Sheridan’s Summer NBA Power Rankings — August Edition

obamaQuite a month it was, eh?

Remember back on July 1 when the moratorium began, there was hope in Lakerland, Metta World Peace was not contemplating another name change and the Bobcats were doomed to hold down the No. 30 spot in these rankings for all eternity?

Yes, things have changed. And they will keep changing in August … and then in September when we can get rolling on all the Rajon Rondo and Pau Gasol trade rumors that will keep us occupied until mid-February, after which we can look forward to The Decision II after LeBron James opts out of his contract.

There will be a whole bunch of basketball games played in the interim (the NBA schedule will be out on Tuesday), and people will care less and less about each and every one of those games until the Finals roll around. It has gotten to the point where rumors and player movement possibilities rule the basketball journalism world — sort of akin to the way doping scandals have usurped the coverage of the competition in cycling and baseball.

But since those games must be played, and since next season will be known as Tankapalooza among the have-nots, it is time to proceed with out first set of 2013-14 Power Rankings, where it is just as important to be No. 30 as it is to be No. 1. If you are last, you have the best chance at Andrew Wiggins. If you are first through fourth or fifth, you have a legitimate chance of preventing the Miami Heat from three-peating.

So without further ado, we bring July to a close and begin August with these ranks. Enjoy … and let’s see how they hold up over the course of the next 10 months.

 

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  1. says

    I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough
    for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good
    content as you did, the net will be a lot more
    useful than ever before.

  2. PC3 @swhtown20 says

    Finally We Have A Real Analyst RT Im A Rockets Fan @ Heart But I see The Same Thing Rockets Have 4 Starters But Missing 5 Starters The PF position…. DRose Let THe Whole City Of Chi,team, & Himself Done Mentality Not Ready.. But Cleared 2 play In Feb. Everything about this situation screams out selfish. I wonder if Kobe Will Be ready Mentailty Come Dec. #Sarcasm RT….I thought I was The Only Anaylst That Saw The Cavs, Wolves & Pistons Making the playoffs RT & They MT Shock alot of Teams… If U want 2 Win in the NBA U Have To Have SuperStar Power Just Ask SuperStar GMs Ainge & Morey that ? RT…Agree W/ U about The Bargnani if theirs any team that makes bad trades its the knicks Note: 2 All GM S RT.. I Even Think the OKC will never be the same w/ out Harden True SuperStar Like KD.. Russ Is Good For The Team But Also Hurts ThisTeam But Who Else Is Their The Offensive Power In Perkins& Ibaka + KD Had Way 2 Many Techincals Last YR=WestBrook Any1 ….Off Topic But Conlusion Any1 Kirilenko Russian Nets Owner Is Russian Turned Down 10 Mil from Spurs & Wolves For 3million RT..Back 2 Topic Rockets Will WIn This Ring This Yr2 Much talent surrounded Around The Best 2 Guard Harden & THe BEst Center In THe Game D12 I Wont Be Shocked..But The List Looks RT Real Anaylst Chris Sheridan #Respect Your List & Sarcasm

    • BullySixChicago says

      You said a lot but it amounts to nothing end your opinion and opinions are like holes everybody has o e somewhere on their body. It seems you are like the many nitwits who want to tell someone what they should do with their body rather than allow that player to determine when he is ready. I bet in your life you would not allow anybody to tell you how to deal with your life issues but your feel you have a right to demand it of someone else. You are like the nitwit author who feels he knows best how someone should deal with their own injury and play when he does not feel ready . Please let it go its his decision not yours or the nitwit who wrote that crap statement.

  3. BullySixChicago says

    Bulls 10 wow what a rip and furthermore to harp on Rose well knowing these writers trying to get al large amount of readers and reply’s to their article why not get critical about players and teams.

  4. Ted says

    Sheridan…he top few teams are probably correct but after that this list is a mess!

    and you cannot be serious with your trade proposal of two bulls first rounders PLUS Mirotic PLUS boozer (to match salaries) for Pau Gasol. Mortgaging three probably future rotation players for a 33 year old man with shoddy knees, when the bulls are hardly in a win-now situation?

  5. Karthik says

    There is no way the pistons are 7th in the east and no way cavaliers are better than the pistons. 6th seed in the east is the lowest the pistons will be in 13 – 14, possibly even higher. watch the fun.

    • BullySixChicago says

      You can see that the first 5 teams in the East Bulls, Heat, Pacers, Nets and Knicks are teams that are going to finish in the top 5, but as for 6-8 you will have the Cavs, Pistons, Wiz, Bucks and Hawks all fighting for those last 3 spots

  6. Steve says

    If Mo Williams is a “pretty darn good starter”, then how come he’s still a free agent and absolutely zero NBA teams are interested in him starting for them?

    • Karthik says

      I think that Mo Williams would be a wonderful addition to a team seeking a veteran presence off the bench. He is a pretty good three-point shooter, and I am sure some playoff bound teams could use him. He will have to accept less money though.

      I think what has plagued him is his overall average to above average play over his career. He can straight out shoot and defend, but he is no All-Star.

      Thoughts?

      • Colin says

        Mo Williams can’t defend at all and he isn’t a highly efficient player. Mo Williams can defend? Are you serious?

  7. Colin says

    That’s way too much for the Bulls get Gasol. Basically trading away your future picks and Mirotic for a 33 year old guy with shoddy knees. Besides that, your ranking of the Bulls at 10th is almost laughable. It’s like you’re punishing the Bulls because you’re mad that Rose didn’t come back last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls won 60 games if they can stay relatively healthy. They have the 2nd best coach in the NBA (behind Popovich) and went to the 2nd round with a roster of backups and injured guys.

  8. Karthik says

    On RealGM.com there is a Wiretap saying that Nikola Pekovic wants a $15M dollar contract per year which is crazy to say the least (since he is probably not worth that, but asking for it is not bad, I guess as he is a legit NBA center).

    However is there any team that can offer him a $15M/year? The only team that comes to mind are the 76ers. The Timberwolves are already stacked in the backcourt, and losing Pekovic and possibly Love down the road would really hurt.

    Any thoughts?

  9. Scott says

    Why should Rose have risked re-injuring his knee coming back against a dominant and healthy Miami team when the Bulls were already without Hinrich and Deng and with Noah playing hobbled?
    Try tearing your ACL and coming back from that.

  10. Daniel says

    You really need to let go of the Bargnani deal, Chris.

    The Knicks gave away nothing for him, also saved cap space, and if – yes, I said if – he can spread the floor and hit some jumpers with some consistency, then it will be a steal.

    If he does none of that, it’s like having an Italian Steve Novak – for $4 mil less than the real Steve Novak.

    Calling it idiocy only makes you look like an idiot, honestly.

  11. Bob says

    I wonder what exactly the Sacramento Kings did this summer to possibly leapfrog all those teams. Let their second best guy go, piled on more mediocre PFs, their rookie looked like a bust in summer league. But now a playoff fringe team over the Nuggets, right?

  12. JC says

    Mavs at 25…really?

    We all can concede the absolutely collossal FAIL that last year was…Dirk started the year barely right, then missed 40 games, and wasn’t right for a few more…they were 41-41 and had the 17th best record in the league.

    I realize they didn’t get Dwight, but we ALL can look at last year’s roster and this year’s roster and anyone with a brain can see the team is obviously better…at the VERY least at the brains of just about every PG on the roster…

    Realizing that, with a healthy Dirk, how in the world can you say they get 8 spots worse?

    Let’s face it…you mailed it in after 1-12 and didn’t really give a rip what you put after that…either that or you obviously don’t really watch basketball and have totally fooled someone into getting the job you have….eos.

  13. MavsAllday2013 says

    Seriously bro? You put Mavs at #25 and think teams like the kings, magic, and bucks going to be better than the mavs? I seriously question your nba knowledge. Dirk missed the 1st 29 games of the season last year and mavs had a scrub lineup last year yet still almost made the playoffs. If not for Dirk missing the first 29 games of the season, Mavs would definitely be making the playoffs for the 13th straight year.

    Mavs upgraded from Mike James to Jose Calderon
    Upgraded from the choker Mayo to Monta Ellis
    Upgraded from a center that played no defense in Kaman to a player that plays defense as a center in Dalembert

    Mavs are deep. They have player on their bench like Brandan Wright, Dejuan Blair, Ellington, Ledo, Shane Larkin, Harris, and so many more.

    I just don’t understand your hate

    • Jerry25 says

      I agree that Mavs, Wiz, Nuggets Raptors too low and Pelicans, Magic, Wolves, Jazz, Celts too high.
      Mavs should be about same as Wolves and possibly Nuggets – competing for last playoff spot.

      Knicks and Rockets should switch places, but then Sheridan has a lot of Knick fans reading this.

      Clippers should be competing for best record in West.

      He will have time to digest lineups and make changes for Sept.

  14. jerry25 says

    I don’t expect Rondo to traded, as long as he gets along with his coach and teammates.

    I agree that Gasol likely will be traded, when it becomes apparent that Lakers aren’t going anywhere.

  15. jerry25 says

    Nets won 49, not 48 games this past season (same #wins as Pacers).

    I agree that best 3 teams in NBA are in the East. It shouldn’t be that hard to rationalize, as OKC got weaker and SA got older.

    Nets added 7 (that SEVEN) desirable players from the core 8, and lost only 1 desirable player (CJ Watson). They also upgraded at Coach, with Frank doing the X’s and O’s and Kidd pushing players to play harder and smarter.

    I like you pick of Pistons being higher than Nuggets.

  16. CC says

    Really enthused by all the Pacers offseason moves. They will only continue to get better. However, one trade I would like them to consider making before the deadline is Stephenson, Granger, and a future first round pick for Rajon Rondo and Courtney Lee. Larry Bird stated that if Solomon Hill continued to improve he could see him playing major minutes after the all-star break. With Paul George, Danny Granger becomes redundant. Meanwhile, the Cs are looking to move some of their sg and Lee’s multi-year contract. Everyone knows Rondo is not going to be all in for Project Tank. The only missing piece to the Championship puzzle for the Pacers is a pg who can better orchestrate the offense (i.e. Rajon Rondo). Thoughts?

    • Game I Love says

      I think this is a great move for both teams. The Cs seem intent on losing. They are not going to lose enough games with Rondo: unless he sits until January. All he knows is winning. He would be a great addition to the Pacers. Meanwhile, the Cs would get Danny’s expiring contract, young talent in Stephenson in return, a draft pick, and they would get to unload the money they owe Lee. Good Trade. The Pacers would move to #1 on the power rankings with that acquisition.

      • MarceloRamad says

        i think they should send the contract of G.Wallace to indiana in that trade… it would be a wiser move for the celtics

  17. Karen says

    Who wrote this? Dear Derrick rose bs really? Critical sports writer who couldn’t beat my 8 yr old son in a one on one match.

  18. Michael says

    I really have to question your credibility here with the Mavs at #25.

    Last season was the worst case scenario for the Mavs. Strike out on Deron in the offseason. Dwight gets traded to the Lakers. Dirk can’t start for half the season due to surgery. Darren Collison and OJ Mayo have the BBIQ of leg warmers and can’t get the ball to Dirk even when he finally does come back. Biggest offseason acquisition Chris Kaman has the mobility of a butterstick on defense and gets DNP-CDs. The Mavs sign various guards off the street, like Derek Fisher. Derek Fisher starts. Derek Fisher gets his contract waived only to play for another team later in the season. Mike James starts.

    In spite of all that, we were still in the playoff race until the last several days, winning at a 50-win pace post all-star break with no training camp and with no defense. And yet with an ostensibly healthy Dirk (who was back to his old game-changing self as he regained his form) and upgrades at every position to better fit his skillset, you’re saying there’s no improvement there and they’ll go 2-17 to start next year, when even the absolute worst stretch last season without Dirk didn’t come close to approaching those levels of ineptitude?

  19. Gr8Maverick says

    I would be willing to bet everything I have that there will be at least 6 teams worse than the Mavs next year.

    Sheridan? Want to wager?

    • Ugh says

      Power rankings do not denote finishing position at the end of the season. They are about who is hot right now.
      The Mavs cannot be said to be hot right now.

  20. daniel bradley says

    Not a bad effort given the time of the year , and I have actually already placed a lazy $20 on the Pacers
    I hope the Pistons do well with their roster but they may lack the chemistry so I’ll go with you on where you have them for this exercise
    Disagree with where you have the Blazers positioned , realise they have an unhappy big man but they now have a bench that is at least three deep compared to non existent .

  21. says

    As strange as it may seem to the average fan, the Sacramento Kings should be higher on your rankings. Let me explain…

    The new ownership (Vivek Renadive) has brought a radical top-bottom change to the organization. Now the Kings for the first time in years actually spend money to make the team better. They hired much better executives and new coaching staff to deal with both the on court X ans Os, the GM diplomatics/research and the advanced stats technical section. You can add to that the return of the enthusiasm of one of the best fanbases in the NBA (if I’m not mistaken, the Kings and the Warriors are first in season ticket sales at the moment), and finally the construction of the new arena has begun. We are talking about a total revolution in Sacramento. They have to reflect all that on the floor of course, but since this is the “Summer” rankings, you have to rank them higher and take under your consideration much more than just who signed/waived who.

    Thanks

  22. Joshua says

    I see you are a fucking moron as usual. How did that work for you in 2011? Without looking it up I am pretty sure in the last 11 years even with last year’s crap team, they have not finished the season as the 25th best team or lower. Put down the crack pipe.

  23. Quinn says

    These rankings are a little shaky. Miami and Indiana are accurate, but the rest is really a bit of a mess.

    Brooklyn better than a San Antonio team coming off a 7 game series vs Miami? This is a BKN team that, when healthy and with a more proven coach, couldn’t beat an incredibly hobbled Chicago squad. Pierce and Garnett will make them better, but how much is the question – this is a big leap for a team that will struggle in an increasingly more difficult eastern conference. They’re the third or fourth best team in the east, but in the league? That’s a big stretch.

    The Thunder, meanwhile, have let their bench go to pieces, and are counting on Lamb making a leap from d-league player to impact guy off the bench. Reggie Jackson showed flashes of solid backup pg skills in the playoffs, but Scott Brooks still doesn’t know how to effectively use Ibaka, Durant and Westbrook together. They have the best combo of superstars of any team in the league, but seriously lack depth or quality coaching.

    The Grizzlies have made some strides, but adding one shooter on the wrong side of 30 is definitely not a cure-all for their anemic perimeter shooting. They also still leave a lot to be desired at the SF spot. Their defense is elite, but they will still struggle to score until they have a trustworthy shot-creator on the wing, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

    The Knicks signing World Peace does little to nothing for them; it’s, at best, a ‘name brand’ signing. He is a nice shooter, but his once-dominate defensive game is a thing of the past. He gets repeatedly abused by quicker forwards who blow by him, or taller forwards who just shoot over him. The Knicks also lost Novak to TOR in the Bargnani trade. This is a team that will struggle to crack the top 4 in the WEAKER conference, so ranking the ahead of teams like the bulls, w’s and rockets seems absurd.

    Chicago is primed to make a big splash. This is a team that held their own for an entire season without their motor, won a first-round series, and added a big shooter in Mike Dunleavy, who will match or eclipse Belinelli’s output from this past season. They are getting back a player who was recently named MVP. It’s hard to ignore that.

    Golden State and Houston both made radical improvements to their roster – Houston needed rim protection and GS needed an upgrade in wing defense, and both teams got top shelf talent in that regard. Both teams are also better-coached than the Knicks, and more talented from top to bottom. Like I said, NYK are going to struggle just to crack the top 4 in the east, so ranking them above west teams that could win 55 games and still not have home court int he playoffs is silly.

    I like where you have the Wolves, Pelies and Cavs, but not in this particular order – the wolves have the best (when healthy) player of the 3 teams, but lost a key defensive wing player in AK47, and look to have next to nobody to play above-average defense on their roster. The Cavs, meanwhile, have Varejao and Bynum, and added Earl Clark, who has shown flashes of being a decent defender. Kyrie also impacts the game in such a wide variety of ways that the Cavs really look playoff-bound. The Pelicans, unlike the Wolves, took a big step forward defensively when they traded for Holiday. They also added another ball handler who can create in Evans, and Davis is bound to have a better year than his past injury-riddled season. If they stay healthy, the Southwest division might have 4 teams go to the playoffs this year.

    • Craig says

      PJ is a proven coach? He’s one of the worst coaches in the league. Having coached before doesn’t make you proven. He was terrible and absolutely outcoached in that Bulls series.

  24. Andre says

    You think the Cavs and Pelicans are better than the Pistons right now? I don’t see it but maybe you see something I don’t. Kyrie, Varejao and Bynum can’t stay healthy for the Cav, and Eric Gordon can’t stay healthy for the Pelicans.

  25. says

    No complaints here. That top 10 is too hard to accurately depict right now regardless, but I personally would of switched 5-6 and moved the Knicks to 10, while pushing Golden State and Chicago up.

    As far as the Mavericks at 25? I would make a case that the Wizards may need to get bumped a notch over them to be honest, but we’ll see how the season go. These rankings are always subject to change of course, and this coming season looks to be as much of a roller coaster as one we’ve ever seen.

  26. Steve Kass says

    Did you forget the Bulls had the best record in the NBA the last two seasons they had Rose? Noah has improved, and Butler has arrived and should continue improving. And why the hate on Rose, the Bulls clearly couldn’t have beat the Heat last year with Rose just breaking into the lineup, so he bought himself an extra five months for his leg and confidence, something many NBA players with ACL tears say they wish they would have done, and believe would have had short and long term benefit to their careers. Rose is still a kid with this best yet to come, and the odds of him returning stronger are undeniably higher with the extra time.

  27. Ri-Dirkulous says

    Sheridan.. come on… Seriously!? Mavs at #25 and then you reference Nick Calathes, a guard who hasn’t played a minute in the league and wasn’t even worthy of the 3rd PG spot on your ever-so-terrible Mavericks, as a guy who potentially helps the Grizz compete for the #1 seed in the West???

    • says

      I have seen Calathes play more than a dozen times. He has been coached by one of the craziest geniuses in the world, Zeljko Obradovic. He will be around the NBA a long, long time.

      • Nick says

        I’m sure the Mavs have seen Calathes play more than a dozen times too, and they went with Calderon, Harris, Mekel and Larkin and avoided signing Calathes either now, or for the past few years when we surely could have used a decent backup PG. Maybe the Mavs FO is stupid or something?

        • Ugh says

          Maybe the Mavs office are stupid?
          Let’s see, they signed Calderon, Harris, Mekel and Larkin.

          What do you think?

    • Chad says

      I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ellis, calderon, and dalembert makes them so much better. Should be fighting for that 6-8 seed in the West. Sheridan you do not know what you are saying. Dirk can win games by himself and still does. Never ever believe the Bucks and Celtics are going to be better than the Mavs this year.

  28. Luke says

    #1-11 is pretty solid and hard to argue with.

    #12-26 is quite laughable and looks like it was “mailed in”, especially when teams who are clearly trying to tank are ranked higher than those clearly making runs for the playoffs. Some strong biases coming through?

      • Luke says

        How are you basing your ranking? Are you ranking them on how you believe they will finish the season in regard to record? Or in regard to whether they are “hot” right now? If it is in regard to record I believe that you may be letting some biases about moves that are “sexy” influence you far too strongly.

        • Ugh says

          So you called the list laughable and then when asked for specifics you had to get clarification on what the list was actually for.

          Is there a plugin that turns all comments into ‘herpderp’?

          • Luke says

            Yes “laughable” is absolutely the description either way. Why? Well if you would actually pay attention to the rankings you would see that it CANNOT be who is “hot” right now unless that only applies to 12-26. 1-11 is clearly about how teams are going to do in regard to record or playoff performance for if it was about “hot” offseason then the Spurs and OKC should be nowhere near the top. There is clearly a double standard going on that is not explained and switches mid-rankings: laughable. OR it is just completely incoherent: laughable.

      • says

        greast list I believe Miami will win it all bou P acers will give them hell O den will be great addition come playoff time if he stays upright /beat basket website I have come a cross very wll writen &informative.

  29. Nick says

    Wow, how badly are you and everybody else underrating the Mavericks? Their bench alone is already better than their starting lineup last year, and Dirk should be healthier. They still were .500 and a game or two out from the playoffs with Dirk missing much of the year and Mike James as our starting PG. They’re now at least 11-12 spots deep with quality players, and if Calderon-Ellis works out with Dirk, they should almost certainly be back in the playoffs.They improved at every spot, so why would they start the season 2-18? That’s only even a possibility if Dirk goes down with injury again.

    Also think you’re underrating the Wizards pretty badly. If healthy, they too should make the playoffs in the East.

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