Sacramento Kings

Preseason rankings for the NBA’s 30 teams

The Bee’s Jason Jones’ preseason NBA rankings (with last season’s record):


1. San Antonio Spurs (62-20): They’re nothing flashy; they just win a lot of games.

▪  2. Los Angeles Clippers (57-25):

Adding center Spencer Hawes was one of the most underrated offseason transactions.

▪  3. Golden State Warriors (51-31):

An improved bench will make them tought to beat.

▪  4. Portland Trail Blazers (54-28):

Point guard Damian Lillard continues to improve; the rest of the league should watch out.

▪  5. Houston Rockets (54-28):

Is center Dwight Howard finally back to being the player he was in Orlando?

▪  6. Chicago Bulls (48-34):

This is the “if Derrick Rose is healthy” ranking.

▪  7. Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23):

This is the “if Kevin Durant is not healthy” ranking.

▪  8. Memphis Grizzlies (50-32):

Maybe point guard Mike Conley will be recognized for his solid play.

▪  9. Cleveland Cavaliers (33-49):

LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will need some time to learn to play together.

▪  10. Dallas Mavericks (49-33):

Forward Chandler Parsons, signed as a free agent, is being paid like a superstar. Now he has to play like one.

▪  11. Washington Wizards (44-38):

It’s time for the young team to become a force in the Eastern Conference.

▪  12. Toronto Raptors (48-34):

They won’t surprise anyone this season after last year’s turnaround.

▪  13. Phoenix Suns (48-34):

They are relying on three dynamic point guards to get them into the playoffs.

▪  14. Brooklyn Nets (44-38):

A healthy Brook Lopez could lead them to the to the Atlantic Division title.

▪  15. Miami Heat (54-28):

He’s not LeBron James, but Luol Deng is a capable replacement.

▪  16. Atlanta Hawks (38-44):

With big man Al Horford healthy, the Hawks should not be under .500.

▪  17. Charlotte Hornets (43-39):

Lance Stephenson should help the offense which struggled last season.

▪  18. New Orleans Pelicans (34-48):

It’s time for the talent and potential to lead to more victories.

▪  19. Indiana Pacers (56-26):

Without injured Paul George and departed Stephenson, they’re just a team hoping to make playoffs.

▪  20. Los Angeles Lakers (27-55):

How much can can Kobe Bryant get out of this group – and himself – at 36?

▪  21. New York Knicks (37-45):

Carmelo Anthony in the triangle offense should be fun to watch once the team learns it.

▪  22. Denver Nuggets (36-46):

Coach Brian Shaw still is waiting to see how this team looks at with everyone healthy.

▪  23. Kings (28-54):

Have they improved enough to move up in the competitive Western Conference?

▪  24. Orlando Magic (23-59):

A collection of young, talented players should be competitive – in the future.

▪  25. Detroit Piston (29-53):

Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith have to rebound from their struggles last season.

▪  26. Minnesota Timberwolves (40-42):

Ricky Rubio is leading a very young team; Nikola Pekovic will anchor the paint.

▪  27. Boston Celtics (25-57):

Rajon Rondo is an accomplished veteran stuck on a rebuilding team, but for how long?

▪  28. Utah Jazz (25-57):

They have a lot of high draft picks, but the future is uncertain.

▪  29. Milwaukee Bucks (15-67):

Jason Kidd has a lot of work to do in his first season as coach.

▪  30. Philadelphia 76ers (19-63):

They figure to be at the bottom of the league all season.

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