2010 NBA Power Rankings: Are Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat Biggest Climbers?
The NBA's mega summer of free agency is winding down, the NBA's Summer League has come and gone, so now is as good of a time as any to weigh each team with the all-encompassing power rankings.
Free agency and the corresponding moves has significantly changed the landscape of the NBA. Big stars have new homes and the balance of power between the two conferences has likely shifted, which should set up one of the most intriguing NBA seasons in recent history.
But how do all 30 teams and their offseasons stack up against each other? Did the Heat do enough to claim the top spot? Have the Bulls staked their claim as one of the NBA's favorites to win a title in 2010-2011?
30. Minnesota Timberwolves
29. Toronto Raptors
28. New Jersey Nets
27. Indiana Pacers
26. Philadelphia 76ers
25. Golden State Warriors
24. Detroit Pistons
23. Cleveland Cavaliers
22. Los Angeles Clippers
21. New York Knicks
The Knicks dropped $100 million on Amar'e Stoudemire and acquired the promising Anthony Randolph from Golden State in the David Lee trade. They also added Raymond Felton who fills in for the departed Chris Duhon.
The biggest variables weighing on New York are whether or not the acquired pieces will upgrade over the ones that left and Amar'e Stoudemire's impact without another superstar. Then there is the ownership which may drop the bomb of bringing back Isaiah Thomas should Donnie Walsh retire.
It's simply tough to buy into the Knicks.
20. Washington Wizards
The Wizards got their future franchise player in John Wall with the top overall pick and made a smart trade for Kirk Hinrich. However, they lost sharpshooter Mike Miller to free agency and there is still uncertainty as to what Gilbert Arenas will provide this team.
This team could be better than expected If Wall, Hinrich and Arenas find a way to gel and play effectively as a unit. If not, it could be a rag-tag team without an identity in a suddenly loaded Eastern Conference.
19. Charlotte Bobcats
18. Sacramento Kings
17. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies locked up Rudy Gay to a max contract of $82 million over five years and brought over Tony Allen from Boston. Allen gives the Grizzlies more of a presence in the paint, but the team did little else to improve a team that finished just under .500 last season.
They lost Ronnie Brewer to free agency and drafted a project in Xavier Henry and a reach in Greivis Vasquez. The Grizzlies looked poised to repeat their .500 performance which keeps them in the middle of the pack.
16. San Antonio Spurs
15. New Orleans Hornets
14. Atlanta Hawks
13. Phoenix Suns
The Suns held onto Channing Frye and acquired Hakim Warrick from the Bulls. However, Phoenix's most pivotal piece to success next season will be whether or not Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress can replace the production that left with Amar'e Stoudemire.
Steve Nash isn't getting any younger, but the Suns have put themselves in good shape contend in the suddenly more open Western Conference.
12. Houston Rockets
11. Milwaukee Bucks
10. Dallas Mavericks
9. Utah Jazz
The Jazz lost Carlos Boozer to free agency but plugged that gap with Al Jefferson who provides comparable production both in scoring and rebounding. The addition of Raja Bell gives the Jazz backcourt some valuable depth and the selection of Gordon Hayward is looked at as possible replacement for sharpshooter Kyle Korver.
The Jazz may not get any further than they did in 2010, but they did a very good job of filling holes and keeping the roster very competitive.
8. Portland Trail Blazers
7. Denver Nuggets
6. Boston Celtics
5. Chicago Bulls
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City locked up Kevin Durant to a five-year extension, so that pressure is out of the way. They added size through the draft by selecting in Cole Aldrich and acquired a young shooter in Daequan Cook and a veteran in Morris Peterson.
The Thunder are the youngest and most promising team in the league and after going to seven games with the Lakers appear ready to win now. Perhaps this is too high of a sell on the Thunder, but it appears they are about to become a storm in the open Western Conference.