Ranking every NBA starting five; where do Sixers land?

Sixers Warriors Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Sixers Warriors Joel Embiid (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

. . Utah Jazz. 24. team. 118.

24. Jazz — Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler

There’s a strong chance Donovan Mitchell doesn’t start the season in Utah. If that ends up being the case, the Jazz will drop to the bottom of these rankings. For now, however, this remains a fairly competent starting five. Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic are strong secondary players, while Jarred Vanderbilt’s whirlwind defensive presence will help on the perimeter. Walker Kessler is a steep drop off from Rudy Gobert, but he was one of the best rim protectors in college basketball. He could prove at least adequate as a rookie.

. . Charlotte Hornets. 23. team. 170.

23. Hornets — LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, Mason Plumlee

The Hornets made no substantial additions in the offseason and could conceivably lose Miles Bridges due to legal trouble. It’s hard not to be pessimistic about Charlotte’s immediate and long-term future, even with LaMelo Ball leading the charge. Charlotte should have no trouble generating points, but there’s no reason to believe the defense will meaningfully improve, and last season made one thing clear: this team, as constructed, just doesn’t have what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Washington Wizards. 22. team. 142. . .

22. Wizards — Monte Morris, Bradley Beal, Deni Avdija, Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzinigs

Washington finally landed a competent point guard to pair with Bradley Beal, while Beal’s new partnership with Kristaps Porzingis could inject some excitement into the Wizards fanbase. This is a solid starting five — any Beal team will generate points, and the combination of Porzinigs’ shot-blocking and Deni Avdija’s stout wing defense could keep Washington competitive on that side of the ball. That said, the Wizards still feel like a team tethered to mediocrity with no clear path out. Top-10 pick Johnny Davis could assume a spot in the starting five sooner than later if he pans out.