NBA Power Rankings: Post-free agency and trade season edition

Chicago Bulls, NBA Power Rankings (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls, NBA Power Rankings (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, NBA Power Rankings
Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, NBA Power Rankings (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

NBA Power Rankings: 5 teams at the top of the food chain

5. LA Clippers

After an injury and COVID-plagued season, it feels like people are forgetting just how dangerous these LA Clippers are. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George team up to form one of the most formidable duos in the NBA, but what really makes the Clippers a scary matchup is their tremendous amount of depth. John Wall, Norman Powell, Nic Batum, Reggie Jackson, Ivica Zubac, Luke Kennard, and Robert Covington would make a solid team on their own, and they’re just the backup. The Clippers are easily my sleeper pick to make a championship run entering the 2022-23 season.

4. Memphis Grizzlies

Throughout Golden State’s 2022 championship run, no team seemed to get in their head quite like the Memphis Grizzlies did. That much was made obvious by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green immediately taking to talking about the Grizzlies even after winning an NBA championship. Although Memphis would lose in six games after Ja Morant went out with injury, the Grizzlies’ young core rose to the occasion and did not appear to be the inexperienced team that they really were. As they continue to develop, I expect this core to be a mainstay in the playoffs for years to come.

3. Milwaukee Bucks

As long as the Milwaukee Bucks have arguably the greatest player on the planet and two solid stars next to him, they’re going to be contenders. They just are. The Bucks have holes to work on, sure, but Giannis Antetokounmpo’s singular presence is perhaps only rivaled by Steph Curry’s gravity on the perimeter. With Khris Middleton back and healthy, the Bucks will look to reclaim their title and prove they’re still at the top of the mountain.

2. Boston Celtics

But for Milwaukee to do that, they’ll need to prove they can get past these Boston Celtics first. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown only continue to get better each year, while the youth movement in Boston has caught up and is ready to contribute as we saw with Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Payton Pritchard in the playoffs. Acquiring Malcolm Brogdon via trade only makes this team more dangerous, as they look to return as an even better version of their 2022 Eastern Conference Champion selves.

1. Golden State Warriors

Until someone takes it from them, the Golden State Warriors confidently claim the throne here. Just like the San Antonio Spurs before them, this dynasty seems to defy age and only gets better as the years pass. There is a slight cause for concern, as the Warriors did lose several valuable bench pieces and big contributors in the rotation, such as Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton Jr., Damion Lee, and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Despite these losses, I’m sure Golden State will find a way to not only survive, but thrive in the 2022-23 campaign.

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