Way too early NBA power rankings 2022-23

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

20. . . . Los Angeles Lakers. 18. team

NBA power rankings — 18. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have once again managed to field a less than inspiring group of players around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both of whom are spending more time each season on the sidelines, rather than on the court. More youth and the hope of better health is enough reason for mild optimism, but the Lakers just don’t feel like real contenders right now.

156. . . . Cleveland Cavaliers. 17. team

NBA power rankings — 17. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are on the upswing, led by an impressive young core of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley. With ample depth and an elite defensive ceiling, the Cavs should be right back in the playoffs mix. Injuries derailed last season, but with young legs and excellent chemistry, there’s reason to believe 2022-23 could yield big results.

. . Chicago Bulls. 16. team. 24.

NBA power rankings — 16. Chicago Bulls

Injuries held Chicago back last season. With Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in the mix, the Bulls showed the potential to field both a dynamic and unique defense, while also racking up the points on offense. DeMar DeRozan made the late-career jump to MVP contention, while Zach Lavine continued his steady growth as the franchise centerpiece. The Bulls are probably on the outside looking in when it comes to title contention, but there’s enough there to make noise in the Eastern Conference.