

Key Additions: D.J. Augustin (Bobcats), Gerald Green (Nets), Ian Mahinmi (via Mavericks), Miles Plumlee (Draft), Orlando Johnson (Draft)

Key Losses: Darren Collison (Traded to Mavericks), Dahntay Jones (Traded to Mavericks)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: George Hill, D.J. Augustin
SG: Paul George, Lance Stephenson, Orlando Johnson
SF: Danny Granger, Gerald Green
PF: David West, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph
C: Roy Hibbert, Ian Mahinmi, Miles Plumlee





 7. New York Knicks
Division: Atlantic | Last Season Record: 36-30


Analysis: The Knicks have had an interesting off-season. Bringing in Jason Kidd to mentor Jeremy Lin, it appears than Lin's offer sheet will not be matched, as they have acquired Raymond Felton. Marcus Camby provides insurance and depth in the frontcourt. This still isn't a championship team right now, but Mike Woodson will definitely get the best out of his players which could lead to a successful season.

Previous Rank: (12)

Key Additions: Jason Kidd (Mavericks), Marcus Camby (via Rockets), Raymond Felton (via Blazers), Chris Copeland (International), Pablo Prigioni (International), James White (International), Kurt Thomas (via Blazers)

Key Losses: Jeremy Lin (Rockets), Landry Fields (Raptors), Tony Douglas (Traded to Rockets), Jared Jeffries (Traded to Blazers), Josh Harrellson (Traded to Rockets), Jerome Jordan (Traded to Rockets), Dan Gadzuric (Traded to Blazers), Kostas Papanikolaou (Draft Rights Traded to Blazers)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni
SG: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith
SF: Carmelo Anthony, Steve Novak, James White
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Copeland
C: Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas





 8. Denver Nuggets
Division: Northwest | Last Season Record: 38-28


Analysis: The Denver Nuggets are the Indiana Pacers of the West. They don't have a superstar, but they are so deep and so balanced they will definitely contend next season. Ty Lawson was outstanding in his first season as a full-time starter, and he has a ton of talent around him. Re-signing JaVale McGee is a high priority for them, and once they get that deal done, they'll be a little higher on this list.

Previous Rank: (10)

Key Additions: Evan Fournier (Draft), Quincy Miller (Draft), Anthony Randolph (Timberwolves), Izzet Turkyilmaz (Draft)

Key Losses: Chris Andersen (Amnestied)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Julyan Stone
SG: Aaron Afflalo, Jordan Hamilton, Evan Fournier
SF: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Quincy Miller, Corey Brewer
PF: Al Harrington, Kenneth Faried, Anthony Randolph
C: JaVale McGee, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, Izzet Turkyilmaz





 9. Memphis Grizzlies
Division: Southwest | Last Season Record: 41-25


Analysis: The Grizzlies could be ready to take the next step this season. With O.J. Mayo gone, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol could all have career years. However, they really need to find an upgrade at the two guard. I'm also interested to see how they use Tony Wroten, but this could be a big year for Memphis.

Previous Rank: (8)

Key Additions: Tony Wroten (Draft), Jerryd Bayless (Raptors)

Key Losses: O.J. Mayo (Mavericks)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Mike Conley, Tony Wroten, Jeremy Pargo
SG: Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless, Josh Selby
SF: Rudy Gay, Quincy Pondexter
PF: Zach Randolph, Darrell Arthur, Dante Cunningham
C: Marc Gasol, Marreese Speights





 10. Brooklyn Nets
Division: Atlantic | Last Season Record: 22-44


Analysis: Even though they couldn't land Dwight Howard, the Nets are still a contender in the east. With one of the game's best point guards leading the way, Deron Willams now has the talent around him to help this team make the playoffs. Trading for Joe Johnson and re-signing both Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace were both necessary moves, but they have pretty much no financial flexibility for the foreseeable future. If they can either re-sign Kris Humphries or solidify the power forward position in general, they could be a top 3-4 seed.

Previous Rank: (7)

Key Additions: Joe Johnson (via Hawks), Tyshawn Taylor (Draft), Reggie Evans (Clippers), Jerry Stackhouse (Hawks), Ilkan Karaman (Draft), Tornike Shengelia (Draft), Mirza Teletovic (International), Nazr Mohammed (Thunder), Keith Bogans (Nets)

Key Losses: DeShawn Stevenson (Traded to Hawks), Jordan Farmar (Trade to Hawks), Anthony Morrow (Traded to Hawks), Jordan Williams (Traded to Hawks), Johan Petro (Trade to Hawks)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Deron Williams, C.J. Watson, Tyshawn Taylor
SG: Joe Johnson, Marshon Brooks, Keith Bogans
SF: Gerald Wallace, Tornike Shengelia, Jerry Stackhouse
PF: Kris Humphries, Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, Ilkan Karaman
C: Brook Lopez, Nazr Mohammed





 11. Los Angeles Clippers
Division: Pacific | Last Season Record: 40-26


Analysis: The Clippers made some nice off-season moves, adding Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford. This team has some potential, led by the game's best point guard and future NBA star Blake Griffin, but they still have some growing to do if they hope to become contenders.

Previous Rank: (11)

Key Additions: Lamar Odom (via Mavericks), Jamal Crawford (Blazers), Grant Hill (Suns), Ryan Hollins (Celtics)

Key Losses: Mo Williams (Traded to Jazz), Ryan Gomes (Amnestied)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe
SG: Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Travis Leslie
SF: Caron Butler, Grant Hill
PF: Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, Trey Thompkins
C: DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Hollins





 12. Chicago Bulls
Division: Central | Last Season Record: 50-16


Analysis: Derrick Rose's health is the key. He is expected to miss the beginning of the season, but the Bulls showed they can win without him last season. However, in order to take down Miami, they'll need Rose healthy. They also should look to add depth, as Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, and Ronnie Brewer are all gone, and they may not be able to keep Omer Asik.

Previous Rank: (9)

Key Additions: Marquis Teague (Draft), Kirk Hinrich (Hawks), Vladimir Radmanovic (Hawks)

Key Losses: Kyle Korver (Traded to Hawks), Ronnie Brewer (Waived), C.J. Watson (Nets)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Derrick Rose, Marquis Teague
SG: Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Jimmy Butler
SF: Luol Deng, Vladimir Radmanovic
PF: Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
C: Joakim Noah





 13. Atlanta Hawks
Division: Southeast | Last Season Record: 40-26


Analysis: The Hawks are not an elite team, but they are still a playoff team. They have plenty of cap room to sign some big name free agents next year. This year, they have a pretty solid team. Jeff Teague and Devin Harris could have an interesting point guard battle, while Lou Williams potentially replaces Joe Johnson as the team's leading scorer. Al Horford and Josh Smith are a solid frontcourt tandem. The future is what Hawks fans should look forward to, but their should be plenty of excitement for this season as well.

Previous Rank: (14)

Key Additions: Devin Harris (via Jazz), Lou Williams (76ers), John Jenkins (Draft), DeShawn Stevenson (via Nets), Jordan Farmar (via Nets), Anthony Morrow (via Nets), Jordan Williams (via Nets), Johan Petro (via Nets), Mike Scott (Draft), Kyle Korver (via Bulls)

Key Losses: Joe Johnson (Traded to Nets), Marvin Williams (Traded to Jazz), Kirk Hinrich (Bulls), Jordan Farmar (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Jeff Teague, Lou Williams
SG: Devin Harris, DeShawn Stevenson, John Jenkins
SF: Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow
PF: Josh Smith, Jordan Williams, Mike Scott
C: Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro





 14. Minnesota Timberwolves
Division: Northwest | Last Season Record: 26-40


Analysis: Even if Portland matches the offer sheet given to Nicolas Batum, the Timberwolves will be in the playoffs next season. Ricky Rubio had a very good rookie season, and this year his numbers should improve with the welcome additions of Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger. Not to mention they have one of the game's best power forwards in Kevin Love. Figuring out what to do with last year's second overall pick Derrick Williams will be the hard part, put this could be the year that Minnesota makes the post-season.

Previous Rank: (13)

Key Additions: Brandon Roy (Blazers), Chase Budinger (via Rockets), Robbie Hummel (Draft), Alexey Shved (International)

Key Losses: Darko Miličić (Amnestied), Brad Miller (Traded to Hornets), Martell Webster (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Ricky Rubio, Luke Ridnour, Jose Juan Barea
SG: Brandon Roy, Wayne Ellington, Alexey Shved, Malcolm Lee
SF: Chase Budinger, Wesley Johnson, Robbie Hummel
PF: Kevin Love, Derrick Williams
C: Nikola Pekovic





 15. Philadelphia 76ers
Division: Atlantic | Last Season Record: 35-31


Analysis: The Sixers have gotten younger, more athletic, and have added a few shooters. I want to see if Jrue Holiday can become more of a play maker from the point guard position, but Doug Collins has another playoff team on their hands. Just, how far will they go?

Previous Rank: (15)

Key Additions: Nick Young (Clippers), Mo Harkless (Draft), Dorell Wright (via Warriors), Arnett Moultrie (Draft), Kwame Brown (Warriors)

Key Losses: Lou Williams (Hawks), Elton Brand (Amnestied), Darryl Watkins (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Nick Young, Evan Turner
SF: Andre Iguodala, Dorell Wright, Mo Harkless
PF: Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Arnett Moultrie
C: Kwame Brown, Nikola Vucevic, Lavoy Allen





 16. Dallas Mavericks
Division: Southwest | Last Season Record: 36-30


Analysis: I was ready to write off the Mavericks after a disappointing off-season in which they didn't capatilize on draft picks, failed to re-sign Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, and they didn't make a splash in free agency. However, on Wednesday, they traded for a solid young point guard in Darren Collison and a versatile defender in Dahntay Jones. Plus, they added a solid big man in Chris Kama to pair with Dirk. Not necessarily great moves, but very good moves that will help them compete for a play off spot this upcoming season.

Previous Rank: (16)

Key Additions: O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies), Chris Kaman (Hornets), Darren Collison (via Pacers), Elton Brand (76ers), Dahntay Jones (via Pacers), Jared Cunningham (Draft), Bernard James (Draft), Jae Crowder (Draft)

Key Losses: Jason Kidd (Knicks), Jason Terry (Celtics), Lamar Odom (Traded to Clippers), Brendan Haywood (Amnestied), Ian Mahinmi (Traded to Pacers), Kelenna Azubuike (Traded to Cavaliers)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Darren Collison, Rodrigue Beaubois
SG: O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter, Dominique Jones, Jared Cunningham
SF: Shawn Marion, Dahntay Jones, Jae Crowder
PF: Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, Brandan Wright
C: Chris Kaman, Bernard James





 17. Golden State Warriors
Division: Pacific | Last Season Record: 23-43


Analysis: Mark Jackson was criticized last year, but there will be no excuses this season, as they have a potential playoff team on their hands. Stephen Curry will have to stay healthy, but he will be able to handle the ball primarily with Monta Ellis gone. David Lee and Andrew Bogut make up a solid frontcourt, while Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson make up a young, but talented backcourt. They haven't singed any free agents because they don't have the cap room, but this team could surprise everyone next season.

Previous Rank: (19)

Key Additions: Harrison Barnes (Draft), Jarrett Jack (via Hornets), Festus Ezeli (Draft), Draymond Green (Draft), Ognjen Kuzmic (Draft)

Key Losses: Dorell Wright (Traded to 76ers)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack
SG: Klay Thompson, Charles Jenkins
SF: Harrison Barnes, Richard Jefferson, Draymond Green
PF: David Lee, Jeremy Tyler
C: Andrew Bogut, Andris Biedrins, Festus Ezeli, Ognjen Kuzmic





 18. Milwaukee Bucks
Division: Central | Last Season Record: 31-35


Analysis: A borderline playoff team, the Bucks haven't made many major moves. Although, they did add an athletic shot blocking four in John Henson through the draft, and they did solidify the center position by trading for Samuel Dalembert. The biggest addition was re-signing Ersan Ilyasova, who could have a career year for Milwaukee. I'm also very interested to see how the explosive backcourt duo of Jennings and Ellis play together in their first full season as teammates.

Previous Rank: (17)

Key Additions: John Henson (Draft), Doron Lamb (Draft), Samuel Dalembert (via Rockets)

Key Losses: Jon Brockman (Traded to Rockets), Jon Leuer (Traded to Rockets), Shaun Livingston (Traded to Rockets)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Brandon Jennings, Beno Udrih
SG: Monta Ellis, Doron Lamb
SF: Mike Dunleavy, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Tobias Harris
PF: Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, John Henson, Ekpe Udoh
C: Samuel Dalembert, Larry Sanders





 19. Utah Jazz
Division: Northwest | Last Season Record: 36-30


Analysis: Unfortunately for Utah, they didn't get to improve much through the draft. They did, however, add some much needed backcourt scoring by trading for Mo Williams and they improved on the wing trading for Marvin Williams. The frontcourt remains their strength, and it'll be interesting to see how the minutes will be divided. Do not be surprised if this team makes the playoffs again, but also, don't be surprised if they don't make the playoffs.

Previous Rank: (18)

Key Additions: Mo Williams (via Clippers), Marvin Williams (via Hawks), Kevin Murphy (Draft)

Key Losses: Devin Harris (Traded to Hawks)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Mo Williams, Earl Watson
SG: Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Kevin Murphy
SP: Marvin Williams, Jeremy Evans, DeMarre Carroll
PF: Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap
C: Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter





 20. Phoenix Suns
Division: Pacific | Last Season Record: 33-33


Analysis: There are some questions about Michael Beasley, especially concerning his new contract, but he could thrive in Phoenix. Trading Steve Nash was a tough decision, but they knew they would have to move on, as they drafted a point guard in Kendall Marshall. He'll likely be backing up Goran Dragic, who played exceptionally for the Rockets down the stretch. I can't wait to see he and Gortat in the P&R. Depending on who they get at shooting guard after New Orleans matched Phoenix's offer sheet for Eric Gordon, this could be a playoff team next year.

Previous Rank: (20)

Key Additions: Michael Beasley (Timberwolves), Goran Dragic (Rockets), Luis Scola (Rockets), Kendall Marshall (Draft)

Key Losses: Steve Nash (Traded to Lakers), Josh Childress (Amnestied), Aaron Brooks (Kings)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall, Sebastian Telfair
SG: Jared Dudley
SF: Michael Beasley
PF: Luis Scola, Markieff Morris, Hakim Warrick
C: Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye





 21. New Orleans Hornets
Division: Southwest | Last Season Record: 21-45


Analysis: The Hornets probably won't make the playoffs, even after bringing Eric Gordon back. However, they are built for the future, and will still be very competitive this season. As of now, it looks like Anthony Davis will have to start at center with Ryan Anderson starting at the 4. Depending on how they use Austin Rivers, this team could surprise a lot of people, and make some noise in the West.

Previous Rank: (23)

Key Additions: Anthony Davis (Draft), Austin Rivers (Draft), Ryan Anderson (via Magic), Darius Miller (Draft), Brad Miller (via Timberwolves)

Key Losses: Trevor Ariza (Traded to Wizards), Emeka Okafor (Traded to Wizards), Jarrett Jack (Traded to Warriors), Chris Kaman (Mavericks), Rashard Lewis (Waived), Gustavo Ayon (Traded to Magic)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Austin Rivers, Greivis Vasquez, Jerome Dyson
SG: Eric Gordon, Xavier Henry
SF: Al-Farouq Aminu, Darius Miller
PF: Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Lance Thomas
C: Jason Smith, Brad Miller





 22. Houston Rockets
Division: Southwest | Last Season Record: 34-32


Analysis: With all of the off-season activity created by the Rockets, there is a lot to talk about, but I'll try to keep it short and simple. This team is in rebuild mode, and are at least a few years out from playoff contention. Losing two point guard and two centers, they've extended offer sheets to Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. However, the teams that own their rights are likely to match, so we'll have to see how Houston handles the situation, not to mention they amnestied Luis Scola.

Previous Rank: (22)

Key Additions: Jeremy Lin (Knicks), Jeremy Lamb (Draft), Royce White (Draft), Terrence Jones (Draft), Furkan Aldemir (Draft), Jon Brockman (via Bucks), Toney Douglas (via Knicks), Josh Harrelson (via Knicks), Jerome Jordan (via Knicks), Jon Leuer (via Bucks), Shaun Livingston (via Bucks), JaJuan Johnson (via Celtics), Sean Williams (via Celtics), E'Twaun Moore (via Celtics)

Key Losses: Luis Scola (Amnestied), Kyle Lowry (Traded to Raptors), Goran Dragic (Suns), Chase Budinger (Traded to Timberwolves), Marcus Camby (Traded to Knicks), Samuel Dalembert (Traded to Bucks), Courtney Lee (Traded to Celtics), Jon Leuer (Waived), Jerome Jordan (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Jeremy Lin, Courtney Fortson, Toney Douglas, Shaun Livingston
SG: Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, E'Twaun Moore
SF: Chandler Parsons, Marcus Morris, Royce White, Gary Forbes
PF: Patrick Patterson, Terrence Jones, JaJuan Johnson, Sean Williams, Furkan Aldemir, Diamon Simpson
C: Donatas Motiejunas, Josh Harrelson, Greg Smith





 23. Orlando Magic
Division: Southeast | Last Season Record: 37-29


Analysis: Even with Dwight Howard, the Magic aren't a playoff team. Howard is still technically a member of the Orlando Magic, which means they culd comepte for a playoff spot, but I just don;t see it happening. There is still no head coach in place, and some weird off-season moves make you wonder what in the world they are doing.

Previous Rank: (21)

Key Additions: Andrew Nicholson (Draft), Kyle O'Quinn (Draft), Gustavo Ayon (via Hornets)

Key Losses: Ryan Anderson (Traded to Hornets), Von Wafer (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Jameer Nelson, Chris Duhon
SG: Jason Richardson, J.J. Reddick
SF: Hedo Turkoglu, Quentin Richardson
PF: Glen Davis, Justin Harper, Andrew Nicholson
C: Dwight Howard, Gustavo Ayon, Kyle O'Quinn





 24. Portland Trail Blazers
Division: Northwest | Last Season Record: 28-38


Analysis: Portland has been looking for a center, going after Roy Hibbert, Chris Kama and Brook Lopez. They've missed on all three, but they did re-sign J.J. Hickson which could be key for them. They also had a good draft, and now have their point guard of the future in Damian Lillard, and their future starting center in Meyers Leonard. If they match Nicolas Batum's offer sheet, they could possibly compete for an 8th seed.

Previous Rank: (24)

Key Additions: Damian Lillard (Draft), Meyers Leonard (Draft), Will Barton (Draft), Joel Freeland (International), Victor Claver (International), Jared Jeffries (via Knicks), Dan Gadzuric (via Knicks), Kostas Papanikolaou (via Knicks), Ronnie Price (Suns)

Key Losses: Brandon Roy (Timberwolves), Jamal Crawford (Clippers), Raymond Felton (Traded to Knicks), Kurt Thomas (Traded to Knicks), Shawne Williams (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Damian Lillard, Nolan Smith, Ronnie Price
SG: Wesley Matthews, Will Barton, Elliot Williams
SF: Nicolas Batum, Luke Babbitt, Victor Claver, Kostas Papanikolaou
PF: J.J. Hickson, Jared Jeffries, Joel Freeland
C: LaMarcus Aldridge, Meyers Leonard, Dan Gadzuric





 25. Washington Wizards
Division: Southeast | Last Season Record: 20-46


Analysis: They don't have a ton of cap room now, but the Wizards are ready to compete right now. They have a pretty good frontcourt now with the shot blocking big man Emeka Okafor paired up with Nene, not to mention Trevor Ariza on the wing. John Wall and Brad Beal form a very talented young backcourt, while they also have plenty of depth. They may need a year to figure it all out, but could be a team to watch out for once they do.

Previous Rank: (26)

Key Additions: Brad Beal (Draft), Trevor Ariza (via Hornets), Emeka Okafor (via Hornets), Tomas Satoransky (Draft)

Key Losses: Rashard Lewis (Traded to Hornets), Andray Blatche (Amnestied)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: John Wall, Shelvin Mack
SG: Brad Beal, Jordan Crawford, Tomas Satoransky
SF: Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton, Cartier Martin
PF: Nene, Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker
C: Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin





 26. Sacramento Kings
Division: Pacific | Last Season Record: 22-44


Analysis: Drafting Thomas Robinson to pair with DeMarcus Cousins was a good move. Unfortunetly, the Kings have done nothing beyond that. They won't make the playoffs this year either, but will be a team to watch out for in the future. Speaking of the future, they'll need to determine what to do with Tyreke Evans, and they'll have to decide whether or not Isaiah Thomas can be their point guard in the long term.

Previous Rank: (25)

Key Additions: Thomas Robinson (Draft), Aaron Brooks (Suns)

Key Losses: Hassan Whiteside (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Isaiah Thomas, Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette
SG: Marcus Thornton, Francisco Garcia, John Salmons
SF: Tyreke Evans, James Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Tyler Honeycutt
PF: Jason Thompson, Thomas Robinson
C: DeMarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes





 27. Detroit Pistons
Division: Central | Last Season Record: 25-41


Analysis: Detroit snatched up Andre Drummond with the 9th overall pick, and will pair him with Greg Monroe in the frontcourt. Unfortunately, they haven't really added any more talent, around their core group of young guys.

Previous Rank: (28)

Key Additions: Andre Drummond (Draft), Corey Maggette (via Bobcats), Khris Middleton (Draft), Kim English (Draft), Vyacheslav Kravtsov (International)

Key Losses: Ben Gordon (Traded to Bobcats)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Brandon Knight, Will Bynum
SG: Rodney Stuckey, Khris Middleton, Kim English
SF: Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette, Austin Daye, Kyle Singler
PF: Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva
C: Andre Drummond





 28. Toronto Raptors
Division: Atlantic | Last Season Record: 23-43


Analysis: Toronto has their point guard now after trading for Kyle Lowry, but they must figure out what to do with Jose Calderon. Jonas Valenciunas is set to come over, the Raptors are build to contend in the future. In the short term? There are still some concerns. Even though they drafted Terrence Ross--who is a pretty good shooter--they still need perimeter shooters, and this team doesn't seem to fit well together. This is just an early observation, however, but don't expect them to make the playoffs this season.

Previous Rank: (27)

Key Additions: Kyle Lowry (via Rockets), Terrence Ross (Draft), Landry Fields (Knicks) Quincy Acy (Draft), Tomislav Zubcic (Draft)

Key Losses: Jerryd Bayless (Grizzlies), Gary Forbes (Traded to Rockets), James Johnson (Traded to Kings)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Kyle Lowry, Jose Calderon
SG: Landry Fields, Terrence Ross
SF: DeMar DeRozan, Linas Kleiza, Quincy Acy, Tomislav Zubcic
PF: Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson, Ed Davis
C: Jonas Valenciunas





 29. Charlotte Bobcats
Division: Southeast | Last Season Record: 7-59


Analysis: I moved the Bobcats up one spot, because they have improved enough to where I think they are better than the Cavs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist brings toughness, versatility, and leadership to the 'Cats, while Ben Gordon and Jeff Taylor give them some much needed shooting. Also, they brought in free agent point guard Ramon Sessions and center Brendan Haywood. Very interesting to say the least.

Previous Rank: (30)

Key Additions: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Draft), Ben Gordon (via Pistons), Ramon Sessions (Lakers), Jeff Taylor (Draft), Brendan Haywood (Claimed off waivers)

Key Losses: Corey Maggette (Traded to Pistons), D.J. Augustin (Pacers), Jamario Moon (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Ramon Sessions, Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon, Reggie Williams
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeff Taylor
PF: Bismack Biyombo, Tyrus Thomas
C: Brendan Haywood, Byron Mullens, DeSagana Diop





 30. Cleveland Cavaliers
Division: Central | Last Season Record: 21-45


Analysis: Kyrie Irving looks like a top 10 point guard in the league, and pairing him up with Dion Waiters in the backcourt is interesting to say the least. They are a young team that is far away from playoff contention at this point, but I'll be keeping an eye on Kyrie Irving, anxious to see how he progresses and plays with Waiters.

Previous Rank: (29)

Key Additions: Dion Waiters (Draft), Tyler Zeller (Draft), Kelenna Azubuike (via Mavericks)

Key Losses: Antawn Jamison (Lakers), Semih Erden (Turkey), Anthony Parker (Retired), Manny Harris (Waived)

Projected Depth Chart:
PG: Kyrie Irving, Daniel Gibson, Donald Sloan
SG: Dion Waiters, Kelenna Azubuike, D.J. Kennedy
SF: Omri Casspi, Luke Walton
PF: Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels, Luke Harangody
C: Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller