NBA POWER RANKINGS: Here's Where Every Team Stands Going Into The Preseason

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Photo: ESPN

Most NBA training camps open Monday.After a lockout shortened the 2011-12 season and severely limited practice time, all 30 teams will finally have a chance to properly prepare for NBA action.

To make our preseason power rankings, we took each team’s record last year, then moved them up and down based on how they changed their rosters in the offseason.

We found that there’s an upper tier of five teams that are truly going to contend for the title, a middle tier of talented teams that have a slim chance to break through, and a lower tier of hopeless squads destined for the lottery.

1. Miami Heat (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Josh Harrellson

Key Subtractions: None

Best five: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers

The Heat go into training camp an even bigger juggernaut than they did last year. Allen, Lewis, and Harrellson all fill needs that they had last year.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Perry Jones III (rookie)

Key Subtractions: None

Best five: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha

This team is so young than an extra year of experience should make them improve greatly.

3. Los Angeles Lakers (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antwan Jamison

Key Subtractions: Andrew Bynum, Matt Barnes

Best five: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace

No team added more big names, but Howard is injured and it's unclear if they can mesh.

4. San Antonio Spurs (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Nando Colo

Key Subtractions: None

Best five: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Gary Neal

Same team that gave the Thunder all they could handle last year. We'll see how Tony Parker performs with that eye injury from the Drake-Chris Brown fight.

5. Boston Celtics (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Jason Terry, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger (rookie)

Key Subtractions: Greg Steimsma

Best five: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley

Rondo had a coming out party in the '12 playoffs, and now they upgrade on the perimeter with Terry and Green, and inside with Sullinger.

6. Indiana Pacers (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: DJ Augustin, Ian Mahinmi, Miles Plumlee

Key Subtractions: Darren Collison

Best five: Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, David West, Paul George

A tier below the top 5, but they can made noise if Granger has a bounce back year and George continues to develop.

7. Los Angeles Clippers (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes

Key Subtractions: Reggie Evans, Mo Williams

Best five: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom

Still a ton of talent, but need to prove that they can play together.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Jerryd Bayless, Tony Wroten

Key Subtractions: OJ Mayo

Best five: Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Mike Conley

People really like the rookie Wroten, but this team will come down to whether or not Gay and Randolph can thrive together.

9. Brooklyn Nets (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Joe Johnson, Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche, Jerry Stackhouse, CJ Watson

Key Subtractions: Anthony Morrow

Best five: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks

Lots of excitement around this year, but Lopez will need to have a great year for them to compete in the East

10. Denver Nuggets (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Andre Iguodala, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller

Key Subtractions: Aaron Afflalo

Best five: Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee

Everyone loves the Iguodala trade, he fits in perfectly

11. Philadelphia 76ers (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Andrew Bynum, Nick Young, Dorell Wright

Key Subtractions: Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Elton Brand, Nikola Vucevic

Best five: Andrew Bynum, Jrue Holiday, Thad Young, Evan Turner, Nick Young

A team that had redundancies at the wings suddenly makes a lot of sense.

12. New York Knicks (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer (injured) Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby

Key Subtractions: Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries, Josh Harrelson

Best five: Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert (hurt)

Tons of turnover for this team. Their success will come down to whether or not Felton is in shape at point guard

13. Chicago Bulls (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Marco Bellinelli, Kirk Hinrich

Key Subtractions: Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, Kyler Korver

Best five: Derrick Rose (hurt), Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson

If Rose is out for the year, they won't win a playoff series.

14. Minnesota Timberwolves (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Chase Budinger, Andrei Kirilenko, Alexy Shved, Brandon Roy

Key Subtractions: Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, Anthony Tolliver

Best five: Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio (hurt), JJ Barea, Nikola Pekovic, Derrick Williams

Both Russians (Kirilenko and Shved) should give them instant offence and some bench depth.

15. Milwaukee Bucks (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: John Henson, Samuel Dalembert

Key Subtractions: None

Best five: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova, Mike Dunleavy, Samuel Dalembert

A full season of Jennings and Ellis is promising

16. Atlanta Hawks (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Lou Williams, Kyle Korver, Deshawn Stevenson

Key Subtractions: Joe Johnson, Kirk Hinrich

Best five: Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Zaza Pachulia, Lou Williams

They lose Johnson, but they added enough depth to stay in the playoff picture

17. Cleveland Cavaliers (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Dion Waiters

Key Subtractions: Anthony Parker

Best five: Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Daniel Gibson

A full season of Varejo and another year of growth for Irving makes them an attractive sleeper

18. Utah Jazz (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Marvin Williams, Mo Williams, Randy Foye

Key Subtractions: Devin Harris

Best five: Al Jefferson, Gordan Hayward, Derrick favours, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams

Harris for Williams is a downgrade, but they played strong at the end of last season and another year of growth of Hayward will be huge.

19. Dallas Mavericks (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Darren Collison, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, OJ Mayo

Key Subtractions: Jason Terry, Lamar Odom, Ian Mahimni

Best five: Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman, Vince Carter

They've gambled on old guys before and won (see: Jason Kidd), but they're putting a whole lot of stock in Kaman and Brand to have something left.

20. Washington Wizards (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal

Key Subtractions: Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis

Best five: John Wall (hurt), Nene, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Kevin Seraphin

This team relies on Wall, and they'll struggle to score without him

21. Toronto Raptors (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, Landry Fields, Kyle Lowry

Key Subtractions: Jerryd Bayless

Best five: Kyle Lowry, Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields

Valanciunas underwhelmed in the Olympics, but he's still a rookie of the year candidate and they have a bit of depth now with Fields and keeping Jose Calderon.

22. Portland Trail Blazers (falling)

Key Pick-ups: JJ Hickson, Damian Lillard, Jared Jeffries

Key Subtractions: Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton

Best five: LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicholas Batum, Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, JJ Hickson(?)

A team that had a lot of depth two years ago suddenly looks thin. People like Lillard, but there's really no other scoring in Portland.

23. Golden State Warriors (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry

Key Subtractions: Dorrell Wright

Best five: Stephan Curry, Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Harrison Barnes

The talent is there. But it was also there last year, and they ended up as one of the worst teams in the league.

24. New Orleans Hornets (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Austin Rivers

Key Subtractions: Trevor Ariza

Best five: Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Austin Rivers

Not going to compete this year, but Davis looked solid in the Olympics and it'll be interesting to see how he'll change his game when he enters the NBA.

25. Detroit Pistons (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Andre Drummond, Corey Maggette, Kyle Singler

Key Subtractions: Ben Gordon

Best five: Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Corey Maggette, Tayshaun Prince

Getting Corey Maggettee is odd, and might prevent this from becoming Monroe's team like it should.

26. Sacramento Kings (staying the same)

Key Pick-ups: Aaron Brooks, Thomas Robinson

Key Subtractions: None

Best five: Tyreke Evans, Demarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Isaiah Thomas, John Salmons

They have more depth than last year, but it's becoming increasingly clear that Evans isn't a No. 1 player on a contender

27. Houston Rockets (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Jeremy Lin, Royce White, Terrence Jones, Jon Leuer, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lamb

Key Subtractions: Kyle Lowry, Louis Scola, Chase Budinger, Samuel Dalembert

Best five: Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Jon Leuer, Royce White

This team is weird. We trust their GM Daryl Morey a ton, but the roster just looks like a mess right now.

28. Phoenix Suns (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Goran Dragic, Kendall Marshall, Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson, Luis Scola

Key Subtractions: Steve Nash

Best five: Goran Dragic, Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola, Jared Dudley, Kendall Marshall

Scola was a nice pick-up, and Marshall is a good point guard of the future, but they don't have the talent or depth to compete now.

29. Orlando Magic (falling)

Key Pick-ups: Gustavo Ayon, Al Harrington, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic

Key Subtractions: Ryan Anderson

Best five: Aaron Afflalo, Hedo Turkoglu, Big Baby Davis, Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick

The cupboard is really, really empty.

30. Charlotte Bobcats (rising)

Key Pick-ups: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon, Brendan Haywood, Ramon Sessions

Key Subtractions: Corey Maggette

Best five: MKG, Ben Gordon, Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions

Still bad, but finally beginning to turn it around.

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