DA's Morning Tip
DA's Morning Tip
DA's Morning Tip
DA's Morning Tip

DA's Top 15 Rankings: Familiar faces lead way as season begins

David Aldridge

David Aldridge TNT Analyst


Oct 24, 2016 10:21 AM ET

Draymond Green remains an important cog in the Warriors' high-powered machine.

David Aldridge gives you the preseason edition of which teams are the Top 15 squads in the NBA at this moment.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers: If you haven’t already parked your car downtown this morning, don’t bother.
  2. Golden State Warriors: Put it this way: there’s probably 27-28 other teams around the league that would love to have the “problem” the Warriors have with Draymond Green.
  3. L.A. Clippers: Now, or never.
  4. Toronto Raptors: Big loss for the Raptors with Jared Sullinger needing surgery. He was penciled in as the starter at power forward and they were hoping to utilize him in the post as well. He also was impressing already with how quickly he picked up their defense.
  5. San Antonio Spurs: Don’t think the Spurs are actively shopping Cousin LaMarcus. Pretty sure he’s still a big part of their future. But I also don’t think anyone save Kawhi Leonard in the post-Duncan era is a sacred cow and untradeable.
  6. Indiana Pacers: Pacers did not want to cut Jeremy Evans.
  7. Boston Celtics: Second-rounder Ben Bentil, cut last week, got caught in the C’s numbers game up front (Horford, Olynyk, Jerebko, Crowder, Brown). Someone smart will scarf him up quickly and get him in their program.
  8. Portland Trail Blazers: Shabazz Napier had a heck of a preseason. Think he’s earned some PT when the games start for real.
  9. Utah Jazz: Jazz can now talk extension with Derrick Favors, and it will be no surprise to see something come together rather quickly.
  10. Memphis Grizzlies:This is a really interesting piece on how new coach David Fizdale is trying to slowly break down the habits and philosophy of how the Grizzlies have played in the Grit-n-Grind era -- and how having a core group of Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph helps that transition.
  11. Detroit Pistons: Pressure on Ish Smith to deliver in the absence of Reggie Jackson if the Pistons are to get off to a good start.
  12. Charlotte Hornets: Nicolas Batum, fantasy b-ball stat-stuffer. You’re welcome.
  13. Dallas Mavericks: Argentinian 23-year-old swing man Nicolas Brussino finishes a great camp and preseason, showing he can shoot with range and will compete, to easily make the final roster.
  14. Houston Rockets: Rockets may talk brave now, but losing Pat Beverley for weeks is gonna sting.
  15. Atlanta Hawks: Dwight Howard gradually figuring out where he’ll get his touches in the Hawks’ offense. Hope is that Atlanta’s emphasis on moving the ball will get him less stressful looks.

More Morning Tip: 24 predictions for 2016-17 | When will NBA return to Seattle? | Q&A with Udonis Haslem

Longtime NBA reporter and columnist David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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