The NBA Draft has subsided. Free Agency has slowly taken off with a dearth of names finding new homes — Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Jason Kidd etc. There are still talented players available and, thus, the landscape of the NBA could potentially change quickly. Here is my first edition of Power Rankings:
Miami will sit atop this list for the forseaable future. The fact that they added Ray Allen certainly helps matters. Despite holding the 28th pick, Oklahoma City nabbed Perry Jones III, who is a tremendous value at the tail end of the first round.
The Lakers are nestled into the fourth spot though they can easily vault into the top three by the end of the year.
The Clippers signed Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups to a couple of contracts and the rest of their core remains intact. Indiana is ranked eighth but that will drop if they decline to match Portland’s offer sheet on restricted free agent Roy Hibbert.
Color me skeptical on giving Jason Kidd three-year, $9 million contract.
Brooklyn rectified their mistakes when they created a playoff caliber core of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace.
Houston and Dallas were unsuccessful in their attempts to lure a big-name superstar. Atlanta took a different approach, trading their best player for approximately $80 million in added financial flexibility.
Chicago will still remain in the hunt for a playoff bid even without Derrick Rose (torn ACL) because of Tom Thibodeau’s brilliance and their defensive proficiency. Toronto’s acquisition of Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields make them a playoff threat in a weak Eastern Conference.
New Orleans’ core — Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon (assuming they match Phoenix’ offer) and Austin Rivers — share the same trait: They are all under 24.
Portland would vault higher on this list if they pry away Hibbert.