NBA POWER RANKINGS: Where Every Team Stands Going Into The Season

The NBA season begins Tuesday night when Derrick Rose makes his return against the Heat.

Going into the season there are five clear title contenders, a handful of intriguing teams, and a BUNCH of franchises that are banking on the loaded 2014 NBA Draft.

To make our preseason power rankings we used our own offseason grades, the SCHOENE advanced statistics prediction model, and 2012-13 results.

30. Phoenix Suns (15th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 15th in West

Thing to know: They have four picks in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft.

29. Orlando Magic (15th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B+

SCHOENE prediction: 15th in East

Thing to know: They didn't re-sign any free agents and they're going to experiment with Victor Oladipo at point guard.

28. Philadelphia 76ers (9th in East last year)

Offseason grade: A-

SCHOENE prediction: 14th in West

Thing to know: Top pick Nerlens Noel probably won't play this year, which is just fine for the team.

27. Boston Celtics (7th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 13th in East

Thing to know: It sounds like Rajon Rondo is going to go the Derrick Rose route and not play until he's 100% healthy. That means more losses for Boston.

26. Charlotte Bobcats (14th in East last year)

Offseason grade: D

SCHOENE prediction: 11th in East

Thing to know: The preseason buzz on Cody Zeller is really positive, which is surprising.

25. Utah Jazz (9th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 13th in West

Thing to know: They got nothing for Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, but now we'll get a chance to see if their young big men are actually good.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (8th in East last year)

Offseason grade: D

SCHOENE prediction: 12th in East

Thing to know: They had to cancel a preseason game because the floor was too slick. Not the best start to the post-Jennings/Ellis era!

23. Sacramento Kings (13th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 11th in East

Thing to know: The loss of Tyreke Evans might actually make them better.

22. Los Angeles Lakers (7th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B-

SCHOENE prediction: 12th in West

Thing to know: Surprise, surprise, Kobe should be back well ahead of schedule.

21. Toronto Raptors (10th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B+

SCHOENE prediction: 8th in East

Thing to know: They might be decent, but keep in mind that new GM Masai Ujiri isn't loyal to this roster and could make some trades for future assets.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers (13th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 9th in East

Thing to know: Andrew Bynum may or may not have added a ton of weight in the offseason, which is troubling.

19. Portland Trail Blazers (11th in West last year)

Offseason grade: A-

SCHOENE prediction: 10th in West

Thing to know: They'd be higher if it wasn't for CJ McCollum's injury.

18. Washington Wizards (12th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B (before Gortat trade)

SCHOENE prediction: 10th in East

Thing to know: So much depends on Bradley Beal's continued development. He's their most important player.

17. Denver Nuggets (3rd in West last year)

Offseason grade: F

SCHOENE prediction: 7th in West

Thing to know: They lost their best player (Andre Iguodala), coach (George Karl), and GM (Masai Ujiri) this offseason.

16. Detroit Pistons (11th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B+

SCHOENE prediction: 5th in East

Thing to know: This is a great League Pass team. Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond are all involved -- anything can happen.

15. New Orleans Pelicans (14th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B-

SCHOENE prediction: 11th in West

Thing to know: There's a chance that the Jrue Holliday, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon experiment is a flaming disaster. But there's also a chance Anthony Davis becomes an All-Star.

14. Atlanta Hawks (6th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B+

SCHOENE prediction: 6th in East

Thing to know: The most consistently mediocre team in the NBA looks destined to retain that title as Paul Millsap replaces Josh Smith.

13. Dallas Mavericks (10th in West last year)

Offseason grade: D

SCHOENE prediction: 8th in West

Thing to know: We were probably too harsh with our offseason grade back in July. This team still has Dirk, and the last time they brought in free agents that people thought were kind of 'meh,' they won the NBA title.

12. Minnesota Timberwolves (12th in West last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 5th in West

Thing to know: FINALLY, a full season of healthy Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.

11. New York Knicks (2nd in East last year)

Offseason grade: B-

SCHOENE prediction: 7th in East

Thing to know: This team won 50+ games last year and most of the same pieces are still there. A lot will depend on Mike Woodson's willingness to use the types of small lineups that worked last year.

10. Houston Rockets (8th in West last year)

Offseason grade: A

SCHOENE prediction: 3rd in West

Thing to know: They have all the makings of a juggernaut. But we need to see them do it for a few weeks because we put them in the NBA's top tier.

9. Brooklyn Nets (4th in East last year)

Offseason grade: A

SCHOENE prediction: 3rd in East

Thing to know: They might have the best bench in the league.

8. Golden State Warriors (6th in West last year)

Offseason grade: A-

SCHOENE prediction: 9th in West

Thing to know: Mark Jackson has a tough job ahead of him with all the potential lineup variations. But that is a #firstworldproblem. This team is still loaded.

7. Indiana Pacers (3rd in East last year)

Offseason grade: A-

SCHOENE prediction: 4th in East

Thing to know: They could very well have knocked off Miami with a better bench last year. They've added C.J. Watson, Luis Scola, Danny Granger, and Chris Copeland going into 2013-14.

6. Memphis Grizzlies (5th in West last year)

Offseason grade: C

SCHOENE prediction: 6th in West

Thing to know: They didn't add the perimeter scoring threat they needed to beat San Antonio or OKC, but they didn't lose enough to fall out of contention completely.

5. Los Angeles Clippers (4th in West last year)

Offseason grade: A

SCHOENE prediction: 2nd in West

Thing to know: They're going to be terrifying offensively, but frontcourt depth is a big issue.

4. Chicago Bulls (5th in East last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 2nd in East

Thing to know: Mike Dunleavy is the best two-guard Derrick Rose has played with.

3. San Antonio Spurs (2nd in West last year)

Offseason grade: B

SCHOENE prediction: 1st in West

Thing to know: Kawhi Leonard's increased production should offset whatever they lose from Manu Ginobili.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder (1st in West last year)

Offseason grade: C

SCHOENE prediction: 4th in West

Thing to know: Replacing Kevin Martin's points is a huge issue, but people forget that this was a 60-win team before Russell Westbrook got hurt.

1. Miami Heat (1st in East last year)

Offseason grade: C

SCHOENE prediction: 1st in East

Thing to know: Still a juggernaut. Whether or not they three-peat is up to the health of Dwyane Wade and the productivity of Chris Anderson.

Now see a guy who's fighting to come back as soon as possible

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