NBA Power Rankings Heading into 2018/2019

10/16/2018

The NBA has turned into a 12-month season in recent years, with offseason drama (Kyrie Irving trade, Kawhi Leonard-Spurs saga, Jimmy Butler's ongoing war against the Timberwolves) tiding over fans of the Association through the long basketball-less summer.

This is the only NBA Power Rankings list that will be opinion-based, with all future rankings being decided by ICT Zone's Ric Flair Ranking System, basically to be the best you gotta beat the best. Rankings are based solely on the week's results.

There aren't too many surprises to be seen in our first NBA rankings... the defending-champion Golden State Warriors are the obvious choice for the number one spot. The class of the East, at least on paper, is the Boston Celtics. Don't be surprised, however, if those teams end up in the bottom half of the rankings in the next edition: that's just the nature of these stylin', profilin', limousine ridin' power rankings.

The team that's fallen the most from last season to this season is the Cleveland Cavaliers, almost entirely due to the departure of the pillar of the city's economy, LeBron James. The Timberwolves find themselves in a volatile situation, with the potential to be the third best team in the West or fall towards the bottom third of the league, depending on how the Butler crisis is resolved.

Without further ado, here are the results of the inaugural NBA "Ric Flair" Power Rankings. Woo!

1. Golden State Warriors 

Key Players: Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Demarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson


2. Boston Celtics

Key Players: Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jason Tatum



3. Toronto Raptors

Key Players: Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry


4. Houston Rockets

Key Players: James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela



5. Philadelphia 76ers

Key Players: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid



6. Utah Jazz

Key Players: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert


7. Indiana Pacers

Key Players: Victor Oladipo, Bojan Bogdanovic


8. Los Angeles Lakers

Key Players: LeBron James, Brandon Ingram



9. Denver Nuggets 

Key Players: Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray  



10. Oklahoma City Thunder 

Key Players: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams



11. Milwaukee Bucks 

Key Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton


12. San Antonio Spurs 

Key Players: Demar DeRozan, Lamarcus Aldridge 


13. New Orleans Pelicans

Key Players: Anthony David, Jrue Holiday



14. Minnesota Timberwolves

Key Players: Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins


15. Washington Wizards 

Key Players: John Wall, Bradley Beal


16. Portland Trail Blazers 

Key Players: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum



17. Miami Heat 

Key Players: Goran Dragic, Dwayne Wade



18. Memphis Grizzlies 

Key Players: Mike Conley, Marc Gasol 



19. Detroit Pistons 

Key Players: Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson



20. Los Angeles Clippers 

Key Players: Lou Williams, Tobias Harris



21. New York Knicks 

Key Players: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. 


22. Chicago Bulls 

Key Players: Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen 



23. Cleveland Cavaliers 

Key Players: Kevin Love, J.R. Smith



24. Brooklyn Nets 

Key Players: D'Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie


25. Charlotte Hornets 

Key Players: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum



26. Dallas Mavericks 

Key Players: Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes



27. Phoenix Suns 

Key Players: Devin Booker, T.J. Warren



28. Orlando Magic 

Key Players: Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier



29. Sacramento Kings 

Key Players: Zach Randolph, De'Aaron Fox



30. Atlanta Hawks 

Key Players: Taurean Prince


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