UPDATE: Blazers No. 6 in ESPN.com Future Power Rankings
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  1. caseyholdahl
    Posts: 246

    Posted 08/03/2010 10:29 AM

    John Hollinger and Chad Ford have put together their Future Power Rankings, which you've probably been reading over the past two days, assuming you have ESPN Insider that is. Hollinger and Ford use a system in which points are awarded to each team in the categories of Players, Management, Money, Market and Draft. Teams with the most points are determined to have the brightest three-year future.

    The rankings are being released in reverse order. Here's 26-30 (Cleveland, that's gotta hurt), 21-25, 16-20 (thought the Wiz would be higher with Wall and new ownership) and 11-15 (Kings at 12? Phulease!). I'm not going to put the list up since it's Insider content, but what I will do is tell you what teams have NOT made the list yet, meaning that they're in the Top 10. In no particular order ...

    Portland Trail Blazers
    L.A. Lakers
    Miami Heat
    Oklahoma City Thunder
    Houston Rockets
    Orlando Magic
    Utah Jazz
    Chicago Bulls
    Denver Nuggets
    San Antonio Spurs

    As you can see, four of the five teams in the Northwest Division are in the Top 10. Best NBA division much?

    So how do you think the Top 10 is going to shake out? Where do the Blazers end up? Any teams you're surprised by? Personally, I think it's a bit bullish to have the Rockets in the Top 10, but a big market and a smart management team must be lifting their score.

    Here's how I think the Top 10 ends up. Remember, this is how I think Hollinger and Ford will rank it, not necessarily how I would rank it.

    10) Spurs: Team is aging, but they're front office is arguable the best in all of sports. Not much of a market and not exactly big spending, but they're got their track record alone gets them in the Top 10.

    9) Rockets: Not exactly an exciting team from a roster perspective, especially if Yao continues to be dogged by foot problems, but one of the largest markets and Whiz kid Morey make up the difference.

    8) Jazz: They suffered a bit of poaching this offseason, but Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan along with a supportive fanbase make up for the lack of spending and a roster that is in a bit of flux.

    7) Bulls: People seem a bit gaga about the Bulls. Derrick Rose is great and the team is certainly improving, but I look at that roster and I don't see what everyone else is so excited about. Then again, I'm not a huge Carlos Boozer fan. To be honest, I can't figure how they made the Top 10, but maybe it was the Oprah factor. She's got juice.

    6) Nuggets: Denver seems to me like a team that has maxed out. Granted, their max is pretty dang good, but I don't see a lot of room for growth. What they do have going for them is upcoming salary cap flexibility. According to HoopsHype, Denver will have only $36 million in salary to pay out come the 2011-12 season, and $14 million of that is a team option on Chauncey Billups, so they may be able to add some legit talent in a year or so. Then again, if Carmelo declines his player option and looks to pull a LeBron, the Nuggets are screwed for the foreseeable future. These guys could go either way.

    5) Trail Blazers: Replacing KP with Rich Cho, a favorite of the statgeek set in which Hollinger is a hardcore devotee , probably earned us some points in the management department. Mr. Allen is willing to spend, so that helps our score. We're a above average when it comes to the draft, and we still have a solid roster with maturing talent. Top 5!

    4) Magic: Dwight Howard is still young, Otis Smith is an underrated executive and they've shown over the past few years that they're willing to go deep into luxury tax territory to field a championship contender. On the flip side, Orlando isn't much of a market, but that's really the only negative they're got to deal with.

    3) Thunder: Kevin Durant. That's pretty much nuff' said, but factor in a respective managment group headed by Sam Presti, salary flexibility (at least for a few more years), a young, stacked roster, and an interested fanbase gets OKC up at the top. Don't kill the messenger folks.

    2) Lakers: Kobe has to slow down over the next 3 years, but the Lakers make bank even when they go well past the luxury tax threshold, so they'll always be players. Best market in the NBA, lots of talent, albeit aging, and a stable managment group keep the Lake Show near the top.

    1) Heat: No need to go over this. Juwan Howard gets you the top spot.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 08/03/2010 10:47 AM

    Spurs and Rockets shouldn't have even sniffed the top 10 for their future rankings. San Antonio's core is all over 30 and Parker is pushing it, and it's not like they have been durable either. They'll be lucky to finish higher than 7/8th this year. Yao is turning 30 this season and he's one of the most injury prone players in the league. Also, the Nuggets made the Top 10, really? Hmm, that's a huge head-scratcher for me. Kenyon is on the verge of breaking down, Birdman peaked 2 years ago, and Billups, the real MVP of that team, is really showing signs of aging. While Melo is a great scorer, he has proven he can't carry a team by himself for long periods of time.

    My Top 5:

    5- Trail Blazers- Would be surefire top 2 if Oden were healthy

    4- Bulls- Love Derrick Rose. Noah is proving to be a hot commodity and Boozer finally gives them some low-post scoring. Would have been #1 or #2 had they locked up a shooting guard in free agency.

    3- Magic- While I believe Dwight is slightly overrated, he's still the best center in the league and has proven how durable he is, something rare from 7 footers, so as long as he's in the mic, Orlando will always contend for the Eastern crown.

    2- Thunder- This pains me to type, but Durant is a monster. Now I don't think he should have been in MVP talks last year, because he has disappeared down the stretch, but he is still only 21-22 years old and only getting better. Again, Portland is the better team right now, even without Oden, but in the future, if Oden can't stay healthy, OKC will be the team to beat out West this decade.

    1- Heat- Their Big 3 is all around 26 years old and have at least 5-6 more seasons of prime ball to play with. It could be the first modern dynasty since the 90's Bulls.

    LA is on the cusp of the top 5 for me, but I think Kobe is just about done (anyone watch that Finals? It sure wasn't him who won it for LA) and once he's gone, the team goes down the drain. Bynum doesn't strike me as a player you can build your future around.
    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 08/03/2010 10:53 AM

    Blazers X 10

    there can be only one
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 08/03/2010 11:23 AM

    How THEIR top 10 will look

    10- Spurs
    9-  Jazz
    8-  Nuggets
    7-  Rockets
    6-  Bulls
    5-  Trail Blazers
    4-  Lakers
    3-  Magic
    2-  Thunder
    1-  Heat

    MY Top 10-

    10- Jazz
    9-  Kings
    8-  Bucks
    7-  Rockets
    6-  Lakers
    5-  Bulls
    4-  Magic
    3-  Thunder
    2-  Trail Blazers
    1-  Heat
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Keo
    Posts: 3

    Posted 08/03/2010 8:42 PM

    My Top 10:

    10. Celtics: This is a tough team that plays with a lot of intensity and is well coached. For these reasons they'll show up in the playoffs like they always do. People counted them out last year and they went to the Finals. I'm not counting them out for at least one more year.

    9. Bulls: Derrick Rose is an electrifying talent. I like Carlos Boozer because he's one of those "skilled big men" we don't see that much of any more, but I'm not too big on him. This is a top 10 team but not one with enough of the right pieces to make a lot of noise.

    8. Mavericks: They made a great trade last year to get tougher with Butler and Haywood. Throw in a healthy Tyson Chandler and I think we'll see a Dallas team with a chance to erase their playoff woes...to some extent.

    7. Jazz: They have a great point guard in Deron Williams, a very good big man in Al Jefferson and some question marks. I'm not sold on this team as any sort of contender but they'll have another very respectable year.

    6. Nuggets: They'll have another very strong year with the same result.

    5. Blazers: I might be Greg Oden's biggest believer and he's back. Big men are extremely valuable especially when they have the potential to be so dominant. Not to mention everyone else is healthy again and will hopefully stay that way. Windows are starting to close for a lot of teams, ours is just opening.

    4. Thunder: They surprised everyone with their huge leap last year and they're only going to get better. I feel bad for Seattle, this should be their team.

    3. Magic: I think losing Turkoglu a couple seasons ago is going to hurt them. Right now they have a bunch of players that can score, but they need that crafty playmaker who's going to get them the ball and make clutch shots; something Vince Carter can't do anymore at this stage of his career. They're still a contender in the east.

    2. Heat: The greatest off-season in the history of sports will get them a #2  spot until they prove themselves on the court. I still like them to win the championship, but for now, the 2x defending champs are on top.

    1. Lakers: The Heat look great on paper but the Lakers are #1 until someone knocks them off. Plus they have everyone returning and have added Matt Barnes and Steve Blake who are going to be great role players for them.
  1. TayC
    Posts: 1804

    Posted 08/03/2010 9:23 PM

    I would like to say MIAMI at number one, but LA did win last year, Not so worried about Barnes, never really liked him anyway, and Steve Blake is just another gaurd in my opinion. However they do have the most dangerous man in the NBA, and its not Kobe Bean, Phil Jackson, looking to end his career with an infamous 3peat. 
    But i will tell you that the next 9 power rankings should all be Miami, haha.

    ---Celtics/Magic - pretty evenly matched teams year in/out
    ----No one has mention the ATL and the dirty birds. Strong fighters throughout the season, Joe Johnson will be making a $#!T-Load of money next year, maybe it will encourage him more.
    There are too many teams who have made changes this year, and too many teams that have yet to make changes, too early to give a for sure line up. I really like Memphis' roster i would like them to rank higher, and Milwaukee surprised everyone last year by clinching. If more players end up in NY with Amare, then you can count them in, along with chicago's new half Bulls, half Jazz roster, but ill bet that whatever team TMac ends up on, they will be in the playoffs.

    But the only ones i have so far are.
    I am a fan of The Blazers ♂, the £-Train, and of course, The ¤ King. ™
  1. Bertram
    Posts: 803

    Posted 08/04/2010 12:50 AM

    I still can't put Heat over the Celtics and Lakers. Or Thunder over the Magics.
    I am a fan of B-Roy and LaMonster!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 08/04/2010 4:05 PM

    These are future rankings, so in 3 years will Kobe really be able to fend off LeBron, Wade, and Bosh? Boston is another team not built for the future either as Pierce, KG, and Ray are all well into their mid-30's and only Rondo and Big Baby to build around.
    I am a fan of
  1. Keo
    Posts: 3

    Posted 08/04/2010 6:08 PM

    I didn't realize this was a 3-year future list I thought it was just for next season. I guess I should have read the entire introduction.
  1. TayC
    Posts: 1804

    Posted 08/04/2010 7:31 PM

    Posted By Bertram on 08/04/2010 12:50 AM
    I still can't put Heat over the Celtics and Lakers. Or Thunder over the Magics.

    Watch the game opening day then.ha
    I am a fan of The Blazers ♂, the £-Train, and of course, The ¤ King. ™
  1. caseyholdahl
    Posts: 246

    Posted 08/05/2010 9:27 AM

    Hollinger and Ford came out with their final future power rankings, in which the Trail Blazers are No. 6. Seems fair, but Houston all the way up at No. 5? The Bulls at No. 6? The Magic, with a pretty young roster and one year removed from a trip to the NBA Finals, BELOW us at No. 7? Craziness.
    I am a fan of
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 08/05/2010 10:47 AM

    Not a fan of Houston being above us. Although we both have injury prone centers, we have proven we are capable of winning without ours while they are a lottery team without Yao. Given that Greg is about 8 years younger than Ming, I'll take my chances on him being healthier than Yao down the road.
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