NBA Power Rankings: Post-Trade Deadline Rankings for All 30 NBA Teams
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and if one thing has been proven out of all the deals made, it’s that trade hype is much greater than the actual deals.
While a few deals were consummated, none packed the punch of the rumors that included Orlando’s Dwight Howard, Boston’s Rajon Rondo or the T-Wolves' Michael Beasley, excluding the Bucks acquisition of Monta Ellis.
Still, some other teams outside of the Milwaukee area did make needed improvements. The L.A. Lakers acquired the point guard they needed in Cleveland’s Ramon Sessions. Houston acquired Portland’s Marcus Camby to beef up their frontcourt. The Nuggets gambled that JaVale McGee will outproduce Nene.
Despite all the moves made by these teams at the deadline, none of them will drastically improve their standing in the power rankings, so it remains to be seen if anyone actually catapults themselves into deep playoff contention.
30. Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats didn’t make a deadline deal, so now the team with the league’s worst record will focus their efforts solely on landing Anthony Davis.
Bon voyage to Boris Diaw as well, who is about to be bought out of his deal.
29. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets couldn’t find any takers for Chris Kaman’s monster contract, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Plenty of teams could have found a way to make the salaries match, but they would have been forking over their garbage to the league’s most mismanaged team.
28. Washington Wizards
The Wizards brought in Nene from the Nuggets to bolster their locker room, but took on a buttload of money in return.
Nick Young is going to the Clippers, which will give Jordan Crawford a chance to shine, but losing JaVale McGee doesn’t make a lot of sense, given the way he had been playing.
Washington is a puzzling team, but Harrison Barnes will answer all of these questions next June.
27. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors unloaded the contracts of Leandro Barbosa and Anthony Carter to the Pacers for a second-round draft pick. Excited yet?
Barbosa wasn’t blocking any young talent on the Raptors, but the team will wind up saving some money, while not having to take back a bad contract.
This is about as low-key as you can get during the trade deadline. Don’t expect any change in chemistry for the Raptors.
26. Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors made a big splash at the trade deadline, but it’s not something that is going to help them this year or possibly the next.
The Warriors shipped Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown out of town for Andre Bogut and old friend Stephen Jackson. Jackson was then shipped to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson.
While Bogut is out the season, the Warriors will rely on his defense next season. However, until he plays a full season, he’s a liability health-wise.
Jefferson is an aging vet who won’t be a factor in Oakland. The Warriors will give Brandon Rush, Klay Thompson and Dorell Wright the lion’s share of minutes at the 2 and 3 moving forward.
One other note of interest is that GSW’s first-round pick is top-7 protected next season, so don’t expect the Warriors brass to push for a playoff run.
25. New Jersey Nets
Thoughts of the Nets brass: Can’t get Dwight Howard, we’ll get Gerald Wallace instead?
The most talked-about team that sucks in the league landed “Crash” from the Blazers, but he’s not going to propel the Nets to the playoffs.
This deal may help the team overall, but it’s hard to see how Brooklyn makes it to the playoffs on this deal alone, even next year.
I guess it just goes to show how valuable Brook Lopez or any other big man actually is.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
Not only did the Cavs get rid of one of the best backup point guards in the league, they took on the Lakers' Luke Walton and his horrendous contract, along with three-point specialist Jason Kapono.
Cleveland did net a draft pick for their efforts, but it’s not like a Lakers pick will be a game-changer anytime soon.
Cleveland could have found a better deal than this one, especially since they are only two games out of the playoffs.
23. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons were one of the few teams that had virtually no trade buzz surrounding their team.
They pulled off no moves and will play out the season out of the playoff picture, despite only being three games behind the No. 8-seeded Bucks.
Look for the Pistons to target Thomas Robinson or Jared Sullinger in the draft.
22. Sacramento Kings
The Kings didn’t make a deadline move, but questionable moves by Golden State and Portland should allow Sacramento to win a few more games this year.
This is a good up-and-coming team who should be competitive before long.
21. Utah Jazz
Devin Harris is still a member of the Jazz, which means only one thing: The Jazz didn’t make a move.
Utah is one of many teams fighting for the No. 8 spot in the West, but they are one of the weaker teams in the mix, even if they're not far behind.
20. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers were one of the more active teams at the deadline, jettisoning Marcus Camby to Houston for Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet, as well as sending Gerald Wallace to the Nets for Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams.
While Flynn is the only player who could have value this season, the Blazers are hoping the moves free up Nic Batum and Wes Matthews to be more productive.
Head coach Nate McMillan was canned yesterday, so the job of righting the ship will fall into the hands of interim coach Kaleb Canales.
Good luck, you'll need it.
19. Phoenix Suns
The Suns would have traded Steve Nash if he wanted out of town, but they didn’t, so no changes to the team were made.
Phoenix has been playing better of late and is only three games out of the playoffs, so there’s a chance that they could sneak in if their strong play continues.
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves didn’t make a deadline deal, most likely because no one ponied up enough to pry Michael Beasley away from them.
Minnesota is still in the playoff picture, but will eventually flounder and fall back in the standings.
17. New York Knicks
The Knicks firing Mike D’Antoni was probably the best move the team could have done, considering they beat the Blazers by 42 points under new coach, Mike Woodson.
The team should trend back upwards, but had been awful since Subpar Melo squashed Linsanity.
16. Houston Rockets
The Rockets helped preserve their playoff contention spot by acquiring Marcus Camby for seldom-used Jonny Flynn and even seldomer-used Hasheem Thabeet.
While Camby is nearing the end of his career, he’s a viable player on D still, which makes this a smart move for the Rockets, who have been teetering between good and bad all season long.
15. Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks were big winners at the trade deadline. They got rid of two things: dead weight (Andrew Bogut) and distractions (Stephen Jackson) for the talented Monta Ellis and big-man bench help, Ekpe Udoh.
The Bucks are looking to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years, and the addition of Ellis should help them achieve that goal.
The Bucks may not catch the Celtics for the No. 7 seed, but they have a great shot at fending off Cleveland and the Knicks.
If nothing else, this is now a fun team to watch.
14. Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge always said that Rajon Rondo was not on the trading block and he was right.
The Celtics could have moved Ray Allen or Rondo, but are better off holding onto them and retooling next season.
This is a team that overachieved in the playoffs in 2010, so the same could come true again.
13. Dallas Mavericks
The defending champion Dallas Mavericks didn’t pull off a deadline deal, so they must be content with their team.
The Mavs are what they are at this point, but don’t be surprised to see them turn it on once the playoffs arrive.
12. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks had been dangling Kirk Hinrich in front of other teams in order to acquire another big, but nothing came of it.
The Hawks have been a team on the verge of greatness for a couple of years now, but one has to wonder if not making a deal was in their best interests.
They’re a good team, but without Al Horford, they’re not going to beat Miami or Chicago.
11. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets literally have the most exciting team in the NBA now. JaVale McGee (traded with Ronny Turiaf from Washington) and Chris Andersen are just amazing specimens to watch on the court, but did trading for McGee and giving up Nene make the most sense?
McGee has been a stud of late, and has an extremely manageable contract compared to Nene, so it makes sense in a lot of ways, especially if Wilson Chandler is en route.
Denver may have chemistry issues moving forward, but can be deadly if they gel sooner than later.
10. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers went out and made a last-minute move to acquire Nick Young from the Washington Wizards.
The move should pay off for the hometown kid. Ever since Chauncey Billups went down, the Clips have been looking for a 2-guard and Young is the best man for the job.
Young is a pure scorer who should thrive in L.A., even if he’s now off the fantasy radar.
The Clippers are poised for a solid playoff run, and everyone’s fingers should be crossed that they play the Lakers in one of the WCF rounds.
9. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers acquired Leandro Barbosa from Toronto, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a team who was already stacked at the 2.
Paul George and Danny Granger shouldn’t lose any minutes to Barbosa, nor should George Hill, so again, it’s a noodle scratcher.
Noodle scratchers usually pan out the opposite way you think they should, so expect this deal to work for the Pacers, who are better than you think.
8. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis unloaded Sam Young to Philly, and even though he’s a good player, he’s wasn’t getting any run with the current rotation.
Memphis is that team that makes you work harder; that’s where their strength lies. With the return of Zach Randolph, they didn’t need to make any moves.
7. Philadelphia 76ers
Philly snagged Sam Young from the Grizzlies at the deadline. Young may not have been in the rotation in Memphis, but he’s a great fill-in player, should he be relied upon.
The Sixers have overachieved all season long, but Doug Collins will be the Coach of the Year regardless of if Young lights it up every night.
Playoff experience may hurt the Sixers, but they’re a wild card in a wide-open Eastern Conference this year.
6. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers were winners at the NBA trade deadline, acquiring Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga from the Cavs for a future first-round draft pick and Luke Walton.
Sessions averages 20/6/10 per 48 minutes, so he should give the Lakers a big boost over incumbent Derek Fisher, who is now toiling in obscurity in Houston.
Sessions could very well be the missing piece for the Lakers, and it didn’t cost them Pau Gasol.
5. Orlando Magic
When news broke that Dwight Howard was signing a waiver to, well, waive his opt-out clause, a collective sigh went up in Orlando.
Now the Magic can put all of the Howard nonsense behind them and concentrate solely on winning basketball games.
They’re still a real wild card, though. Who knows which team will show up in the playoffs?
4. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs reacquired Stephen Jackson for Richard Jefferson—a deal that will surely benefit them.
Yes, Jackson is crazy, but on a veteran team like the Spurs, he has no choice but to play along.
Expect a gritty Spurs team to emerge over the next couple of weeks and challenge every other team in the league for supremacy.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Last season at this time, the Thunder landed Kendrick Perkins from the Boston Celtics.
While Perk isn’t having a great season, he’s a solid complement to a team that should face the Bulls or Heat in the NBA Finals.
2. Miami Heat
The Heat made no trades and didn’t need to.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, ECF vs. the Bulls.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls didn’t make a deadline move, but Carlos Boozer’s name kept coming up in rumors.
Did the Bulls really try and make a run for Dwight Howard?
We’re not going to find out right away, but the Heat were much more grounded in the trade deadline rumors that surrounded them.
Chicago is arguably the best team in the league, but Miami isn’t going anywhere, so they Bulls need to regroup from rumorville and show the world that they are the best team around.