With the 2023-2024 season nearly here, find out who are the best NBA teams and worst with our latest NBA power rankings.
Along with the latest pecking order around the league, you can also check out the final NBA standings from 2022-2023, take an early look at the top 50 NBA players this season, and stay up to date with the latest NBA trade rumors.
Without further ado, here are our NBA power rankings for all 30 teams in the top professional basketball league in the world.
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30. Detroit Pistons (Previously: 30)
Following a season-ending injury to young star Cade Cunningham, the Detroit Pistons fell into a deep tailspin that they could never recover from last season. What made matters worse is that rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren could not pick up the slack and struggled threw a horrid season.
With Cunningham back, top pick Ausar Thompson on the roster, and the returning 2022-2023 standout Bojan Bogdanovic, there is hope the team can be far more competitive in the new season.
29. San Antonio Spurs (Previously: 29)
While the San Antonio Spurs will try to fight back from another losing season, there is hope they could actually compete for an NBA Play-In spot with once-in-a-generation super prospect Victor Wembanyama in the middle. The French phenom is the most hyped young player since Lebron James and his development will be one of the biggest stories to watch in the new season.
28. Orlando Magic (Previously: 26)
The young Orlando Magic was a pleasant surprise last season. While they did not finish with a positive record, rookie of the year Paolo Banchero was impressive for much of the season and helped to make the Magic far more competitive than they should have been against the elites of the NBA. Much of last year’s team is back and will get a bench boost from talented guard and top pick Anthony Black in the 2023-2024 season.
27. Portland Trail Blazers (Previously: 23)
After months of rumors and speculation, the inevitable finally happened and Damian Lillard’s legendary run with the Portland Trail Blazers came to an end in September. This will be their first season without the star guard in over a decade and it will be interesting to see how the group featuring disgruntled Suns center Deandre Ayton, Anfernee Simons, and star prospect Scoot Henderson can fair with a massive hole to fill in the offense. Chauncey Billips will have a lot of pressure on him in his third season as head coach.
26. Charlotte Hornets (Previously: 28)
Last season was an unexpected disaster for the Charlotte Hornets. After showing so much promise two seasons ago, they took major steps back in 2022-2023. LaMelo Ball did not take another major leap forward, but he also did not get much help.
With Miles Bridges back after his off-the-court troubles and highly-touted draft pick Brandon Miller in uniform, the potential to compete for a playoff spot this season is there for the young Hornets.
Top 25 NBA teams right now
25. Indiana Pacers (Previously: 27)
The Indiana Pacers had very mixed results last season. Early on they seemed headed to a return to the postseason, then injuries and poor play short-circuited all the impressive momentum they created. Much of last year’s team returns with another year of experience and chemistry. Plus, top pick and big man Jarace Walker will give them the rebounding and moxy boost they lacked in the frontcourt last year.
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24. Toronto Raptors (Previously: 25)
Despite another offseason of rumors and rumblings that they could make some major moves, the Toronto Raptors — for the most part — stood pat with the same roster they have had the last couple of seasons. The big difference in 2023-2024 will be that they won’t have star guard Fred VanVleet running the offense after he took huge money to go to Houston in the summer.
In his place will be journeymen Dennis Schroder, and first-round pick Gradey Dick should be a fun player to watch as a sharp-shooting ace off the bench.
23. Houston Rockets (Previously: 24)
After another ugly showing last season, the Houston Rockets front office is hoping that giving big money to point guard Fred VanVleet and defensive ace Dillon Brooks can be the impetus in a rise back to prominence for the Rockets. At the very least they should be competitive and if VanVleet can help elevate the games of Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr., Houston can be a legitimate playoff contender in 2023-2024.
22. Chicago Bulls (Previously: 20)
The Chicago Bulls likely have another difficult season ahead in 2023-2024. Lonzo Ball is confirmed to miss the entire season and the team was unable to replace him with a similar impact talent at point guard this summer. Furthermore, lingering issues with unhappy star Zach LaVine could be another key element in a down season for the squad in the new league year.
21. Utah Jazz (Previously: 22)
The Utah Jazz were one of the best stories in the NBA power rankings for much of last season. Heading into the season they were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, however, first-year head coach Will Hardy led a competitive team and developed Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler into budding stars in the league.
With John Collins and rookie Taylor Hendricks as the noteworthy additions, and with the team having a bunch of trade chips to improve the roster, Utah will be a fascinating squad to watch in 2023-2024.
Who is the best NBA team right now 2023?
It is hard to bet against the defending champion Denver Nuggets and superstar center Nikola Jokic. However, after making a blockbuster trade for seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard in the offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to be the best NBA team in 2023.
20. Washington Wizards (Previously: 21)
The Washington Wizards should have been better with the talent they had last season, but alas, they missed the playoffs once again in 2022-2023. The reimagined front office will hope head coach Wes Unseld Jr. can do more with an adjusted roster led by Jordan Poole, Tyus Jones, and returning star Kyle Kuzma. Furthermore, Wembanyama’s talented but raw French teammate Bilal Coulibaly is a young prospect to keep an eye on this season.
19. Brooklyn Nets (Previously: 17)
The Brooklyn Nets did not add a star in the summer, but at least this preseason should be devoid of drama and volatility for the first time in a long time. The start of the new season will also bring far lower expectations, and it will be interesting to see what Jacque Vaughn can do in his first full season with Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, and Cam Johnson.
18. Dallas Mavericks (Previously: 19)
There will be a lot of pressure on the Dallas Mavericks in the new season. They will have a whole training camp and preseason to find chemistry between superstars Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the team. Something they lacked in a disastrous finish to last season. Furthermore, another losing season could lead Doncic to push the trade request button sooner than the team wants.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder (Previously: 18)
The Oklahoma City could be like the Memphis Grizzlies of a few seasons ago. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a breakout season that put the league on notice and the team was very competitive. Now, with Chet Holmgren back after missing last season, and 2023 first-round pick Cason Wallace, the Thunder are a dark horse to be a top-five squad in the West this season.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (Previously: 15)
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the pieces to be a force in the West, and growing superstar Anthony Edwards is primed for a big season. The big questions are can Karl-Anthony Towns stay healthy — a key question every season now — and can Mike Conley be a bigger difference-maker in the new season? If not the team seems bound to be broken up at the trade deadline.
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How many teams make the NBA playoffs 2023?
The top six teams from each conference automatically reach the playoffs. Then the next four compete in the NBA Play-In Tournament to decide the seventh and eighth seed in each conference. But once the official NBA playoffs begin, there are still 16 in total.
15. Atlanta Hawks (Previously: 14)
Outside of finally trading John Collins, the Atlanta Hawks roster from last season remains intact heading into the new year. With a full training camp under head coach Quinn Snyder, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Hawks made a turnaround in 2023-2024 and were able to become a playoff-caliber squad once again.
14. New Orleans Pelicans (Previously: 16)
The New Orleans Pelicans were one of the five best units in the West with Zion Williamson. When he went down with another long-term injury, the team was a group fighting for a playoff spot. It will be the same story again in New Orleans. Can Williamson stay healthy, and can they become a powerhouse in the West if he does? The pieces are there to be a scary good team in the new season.
13. Philadelphia 76ers (Previously: 8)
The Philadelphia 76ers have the talent to be a power player again in the East this season. But they have an unhappy star in James Harden and it is hard to know what their potential is in the new year with a roster that could look very different at any given time if Philly eventually gives in to the future Hall-of-Famer’s trade demands.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (Previously: 13)
For the first time in a while, both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard head into the new season relatively healthy. The big issue is how long does that last? Even passed their primes, if they are healthy the Los Angeles Clippers are a playoff-caliber team easy. How one-time league MVP Russell Westbrook plays alongside the two incumbent stars will be the key challenge for head coach Ty Lue to figure out in the next few months.
11. Cleveland Cavaliers (Previously: 12)
The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the best teams in the East last season. Superstar guard Donovan Mitchell fit right in with the rest of the team and they also had one of the better defenses in the NBA. However, come playoff time they were soundly eliminated by the Knicks in the first round. Being good won’t be enough this season. The Cavs will need to be just as impressive in the new season but also prove they are more than a one-and-done team in the playoffs.
Top 10 NBA teams heading into the 2023-2024 season
10. Memphis Grizzlies (Previously: 11)
Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies will have far more pressure on them this season. Being the cool, fun, rising team in the West is no longer acceptable. They must now show if they can compete for a championship or if changes to the roster and coaching staff need to be made so they can make it to the next level. Nevertheless, at a base level, the Grizz are still an elite team in the conference as they enter the new season.
9. Sacramento Kings (Previously: 9)
The Sacramento Kings were one of the big surprises last season. They had one of the best offenses in the league and De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis turned into a dynamic duo for the Kings. Although they didn’t make any major changes in the summer, they are a year older and better and will be expected to make far more noise in the West.
8. Miami Heat (Previously: 3)
The expectation and hope all summer was that the Miami Heat would add the superstar they needed in Damian Lillard. Unfortunately, the team they ousted in the postseason — the Milwaukee Bucks — swopped in and landed the seven-time All-Star. They also lost Max Strus and Gabe Vincent in NBA free agency.
While they should be good, it can’t be said that they are better as a team to start the new season.
7. New York Knicks (Previously: 7)
Jalen Brunson proved he is one of the league’s newest superstars and that the New York Knicks are a dangerous team because of his talents. While they didn’t make any major moves in the summer, they retained all the key players from last year’s roster and added Donte DiVincenzo to their bench. New York is deep a team and can be competitive with any opponent in the league on any given night.
6. Golden State Warriors (Previously: 6)
The Golden State Warriors will be fascinating to watch as their “Big Three” look to prove they’ve still got it a year after failing to defend their most recent NBA championship. In the new season they will have the addition of future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul and figuring out his fit on the roster will be one of the major storylines for them over the first few months.
5. Los Angeles Lakers (Previously: 5)
The Los Angeles Lakers did not go star hunting in the offseason because they didn’t need to. The roster was able to get to the West Finals last season and their young players are primed for further growth in the new season. Just like the last two years, their success will again hang on the health of Anthony Davis and Lebron James as the NBA icon is another year closer to 40.
4. Phoenix Suns (Previously: 4)
New head coach Frank Vogel has a very tall task in front of him as he tries to somehow create a working situation with three superstar scorers in Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and now Bradley Beal. Booker and Durant were dominant at times last season, but Beal is a wild card that could make things chaotic or become one of the scariest offenses in league history. Watching how it all plays out will be one of the biggest storylines in the NBA this season.
3. Boston Celtics (Previously: 2)
The Boston Celtics were one of the top teams in our NBA power rankings throughout last season. And while they seemed on the cusp of a second straight trip to the finals, the franchise’s dreams of winning an 18th league title were dashed.
Following that disappointment, they shipped off beloved veteran Marcus Smart, added scoring big man Kristaps Porzingis, and handed the starting point guard spot to Derrick White. How they bounce back from their finish last season will be a major story in the first few months.
2. Milwaukee Bucks (Previously: 10)
After a shocking first-round elimination from the 2023 NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks made some major changes. They switched head coaches and made the biggest trade of the offseason when they acquired superstar guard Damian Lillard. The combo of Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo should be dynamite and that is why they are an early favorite in the East in the new season.
1. Denver Nuggets (Previously: 1)
The Denver Nuggets won their first NBA title by taking out the Miami Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals as Nikola Jokic and company were on a completely different level, winning the series in just five games. It is no surprise that they are again the favorites in the new season with their top players in their prime and fully aware of the sacrifice and grit necessary to win it all in the league.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.