Before we get to the rankings, we need to go over how we came to our decision. This week, I (@kainzd) am riding solo for the column – I’ll have fellow contributors back next week. This week I will focus more on the trade deadline rather than why each team is ranked where they are. Without further ado, here are Dig In Denver’s Week 18 NBA Power Rankings
**Team records include all games through Monday, February 20th**
1. Golden State Warriors (Last week: 1)
The Warriors don’t seem to be too active heading into the trade deadline, but do they really need to be?
2. San Antonio Spurs (Last week: 2)
The Spurs are having an amazing season (per usual) but don’t seem to have the firepower to have many people thinking they can take down the Warriors in a playoff series.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last week: 3)
The Cavaliers’ immediate future looks murky with Kevin Love out 6-8 weeks. Rumors are starting to surface that they may look to move Iman Shumpert to hopefully upgrade his position. P.S. The Earth definitely isn’t flat.
5. Boston Celtics (Last week: 5)
The Celtics were reportedly not very interested in trading for Boogie – are they saving their Brooklyn picks to make a run at Jimmy Butler?
6. Utah Jazz (Last week: 6)
The Jazz don’t seem too involved in many trade talks and look to be happy with the team they have. If they do make a move, look for it to be small.
7. Washington Wizards (Last week: 8)
The Wizards are reportedly trying to be active at the trade deadline. They have been playing extremely well as of late, but their bench needs some major help.
8. Los Angeles Clippers (Last week: 9)
The (re)emergence of Blake Griffin has the Clippers playing well recently, winning their last 4 games. Can they hold everything together until CP3 gets back from injury? The Carmelo Anthony trade rumors have cooled down a bit and many think he will be staying in New York.
9. Memphis Grizzlies (Last week: 7)
The Grizzlies are 7-3 in their last 10, but don’t seem to be involved in many trade talks as the deadline nears.
10. Atlanta Hawks (Last week: 10)
The Hawks are still reportedly no longer interested in trading Paul Millsap, but look for them to at least make one more move before the deadline.
11. Toronto Raptors (Last week: 11)
The Raptors made their big deal to grab Serge Ibaka last week, which should help improve their team. The Cavaliers look vulnerable, so look for the Raptors to try and add one more piece.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (Last week: 12)
Kevin Durant threw a lob to Russell Westbrook in the All-Star game, and the West bench loved it. On a serious note, the Thunder are looking to add another piece before the deadline to help with the loss of Enes Kanter.
13. Indiana Pacers (Last week: 13)
The Pacers are reportedly looking to add another piece to play alongside Paul George before the deadline. Here’s to hoping they can’t find one and deal PG13 to the Nuggets.
14. Chicago Bulls (Last week: 15)
The Bulls have reportedly flip-flopped internally several times over the last couple weeks on their willingness to move Jimmy Butler.
15. Denver Nuggets (Last week: 14)
The Nuggets are a team that a lot of people will be watching as the deadline nears. Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried and even Emmanuel Mudiay all look to be available for the right price.
16. Detroit Pistons (Last week: 16)
The Pistons seem to be in turmoil and have reportedly been shopping Reggie Jackson.
17. New Orleans Pelicans (Last week: 23)
This says it all. Boogie and the Brow (Wouldn’t this be a great name for a sitcom?) look to overtake the Nuggets for the 8th seed out West.
18. Milwaukee Bucks (Last week: 19)
The Bucks have had tough luck this season, with Khris Middleton and now Jabari Parker both being out for an extended period of time. The bright side? Giannis showed some athleticism during the All-Star game
19. Miami Heat (Last week: 20)
You can never count Pat Riley out before a trade deadline, but the Heat don’t look to be major players this time around.
20. Charlotte Hornets (Last week: 17)
The Hornets had bigger aspirations for this season, and made a small deal with the Bucks previously. They need some more help to get to where they hoped to be before the season started.
22. Dallas Mavericks (Last week: 22)
The Mavericks have reportedly been shopping Andrew Bogut, but other than that don’t look to be major players before the deadline.
23. New York Knicks (Last week: 21)
The Knicks are an interesting deadline team even if you discount Carmelo Anthony. Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, and/or Joakim Noah could be valuable assets for certain teams.
24. Philadelphia 76ers (Last week: 24)
Most people still see Jahlil Okafor being dealt before the deadline, although the team everyone thought he was going to decided to make a different deal over the weekend.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves (Last week: 25)
The Timberwolves are an interesting deadline team as well. There have been reports that Ricky Rubio is available, but the Wolves have been pretty quiet about their potential plans.
26. Sacramento Kings (Last week: 26)
The Kings flip-flopped all weekend and finally made the deal to get DeMarcus Cousins out of town.
27. Orlando Magic (Last week: 27)
The Magic seem to be in disarray and re-rebuilding.
28. Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: 28)
The Lakers reportedly were in the running for Boogie, but balked at the idea of including 19 year old Brandon Ingram in on the deal.
29. Phoenix Suns (Last week: 29)
The Suns could move off of Brandon Knight, but look to be nothing more than sellers at the deadline this year.
30. Brooklyn Nets (Last week: 30)
Brook Lopez deserves to be on a better team. Make it happen, Brooklyn.