We are back for the final part of the NBA Team Ranks, except this time I will be ranking the teams in the massively good, and highly competitive, Western Conference. Hope you guys enjoyed my team ranks for the Eastern Conference, and hope to discuss some basketball with everyone soon! The season begins in 14 days!

Just want to be flat out honest, the West was very hard to rank. There are SO MANY good teams this year. Literally had to scour over this one for 5-6 days before finally settling on what I felt was the right ranks. So, here… we go…

The West:

1.) DENVER NUGGETS– Originally, I had the Rockets here, won’t lie. I feel the Nuggets are going to be just as strong as they were last year, where they finished 2nd to the Warriors after a hell of a season. Well, guess what? The Nuggets didn’t lose anyone, and most of their younger guys who put in very good efforts last season are back with a year of experience under their belts. Guys like Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig are going to fuel this 2nd unit to be able to finish off games, and more so easier than we think. This team is just so deep, besides they have a rising star in Jamal Murray at the point, one, IF NOT THE BEST, stretch 5’s in the game today in Jokic, and they went out and grabbed up a very nice pick-up in Jerami Grant. I really look forward to watching this team play once again.

2.) HOUSTON ROCKETS– This will be the team to beat though, ladies and gents. New addition of Russ Westbrook, I hope everyone will be ready to see another duo both carry 30+% usage rates, because here it comes with Russ/Harden. This team is also very deep, especially at the guard spot in which is where the rockets make their money – 3-point land. They have Rivers, EGor, PJ Tucker (never seen a guy play 30+ mins and have less than a double-digit usage), and added the likes of Michael Frazier/Shamorie Ponds from the Draft, and even more guard depth in Ben McLemore. Not to mention, they went out and signed their guy Danuel House Jr. With a stable of bigs in Capela/Chandler/Nene, this team is going to be very tough to out-rebound, and out-score. Therefore, why the 1-2 choices here were very, very tough. Love this Rockets team this year. 

3.) UTAH JAZZ– This team bolstered its roster pretty much more than any squad in the West it seems as far as depth, and to be honest they really didn’t exactly “have to.” Utah came in as the 5-seed last season, and I really don’t think any of the top 4 seeds will want to see this team in the playoffs. Jazz added Bojan Bogdanovic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green, Ed Davis, oh and Mike Conley. Just let that sink in. To a team that already had Rudy, Don Mitch, and Joe Ingles. This team will be super nasty on the defensive side, and they added plenty of scoring depth as well. Look for this team to make a big run, ladies and gents.

4.) PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS– Portland grabs my 4-seed here. Dame and McCollum alone carried this team into the post-season last season, made a heck of a run at it and just fell a little short after having to face the Warriors after ousting the Thunder in the first round. As many of you have seen if you follow me, I am not as high on the Warriors this year, so I bump Portland up a bit. The Blazers made some decently key pick-ups during the off-season as well, grabbing up Kent Bazemore from the Hawks, Pau Gasol for C veteran depth, future NBA league-leading rebounding champ, Hassan Whiteside, and Mario Hezonja who can play multiple positions. Team has lots of draft talent as well in Anfernee Simons (2nd year—look for lots of playing time), London Perrantes, Nassir Little, and rookie big man, Moses Brown. Blazers will once again be in the thick of it in the West.

5.) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS– Part of me thinks I am a bit too high on the Clippers this year, even though they added Kawhi and PG13. They will be load managed for one. PG13 isn’t looking to be back until maybe Thanksgiving or later, that’s a big hit to start the season. However, they were already a damn good team. The Clips slid into the 8-seed last season behind the Spurs, and gave the Warriors just about all they wanted in the 1st round, WITHOUT these two studs. They still have an amazing core with Pat Bev, Landry Shamet, Ivica Zubac, Montrezl Harrel, Lou Williams, Mo Harkless, just to name a few. This team will be able to withstand the absence of PG13, and if Kawhi is on the floor, the sky seems to be the limit, as we saw what he did with a Toronto team last season that I for one, was not nearly as high on before the season. This team will be super salty once PG13 is back in the fold and healthy.

6.) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS– Sure I will get all kinds of hell for this, and maybe rightfully so, but sometimes you just must plant the flag. This is my flag this season, among others. I do not see the Warriors being able to sustain a huge winning season as they are load-managing Steph, and Dray, and you have Klay on the side-lines until who knows when? Sure, they went out and got DeAngelo Russell. He is no Klay. They went out and got Willie Cauley-Stein, he’s already looking to be out a month or more with a foot injury. It just doesn’t look like a championship caliber roster to be, and to be frank, not even a top 5 team in the West. Give me all the flack, I can handle it, but I think the Warriors are on the downside of their historic runs.

7.) LOS ANGELES LAKERS– Lakers should be decently good this year. Enough to make the playoffs and maybe make a run at it, even though with the position I have them at, they will likely be playing the Nuggets or the Rockets in the first round and this isn’t going to age well. The Lakers are another team that will be load-managed quite a bit with LBJ entering his ump-teen season, and AD about to hit the age of 30. They also added more veteran depth to the already all-2000s team in Rondo, with guys like Danny Green, Dwight Howard, and even Jared Dudley. They most definitely will not lack the veteran leadership, but I am just not sure this roster makes it out of the first round, even with LBJ/AD duo. However, AD will have a monster year, bros and brodettes.

8.) NEW ORLEANS PELICANS– This team is going to be a bit better than most expect. They have tons of young talent, a coach that is going to let them get up and run, and could lead the league in pace and transition offense. I have them edging out the Spurs in a tight playoff race for the 8-seed here. Just feel they have the roster to compete, and the Spurs really don’t. The block-buster trade that landed the Pels Lonzo, Ingram, Hart, will be a difference-maker for this season. Not only this, they also went out and got veteran big man Derrick favors, sharp-shooting veteran JJ Redick, and drafted studs in Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to add to a roster that already had Jrue Holiday, Kenrich Williams, Jahlil Okafor, and E-Twuan Moore. So, you see the depth. You see the talent. This roster is up-and-down good. Look for them to make a push and could even manage a 7-seed.

9.) SAN ANTONIO SPURS– Have the Spurs just falling out of playoff contention. I feel their roster is a bit old, with LMA, Rudy Gay, and even DeMar DeRozan all likely to get somewhat load-managed, and if anyone knows how Pop works, they will. LMA played way too much last season, and I don’t see that happening again this year. I think they will have a scrappy squad, but will likely just not have enough to fuel a playoff run. If anything, they slip into an 8-seed tie and likely ousted in the first round if they get there. Always must respect the Spurs since they have a great coach, usually very disciplined, and play great defense, but I just don’t see it this season. They will be good, but not near great. 

10.) SACRAMENTO KINGS– The Kings were one of the more improved teams last year, but just like most teams on the back-end of the Western Conference, will just not have enough star-power to make a big jump. Have the Kings essentially falling a bit behind how they finished last season, which was right outside the playoff hunt, even though they were still quite a few games back. The West literally just falls off quite a bit once you get to past the 10th seeds here. I really do like this Kings squad though, and they will be decent. Most of these younger guys are getting more and more experience, but as a team, they need more star-power. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield just isn’t going to cut it. They have really good players, that’s not the issue, they just don’t have anyone that they always can go-to in the clutch, and that’s what will be the flaw here. However, I love this team once again for DFS with guys like Fox, Hield, Bagley, Harry Giles, and Bogdanovic. 

11.) DALLAS MAVERICKS– The Mavs are my bet to be the most improved team in the West from last year, other than the Pelicans (obviously). I do have them winning a decent number of games, and I feel they could even push for a playoff spot. The West is just so damn deep, and I really like what the Mavs did in the offseason to get some more guys around stud Luka Doncic. Adding some good depth with Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, and Delon Wright. The bench will be quite decent, or I should say better than most benches down this back-end of the West with Seth Curry, Jalen Brunson, Justin Jackson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber. This team has decent depth, and I think they will be much better than last season.

12.) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER– Really not a whole lot to like about this team. I do think they will be decent, but not near the 6-seed they finished as last season. Traded off both stars in RWB and PG13, and also let go of Jerami Grant, in which these guys were really the only facets that allowed them to get where they were. Brought back in CP3, who I don’t really see being a great fit here in OKC, but I really did like the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pick-up in the PG13 trade. Adams will be an above-average Center once again now that he doesn’t have to fight RWB for rebounds as he goes for a triple-double every night, but I think this team is meh. Schroeder and SGA will also be good for DFS however. Not Gallinari may be worth a late-round sleeper pick in season-long drafts also.

13.) MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES– One team I really can’t get a feel for the Wolves. I just don’t really see them being that good. Their roster still lacks quite a bit. They should likely move on from Jeff Teague at some point, as he seems to really be the only “veteran” players other than KAT and Andrew Wiggins mainly left on this starting squad. They did go out and draft Jarrett Culver, which is a big plus and still have Robert Covington, who is a damn good defender and will add to the offense a small bit, but as far as the bench, I just can’t get behind it at all. Another team with lots of DFS implications, but that’s about all for me.

14.) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES– This team pretty much scrapped their vets, and are on a full youth-movement. I am here for it, but likely won’t exactly translate into winning ball games. Will they be hella-fun for fantasy? Oh yes, of course, but that’s about it. Tons of “tank” talk already as they continue to rebuild, and draft high-profile studs out of college. Look for that to continue for a couple years as they build up the roster from the ground up again. Love many parts of this team for fantasy however, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones, Josh Jackson (when recalled), and also Brandon Clarke. 

15.) PHOENIX SUNS– Once again, this team will likely be a dumpster fire. However, the pace and up-tempo transition should still bet there with the addition of Ricky Rubio to help facilitate. Booker will be a stud once again, really like the back-end of this roster with Oubre Jr., Ayton, and Mikal Bridges, and will likely have many of these guys in fantasy, but the reality of the matter is this is not a good basketball team. They will be fun to watch though, and great for fantasy purposes.