As the major free agent signings and head scratching transactions have been completed, it is a perfect time to rank the NBA as the Summer comes to a close. Many teams had fantastic summers, others not so great. Some odd signings, and surprising trades have occurred (I’m looking at you Detroit) around the NBA, which is bound to make for an exciting 2013-2014 season.
With the release of the 13-14 schedule, it gives us a better look at the possible marquee matchups, and who will struggle out of the gate, and who will thrive. The Eastern Conference looks to be leaps-and-bounds better than last year. From maturing young stars in Cleveland (Kyrie Irving) Detroit Piston big men (Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond), to offseason transactions that sent star players to up and coming franchises. Andrew Bynum to Cleveland, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to Detroit, Paul Milsap to Atlanta.
Along with the bottom half of the conference improving, the top five in the East have solidified their spots in the East. Brooklyn has drastically improved, trading for future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and the reigning champion Miami Heat signed former number one overall pick Greg Oden to a league minimum deal over the next two seasons.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have your tankers. That group includes the Philadelphia 76ers, who have done a tremendous job of doing so. Trading away their All-star point guard Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 draft pick. The Bobcats are in this category by default, even though they are desperately trying to get out of the cellar. Orlando, Boston, and Milwaukee are down at the bottom of the conference as well.
Now let’s break down the East!