Ranking all 30 teams in the NBA: Where do the Boston Celtics rank?

With most of the free agency signings and big-name trades in the rear view mirror, it's time to evaluate the current NBA landscape. This is a way-too-early ranking of all 30 teams in the NBA.
The Boston Celtics are the class of the NBA
The Boston Celtics are the class of the NBA / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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No. 15: Golden State Warriors

While the Golden State fans mourned the death of the “Splash Brothers,” Mike Dunleavy Jr. acquired one of the league’s most prolific three-point shooters, Buddy Hield, to replace Klay Thompson.

The Warriors made a concerted effort last season to prioritize the development of 21-year-old Jonathan Kuminga, who has the potential to become a linchpin of this offense — if he improves his three-point shooting. The key will be Draymond Green, who missed 27 games last season.

If Green can eliminate the rough-housing (to put it mildly), then the Warriors have the potential to once again be a 50-win team.  

No. 14: New Orleans Pelicans 

With the acquisition of Dejounte Murray, David Griffin has assembled one of the strongest rosters in the NBA. The two most important questions for the Pelicans are: will the Pelicans deal Brandon Ingram and can Zion Williamson be healthy when they need him most?

If Zion Williamson is healthy for an entire season, the Pelicans’ potential is limitless. 

No. 13: Miami Heat

How will Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, and Jimmy Butler move forward after such a tumultuous offseason?

The Heat won 46 games last season, despite Butler missing 22 games and Tyler Herro missing 40. Having Terry Rozier for a full season will be instrumental in the Heat’s success going forward. If Butler and Herro can play for the majority of the season, the Heat are sure to experience a return to form. 

No. 12: Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings won 46 games last season without DeMar DeRozan, who they acquired from the Chicago Bulls. Can the duo of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox finally win 50 games with the addition of DeRozan or will their lack of size on the wing hinder them?

Are DeRozan and Monk slightly redundant? The answers to these questions are the margins that separate 45 and 52-win teams and true contenders. 

No. 11: Orlando Magic 

The Orlando Magic spent an entire decade rebuilding. Finally, they’ve found a dynamic duo of their own. Paolo Banchero’s age belies his extraordinary poise.

If Franz Wagner can become a reliable three-point shooter (again), he’ll effortlessly average more than 20 points per game. Neither player is 23 years old, yet. The future is bright for the Magic. 

No. 10: Indiana Pacers 

I am a firm believer that continuity is king. The Pacers acquired Pascal Siakim from the Toronto Raptors last January, shortly after Tyrese Haliburton strained his hamstring. Haliburton’s strained hamstring lingered long after his return, ultimately resurfacing during the Eastern Conference Finals, causing the star point guard to miss Games 3 and 4.

Still, Andrew Nembhard shined in the postseason, and T.J. McConnell became an overnight sensation for the Pacers late in the season. If this unit can play an entire season together, they’ll find themselves in the conversation with some of the East’s heaviest hitters. 

No. 9: Milwaukee Bucks

Conventional wisdom would say that anyone with stock in the Milwaukee Bucks should sell now. Khris Middleton’s health is always in question, Damian Lillard is a depreciating asset, and the supplementary parts aren’t ideal.

Still, this franchise is still headlined by one of the 35 greatest basketball players of all time, Giannis Antetokounmpo. In deference to him, I’ll give the Bucks the respect they deserve. 

No. 8: Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies had 51 different starting lineups last season. Even though Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, and Marcus Smart all missed significant time, they still managed to win 27 games; more than Wembanyama and the Spurs.

For their trouble, they landed Purdue’s Zach Edey with the ninth pick in the draft — the first two-time Naismith College Player of the Year award winner since Ralph Sampson in 1983. In 2022-23, the Grizzlies were the second-best in the west, with 51 wins. In 2024-25, Ja Morant will remind us why they were so exemplary.