NBA Power Rankings: Where does each team stand after 2019 offseason?

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 14: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 14: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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NBA Power Rankings - Portland Trail Blazers
Boston Celtics teammates Marcus Smart #40, Jaylen Brown #33, Jayson Tatum #34 and Kemba Walker #26 of the 2019 USA Men’s National Team (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Tier 3 — Good! … But Not Great 

Projected (33-49). Pick Analysis. Sacramento Kings. 17. player. 84. Scouting Report. 8% chance at playoffs

If the Kings didn’t have the misfortune of playing in the same division as three of the NBA’s best teams, perhaps their odds at the playoffs would drastically increase. De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley are expected to make big strides this summer, and Harry Giles may finally put it all together as well. A center rotation of Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes should be a huge improvement over Willie Cauley-Stein, expect this team to be far more dangerous this year.

Best move: Upgrading the center position

Worst move: Giving Harrison Barnes $85 million

Scouting Report. Dallas Mavericks. 16. player. 79. Pick Analysis. Projected (45-37). 64% chance at playoffs

If there was going to be a wild card team in the NBA next season, it would surely have to be the Mavericks. Their success or failure entirely hinges upon the performance of Kristaps Porzingis. Believe it or not, Jayson Tatum has played more games in the NBA due to Porzingis’ consistent injuries. The last time Kristaps played a game, Kawhi was in San Antonio and Jimmy Butler was in Minnesota. Dallas did well to add shooting this offseason and will make for a great dark horse candidate, provided Porzingis excels next to Luka Doncic.

Best move: Locking Porzingis up to a max extension

Worst move: Backing out of the deal for Goran Dragic

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 57% chance at playoffs. Brooklyn Nets. 15. Projected (38-44). player. 147

Everyone seems to keep pushing the narrative of “just wait for next year” about the Brooklyn Nets. But what about this year? What can a team led by Kyrie Irving backed up by a bunch of promising youngsters achieve? Well, I think we actually witnessed that story unfold right before our eyes in Boston last year. This team will be the real deal when Durant returns, but until then it’s a work in progress. Their one questionable move was committing to Deandre Jordan on a four-year, $40 million deal when Jarrett Allen may already be the superior player. Nicolas Claxton is also a very interesting rotation piece. If they wanted a mentor figure, keeping Ed Davis for cheap would have been a much better option.

Best move: Signing both Kyrie and Durant

Worst move: Overpaying Deandre Jordan

81. Pick Analysis. Projected (44-38). 86% chance at playoffs. Toronto Raptors. 14. Scouting Report. player

DeMar DeRozan was the sacrificial lamb necessary to attain a championship, and I don’t think a single Raptors fan regrets it. But now we must see what this roster can achieve without DeRozan or Kawhi to steer the ship. Pascal Siakam’s emergence and a host of talented role players will ensure this team remains good enough to make the playoffs in a weak East, but their ceiling no longer appears contender-worthy.

Best move: Picking up cheap reclamation projects

Worst move: Signing Cam Payne

Projected (44-38). 13. Pick Analysis. 83% chance at playoffs. Miami Heat. player. 110. Scouting Report

Strapped to the brim with the league’s third highest payroll and just an average team, the Heat didn’t appear to have the flexibility necessary to make any big moves. They surprised everyone when they unloaded Hassan Whiteside’s albatross contract and found enough room necessary to bring Jimmy Butler to Miami. Tyler Herro would be biggest surprise of the summer though, shredding the Summer League after being passed on by 12 other teams in the draft. The Heat missed the playoffs last year, but may now be in position to potentially grab home court.

Best move: Trading for Jimmy Butler

Worst move: Not trading for Russell Westbrook

12. Pick Analysis. 21% chance at playoffs. Projected (37-45). San Antonio Spurs. player. 29. Scouting Report

Every year, the Spurs enter the season underrated. Every year, it’s the same exact talking points. “The Spurs are too old”, “The Spurs aren’t the same team”, Aside from his first year where he assumed the position halfway through the season Greg Popovich has never missed the playoffs in 23 years as a head coach. Never. San Antonio surely isn’t going to break that streak now with two All-Star caliber players and a team saturated with talent from top to bottom. Dejounte Murray is the most interesting case to follow here, after missing last year due to injury. He could be what elevates this team back into the fray.

Best move: Bringing Rudy Gay back

Worst move: Not clearing out the logjam at both guard positions

18. Pick Analysis. player. 91% chance at playoffs. Boston Celtics. 11. Scouting Report. Projected (46-36)

Of all the teams in this tier, none are as volatile as the Boston Celtics. Likewise, none have as much natural talented. You could poke holes in their game all day, but their talent is undeniable. All things considered, Boston did extremely well to recover from not one, but two stars leaving after both expressed intent to stay. Kemba Walker should adequately replace Kyrie, but the departure of Al Horford is a much harder hole to fill. It’ll be on the shoulders of the young core to replicate the success they put on display in the 2018 playoffs.

Best move: Stealing Kemba from Charlotte

Worst move: Trading Aron Baynes; Not packaging their four draft picks