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2021-22 NBA Power Rankings

photo by Chad Davis, 2021, CC 2.0

updated 10/22/21

1) Milwaukee Bucks – Enforcer P.J. Tucker is gone, but the additions of Grayson Allen, George Hill and Semi Ojeleye may make the defending champs even better.

2) Phoenix Suns – The young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges is set for the future, how long will Chris Paul be able to play at an elite level?

3) Brooklyn Nets – The Nets have as much star power as anyone, and they also have the most distractions.

4) Utah Jazz – The talented Jazz hope to take the next step after two straight disappointing postseasons.

5) Atlanta Hawks – Last year’s Conference Finals appearance showed Trae Young and the Hawks are here to stay.

6) Miami Heat – Veterans Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker add championship experience to a team that went to the NBA Finals in 2020.

7) Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers have six likely Hall of Famers on their roster, but their average age is 34.3.

8) Portland Trail Blazers – The Blazers have the talent to win the West, but can new coach Chauncey Billups get them over the hump?

9) Golden State Warriors – If Klay Thompson can return to All-Star form, the Warriors will be a dangerous team in the West.

10) Denver Nuggets – The loss of Jamal Murray is huge, but MVP Nikola Jokic and emerging star Michael Porter Jr. give Denver a formidable duo.

11) New York Knicks – The additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier should give the Knicks the scoring boost they need.

12) Chicago Bulls – On paper, the Bulls look like a contender, but will all the pieces fit?

13) Philadelphia 76ers – The Sixers need to trade Ben Simmons as soon as possible if they want to salvage this season.

14) Boston Celtics – The Celtics can be a contender if they find the right rotation to build around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

15) Los Angeles Clippers – If Paul George can keep the Clippers afloat, Kawhi Leonard may be able to return for some postseason heroics.

16) Dallas Mavericks – Luka Doncic is a future Hall of Famer, but he needs more help from Kristaps Porzingis if the Mavs hope to make a deep playoff run.

17) Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant and the young Grizzlies could be ready for a breakout season.

18) Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball and the Hornets have the core to compete for a playoff spot in the East.

19) Indiana Pacers – If the Pacers can ever get healthy, they have the roster to make some noise in the East.

20) San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs have youth and energy on their side, but do they have enough talent to compete in the West?

21) Sacramento Kings – The Kings have an emerging star in De’Aaron Fox, and just enough complementary players to be a factor in the West.

22) New Orleans Pelicans – Did the Pelicans find the right pieces to surround stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram?

23) Washington Wizards – Russell Westbrook is gone, but the additions of Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell might make the Wizards a better team.

24) Toronto Raptors – The health of Pascal Siakam and the ability of Fred VanVleet to play without Kyle Lowry are major questions in Toronto.

25) Minnesota Timberwolves – The big three of Karl Anthony-Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell will be entertaining at the very least.

26) Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cavs have plenty of young talent, but they may be a year or two away from competing.

27) Orlando Magic – Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner will be given all the experience they can handle for the young Magic.

28) Detroit Pistons – Top pick Cade Cunningham should get plenty of opportunities to shine for the rebuilding Pistons.

29) Houston Rockets – Few teams have fallen harder faster than the Rockets.

30) Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder had three first round picks in this year’s draft, and they will have plenty more in the near future.

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