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NBA power rankings following the 2022 trade deadline

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The NBA power rankings post trade deadline 2022 will look quite different from last week’s. Once again, a blockbuster deal shook the Association to its foundation, with Ben Simmons and James Harden swapping places once and for all.

NBA title contenders are still at the top, and playoff hopefuls are only slightly better. Notably, even bottom-feeders made season-altering moves, and they’re not likely to win many games after today’s events.

Even so, trades or not, the NBA team ladder 2022 has been quite dynamic throughout the season. Some teams have gone red-hot and ice-cold from week to week, and we expect that inconsistency trend to continue until the end of the campaign.

NBA power rankings post-trade deadline 2022

So, now that all the moves have gone through and most rosters are finals, let’s take a look at our NBA power rankings after the biggest trade deadline deals.

15. Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets continue to boast one of the best offenses in the league. They’re explosive, and LaMelo Ball‘s playmaking and half-court skills make them a fast-paced, entertaining team to watch with all the dunks, crafty passes, and highlight reels.


However, they’re likely to go home in the first round of the playoffs if they don’t address their poor defense.

14. Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have flirted with .500 ball throughout the whole season. Most of their lack of consistency has come due to injuries and D’Angelo Russell‘s inability to stay on the court.

When healthy, they have a strong team that can hold its own against all contenders. But that has rarely been the case. Anthony Edwards is a superstar in the making, though.

13. Jazz

The Utah Jazz were already sliding in the standings before Joe Ingles‘ season-ending injury. They surely miss his playmaking and basketball IQ and aren’t likely to get any better at this point in the season.

Donovan Mitchell continues to play at an MVP level and Rudy Gobert‘s defense is still top-notch but it’s just not enough. Also, some think they’re another playoff fail away from breaking things up.


Read more: NBA trade deadline grades

12. Raptors

The Toronto Raptors continue to be way ahead of schedule. They’re playing like a team that has nothing to lose. They play solid defense, pressure for full 48 minutes, and won’t back down against more experienced/talented teams.

Nick Nurse’s boys fight hard and will be a contender in no time, with star rookie Scottie Barnes looking better by the day.

11. Mavericks

Even with Kristaps Porzingis constantly missing time, the Dallas Mavericks have managed to stay afloat. Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, who are both having rough seasons, were brought in for Porzingis ahead of the deadline. Neither change the picture too much for Dallas — the title is still well out of reach.

Tim Hardaway Jr’s injury only put more pressure on Luka Doncic‘s shoulders but he continues to prove that he’s a once-in-a-generation kind of talent. Even so, Mark Cuban failed to give him the third star he needs to take the team to the next level.

10. Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets deserve a lot of credit for the season they’re having right now. Not only did they lose Jamal Murray but also Michael Porter Jr. has been sidelined for most of the season.

Nikola Jokic has been on human torch mode since the start of 2022 and is carrying the load for Mike Malone’s squad. They still crave another scorer but what they’ve done is remarkable.

9. Bulls

The Chicago Bulls were the hottest team in the NBA before all the injuries. Now, without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso for the next month or so, their defense has taken a massive dip.

They have one of the most promising rosters in the league and only need to get healthy to be back to the top of the East, especially with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan playing at such a high level.

8. Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks failed to establish their dominance as reigning champions early in the season. But they’ve been quietly better over the past couple of weeks, slowly working their way back to postseason mode.

Once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nothing short of spectacular, so beware of them come playoff time. Also, adding Serge Ibaka is a low-key impactful move for their defense.

7. Nets

The Brooklyn Nets need Kevin Durant back on the court, and they need him now. But the fact that they were able to land Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond is going to make them instantly better.

They pretty much added all the things they lacked: A defensive, pass-first point guard, a lights-out sharpshooter, and an interior presence. Things just got really hot in the East.

6. Cavaliers

No one, not even the most optimistic fan thought the Cleveland Cavaliers would be this good, this fast.

They’re proving that their early success in the season wasn’t a fluke and that they will be a big threat for years to come. Darius Garland is the frontrunner to win Most Improved Player and Evan Mobley has shown glimpses of being a generational force like Kevin Garnett or Anthony Davis. They’re too fun to watch right now.

5. Heat

Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley have done it again. Somehow, someway, they continue to find diamonds in the rough on non-guaranteed deals and make the most out of them.

The Miami Heat haven’t been healthy for most of the season, yet they continue to scrape their way to wins. They’re tough, physical, and the last team you want to meet come playoff time.

4. Sixers

There’s only one reason why the Philadelphia 76ers are a top-10 team in the NBA, and that reason is Joel Embiid. The big man is the clear-cut favorite to win MVP and, barring injury, it’s unlikely that any other player will top him.

Now, they’ve added some guy named James Harden to the mix, and he’s supposed to be pretty good. Embiid and the Sixers are going to be a scary sight in the playoffs, people.

3. Warriors

The Golden State Warriors haven’t looked as otherworldly as of late but they’re still a top-3 team in the Association. Stephen Curry‘s unprecedented shooting slump continues to be a concern, yet a shooting slump for him could be a career night for most players.

Klay Thompson is still getting his legs back under him, so there’s only one way they could go, and that’s up. They’re tailor-made for the postseason.

2. Grizzlies

Ja Morant is the real deal! He’s proven why he should’ve been the first-overall pick over Zion Williamson and leading the young, up-and-coming Memphis Grizzlies to the top of the world.

This team is years ahead of schedule and combines the toughness of the grit-and-grind era with the irreverence of a young squad that wants to make a point. Their athletic, fast, and won’t ever back down from a fight. Right now, they look like a dynasty in the making.

1. Suns

The Phoenix Suns are once again the best team in the NBA, yet no one seems to care about it. People aren’t talking about how Devin Booker and Chris Paul continue to lead the way even with Deandre Ayton out, or how Mikal Bridges should be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

That’s alright, they’re unfazed by the silence, they’re used to it. But be wary of sleeping on a team that was two wins away from an NBA championship and only looks better this season.

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