20. Brooklyn Nets
19. Toronto Raptors
18. Atlanta Hawks
17. Los Angeles Clippers
16. New York Knicks
15. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. New Orleans Pelicans
13. Oklahoma City Thunder
12. Miami Heat
11. Sacramento Kings
The Raptors and Nets are likely going to be in the thick of the play-in race for most of the season, though Toronto may have a few key advantages over their upstart rivals in New York City. Atlanta is doubling down on their core of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray despite some poor results last year.
The Clippers and Knicks are two teams who could win a playoff series or miss out on the festivities entirely. Their success depends almost entirely on the health of Kawhi Leonard and Julius Randle’s ability to become a true No. 2 while Jalen Brunson steals the show.
NBA Power Rankings: Are the Toronto Raptors better than the Knicks and Nets?
The Timberwolves are committed to their roster, even if the lack of depth will make a playoff spot very difficult to come across. Both New Orleans and Oklahoma City are rolling ahead with a collection of impressive young talents, but will they stay healthy and mesh together?
The Heat might have made it to the NBA Finals last season, but expecting another miracle run from a very old roster might not be wise. Sacramento has a suspect defense, but their lightning-quick offense can put stress on even the most experienced team.