Even with a condensed offseason, basketball cannot come back soon enough. The NBA Draft and flurry of free agency activity are in the rearview mirror, as is NBA Summer League. While September provided plenty of drama around the league, from Ben Simmons to the Minnesota Timberwolves to vaccine conversations, we are all ready to have basketball back this week.
The preseason kicks off Tuesday, and with it our first looks at a number of teams. How will they look after something resembling a normal offseason, which teams did not get last year? More so than individual performances, we will be watching to see whether a team is executing its overall team goals: contending, rebuilding, consolidating, and so on.
Preseason basketball is this week! Let’s break out the first NBA Power Rankings for the 2021-22 season and examine a key offseason move for each team.
To look at that in the big picture, we’ll kick off the 2021-22 season with our first edition of our NBA Power Rankings. I will be taking over for the irreplaceable Corey Rausch, and pumping out these Power Rankings every Sunday from now through the entire season.
In our first edition, we want to connect the threads from the offseason to the season to come. What was the key offseason move for every team, positive or negative? And how did the team’s offseason moves connect with the overall team goals? Did rebuilding teams clog up their cap sheet? Did contenders cheap out and not retain a key free agent?
We’ll start at the bottom rung, the team most boldly driving a tank this season, the Orlando Magic. From there we will ascend until we reach the top rung, analyzing how the title contenders at the top of the league reloaded to make a run at a championship. Here we go!