The NBA season is just around the corner and it’s time to start getting ready for the new season. This preseason edition of the NBA Power Rankings will take a look at some of the teams that are expected to be contenders this year.
The nba team rankings 2021 is a power ranking of the NBA teams for the upcoming season.
The NBA’s media days begin on Monday, formally kicking off training camps around the league. After the dust has cleared after free agency, September training camp kickoffs will signal the return to a regular schedule for the first time in two years.
The biggest story coming out of training camp is Ben Simmons’ declaration that he would never play another game for the 76ers. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the three-time All-Star has requested a trade out of Philadelphia and will not report to training camp.
Star players will receive their first repetitions with their new clubs in other places.
Along with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony will join the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup. Kyle Lowry will make his Miami Heat debut, while DeMar DeRozan will make his Chicago Bulls debut and Kemba Walker will come home to the New York Knicks.
What does this mean for the 30 teams as they prepare for training camp? What are the most significant changes since our post-free agency Power Rankings?
Note: Our panel (ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Dave McMenamin, Kevin Pelton, and Ohm Youngmisuk) ranked clubs based on where they believe they belong going into next season. Caesars Sportsbook has 2022 title odds.
MORE: NBArank 2021: Where LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kevin Durant Check In
1. The Brooklyn Nets have a 48-24 record in 2020-21. 2022 championship odds: +225 Ranking after free agency: 1
Following the midseason arrivals of James Harden and Blake Griffin last season, having a training camp with the whole team will be a huge plus for Nets coach Steve Nash. While Harden was able to blend in smoothly on the fly, Brooklyn will get more practice time with all three stars after he only played 332 minutes with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (including the playoffs), according to NBA Advanced Stats. It will also be crucial to figure out how Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and newcomers James Johnson and Paul Millsap fit into a rebuilt frontcourt. Pelton’s words
2. Milwaukee Bucks: 46-26 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +800 2nd place in the post-free-agency rankings
Because of the star power surrounding the Nets and Lakers, the Bucks enjoy the advantage of not having to defend their championship this season. Is there anything to keep an eye on here? The performance of Grayson Allen, who arrived in Milwaukee in an offseason trade from Memphis and may be an intriguing shooting guard complement to Donte DiVincenzo. — Best wishes
Every Eastern Conference team’s win-loss record is predicted.
3. Los Angeles Lakers: 42-30 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +400 3rd place in the post-free-agency rankings
In Los Angeles, the season begins with a new big three as the primary attraction, with Russell Westbrook joining forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to put the Lakers back in contention for a title. According to insiders, the Lakers got off to a fast start with a trip to Las Vegas for a minicamp arranged by James that was more about team bonding than rigorous court practice. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
4. The Phoenix Suns have a 51-21 record in 2020-21. +1500 to win the championship in 2022. 4th place in the post-free-agency rankings
Last season’s journey to the NBA Finals in Phoenix fell short of the ultimate objective, but there was very little turnover in the desert, so Monty Williams shouldn’t have any trouble convincing his squad to buy in. Landry Shamet and Elfrid Payton join a Suns backcourt that has lost a little of depth (Jevon Carter, Torrey Craig, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway) and will try to rapidly adjust to Chris Paul’s Point God ways. Lopez’s words
5. The Utah Jazz have a 52-20 record during the 2020-21 season. +1500 to win the championship in 2022. Rank after leaving the free agency: 5
The majority of the Jazz’s rotation is intact, with all of the starters and the top two Sixth Man of the Year candidates returning to Salt Lake City. Utah, on the other hand, believes that by acquiring Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside and dealing for Eric Paschall, it has improved its bench. Quin Snyder’s experimentation with Gay as a center in small-ball lineups, which wasn’t a possibility with last season’s personnel, will be fascinating to watch. MacMahon (MacMahon)
6. Miami Heat’s record in 2020-21 is 40-32. Title chances in 2022: +2500 Rank after leaving the free agency: 8
Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris should fit in well with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and the rest of a prideful Miami squad that has high hopes for the season. Erik Spoelstra must decide how fast all of these components can come together and how much of the experienced core must be paced for an 82-game season. While Victor Oladipo continues to recover from a quad injury, knowing how much of an effect he will have throughout the season will be crucial. Friedell’s words
7. Denver Nuggets: 47-25 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +2500 7th place in the post-free-agency rankings
Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, has slipped under the radar more than anybody else. While the Nuggets will need another MVP-caliber season from Jokic to compete, Michael Porter Jr.’s prospects of becoming a top-four team in the West are mostly dependent on him. Porter will have to continue his ascent while Jamal Murray is sidelined for a prolonged amount of time due to a ruptured ACL sustained in April. As a starter last season, he averaged 19.3 points and 7.3 rebounds, and he’s capable of averaging a double-double this season while shooting 45 percent from three. Youngmisuk’s remark
8. Philadelphia 76ers: 49-23 in 2020-21. +1600 to win the championship in 2022. 6th place in the post-free-agency rankings
The NBA’s greatest topic heading into training camp is in Philadelphia, where everyone is waiting to see whether Ben Simmons shows up — and if the 76ers decide to let him go. Simmons has said that he would never play for the Sixers again, and the Sixers are hoping for a star-level return for the 25-year-old three-time All-Star, who has four years left on his deal. This impasse will persist until one side makes a concession. — Best wishes
We’d want to see six Ben Simmons deals.
9. Atlanta Hawks, 41-31 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +4000 9th place in the post-free-agency rankings
The greatest issue for Atlanta during training camp will be how the Hawks build on their surprise journey to the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. In the playoffs, Atlanta had a question mark at backup point guard, relying on Bogdan Bogdanovic at times to fill that position. Delon Wright was acquired in a three-way trade with Sacramento and Boston by the Hawks. Lopez’s words
10. Golden State Warriors: 39-33 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +1000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 12
Klay Thompson’s recovery and ability to return to his former All-Star form on the court will be critical to the Warriors’ success this season. However, while Steve Kerr and the Warriors wait for the former All-Star to return to health, the Warriors will be looking to the development of lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, as well as hoping that 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman can take another step forward in his development as he recovers from a meniscus tear that ended his season early and will keep him out for the start of this season. Friedell’s words
Will the Warriors be the ones to make the greatest comeback?
The Dallas Mavericks had a 42-30 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +3000 Ranking after leaving the free agency: 11
What changes can we expect from new coach Jason Kidd? Kidd must decide whether to play a large lineup with Maxi Kleber or Dwight Powell alongside to Kristaps Porzingis, or a smaller lineup with free-agent acquisition Reggie Bullock. It’ll also be fascinating to watch how Kidd utilizes Porzingis, who was upset by Rick Carlisle’s frequently restricted role. What’s more essential, how is Porzingis moving after a complete offseason of rest? Last season, his lack of movement made him a defensive catastrophe. MacMahon (MacMahon)
MORE: What if Luka was pre-programmed from the start?
12. Los Angeles Clippers: 47-25 in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +2000 10th place in the post-free-agency rankings
The NBA season 2021-22 begins in October with two star-studded doubleheaders on ESPN.
Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 20 10 p.m. ET, Nuggets vs. Suns
Friday, Oct. 22 @ 7:30 p.m. ET, Nets at. 76ers 10 p.m. ET, Suns vs. Lakers
The Clippers will attempt to preserve their playoff position until Kawhi Leonard recovers from a partly torn ACL, which he will miss for a significant portion of the season. With Leonard out, Paul George is primed for a huge season after leading the Clippers to the Western Conference finals. Reggie Jackson will try to keep up his postseason form, while the Clippers evaluate younger players like as Terance Mann and Luke Kennard, as well as newcomers Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, Jason Preston, and Brandon Boston Jr. Youngmisuk’s remark
The Boston Celtics had a 36-36 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +5000 Ranking after free agency: 13
The Celtics are expected to go as far as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can carry them. However, three interesting newcomers will arrive in Boston during the preseason: Ime Udoka, who takes over as head coach from Brad Stevens, and guards Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson, who are also seeking to rebound from dismal seasons. — Best wishes
Kemba Walker talks about how happy he is to be joining the Knicks and laughs about playing back-to-back games coming season.
The New York Knicks had a 41-31 record in 2020-21. +8000 title odds in 2022 No. 14 in the post-free-agency rankings
After being bought out by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who acquired the guard from the Boston Celtics in June, New York City native Kemba Walker came home this summer and quickly agreed to a contract with the Knicks. Walker’s health, particularly after missing the last two games of Boston’s first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets due to knee problems, will be a hot subject of conversation in the coming weeks as he prepares for a reunion with his former club on opening night at Madison Square Garden. — Best wishes
The Portland Trail Blazers had a 42-30 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +6000 15th place in the post-free-agency rankings
For first-time head coach Chauncey Billups, who is replacing Terry Stotts after nine seasons in Portland, there will be a lot to cover in a short amount of time. The Blazers’ starting lineup, which was one of the best in the league until Norman Powell was added in the middle of the season, is still intact. Veteran Ben McLemore, Larry Nance Jr., Tony Snell, and Cody Zeller have been added to Portland’s second unit. We’ll be watching for any improvements in the Blazers’ defense, which finished last season ranked 29th in the league in terms of per-possession defense. Pelton’s words
MORE: Lillard must keep Blazers opinions to himself
Memphis Grizzlies are 16th in the NBA with a 38-34 record in 2020-21. Title chances for 2022: +10000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 16
At the ripe old age of 28, Steven Adams, who will take over as starting center for Jonas Valanciunas after the two were traded in an offseason deal, is the Grizzlies’ graybeard. Last season, this Memphis core got its first taste of the playoffs, but it’s still a squad in its early stages of growth. Jaren Jackson Jr., who is just 22 years old and entering his fourth NBA season, is the Grizzlies’ greatest chance for making a leap. He showed promise before sustaining a knee injury in the preseason and missing the most of last season. MacMahon (MacMahon)
Why Ja Morant and the Grizzlies are on the verge of a championship
The Indiana Pacers had a 34-38 record in 2020-21. Title chances for 2022: +10000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 18
The Pacers’ most significant offseason move was the replacement of first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren with experienced coach Rick Carlisle, who is in his second season as the team’s leader. The Pacers must also consider how to maintain their squad as healthy as possible. Several important players have lately lost time due to injury or sickness. In the Eastern Conference, though, a healthy team including Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner might cause some havoc. Lopez’s words
Charlotte Hornets had a 33-39 record in 2020-21. +15000 to win the championship in 2022. Rank after leaving the free agency: 17
Along with veterans Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, the Hornets already have a youthful core in place; now they must see how Kelly Oubre Jr. fits in, as well as hope that youngsters James Bouknight and Kai Jones can make an impact. Oubre had an up-and-down season with the Warriors a year ago, but at 25, he has a chance to carve himself a good spot on a Charlotte team that needs his energy on both sides of the ball. Friedell’s words
The Toronto Raptors had a 27-45 record in 2020-21. Title chances for 2022: +10000 20th place in the post-free-agency rankings
The Raptors will return to Toronto on Monday for the start of training camp after spending almost 20 months away. While the Raptors will be happy to be back in Toronto after spending last season in Tampa, the greatest story in camp will be about a player who also spent last season in Florida: forward Scottie Barnes, the No. 4 selection in this year’s NBA draft out of Florida State. With Pascal Siakam out for the first several weeks of the season due to shoulder surgery, can Barnes take over as Siakam’s starter until he returns? — Best wishes
The Chicago Bulls had a 31-41 record in 2020-21. +8000 title odds in 2022 Rank after leaving the free agency: 19
With the additions of DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso, Chicago had one of its most interesting offseasons in recent memory — but the key for Billy Donovan heading into training camp is seeing how those pieces, along with holdovers Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Patrick Williams, can work together as a defensive unit. There are few questions in the league that the Bulls will score, but many concerns that they will be able to defend at a high enough level to win on a regular basis. Friedell’s words
MORE: LaVine calls this season “crucial” for the Bulls and his long-term future
The Washington Wizards had a 34-38 record in 2020-21. +15000 to win the championship in 2022. 21st place in the post-free-agency rankings
The majority of the NBA’s big-name free agents have already signed contracts, but the offseason is still in full swing, and we’ve got all the details right here.
• Pelton: Analyzing every offseason move • Lowe: Offseason winners and losers • Pelton: Analyzing every offseason move • Pelton’s offseason grades: East | West • What league insiders have to say about the offseason
Bradley Beal will have to adjust to many new components in camp after Russell Westbrook was dealt to the Lakers. Wes Unseld Jr., the new coach, will have limited time to mold Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Aaron Holiday into a cohesive unit around Beal. Daniel Gafford will also participate in his first Wizards training camp. With Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija returning from injury, this franchise’s health remains a major concern. Is Beal capable of leading this club back to the playoffs? He has a lot more vets around him, and they’re all eager to prove people wrong. Youngmisuk’s remark
The New Orleans Pelicans had a 31-41 record in 2020-21. Title chances for 2022: +10000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 22
Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Jonas Valanciunas are all expected to start for the Pelicans on opening night. One of the most important choices Willie Green will have to make in his first training camp as a head coach will be how the backcourt shakes out. Devonte’ Graham, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Josh Hart, Kira Lewis Jr., Naji Marshall, and Trey Murphy III are all candidates for the last two places on the Pelicans’ roster. Lopez’s words
San Antonio Spurs had a 33-39 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +25000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 23
In San Antonio, a young movement is gaining traction. Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Doug McDermott, the three Spurs with the most experience in the NBA, were all acquired this summer. DeMar DeRozan signed a sign-and-trade deal with the Spurs, and Rudy Gay and Patty Mills left in free agency. As the Spurs enter a new era, Dejounte Murray (15.7 points) and Derrick White (15.4 points) are the two top returning scorers. Lopez’s words
Sacramento Kings had a 31-41 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +25000 24th in the post-free-agency rankings
With first-round selection Davion Mitchell joining De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield, Kings coach Luke Walton has a plethora of quality guards at his disposal. Sacramento may find itself using three- or even four-guard lineups on a regular basis in order to keep its best players on the court. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
Minnesota Timberwolves are ranked 25th in the NHL with a 23-49 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +30000 25th place in the post-free-agency rankings
Last week, Minnesota’s relatively calm summer was thrown into disarray when Gersson Rosas was fired as head of basketball operations. What occurs on the floor during training camp may be overshadowed by the hunt for Rosas’ successor. After replacing Ryan Saunders in the middle of the season, Chris Finch is in charge of his first camp. The Timberwolves went 7-5 over their final 12 games, defeating a number of playoff-bound teams, thanks to Finch’s system, the growth of former No. 1 selection Anthony Edwards, and the return of D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Pelton’s words
The Detroit Pistons had a 20-52 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +50000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 26
Cade Cunningham is the center of attention. The ascent – or lack thereof – of the No. 1 choice will decide Detroit’s fate for the next half-decade or more. Coach Dwane Casey will have to decide who, apart from Jerami Grant, would be the greatest fit for Cunningham to play alongside. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a 22-50 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +50000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 27
While the focus has been on developing Cleveland’s backcourt in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland over the last several years, the center position will now be the focus with No. 3 selection Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. This season, the Cavs must determine if the two genuine bigs can share floor time or whether they will have to divide minutes. McMenamin, McMenamin, McMenamin, Mc
With 25 points against the Detroit Pistons, Jalen Green defeated first overall selection Cade Cunningham.
The Houston Rockets had a 17-55 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +50000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 29
In a 21-and-under league, Houston would be a strong contender. The Rockets will send eight players that young to their training camp in Galveston, Texas, including all four of their first-round selections, five of whom are teens. This season is all about the development of Houston’s youthful core, which is headed by the starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr., a 21-year-old point guard conversion project, and Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall selection, which is why John Wall agreed to sit and wait while the Rockets attempt to sell him. MacMahon (MacMahon)
Jalen Green and NBArank 100-51 breakthrough candidates
The Orlando Magic had a 21-51 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +50000 Rank after leaving the free agency: 28
Aside from Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz’s continuing recovery, the Magic’s biggest early concern centers around rookie Jalen Suggs and how much of an impact he’ll be able to make in his debut season. Suggs had a few standout performances during summer league and has the potential to energise a stale fan base. Friedell’s words
Oklahoma City Thunder, 30th, with a 22-50 record in 2020-21. Title chances in 2022: +50000 30th place in the post-free-agency rankings
Our first long look at No. 5 overall selection Josh Giddey will be at Thunder training camp, after he only played five minutes of summer league in Las Vegas due to an ankle issue. With the Oklahoma City roster’s young, winning games is unlikely to be a focus this season. Instead, the Thunder’s objectives are to improve their chances. In Year 2, keep an eye on Theo Maledon and Aleksej Pokusevski’s development, as well as Shai Gilgeous-return Alexander’s to full health after plantar fasciitis interrupted his regular season in 2020-21 and held him out of Olympic qualification. Pelton’s words
The nba standings is a list of the NBA teams’ records in each conference. It is updated every week.
- nba power rankings today
- nba preseason power rankings 2021
- 2020 nba power rankings
- espn power rankings nba 2021
- nba power rankings bleacher report