The NBA season is right around the corner, and with that, expectations for all teams are pouring in. In this series, we’ll examine each team in the league, and formulate the complete pre-season NBA power rankings. Here are teams 30-21.
NBA Power Rankings: #30-21
#30 Houston Rockets
The Rockets are in the middle of a rebuild, and it shows on their roster. They’ve got some impressive young players in Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr., but aside from them the talent on the roster is lacking. In a few years, Houston will be much higher.
#29 Oklahoma City Thunder
Like Houston, Oklahoma City finds themselves in the middle of a rebuild as well. The Thunder have a lot of young players, and nearly half the draft picks remaining in the next decade, so their future is bright. At this time, the Thunder don’t pose much of a threat.
#28 San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio was once perennially near the top of the list, but now they find themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum. San Antonio, like most teams in this position is in the middle of the rebuild. They obtained some draft picks for Dejounte Murray, and have three rookies at the age of 19, so their future should be bright.
#27 Utah Jazz
Utah is just beginning their retool, after trading away franchise players in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Utah got a load of picks for them, so if they draft correctly, they’ll be further up this list in no time.
#26 Orlando Magic
Orlando should be exiting their rebuild soon. They’ve got a ton of young players, with the likes of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Cole Anthony. If Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac can start to figure things out, this team can start to make some noise soon.
#25 Indiana Pacers
Indiana is also just beginning their rebuild period, but they’ve got a bit longer to go than some other teams on this list. They swung a trade for Tyrese Haliburton, who has the potential to become a real star in this league. If they can make their draft picks worth it in the future, they have a bright outlook ahead of them.
#24 Detroit Pistons
Detroit, on the other hand, should be contending soon. The Pistons have a good foundation with Saddiq Bey, Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren. Detroit’s young corps is almost complete, and in the next couple of years they should start to compete.
#23 Washington Wizards
The Wizards are probably the worst team on this list who isn’t necessarily in the rebuilding phase. They were able to keep Bradley Beal, signing him to a long-term extension this year. Johnny Davis will be solid as their first round pick, but aside from a couple bright spots, their roster is bare of talent.
#22 Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte will keep essentially the same roster this year, minus Miles Bridges — for obvious reasons. The Hornets have flamed out in the play-in tournament in back-to-back years, and without any big moves this off-season, it’s hard to be encouraged about this roster.
#21 Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is another team who failed to make any big improvements after a mediocre season. Portland still keeps Dame Lillard around, and they have some solid players around him with Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons. Still, they haven’t proven enough to warrant being higher on these NBA power rankings.