Major Title Contenders (Tier 1)
Houston Rockets– With a core of Dwight Howard, James Harden, and Chandler Parsons, this team could go all the way if they can mesh well together. They are young, fast, and will be fun to watch.
Los Angeles Clippers- Chris Paul re-signed with them and they gained a great coach in Doc Rivers. They also have excellent role players with J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Jamal Crawford, and Matt Barnes.
This team is built to compete for a championship.
OKC Thunder– Once Russell Westbrook comes back and joins Kevin Durant again, they will be ready to compete for another trip to the Finals. This time they don’t really have a bench anymore with Kevin Martin leaving for the Wolves so it would be a surprise if they won the title.
San Antonio Spurs– Yes they are old but they almost won the Finals last year and I believe that they can contend for a title for one more year.
Golden State Warriors– What? Yes I believe the Warriors can contend for the title. They have a young team bursting with talent with players like Stephen Curry, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, and Andre Igoudala. They also have developing role players like Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. This team could go farther than expected.
Playoff Contenders (Tier 2)
Los Angeles Lakers– The Lakers have the talent to go to the WCF but that’s it. It doesn’t seem like they can beat the Miami Heat or even the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant is the big question mark and if he can come back healthy, they could go to the WCF. If he doesn’t come back fully healthy, they will get swept in the first round… again.
Memphis Grizzlies- This team got swept in the WCF by the “old” Spurs and then they lost their underrated coach in Lionel Hollins.
Denver Nuggets- This team looks like they are on the decline. They lost COY George Karl and then GM of the year Masai Ujiri. Then they lost Andre Igoudala. They did get Nate Robinson in the offseason but that isn’t enough to win a title. The Nuggets have been a first round out in the past four years and it looks like that may happen again.
New Orleans Pelicans- This team is on the rise. They picked up young PG Jrue Holiday and SG Tyreke Evans. They are a young team with a lot of potential. If they can play consistently and Anthony Davis can show why he was the #1 pick in 2012, they can make the playoffs.
Dallas Mavericks- Dirk Nowitzki was in the finals in 2011. Last year they failed to make the playoffs. They lost O.J. Mayo and gained Monta Ellis. Not much has changed and still need more pieces before they become a title contender.
Minnesota Timberwolves- The only issue with the Wolves is health. If Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love can stay healthy, this team can make the playoffs. They added Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer in the offseason and are improving each year.
Rebuilding teams (Tier 3)
Portland Trail Blazers– This team ended last season on a sour note, losing 13 games in a row. They have fun players to watch like ROY Damian Lillard and PF LaMarcus Aldridge but still need more talent before they can make the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns- Got Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler but they have players who have declining talent with players like Michael Beasley and Luis Scola. Not a playoff team yet.
Utah Jazz- Got Trey Burke but lost their 2 good big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Need more talent before they can even think about the playoffs.
Sacramento Kings- Got Vasquez and McLemore in the offseason but still not a playoff team.
Hope you liked my article and comment on where you think your favorite team will be.