1. Boston Celtics
Despite the drama to start the season around the coach, the Celtics adding Malcolm Brogdon and veteran big man depth to add to their championship caliber lineup will keep them at the top. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart all should grow from last season and continue to work together.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers added defenders P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., combo guard De’Anthony Melton, and Montrelz Harrell to back up Embiid. This should give the 76ers even more depth and lineup versatility along with a healthy James Harden.
3. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks will heavily rely on Giannis again as the only additions were Joe Ingles and rookie MarJon Beauchamp while Kris Middleton works his way back from injury. The team is healthy again in the post with Brook Lopez and Serge Ibaka back to see if they can get back to the championship.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs had a stocked roster before the trade for Donovan Mitchell who should only help increase the scoring and potential of the team once he learns to play aside Darius Garland. Jarrett Allen is healthy again and Evan Mobley is expected to take the next step.
5. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are a long rangy team who play physical ball under Nick Nurse so the addition of veteran Otto Porter Jr. fresh off a championship helps on both ends of the floor. The Raptors are unmatched at the wing position, but should add another guard with outside shooting.
6. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks were able to trade for one of the top guards in the league in Dejounte Murray to team up with Trae Young. Murray adds perimeter defense and he has the size to play the SG spot. The team will miss the shooting of Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari, but they should be a more physical team.
7. Brooklyn Nets
Despite the offseason drama, the Nets decided to run it back with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant while Ben Simmons appears ready to play. The team added defender Royce O’Neale and T.J. Warren, but the health of the team and coaching of Steve Nash will be the key.
8. Miami Heat
The Heat’s big 3 of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry will keep them in playoff contention while Tyler Herro is allowed to grow from 6th man to starter. The team will miss the defense from P.J. Tucker and could use a PF, but there are more minutes for young players to step up.
9. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls are starting the season with injuries to Lonzo Ball and Zach Lavine leaving DeMar DeRozan to do the heavy lifting again with help from Nikola Vucevic. The team added Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond to the mix, but the big 3 of Lavine, DeRozan, and Vucevic will have their hands full.
10. Washington Wizards
The Wizards get a fresh start with a lesser big 3 of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma who should be able to keep them in most games with the additions of Monte Morris and Will Barton. The development of Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura are key along with rookie Johnny Davis.
11. New York Knicks
The Knicks missed out on Donovan Mitchell, but were able to land their PG in Jalen Brunson and big man Isaiah Hartenstein. The Knicks have young players to develop in R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, and Immanuel Quickley, but it may not be enough for the playoffs.
12. Orlando Magic
The Magic are a young team loaded with talent especially after adding the #1 overall pick in Paolo Banchero who should be instant buckets. The team needs to find their winning lineup and find roles for the young players as they continue to develop, but this team has size and potential.
13. Charlotte Hornets
With issues surrounding Miles Bridges and an early injury to LaMelo Ball, the Hornets should get off to a slow start in a tough Eastern Conference. The development of rookie Mark Williams should be a focus to finally give them a Center, but this team should be competitive with Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier .
14. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons added first round pick Jaden Ivey to play next to Cade Cunningham hopefully giving them their backcourt of the future, as well as, 1st round big man Jalen Duren. The Pistons are a young athletic team looking for the right pieces to fit, but wins will be hard to come by.
15. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are another team in a rebuild hoping to possibly unload veterans Myles Turner and Buddy Hield while building around Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, and rookie Bennedict Mathurin. The team has some young players in the frontcourt to see who fits, but the team needs top tier talent.