NBA Power Rankings: How the trade deadline and buyout market shake up the league hierarchy

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Why Jalen is picking the Heat as his favorites to win East (1:23)

Jalen Rose says the Heat's moves at the trade deadline are the reason he's picking them to win the East. (1:23)

The NBA trade deadline is in the books. How big of an impact did it have on our latest Power Rankings update?

Among the biggest deals of the deadline: Victor Oladipo joined the Miami Heat, Rajon Rondo joined the LA Clippers, Nikola Vucevic joined the Chicago Bulls and JJ Redick joined the Dallas Mavericks.

Trades are cool, but the buyout market has been where contenders are really rising to the top. In addition to signing Blake Griffin earlier this month, the Brooklyn Nets got another star in former San Antonio Spur LaMarcus Aldridge. The short-handed Los Angeles Lakers, who are without the injured LeBron James and Anthony Davis, signed former Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond on Sunday.

What does it all mean ahead of Week 15? Here's where our panel sees all 30 teams right now.

Note: Throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN's Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Dave McMenamin, Eric Woodyard, Royce Young and Ohm Youngmisuk) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14

1. Utah Jazz
2020-21 record: 34-11
Previous ranking: 2

The Jazz have snapped out of their midseason funk. After losing five of eight games, Utah has won five in a row, giving the Jazz the league's longest active winning streak again. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 31.6 points on .557/.513/.968 shooting splits during the winning streak. Sixth man Jordan Clarkson had been in a slump for most of the streak -- he's shooting 24.6% from the floor in the first four games -- but busted out of it with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting in Saturday's win over the Grizzlies. -- MacMahon

Key additions: None
Key departures: None

This week: CLE, @MEM, CHI, ORL


2. Brooklyn Nets
2020-21 record: 31-15
Previous ranking: 3

James Harden says he's the MVP, and of course, he has a case. It requires a bit of amnesia to forget what happened in Houston to begin the season, but in terms of his Nets stint, he's averaging 26-9-11 in 31 games on high efficiency and a record of 24-7. Many of those games have come without Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, a key component to Harden's case, because the rich keep getting richer with the Nets adding LaMarcus Aldridge over the weekend. -- Young

Key additions: Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge
Key departures: None

This week: MIN, HOU, CHA, @CHI


3. Philadelphia 76ers
2020-21 record: 32-14
Previous ranking: 1

Philly finally lost Saturday against the Clippers in Doc Rivers' first game back in L.A. against his former team. But the important news came before the game, with Joel Embiid and recently acquired guard George Hill both being cleared for on-court activities. If the Sixers had known they'd still be in first in the East when Embiid came back, they'd have been ecstatic; they still lead Brooklyn by a game and have a chance to do just that if he gets back in the lineup again soon. -- Bontemps

Key additions: George Hill
Key departures: Tony Bradley

This week: @DEN, @CLE, MIN, MEM


4. Phoenix Suns
2020-21 record: 31-14
Previous ranking: 4

It was a quick road trip for the Suns out east with four games in essentially five and a half days. After playing through the Florida portion of the trip on Tuesday (Miami), Wednesday (Orlando) and Friday (in Tampa against Toronto), Phoenix ended the week with a matinee win over Charlotte. The Suns maintained their hold on the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference but didn't make any moves at the deadline. Instead, they just scooped up Torrey Craig for cash considerations as a part of the P.J. Tucker-to-Milwaukee deal. In four games with Phoenix, Craig averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18.2 minutes a game while shooting 52.0% from the field and 45.5% from 3. -- Lopez

Key additions: Torrey Craig
Key departures: None

This week: ATL, CHI, OKC


5. LA Clippers
2020-21 record: 31-16
Previous ranking: 6

The Clippers had their best week of the season -- one that could determine how far they go in the playoffs. They halted the surging Hawks, swept two at San Antonio and spoiled Doc Rivers' return by beating Philadelphia to extend their winning streak to five. But the Clippers made a critical move by trading Lou Williams for Rajon Rondo and cleared two roster spots for possible key buyout additions by trading Mfiondu Kabengele. The Clippers hope Rondo addresses their greatest needs with leadership, basketball IQ and a championship-experienced point guard who can take the playmaking load off Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Terance Mann also has emerged as a key role player, averaging 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds this past week. -- Youngmisuk

Key additions: Rajon Rondo
Key departures: Lou Williams, Mfiondu Kabengele

This week: MIL, ORL, DEN, LAL


6. Milwaukee Bucks
2020-21 record: 29-16
Previous ranking: 5

After eight straight victories, the Bucks dropped two in a row this week to Boston and New York as reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo sat with a sprained left knee. His older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, stepped up with 23 points against the Knicks as the Bucks continue to try to work in their new pieces, including former Rocket P.J. Tucker. -- Woodyard

Key additions: P.J. Tucker, Rodions Kurucs, Jeff Teague
Key departures: Torrey Craig, D.J. Augustin, D.J. Wilson

This week: @LAC, @LAL, @POR, @SAC


7. Denver Nuggets
2020-21 record: 28-18
Previous ranking: 8

With the Lakers limping toward the postseason, the Nuggets saw their opening and made arguably the league's biggest trade deadline move by adding Aaron Gordon. Gordon gives Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray another versatile and athletic above-the-rim scoring option. He also provides the Nuggets with more muscle to throw at LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs. JaVale McGee returns to Denver to provide rim protection, championship experience and another big body to throw at Davis. The moves also take pressure off Michael Porter Jr., who has been shooting lights out for over a month. -- Youngmisuk

Key additions: Aaron Gordon, JaVale McGee, Gary Clark
Key departures: Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, Isaiah Hartenstein

This week: PHI, @LAC, ORL


8. Los Angeles Lakers
2020-21 record: 30-17
Previous ranking: 7

It was a terrible week for L.A. -- LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain; the team went on a four-game skid; the front office struck out on a trade for Kyle Lowry which revealed that things aren't going so smoothly with Dennis Schroder, the Lakers' supposed point guard of the future -- but it ended with some great news for the franchise. Andre Drummond, perhaps the best player to hit the buyout market this March, picked the Lakers. When James and Anthony Davis return from their injuries, Drummond could be the difference in getting L.A. back up the mountain this postseason. -- McMenamin

Key additions: Andre Drummond
Key departures: Damian Jones

This week: MIL, @SAC, @LAC


9. Portland Trail Blazers
2020-21 record: 28-18
Previous ranking: 9

The addition of Norman Powell is an interesting one for the Blazers. They are clearly in search of a two-way upgrade and defensive versatility to complement Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but it also opens the door for small-ball lineups with Robert Covington playing the 4. As Portland gets healthy and its depth has been reinforced, it has the look of a dangerous group that might be a bigger playoff threat than some are giving the Blazers credit for. -- Young

Key additions: Norman Powell
Key departures: Rodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr.

This week: @DET, MIL, OKC


10. Dallas Mavericks
2020-21 record: 23-21
Previous ranking: 10

The Mavs are prioritizing protecting the health of their young franchise cornerstones over avoiding the play-in scenario, opting to rest Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis for part of back-to-backs since the All-Star break. Dallas is 5-5 since the break, with Doncic and/or Porzingis sitting out three of the losses, and the Mavs have slipped to 3.5 games behind the sixth seed. The Mavs are 1-4 this season in games missed by Doncic, who sat out Friday due to lower back tightness and was supposed to play Saturday before being sidelined by a non-COVID illness. -- MacMahon

Key additions: JJ Redick
Key departures: James Johnson, Wes Iwundu

This week: @OKC, @BOS, @NYK, @WAS


11. San Antonio Spurs
2020-21 record: 23-20
Previous ranking: 12

San Antonio's new starting lineup of Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl has been a net positive so far this season in 10 games over 129 minutes. While the team is 6-4 in those starts, San Antonio has a plus-1.4 net rating with that group. In 16 games this season, the Spurs' most-started lineup of DeRozan, Murray, Johnson, Lonnie Walker IV and the recently departed LaMarcus Aldridge was a minus-12.5 in 219 minutes. -- Lopez

Key additions: Gorgui Dieng
Key departures: LaMarcus Aldridge, Marquese Chriss (traded for, waived)

This week: SAC, SAC, ATL, IND


12. New York Knicks
2020-21 record: 24-22
Previous ranking: 16

New York keeps on winning, though it suffered a real loss when Mitchell Robinson broke his foot over the weekend. But the Knicks remain in fourth place in the East and are grinding out victories under coach Tom Thibodeau. A pair of big home games loom this week against the reeling Heat and Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. -- Bontemps

Key additions: None
Key departures: Austin Rivers, Terrance Ferguson (traded for, waived)

This week: MIA, @MIN, DAL, @DET


13. Boston Celtics
2020-21 record: 23-23
Previous ranking: 14

Boston cashed in on most of the Gordon Hayward trade exception at Thursday's deadline by landing Evan Fournier from the Magic and then promptly won two games without him over the weekend. The question now is whether Fournier, who missed Saturday's win over Oklahoma City due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, will make his debut on Monday against New Orleans. The other storyline to watch: Can Robert Williams III cement himself as Boston's long-term starter at center in the wake of Daniel Theis' departure? -- Bontemps

Key additions: Evan Fournier, Moritz Wagner
Key departures: Daniel Theis, Jeff Teague

This week: NOP, DAL, HOU, CHA


14. Atlanta Hawks
2020-21 record: 23-23
Previous ranking: 13

Nate McMillan's eight-game win streak as the Hawks' interim coach came to an end at the start of the week when Atlanta dropped a game to the Clippers. It will also be another long week on the road for the Hawks, who are currently on the league's longest road trip of the season: eight games. They'll travel to Phoenix, San Antonio and New Orleans this week before finally having a home game again on April 4 against the Warriors. -- Lopez

Key additions: Lou Williams
Key departures: Rajon Rondo

This week: @PHO, @SAS, @NOP, GSW


15. Charlotte Hornets
2020-21 record: 23-22
Previous ranking: 17

Charlotte responded nicely after last week's news of LaMelo Ball's likely season-ending wrist injury, winning three of its past four games. The big highlight came during Friday's win over the Heat, where Malik Monk poured in 32 points in 26 minutes off the bench. Terry Rozier has scored at least 22 points in the four games since Ball's injury was announced. -- Friedell

Key additions: Brad Wanamaker
Key departures: None

This week: @WAS, @BRK, @IND, @BOS


16. Miami Heat
2020-21 record: 22-24
Previous ranking: 11

After rattling off 11 wins in 12 games, the Heat have fallen back to earth and enter the week in the midst of a six-game losing streak. The defense that helped get them back on track has gone missing. During the skid, the Heat are giving up an average of 113 points per game and haven't been able to finish games late in several close contests. Victor Oladipo's addition should give the veteran group a needed jolt in the next week. -- Friedell

Key additions: Victor Oladipo
Key departures: Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk

This week: @NYK, @IND, GSW, CLE


17. Indiana Pacers
2020-21 record: 21-23
Previous ranking: 18

The Pacers have won four of their past five. During Indiana's 109-94 win over Dallas on Friday, Texas native Myles Turner posted 9 points with 7 rebounds in addition to 7 blocks. Turner has 12 games with five or more blocks this season, tied for the third-most such games in a season in Pacers NBA history, per ESPN Stats & Information research. -- Woodyard

Key additions: None
Key departures: None

This week: @WAS, MIA, CHA, @SAS


18. Memphis Grizzlies
2020-21 record: 21-22
Previous ranking: 19

The Grizzlies have finally revealed a timetable for power forward Jaren Jackson Jr.'s return from surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee. Executive vice president Zach Kleiman announced that Jackson will make his season debut by the end of April. Forward Justise Winslow, one of the other young players the Grizzlies hope will be a long-term core piece, has struggled as he chips off the rust from a long injury recovery process. Winslow has shot 34.2% from the floor in his first 16 games for the Grizzlies. -- MacMahon

Key additions: None
Key departures: Gorgui Dieng

This week: @HOU, UTA, MIN, @PHI


19. Golden State Warriors
2020-21 record: 22-24
Previous ranking: 15

The Warriors have lost four in a row and are playing some of their worst basketball of the season. Stephen Curry has been out since suffering a tailbone bruise on March 17 -- and the good news is there is a chance that Curry plays Monday against the Bulls after going through all of Sunday's practice. But Curry's return isn't going to be a cure-all for the Warriors' defensive issues. They've given up an average of 121 points during the losing streak. -- Friedell

Key additions: None
Key departures: Brad Wanamaker, Marquese Chriss

This week: CHI, @MIA, @TOR, @ATL


20. New Orleans Pelicans
2020-21 record: 20-25
Previous ranking: 21

Zion Williamson finished the week with a fury. He bested his previous career high of 36 points in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night. He finished with 39 points in a loss to the Nuggets on Friday before going off for 38 points against the Mavericks in a victory the following night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Williamson joined Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Adrian Dantley, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Scottie Pippen and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only players to have at least 75 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while shooting at least 70% from the field in a two-game span. -- Lopez

Key additions: James Johnson, Wes Iwundu
Key departures: JJ Redick, Nicolo Melli

This week: @BOS, ORL, ATL, @HOU


21. Sacramento Kings
2020-21 record: 21-25
Previous ranking: 24

It was fitting the NCAA tournament was going on this weekend, because Harrison Barnes' game winner over the Cavs on Saturday -- created by a full-court inbounds pass from De'Aaron Fox with 1.6 seconds remaining -- was reminiscent of Duke's Grant Hill hooking up with Christian Laettner to beat Kentucky in 1992. Don't look now, but the Kings have won four in a row, putting them only a game back of the final play-in spot in the West. -- McMenamin

Key additions: Terence Davis, Maurice Harkless, Chris Silva, Delon Wright
Key departures: Nemanja Bjelica, Cory Joseph, Mfiondu Kabengele, Jabari Parker

This week: @SAS, @SAS, LAL, MIL


22. Chicago Bulls
2020-21 record: 19-25
Previous ranking: 20

Even with changes to the starting lineup and rotation, the Bulls struggled to get in sync with three losses to Utah, Cleveland and San Antonio this week. In Nikola Vucevic's Bulls debut, the two-time All-Star put up a team-high 21 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes despite a loss in San Antonio. Look for Vucevic and Zach LaVine to get it together for a playoff push. -- Woodyard

Key additions: Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu, Daniel Theis, Javonte Green, Troy Brown Jr.
Key departures: Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison, Luke Kornet

This week: @GSW, @PHO, @UTA, BRK


23. Oklahoma City Thunder
2020-21 record: 19-26
Previous ranking: 23

With Al Horford shelved for the rest of the season, the Thunder aren't being shy about their intentions the rest of the way. But also, consider a few things: They were only 8-8 with Horford this season, and with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out for a month or so because of a foot injury, they weren't doing much anyway. The Thunder also want to play their young players. One of whom is Horford protégé Moses Brown, who put up 21 points and 23 rebounds on Saturday. -- Young

Key additions: None
Key departures: George Hill, Al Horford (sitting out)

This week: DAL, TOR, @PHO, @POR


24. Toronto Raptors
2020-21 record: 18-28
Previous ranking: 22

Toronto promptly dropped two games in a row after breaking a nine-game losing streak, leaving the Raptors closer to 13th than 10th in the standings at a rather late stage of the season. There's still time for Toronto to right itself, and keeping Kyle Lowry will help -- assuming the right foot soreness that held him out of Sunday's loss to Portland doesn't linger. But the idea this team can be a problem for an opponent in the first round is looking more and more remote by the day. As a result, whether it can leap up in a loaded lottery is looking like the much more relevant question. -- Bontemps

Key additions: Rodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr.
Key departures: Norman Powell

This week: @DET, @OKC, GSW


25. Washington Wizards
2020-21 record: 16-28
Previous ranking: 25

Russell Westbrook practically willed the Wizards to a win against Detroit with his 15th triple-double (19 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists) to stop a three-game losing streak. While the Wizards have still dropped eight of their past 10 and Bradley Beal is hampered by a hip bruise, they made a move that they hope will keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive. Washington traded Moritz Wagner and Troy Brown Jr. for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson. The 6-foot-10 Gafford gives Washington a rim protector and hopefully helps fill the big-man void left by Thomas Bryant's season-ending injury. -- Youngmisuk

Key additions: Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison
Key departures: Moritz Wagner, Troy Brown Jr.

This week: IND, CHA, @DET, DAL


26. Cleveland Cavaliers
2020-21 record: 17-29
Previous ranking: 26

The losses are piling up for the Cavs -- eight in their past 11 games -- including a couple of clunkers over the weekend. Cleveland mustered just 86 points in a loss to the LeBron-less Lakers on Friday, scoring a measly 10 points in the third quarter. It followed that up with just 98 points in a loss to Sacramento, despite winning the turnover battle with seven miscues compared to 18 for the Kings. -- McMenamin

Key additions: Isaiah Hartenstein
Key departures: JaVale McGee

This week: @UTA, PHI, @MIA


27. Orlando Magic
2020-21 record: 15-31
Previous ranking: 27

Yet another rebuild is underway in Orlando after the Magic traded away their veteran core of Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon prior to the deadline. Now they must hope that some of their new first-round picks turn into solid pieces in the future -- while also hoping that Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz come back to being solid players after dealing with serious knee injuries over the past year. -- Friedell

Key additions: Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Clark
Key departures: Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier

This week: @LAC, @NOP, @UTA, @DEN


28. Detroit Pistons
2020-21 record: 12-33
Previous ranking: 28

The Pistons have dropped four straight, including a 106-92 loss in Washington on Saturday during which they trailed by as many as 30 points but cut the deficit to three points in the fourth quarter. At the deadline, the Pistons traded Delon Wright to the Kings for Cory Joseph, and second-round picks in 2021 and 2024. -- Woodyard

Key additions: Cory Joseph
Key departures: Delon Wright, Blake Griffin

This week: TOR, POR, WAS, NYK


29. Houston Rockets
2020-21 record: 13-32
Previous ranking: 30

Guard Kevin Porter Jr.'s development is one of the Rockets' top priorities the rest of the season and one reason trading Victor Oladipo made sense despite not getting much value in return from Miami. Porter had 25 points in Saturday's win over the Timberwolves, his third time scoring that many points in eight games in a Rockets uniform. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the Rockets had previously had only two such performances by players 20 or younger in franchise history. -- MacMahon

Key additions: Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, D.J. Augustin, D.J. Wilson
Key departures: Victor Oladipo, P.J. Tucker

This week: MEM, @BRK, @BOS, NOP


30. Minnesota Timberwolves
2020-21 record: 11-35
Previous ranking: 29

One of the (many) issues with the Wolves is that they just aren't playing competitive games. With a young team, the experience of being in close games and making key plays late is crucial. But of the Wolves' past nine losses, only one was decided by two possessions. They are routinely getting blown out by 15 or 20, which makes it hard to develop a young roster. -- Young

Key additions: None
Key departures: None

This week: @BRK, NYK, @MEM, @PHI