2017-2018 NBA Preseason Power Rankings

With the NBA offseason coming to a close, we rank all the teams in the NBA.

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The 2017 NBA offseason was one of the most eventful in recent memory. The Western Conference became much stronger, while the Eastern Conference suffered. Superstar Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets. Free agent Gordon Hayward decided to sign with the Boston Celtics. The Chicago Bulls traded star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired star Paul George. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Celtics swapped starting point guards. The new outlook of many teams after the offseason has dramatically changed the hierarchy of the league.


1. Golden State Warriors

This offseason, the Warriors proved that the rich just keep getting richer. After beating the Cavaliers in the Finals 4-1, the defending champions enter the 2017-2018 season as heavy favorites to win the Finals again. They maintained their current roster by resigning superstars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, and capable role players Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. They also added Nick Young and Omri Casspi to bolster their bench behind their loaded starting lineup of Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Durant, and center Zaza Pachulia

2. Houston Rockets

The Rockets now have the best backcourt in the league, made up of Chris Paul and 2017 MVP runner-up James Harden. While the rest of their starting lineup may not be full of standout players, the Rockets’ depth at all positions will allow them to challenge the Warriors in the Western Conference.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

MVP winner Russell Westbrook finally found some help after the Thunder traded for all-star Paul George. While the two will be able to bring the Thunder far into the playoffs, they may not be able to handle teams like the Rockets and Warriors because the other players in the lineup are not good enough to help them go farther.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Unlike many teams in the Western Conference, the Spurs had a relatively quiet offseason. Their only addition was Rudy Gay, who is coming back from major achilles surgery. This lineup was enough to make the 2016-2017 Western Conference Finals, but the West is now much stronger and this aging roster will have a tough time competing.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

While the Timberwolves were one of the worst teams in the league last year, they are now one of the best. The acquisitions of all-star Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague will help superstar Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins lead the ‘Wolves to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Not only is their starting lineup filled with stars, but their bench is solid enough to help the team go deep into the playoffs.

6. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers traded superstar Chris Paul to the Rockets but acquired Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets. While losing Paul hurts, Gallinari and the strong frontcourt of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will lead an otherwise average roster to the playoffs.

7. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets traded Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers this summer, but acquired Paul Millsap through the same trade. The Nuggets also have a strong bench which ranked eighth in points scored last year and will play a large role in their playoff push in a strong Western Conference. Millsap, along with frontcourt partner Nikola Jokic, will lead the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time in five years.

8. Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers must lean heavily on a backcourt of all-star snub Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who averaged 50.0 points per game (PPG) together. The Blazers also have a good young center in Jusuf Nurkic, who will help carry a roster of average and below-average players.

9. New Orleans Pelicans

After signing Rajon Rondo, the Pelicans finally have a respectable backcourt of Rondo and Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans will pair that backcourt with the best frontcourt in the league of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged a combined 55.0 PPG last season. While this team looks good enough to make the playoffs on paper, a lack of chemistry between Davis and Cousins may negatively affect their play on the court.

10. Memphis Grizzlies

After losing Zach Randolph and Vince Carter, the Grizzlies have a big hole at the power forward position and scoring off the bench. While they do have great leaders in all-star Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, the Grizzlies will have a hard time making the playoffs in a loaded Western Conference.


1. Cleveland Cavaliers

After losing to the Warriors in the Finals, the Cavaliers tried to form a roster this offseason that would be able to defeat the Warriors in future matchups. Complicating matters, Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from the team, resulting in the biggest blockbuster of the summer: Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first round draft pick. However, Thomas and superstar LeBron James will still lead the Cavaliers to a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance.

2. Boston Celtics

The Celtics had one of the busiest offseasons this summer and only four players remain from last year’s roster. The team acquired Kyrie Irving (from the Cleveland Cavaliers) and Gordon Hayward (via free agency), while trading Isaiah Thomas (to the Cavaliers), Avery Bradley (to the Detroit Pistons) and Jae Crowder (to the Cavaliers). The Celtics are better than they were last year, as they now sport a starting lineup of Irving, Jaylen Brown, Hayward, Marcus Morris and Al Horford. After losing to the Cavaliers last year in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics will try to take the next step and advance to the NBA Finals.

3. Toronto Raptors

Led by an all-star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors hope to make the Eastern Conference Finals. With the acquisition of CJ Miles, the Raptors improved their starting lineup, which now consists of Lowry, DeRozan, Miles, Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas. While the Raptors have a shot of making the Conference Finals, their lackluster bench may hold them back.

4. Washington Wizards

With a young core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr., the Wizards are hoping to finally get past the second round of the playoffs. This is definitely a possibility this season, as all three will look to take the next step forward. However, an injury-prone Beal and a weak frontcourt may lead to their downfall.

5. Milwaukee Bucks

With blossoming superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo leading this young team, the Bucks are improving every season. Their starting lineup, made up of 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe, is formidable. This starting lineup and deep bench have potential to be perennial powerhouse in the East.

6. Miami Heat

This season, potential all-star Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, and Dion Waiters look to lead the Heat to the playoffs. Dragic and Waiters are skilled offensive players and Whiteside is one of the best rim protectors in the league. Along with this strong core, the Heat added Kelly Olynyk to the bench that already ranked fifth in scoring last year. This bench will help relieve the core of some of the scoring burden and will push the Heat back to the playoffs.

7. Charlotte Hornets

After acquiring Dwight Howard and drafting Malik Monk, the Hornets are in a good position to make the playoffs this year. In desperate need of a solid rebounder, Howard and his 12.7 rebounds per game will help the team. Monk will also bring good scoring off the bench, a necessity as they ranked 19th in scoring.

8. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons traded Marcus Morris to the Celtics for Avery Bradley this offseason. This move counteracts the hole of not re-signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Jon Leuer is capable of replacing Morris. Bradley also brings much needed defense compliment to the defensive-liability Reggie Jackson. Matching those two with Andre Drummond will make this team good enough to sneak into the playoffs.

9. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have one of the best young cores in the league, made up of Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid. They have a great shot at making the playoffs, but the team is young and injury-prone, making it hard to expect much this coming year.

10. New York Knicks

Now that the Phil Jackson era is finally over, budding superstar Kristaps Porzingis will look to lead the Knicks to the playoffs amidst trade rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony. However, the Knicks will not be able to make the playoffs because there is not enough talent on the team to support Porzingis and Anthony.