NBA Rankings Tier List


The NBA this year has been anything but normal and by far the weirdest season since the bubble. Teams that we thought would shine this year have yet to do so, and teams we thought would be tanked into the ground have exceeded many people’s expectations. The trade deadline also shook things up drastically and changed my reasoning for some rankings. These rankings are free of bias. The list is divided into different categories that span from “Championship teams” all the way down to teams that need Victor Wembanyama so unbelievably badly. I will also not be going into detail about every team in every ranking, especially the middle-tier ones where there are 10+ teams. So without further ado, here are the rankings:


“Buns”: Starting off with the buns ranking, I think it’s pretty obvious why these teams are here. Not really sure what to say about the Spurs other than moves need to be made. I do see a bit of a future with Vassell and Tre but other than that their roster is not deep at all. The Pistons literally lost their only good player to an injury, however as a result Bojan and Jalen Duren have shown spurts of greatness this year. Other than that though there really isn’t anything else to say about them. The Rockets are an interesting team this year and I do have a bit to say about them. The term AAU Team when used to describe them is actually pretty accurate. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. have yet to progress to an NBA level. Yes, they do score a lot and can get to the basket but they cannot win a game to save their life. The help is there as well with Alperen Sengun evolving into one of the better centers in the NBA. People use the term “Highlight Hoopers” to describe Green and Porter Jr. and if you watch the way they play, you can agree. The future for the Rockets could be bright, but certain players need to “grow up” before that happens.

“Buns but better than those guys”: This tier is also a little weird but pretty agreeable on where these teams stand. The Hornets are bad, but it looks as if Melo has taken that next step that other players in his draft class have yet to take. I also like Terry and Gordon too but other than that there really isn’t that much depth left in the squad. Also, the loss of the Plumlord is a sad one. The Magic suck. I have no idea how the Hawks are where they are right now record-wise. The Dejounte trade was great for them and they have star talent in multiple players. I do see an improvement for them coming by the end of the season but they’re likely lottery-bound. I had very high hopes for the Pels coming into this year. Star talent across the board, but injuries have put this team as a possible play-in team. It’s not too late for them to turn their season around, but Zion will need to bounce back harder than ever in order for that to happen. Other than that the Pels are a mediocre team right now and I honestly have no idea what will happen with them in the postseason. The Lakers are so bad. I think a pretty accurate comparison for them would be to the Denver Broncos this year. Basically, the oldhead squad that you thought would be unstoppable, but can’t keep up with the new guys now. The recent acquisition of Deangelo Russel has worked well for them so far, but the atrocious first half of the season they had will likely send them to the lottery.

Idk/Rebuild: Definitely the weirdest tier of them all. I had a tough time with a lot of teams in this tier trying to put them higher or lower but just couldn’t bring myself to put a team with such a bright future like the Thunder in the same tier as the Hornets or other things like that. I won’t be going over all the teams in this tier as there are just so many but I will try and go over the most interesting teams. The Raptors are a weird team this year. I understand it’s not the same team with prime Pascal when they won it all, but key components are still there. We have seen them compete with most teams they have played and rarely get blown out. FVV is also having a phenomenal year along with previous ROTY Scottie Barnes. I really don’t want to write this team off just yet but the chances of them making the playoffs this year are not looking too great if we’re being honest. On to the Wizards. I was initially going to write them off as likely a make-or-break team that is going to break but as I was writing that they acquired Russel Westbrook for whatever reason. I’m excited to see how this pans out for him after the disaster of a season he was having In LA and wasn’t exactly a great fit for the Jazz either in the one game he played there. However, if there is a fit left for him anywhere in the NBA it’s here. Playing with two oldhead legends, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George may just save this team’s year. Yes, the superteam thing usually does bust more often than not, but something about this one feels different. I think a Clips and Suns Western Conference Finals might break the NBA and I’m all for it. Another team I really like in this tier is the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey are OKC legends in the making. Too bad everyone else on that team sucks. They might have one of the worst defenses in the league or at least this year. I do believe that if they get rim protector like Evan Mobley out of this next draft or any trades then OKC could be a real threat but until then that young team will keep getting better. One more team I want to talk about real quick is the Bulls. I truly believe that if Lonzo could play the Bulls would be a top 3 team in the league. All the talent is there in players like Demar and Zach Lavine. They even have a pretty good center in Nikola Vuceciv. Lonzo would have been that final piece that pushed them over the edge into playoff contention. However, the season isn’t over yet due to the ever-widening skill gap in the East. I am an honorary Bulls fan just because of Demar and would love to see a playoff run out of them, but lottery-bound is the most likely outcome for them. 


Alr: Another weird tier These are all the teams I think could make a decent playoff run. To start things off, the only reason I don’t have the Suns higher is that we haven’t seen them play with Kevin Durant yet. I am sure it will be an improvement to the JV squad they had running around Christmas time with no Book or CP3. This squad on paper should be pretty unstoppable as well with an emerging star in Deandre Ayton down low. I’m excited to see them in full health. Probably gonna skip over Memphis just because they’re boring and their offense is crazy one-dimensional. I love the Mavs. I love the move they made to get Kyrie because they had to do something with how the season was panning out. Luka having another MVP-caliber season with a losing record is obnoxious at this point and getting one of the best ball handlers in the league was exactly the help he needed. Kyrie also really showed out in the All-Star game so that was exciting for Mavs fans. Although it might take the two a couple more games to figure it out, this move is one that may save the Mavs and Luka’s seasons giving them a decent chance at a playoff run. I hate the Warriors and for once they look kind of bad. The Curry injury obviously explains the mediocracy, but even with him, they have been a very middle-of-the-road team all year defense and offense-wise. 

Good: All the teams in this tier I could see making a very deep playoff run I’ll start with the Sixers since everyone seems to like them besides me. The Joel and beard duo is one that is unmatched. James will never be his prime self again but what he’s doing right now is plenty enough for a Sixers playoff run. Tyrese Maxey is also a walking bucket and a scary third man to add to that squad, I could see them going to a game 7 even with someone like the Celtics. I also would love to talk about the Cavs this year. It only took them 5 years to completely rebuild into a contending team. I can also see them making a deep playoff run, but they feel like a heartbreaking Eastern Conference Finals loss to me. Maybe even taking it to game 7. The only experience on the team right now is Donovan Mitchell and he’s only 26 if that tells you something. Although it might not be this year, I can bright future for this young squad. I can’t believe I even threw the Kings in here, to be honest. With Fox and Sabonis having All-Star seasons, it’s entirely possible for them to make a run in the playoffs, even if it’s short-lived. This team can also shoot when their hot and go endgame with most teams they play. Light the beam!!

Chip: Honestly there’s not much left to talk about with these three teams as they’re all pretty similar. Each team has its own MVP candidate and an unmatched depth to the squad. They also have a mix of young and old players with the experience needed for the playoffs. I want to say the Nuggets are probably the best team in this category but I don’t think I can rank them until I see them play after the break.