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Free Agency 2019

NBA Power Rankings: Who has taken over the top spot following the biggest free agency moves?

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Updated Power Rankings post-Russell Westbrook/Chris Paul trade [NBA Getty Images]

NBA Free Agency was as hectic as anticipated.

With massive signings, blockbuster trades and superstars moving all over the place, the landscape of the NBA has completely changed.

The league is more open than it has been in nearly a decade - there's a large number of teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title and we're here to try and help organize all the madness with our post-free agency offseason edition of Power Rankings.

Take a look and see where your favourite team stands:

10. Boston Celtics

2018-19 finish: 49-33, 4th in East

The offseason started out as a whirlwind for a team that just had their most frustrating season in recent memory.

All-Star guard Kyrie Irving departed for the Brooklyn Nets and veteran centre Al Horford - who many expected to re-sign with the Celtics - surprisingly notified the team he would not be returning.

Instead of settling for watching rising stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown grow their game, General Manager Danny Ainge went out and took a home run swing at an Irving replacement.

Now with Kemba Walker in the mix and other important signings like Enes Kanter the Celtics are a completely different team, but still most certainly a contender in the wide-open Eastern Conference.

9. Golden State Warriors

2018-19 finish: 57-25, 1st in West

Injuries played a major role in the Warriors' pursuit for their third NBA title in four seasons and altered their offseason from the jump.

They elected to bring back Klay Thomspon on a max contract, who is expected to miss 6-9 months repairing a torn ACL. They failed to re-sign their back-to-back Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who chose to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

Golden State went and got Thompson's temporary replacement, landing Nets' All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell. Russell will be called upon to handle the bulk of the scoring load that isn't covered by Stephen Curry, and it'll be fun to watch those three try and mesh once Thompson returns.

They also lost key role players like Andre Iguodala and Quinn Cook, but re-signed Kevon Looney and added another athletic young centre in Willie Cauley-Stein.

This will be the most unusual Warriors team we've seen in years, but they'll still be competitive and should still be one of the biggest threats in the West.

8. Portland Trail Blazers

2018-19 finish: 53-29, 3rd in West

The Trail Blazers' moves may have gone under the radar with all the other massive signings and trades going on around them. You'll be surprised at just how different this Portland roster will be on opening night next season.

While their star duo remains intact - Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still at the helm - the role players around them have changed drastically. Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Meyers Leonard, Seth Curry, Enes Kanter, Evan Turner and Jake Layman are all gone.

Aside from returning players such as Rodney Hood, Zach Collins and the injured Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers' roster has a completely different look.

They traded for Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. They signed veteran shooter Anthony Tolliver and athletic wing Mario Hezonja. They'll likely need key minutes from young players like the potential steal of the 2019 NBA Draft Nassir Little or second-year guard Anfernee Simons.

After falling in the Western Conference Finals, Portland got a makeover and they'll still be one of the top teams in the league.

7. Houston Rockets

2018-19 finish: 53-29, 4th in West

Prior to dealing for Russell Westbrook, the Rockets were placed at No. 8 in these Power Rankings. The move bumped them up one spot - ahead of theTrail Blazers, giving the Houston backcourt duo the edge over Portland.

Westbrook and Harden are now reunited from their days in Oklahoma City back in 2011-12. Russ gives the Rockets a player who historically doesn't get injured - the exact opposite of point guard Chris Paul who was sent to OKC along with a pair of first round picks for the former MVP.

The fit is interesting as Westbrook and Harden have both found their names near the top of the league's highest usage percentage over the last couple seasons. These two players haven't been able to take a play off in years, always orchastrating the offence through their hands.

The duo should be able to lighten each other's load while also giving opposing defences fits over how to defend this dynamic backcourt.

With the West loading up again in free agency, Houston has more to worry about than just Golden State this season. Running it back with a nearly identical core but swapping Westbrook for CP3 gives this team an intriguingly different look from the Rockets squads that have fallen just short in the playoffs the last two seasons.

6. Utah Jazz

2018-19 finish: 50-32, 5th in West

The Jazz are without a doubt one of the biggest winners of this offseason.

Their first move to acquire veteran guard Mike Conley Jr. makes for a perfect fit next to star guard Donovan Mitchell. Then they went out and signed a savvy scoring forward in Bojan Bogdanovic, who kept the Indiana Pacers afloat this past season once Victor Oladipo went down.

To continue to build a championship-calibre roster, they signed a great rebounder in Ed Davis, another veteran forward and proven great locker room guy in Jeff Green and they also took a shot on the 23-year old guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who is coming off of an extremely solid season, showing the promise anticipated when he came into the league back in 2015.

They'll continue to be one of the best defences in the NBA and have added the scoring they need to take that next step in advancing further in the postseason. Utah has loaded up with a roster that on paper, is more than capable of pushing for a title.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

2018-19 finish: 51-31, 3rd in East

The 76ers have been extremely active this offseason and in a similar fashion to the Trail Blazers, their core remains intact but they've added new pieces around their stars.

They got Tobias Harris back on a max contract and signed a conference rival in Al Horford - the player who most successfully defended their superstar centre Joel Embiid. They moved Jimmy Butler to Miami and in return landed Josh Richardson, a young and athletic two-way wing to fill Butler's shoes. They gave Ben Simmons a max contract extension, essentially handing him the keys to the franchise to try and lead them to their first championship since 1983.

Philly lost J.J. Redick but elected to bring back quality role players in Mike Scott and James Ennis and will have a now-healthy Zhaire Smith, their first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, back this season.

They also drafted Matisse Thybulle, a player who is widely respected as one of the best defenders in the 2019 NBA Draft and should be able to make an impact on that end of the floor even as a rookie.

Perimeter shooting remains a big question mark for the 76ers but this team, though it is different, should continue to compete at the level they have the past two years.

4. Denver Nuggets

2018-19 finish: 54-28, 2nd in West

The Nuggets were one of the best teams in the NBA this past season and they're running it back with the same squad.

They gave rising star guard Jamal Murray a max contract extension, showing they're committed to him as their No. 2 guy next to All-Star centre Nikola Jokic. They retained restricted free agent Paul Millsap and still have their entire core of young guards and wings like Gary Harris, Will Barton, Monte Morris, Malik Beasley and Torrey Craig.

They also have two potential X-factors that could take this team to the next level - Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol.

Porter Jr. missed the entire 2018-19 season due to a lingering back injury. He was set to make his debut in Summer League, but a minor knee injury will keep that debut on hold until the preseason. Porter Jr. was widely renowned as the No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft if not for his injury and he could be the exact versatile scorer the Nuggets need to take that next step.

As for Bol, he fell to the Nuggets in the second round on draft night due to a similar situation to Porter Jr. Bol was a projected top-five pick before a foot injury ended his first and only season at Oregon, but he's expected to be ready to rock for the regular season. Bol, like Porter Jr., has the potential to be another quality scorer and defender off the bench for Denver.

The Nuggets will be back and better this upcoming season.

3. Milwaukee Bucks

2018-19 finish: 60-22, 1st in East

It might be a bit disrespectful to have the Bucks at No. 3 on this list but they're without a doubt the favourites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.

They re-signed Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and George Hill to bring back a majority of their core. They did lose Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic, but they replaced those two players with a pair of veterans in rim protector Robin Lopez and 3-and-D wing Wesley Matthews.

Milwaukee will roll out a rotation of players that is eerily similar to the squad that won 60 games last season and they could easily flirt with that same win total this upcoming season.

On top of all of this, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is only going to continue to improve. He was the most dominant player in the NBA this past season and with another offseason of hard work, he'll be ready to defend that MVP this next season.

Should Antetokounmpo come back next year with a respectable perimeter jumper, the rest of the league would be in serious trouble.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

2018-19 finish: 37-45, 10th in West

The Lakers missed on Kawhi Leonard but they have seriously revamped their roster to compete for a title.

Pairing Anthony Davis with LeBron James gives the Lakers one of the best, most versatile duos in NBA history. Immediately after the news broke that Leonard would be signing with the Clippers, the Lakers went out and got one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA in Danny Green.

The very next day, they signed DeMarcus Cousins to a minimum deal and also brought back solid role players in Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

One thing that they made sure of this offseason after failing to do so last offseason - they signed shooters. Along with Green, the Lakers signed Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels - all players who can consistently knock down 3-pointers.

Add Kyle Kuzma into the mix of all of this and the Lakers have debatably the best roster in the league.

It might take time for this team to mesh, but with the level of talent they have, it's undeniable that they'll be contending for a championship this upcoming season.

1. LA Clippers

2018-19 finish: 48-34, 8th in West

The Clippers were the perceived underdogs in the Kawhi Leonard saga all along until Leonard shocked the NBA universe. And it wasn't just the Kawhi signing that sent shockwaves throughout the league - the Clippers traded a historic number of draft picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari for two-way star Paul George and now the 'little brother' in LA is built to contend for their first NBA championship in franchise history.

The roster is headlined by Leonard and PG13, but their core is similar to the team that gave a full-strength Warriors squad migraines in the first round of the playoffs this past season.

They re-signed lockdown defender Patrick Beverley and young, promising centre Ivica Zubac. They still have their two-headed monster off the bench with prolific scorer Lou Williams and workhorse Montrezl Harrell. Landry Shamet should only continue to improve as a spot-up shooter and they acquired Moe Harkless, a defensive-minded athletic wing, via trade.

Add in other players like recently signed Rodney McGruder and last year's first-round pick Jerome Robinson and the Clippers have one of the deepest, most thorough rosters in the NBA.

This team should be among the top defences in the league while still packing a scoring punch that other teams will struggle to keep up with. The Clippers will be one of, if not the most fun team to watch next season.

11. Indiana Pacers

Adding Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb and TJ Warren should give the Pacers the offence they need while they await the return of star guard Victor Oladipo. With Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and others returning, the Pacers' additions should make them even more of a threat than they were last season, even before Oladipo's injury.

12. Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant will miss the entire season while he recovers from an Achilles injury but adding Kyrie Irving to this playoff roster still keeps the Nets just outside the top-10 teams in the league next season. This time next year, we could be stating their case alongside the likes of the Lakers and Clippers at the top.

13. Toronto Raptors

The defending NBA champions took a big hit with the losses of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but they still have the majority of their title team returning. Pascal Siakam should be ready to take a massive leap as the team's go-to guy and premier scorer while Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet will continue to keep this team competitive.

If they could see growth from players like Norman Powell and OG Anunoby, the Raptors will have no issue to threaten teams in the playoffs.

14. San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs brought back Rudy Gay and made other key signings like DeMarre Carroll and Marcus Morris. After a successful season from Bryn Forbes and Derrick White, they'll welcome back another promising young guard in DeJounte Murray who has fully recovered from a torn ACL.

Add that to DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs will be a tough out in the playoffs again.

15. Dallas Mavericks

The duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will be a joy to watch all season. If Porzingis can return to the budding superstar we saw in New York and Doncic continues to improve on his impressive first season which resulted in receiving Rookie of the Year, the Mavericks will be right in the mix for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.

16. Sacramento Kings

The Kings were one of the biggest surprises this past season but their inexperience kept them just short of ending their postseason drought. Bringing back their entire young core of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Marvin Bagley to go with Harrison Barnes and veteran signings like Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph, the Kings are shaping out a roster that will definitely compete for a playoff spot again this upcoming year.

17. New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans had a massive roster overhaul and they've come out better on the back end. Jrue Holiday is ready to lead this team while Zion Williamson looks to be the next big thing in the league. Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram give this squad an extremely athletic core that can both defend and score. Add veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick and centre Derrick Favors, along with rookies ready to make an impact like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes and you have a team that could utterly shock people in their first season together.

18. Miami Heat

Acquiring Jimmy Butler gives the Heat the superstar they need to try and return to the playoffs. They've also added Meyers Leonard to give them another athletic big man that fits in nicely as a pick-and-pop shooter. With players like Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow, as well as Summer League standout rookie Tyler Herro, the Heat should be an intriguing team this next season.

19. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder have gone through a complete makeover this offseason, trading away their two cornerstones of the franchise.

While Paul George and Russell Westbrook are both heading elsewhere, OKC still has an interesting group with the new additions of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari. Whether or not Paul will even play a game in a Thunder uniform still remains in question, but if OKC chooses to move him and go through a compete rebuild, they've stacked up eight first-round picks since the draft.

It'll be an interesting season seeing a bunch of new faces playing for OKC nonetheless.

20. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks began to put things together toward the back end of last season as their dynamic duo of Trae Young and John Collins really took off. They had a successful draft, landing DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando and adding that to sharpshooter Kevin Huerter, the Hawks will be ready to compete very soon. This upcoming season might still be a learning experience for the young team, but the Hawks have the pieces to be great in the near future.

21. Orlando Magic

The Magic decided to run things back with the same roster that fell in the first round of the playoffs this past season. They brought back All-Star centre Nikola Vucevic and scoring guard Terrence Ross, as well as signing Al-Farouq Aminu. Orlando will likely be fighting for a bottom playoff spot in the East again.

22. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons needed some offence to help out All-Star Blake Griffin. They went out and signed Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris, which should help with that, but they're still a few pieces away from truly being able to threaten anyone as a playoff team. They'll likely be in the mix for the final few playoff spots in the East again, just like Orlando.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves didn't make any major acquisitions this offseason but they did add solid role players like Jordan Bell and Jake Layman. If first-round pick Jarrett Culver can have a successful rookie campaign and help Karl-Anthony Towns offensively, the T'Wolves could be a fun team to watch on League Pass.

24. New York Knicks

The Knicks received some criticism for their moves in free agency but when you take a step back, they added some quality role players around Julius Randle to give rookie phenom RJ Barrett some talent to work with. They're still a ways away from being competitive but the Knicks will certainly take a step in the right direction this season - something we haven't been able to say for a while.

25. Washington Wizards

The Wizards still have Bradley Beal but their roster needs some help. Re-signing promising young centre Thomas Bryant and drafting forward Rui Hachimura gives them an athletic frontcourt but there are plenty of gaps that need to be filled. If Isaiah Thomas can return to half the player he was with the Celtics, he'll add a much-needed scorer but aside from that, the Wizards are still in a rebuilding phase.

26. Phoenix Suns

The Suns are still very young - Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges all had quality seasons last year but this team seems to be a couple more years away from competing. Ricky Rubio gives them a solid veteran at point guard, bringing back Kelly Oubre Jr. gives them another scorer and first-round pick Cam Johnson should add some perimeter shooting help but with the West as strong as it is, the Suns are still in a tough spot.

27. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have continued to move in the right direction. They landed their point guard of the future in Coby White and brought in a great mentor for him in Tomas Satoransky. They'll add athletic forward Thaddeus Young to a core of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., setting themselves up nicely for the future.

28. Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are still near the bottom of this list but they have made all the right moves to change that in the future. They've stockpiled draft picks and with pieces like Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant, the Grizzlies should be able to give teams a hard time this year but are still a few seasons away from returning to playoff-calibre.

29. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers will have to figure out how they're going to roll out last year's first-round pick Collin Sexton and this year's first-round pick Darius Garland at the same time. They still have Kevin Love and Jordan Clarkson but with the team clearly rebuilding, don't be surprised if teams look to trade for those two veteran pieces that could help in a playoff push.

30. Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets have lost Kemba Walker and replaced him with Terry Rozier. It'll be the Scary Terry show in Charlotte as their young pieces - Miles Bridges, Dwayne Bacon, PJ Washington and Malik Monk - try and identify their roles on this rebuilding team.

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