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NBA Power Rankings: Who are the league’s best teams now?

Reported by ESPN:

In our post-Finals Power Rankings, we asked whether offseason chaos was on the horizon.

Welp.

Free agency saw Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving team up in Brooklyn, D’Angelo Russell join the Splash Brothers, Jimmy Butler take his talents to South Beach, and Tobias Harris and Kristaps Porzingis sign max deals with Philly and Dallas, respectively. And that was just the first 24 hours!

The league has changed seemingly overnight, and we’re here to make sense of where all 30 teams stand heading into a highly anticipated 2019-20 season.

Note: These rankings are based on where voters think teams belong heading into the 2019-20 season, taking into account injuries and potential further player movement. Title odds for 2019-20 were provided by Caesars sportsbook. ESPN.com’s Malika Andrews, Kevin Arnovitz, Tim Bontemps, Tim MacMahon, Royce Young and Ohm Youngmisuk contributed the following information.

More: Post-Finals rankings | Moves for every teamInsider | Free agency news

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2018-19 record: 60-22
2020 title odds: 9-2
Previous rank: No. 1

While the fabric of the Eastern Conference has changed drastically in recent weeks, the Bucks’ core has stayed largely the same. The team re-signed starters Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez as well as key reserve George Hill. What set the team apart last season was its deep bench. Will the acquisitions of Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews be enough to make up for the departures of Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell and Nikola Mirotic? A strong bench to support Giannis Antetokounmpo is essential for Milwaukee to make it out of the East finals. — Malika Andrews

  • Key additions: Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews

  • Key subtractions: Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic


2. Denver Nuggets
2018-19 record: 54-28
2020 title odds: 20-1
Previous rank: No. 4

While the rest of the NBA world went wild, the Nuggets made a few moves along the edges but quietly had one of the best summers of anyone. Adding Jerami Grant is one of the most underrated moves of the offseason, and they effectively are adding 2018 No. 14 overall pick Michael Porter Jr., who sat out the entire season with back issues. Assuming progression from their young rising stars, the Nuggets are firmly a favorite in the West. — Royce Young

  • Key additions: Jerami Grant

  • Key subtractions: Trey Lyles


3. LA Clippers
2018-19 record: 48-34
2020 title odds: 4-1
Previous rank: No. 5

After a year of rumors of quietly recruiting Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers landed the mysterious forward after what might have been the most intrigue-filled week in free agency in recent memory. Shocking the Lakers, the Raptors and the entire NBA, the Clippers persuaded Leonard to become a Clipper by stealthily working a trade for Paul George. Though the blockbuster move cost a historic haul of five first-round picks, two first-round-pick swaps and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, the Clippers are now instant title contenders. Leonard and George should fit in seamlessly with a gritty supporting cast and budding Clipper culture built on a low-ego, team-first mentality. Doc Rivers’ defense could be the nastiest in the NBA with Leonard, George and Patrick Beverley forming a perimeter wall. Rivers has the best second-unit combo in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, and role players such as JaMychal Green, Maurice Harkless and Landry Shamet might make the Clippers the best team in not just Staples Center this season but perhaps in the entire league. — Ohm Youngmisuk

  • Key additions: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Maurice Harkless

  • Key subtractions: Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Garrett Temple


4. Philadelphia 76ers
2018-19 record: 51-31
2020 title odds: 8-1
Previous rank: No. 3

After coming within four bounces of beating the Raptors, falling with a devastating loss at the buzzer in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the 76ers went out and made some dramatic moves this summer: re-signing Tobias Harris to a five-year, $180 million deal; executing a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat, sending Jimmy Butler there in exchange for Josh Richardson; and signing Al Horford away from the Boston Celtics with a four-year, $113 million contract. Now, thanks to Leonard leaving Toronto and the rest of the East contenders either standing still or taking a step backward, Philadelphia seems to be the favorite to emerge from the East and reach the NBA Finals for the first time since Allen Iverson led the Sixers there in 2001. — Tim Bontemps


5. Houston Rockets
2018-19 record: 53-29
2020 title odds: 8-1
Previous rank: No. 7

The Rockets rolled the dice by reuniting Russell Westbrook with James Harden, particularly considering the hefty price of the lightly protected 2024 and 2026 first-round picks they sent to Oklahoma City along with Chris Paul. “It’s risky for sure, but I believe the upside is greater than with CP,” a team source said. Westbrook’s ball dominance and poor 3-point shooting present fit concerns, but Harden pushed hard for the trade, which the Rockets hope will allow them to be legitimate contenders through The Beard’s prime, and their window was closing because of the 34-year-old Paul’s physical decline. — Tim MacMahon

  • Key additions: Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler

  • Key subtractions: Chris Paul


6. Los Angeles Lakers
2018-19 record: 37-45
2020 title odds: 3-1
Previous rank: No. 8

A chaotic offseason started with Magic Johnson resigning and putting Rob Pelinka on blast as well as a coaching search that saw negotiations with Ty Lue fall apart before the Lakers hired Frank Vogel. But once the chaos settled, the Lakers landed their highly coveted second superstar and another franchise superstar big man to build around for the foreseeable future in Anthony Davis. Pelinka paid a heavy price in having to send out Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, three first-round picks, a pick swap and cash to acquire Davis and create as much cap space as possible. They then waited and failed to persuade Kawhi Leonard to come, but acted quickly in free agency by surrounding LeBron James and Davis with several experienced veterans. The Lakers believe they have addressed their mistake from a year ago by adding shooters like Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels. They believe they have 3-and-D guys with the additions of Green, Avery Bradley and the re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. And they added size with DeMarcus Cousins and re-signed JaVale McGee while also bolstering their backcourt depth and bringing Alex Caruso back. This is a roster built to contend for a championship, and anything short of a deep playoff run will be a disappointment. — Youngmisuk

  • Key additions: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley

  • Key subtractions: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Tyson Chandler


7. Boston Celtics
2018-19 record: 49-33
2020 title odds: 25-1
Previous rank: No. 9

Nothing went the way it was supposed to last season for the Celtics, who entered the season as the favorites to top the East — only to be drummed out of the playoffs in five games (including four straight losses) by the Bucks. The already bitter taste in the mouths of Celtics fans was made worse after Kyrie Irving and Al Horford chose to leave for Brooklyn and Philadelphia, respectively, in free agency. Irving was replaced by All-Star Kemba Walker, which some might see as an upgrade. It will be much more difficult to make up for losing Horford. Enes Kanter will likely be Boston’s starting center, with second-year big man Robert Williams III, Frenchman Vincent Poirier and German Daniel Theis behind him. They will give Boston a few ways to play, but not nearly at the same level of skill and poise that Horford, one of the league’s most versatile bigs, did. That, in turn, puts a ceiling on just how good Boston can be — regardless of how much growth the Celtics get from young wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. — Bontemps


8. Portland Trail Blazers
2018-19 record: 53-29
2020 title odds: 25-1
Previous rank: No. 10

The Trail Blazers lightly reshuffled their rotation, with a few critical role players moving elsewhere. The Blazers have the core elements back, but any progression this season will come in two main ways: 1) Jusuf Nurkic getting healthy and returning to form, and 2) Hassan Whiteside fitting in and adding rim protection plus a significant new wrinkle to the pick-and-roll game. — Young


9. Utah Jazz
2018-19 record: 50-32
2020 title odds: 14-1
Previous rank: No. 13

The Jazz might be equally as good offensively and defensively, which would make Utah a bona fide contender. Poor shooting prevented the Jazz from making their playoff series against the Rockets competitive, as Utah went 26-of-110 (23.6%) on wide-open 3s, as defined by NBA.com as no defender within 6 feet. That won’t be a problem after they traded for Mike Conley and signed Bojan Bogdanovic, who should take pressure off Donovan Mitchell to create offense and open up the floor when the young star guard has the ball in his hands. It’s up to Rudy Gobert, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, to make sure the Jazz remain elite on that end of the floor. — MacMahon


10. Toronto Raptors
2018-19 record: 58-24
2020 title odds: 50-1
Previous rank: No. 2

The Raptors didn’t have long to celebrate their stunning run to the franchise’s first title, thanks to Kawhi Leonard‘s decision to leave his throne as King of the North to take up residence at Staples Center with the LA Clippers. Still, though the Raptors don’t have a championship ceiling anymore, they have a good enough roster — built around emerging young forward Pascal Siakam, the winner of this season’s Most Improved Player award — to remain a factor in the East. The Raptors do have several large expiring contracts belonging to Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka that they could flip at the deadline for assets — or they could go into next summer with oodles of cap space to chase players who can remake their roster. Don’t expect anyone north of the border to be upset, though. They’ll be spending the season deservedly celebrating their hard-won title. — Bontemps


11. Golden State Warriors
2018-19 record: 57-25
2020 title odds: 14-1
Previous rank: No. 6

Not long after losing a physically and emotionally devastating NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors watched Kevin Durant head East to join forces with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. But the Warriors did their best to recover by adding rising All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell to help Stephen Curry with the scoring load until Klay Thompson returns from his knee injury. Willie Cauley-Stein is still only 25 and will have every opportunity to show what he can do as Golden State’s new center with DeMarcus Cousins in Los Angeles. Steve Kerr will also try to incorporate new Warriors Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III. Though Golden State’s stranglehold on the Western Conference is over, the Warriors still have Curry and Draymond Green — two proud All-Stars motivated to show that any idea of Golden State’s demise is premature. –– Youngmisuk

  • Key additions: D’Angelo Russell, Willie Cauley-Stein, Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks

  • Key subtractions: Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins, Shaun Livingston


12. Brooklyn Nets
2018-19 record: 42-40
2020 title odds: 20-1
Previous rank: No. 12

Brooklyn completed its remarkable turnaround over the past few years by signing Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan in the opening hours of free agency, lifting a franchise that had been left for dead in the wake of trading four first-round picks to the Celtics back in 2013. If Durant were healthy, the Nets would likely be the favorites in the East. But he is not, having torn his Achilles during the NBA Finals, and will miss — at a minimum — most of next season. In the meantime, the Nets will hope that things go differently for Irving than they did in Boston last year, when he and the team’s young players struggled to mesh and the Celtics disappointed. Brooklyn’s roster has a similar composition, including emerging wing Caris LeVert, that will try to push the Nets along until Durant can return — whether that’s sometime late next season or in 2020-21. — Bontemps


13. San Antonio Spurs
2018-19 record: 48-34
2020 title odds: 40-1
Previous rank: No. 15

The Spurs were snakebitten by Marcus Morris changing course and signing with the Knicks, because they not only lost him but also traded Davis Bertans to clear the way. They made a few minor moves, but getting Dejounte Murray healthy has been the primary offseason objective. The Spurs are the Spurs, so therefore they will be good, but as the West reloaded, nothing sizable enough changed that will boost San Antonio up the standings. — Young


14. Miami Heat
2018-19 record: 39-43
2020 title odds: 40-1
Previous rank: No. 22

The Heat in recent seasons have generally been better than the sum of their parts, and for the first time in a while, they’ll feature an NBA star in his prime: Jimmy Butler. The union of the intense, workaholic Butler and the intense, workaholic Heat organization would seem to be an NBA match made in heaven. Miami will feature its typically stingy, well-prepared defensive schemes and likely cobble together some clever, unorthodox looks on offense to compensate for any lack of shooting. — Kevin Arnovitz


15. Indiana Pacers
2018-19 record: 48-34
2020 title odds: 40-1
Previous rank: No. 14

The Pacers’ splashiest free-agency acquisition was former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, who signed a lucrative three-year, $85 million contract with Indiana. Until Victor Oladipo returns from the quad injury that ended his 2018-19 season, much of the Pacers’ offense will likely run through Brogdon. The Pacers were the No. 4 seed in the 2019 playoffs. For them to be ranked that highly again, Domantas Sabonis must continue to evolve. Most importantly, when and how Oladipo returns will heavily influence Indiana’s chances. — Andrews


16. Detroit Pistons
2018-19 record: 41-41
2020 title odds: 250-1
Previous rank: No. 19

Despite being strapped for cap room, the Pistons added two proven guards to their roster in free agency: Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris. The No. 8-seeded Pistons were swept in the 2019 playoffs largely because the No. 1-seeded Bucks’ depth allowed for their starters to stay fresh. The Pistons, on the other hand, struggled to put out a seven-man rotation. In the playoffs, head coach Dwane Casey relied on heavy minutes from Andre Drummond and the injured Blake Griffin. Morris is another big body who will help ease the load of Griffin and Drummond, and Rose has the talent and experience to lead Detroit’s second unit. If Griffin can stay healthy, the Pistons have a strong chance of making another playoff push. — Andrews


17. New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 record: 33-49
2020 title odds: 75-1
Previous rank: No. 24

The Pelicans can be competitive this season and a contender in the future thanks to some lottery luck and great work by new executive VP David Griffin. No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the haul of high-profile young talent and draft picks the Lakers gave up for Anthony Davis represent the promise of a bright future in the Big Easy. Adding big man Derrick Favors and knockdown shooter JJ Redick — and keeping terrific two-way guard Jrue Holiday — provide hope of winning now. — MacMahon


18. Dallas Mavericks
2018-19 record: 33-49
2020 title odds: 100-1
Previous rank: No. 17

The Mavs failed to add a proven starter in free agency despite entering the summer with almost $30 million in salary-cap space. Guards Seth Curry and Delon Wright, who have been quality reserves, came to Dallas as consolation prizes. Over the past 13 months, the Mavs have managed to add two potential long-term superstar pillars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but the goal of making a major leap into the playoffs this season appears quite ambitious in the loaded West. — MacMahon

  • Key additions: Seth Curry, Boban Marjanovic, Delon Wright

  • Key subtractions: Dirk Nowitzki


19. Orlando Magic
2018-19 record: 42-40
2020 title odds: 125-1
Previous rank: No. 20

Will the Magic take the next big step forward after their first playoff appearance in seven years, or will 2019-20 be a consolidation season? Orlando is loaded up front, with power forwards and centers in deep supply (and that was the case before the Magic signed Al-Farouq Aminu and drafted Chuma Okeke, who is recovering from an ACL injury). The Magic’s fortunes rest on their capacity to get more out of their guards, with the highest ceiling belonging to Markelle Fultz. The Magic are cautiously optimistic the former No. 1 overall pick could give them some of the perimeter shot creation they desperately need. — Arnovitz


20. Sacramento Kings
2018-19 record: 39-43
2020 title odds: 150-1
Previous rank: No. 16

Luke Walton was hired to help develop De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield. But Vlade Divac spent money in free agency to keep and add some veterans around Sacramento’s promising young core. The Kings kept Harrison Barnes with a four-year, $85 million deal. They replaced Willie Cauley-Stein with Dewayne Dedmon on a three-year, $40 million deal and added veterans such as Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph. Walton should have a mix of young up-and-coming players to go with veterans who can help stretch the floor. Unfortunately, they reside in a division that has two of the most formidable pairings in the NBA in the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis, plus the Warriors. — Youngmisuk

  • Key additions: Trevor Ariza, Dewayne Dedmon, Cory Joseph

  • Key subtractions: Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks, Frank Mason III


21. Minnesota Timberwolves
2018-19 record: 36-46
2020 title odds: 500-1
Previous rank: No. 23

For a minute there, it appeared the Wolves would be making a major addition in D’Angelo Russell, and who knows, maybe they still will at some point. But it hasn’t been a great summer so far, as they decided not to match on Tyus Jones and didn’t make any significant upgrades elsewhere. There are roster-building roadblocks, such as Andrew Wiggins and his contract, but there is still a young core worth adding to, or eventually it will lead to another reboot. — Young


22. Atlanta Hawks
2018-19 record: 29-53
2020 title odds: 200-1
Previous rank: No. 21

There’s a lot of shine to the Hawks’ rebuilding project, and even whispers that the upstart Hawks could sniff the postseason next spring in a conference where 80% of success is just showing up. Joining the existing young core led by Trae Young and John Collins will be a pair of rookie forwards drafted in the top 10, a couple of functional veterans on the perimeter and a reclamation project in Jabari Parker. The biggest challenge ahead for Atlanta will be crafting a defense that can compete with the grownups if and when those games in March and April carry playoff implications. — Arnovitz


23. Chicago Bulls
2018-19 record: 22-60
2020 title odds: 125-1
Previous rank: No. 29

The Bulls drafted guard Coby White and added Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky to the roster. Still, it’s hard to envision Chicago finishing in the top half of the Eastern Conference. Perhaps it can squeak out a playoff appearance — but with the East becoming even more competitive, it is a tall task. Expect this to be another development year for the Bulls. Their young core of Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen has some growing to do. And if an improbable playoff run does materialize, it will require that the Bulls stay healthy. Carter’s offseason abdominal surgery isn’t a good start. — Andrews

  • Key additions: Coby White, Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky

  • Key subtractions: Robin Lopez


24. Oklahoma City Thunder
2018-19 record: 49-33
2020 title odds: 150-1
Previous rank: No. 11

With an apparent plan taking shape of disassembling the house and preparing to rebuild a new one, it would seem the Thunder will take a significant step back. But if Chris Paul decides he wants to stay with OKC — a hefty “if” right now — the Thunder can still be a reasonably competitive team in the West. A core of Paul, Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari can win games, but the question is how long they might remain part of it. — Young


25. Phoenix Suns
2018-19 record: 19-63
2020 title odds: 1000-1
Previous rank: No. 28

Phoenix got the hot coach in Monty Williams, but the rest of its summer has been a head-scratcher. The Suns traded away T.J. Warren and his reasonable contract along with the No. 32 pick to Indiana to create cap space. They then traded a 2020 first-round pick from Milwaukee to Boston for the No. 24 pick (Ty Jerome) and center Aron Baynes. They traded away former No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson and De’Anthony Melton along with two second-round picks to Memphis. Phoenix kept Kelly Oubre Jr. for $30 million over two years and signed Ricky Rubio to a $51 million, three-year deal to become its starting point guard. But it certainly feels as if Devin Booker is staring at yet another long season.– Youngmisuk

  • Key additions: Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, Cameron Johnson

  • Key subtractions: Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren


26. Memphis Grizzlies
2018-19 record: 33-49
2020 title odds: 1000-1
Previous rank: No. 27

The Grizzlies have fully committed to rebuilding around young centerpieces Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant. Memphis’ reshuffled front office has laid the foundation for the rebuilding project by collecting young talent and future first-round picks through trading all-time Grizzlies great Mike Conley and moves made possible by that deal, such as getting a pick from Golden State by using a trade exception to take Andre Iguodala, whom Memphis hopes to flip for another asset. — MacMahon


27. Washington Wizards
2018-19 record: 32-50
2020 title odds: 500-1
Previous rank: No. 25

The Wizards are less in a rebuilding mode than a holding pattern as they navigate the future of their pricey starting backcourt — John Wall, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon and unlikely to see much if any action in 2019-20, and Bradley Beal, one of the league’s elite shooting guards, who is coveted by contenders across the league. It’s likely to be a long winter in Washington while the Wizards weigh their options, develop Troy Brown and Rui Hachimura and buy time. — Arnovitz


28. New York Knicks
2018-19 record: 17-65
2020 title odds: 200-1
Previous rank: No. 18

This summer was expected to be triumphant — finally — for the Knicks. Instead, all they could do was watch as Irving and Durant chose to go across the East River and join the rival Nets. The fact the Knicks followed that up by signing a series of solid but unspectacular players — Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton and Wayne Ellington — to short-term deals did little to erase the bitter feelings with which their fans were left after the front office traded Kristaps Porzingis and then struck out on stars in free agency. Now the Knicks will struggle once again, while the Nets are the exciting team within the five boroughs. There will at least be one difference between last year and this one at Madison Square Garden, however: the presence of No. 3 overall pick R.J. Barrett, plus last year’s picks — first-rounder Kevin Knox and second-rounder Mitchell Robinson. — Bontemps


29. Charlotte Hornets
2018-19 record: 39-43
2020 title odds: 1000-1
Previous rank: No. 26

The Hornets will enter the 2019-20 season absent their top two win-shares leaders from last season and largely the same nucleus of league-replacement frontcourt talent whose contracts, one day, will expire. Depending on your appraisal of Terry Rozier, the bees either have a respectable young replacement for Kemba Walker at point guard or have once again forked over a contract of excessive value and length to a player without the body of work to justify it. Perhaps Charlotte can get a breakout season from one of its prospects: the tantalizing and sometimes confounding Malik Monk, or the promising forwards plucked in the past two drafts: Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. — Arnovitz


30. Cleveland Cavaliers
2018-19 record: 19-63
2020 title odds: 1000-1
Previous rank: No. 30

The youngster development continues in Cleveland. Watching Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman take their next steps could be entertaining, but a 2020 playoff run seems far-fetched for the Cavaliers. While top-tier Eastern teams such as the Nets, Bucks, Celtics and Pacers added big names to their rosters, the Cavs stayed relatively quiet in free agency. Cleveland continued to add to young talent, drafting Darius Garland with the No. 5 pick. It’ll also be adjusting to first-year coach John Beilein. Realistically, this year will be about chemistry building, not pursuing a playoff spot. — Andrews

Source:ESPN

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