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It seems like we just finished crowning LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers NBA champions, and we're already talking about their title defense. Things have moved quickly since the league announced a Dec. 22 start date for the 2020-21 season, with the draft and free agency re-shaping rosters from top to bottom over the past week.

The Lakers have come up big winners so far in this abbreviated offseason, picking up scoring punch and veteran moxie as they look to repeat. Meanwhile two teams that missed the playoffs last season, the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks, appear hell-bent on ending their postseason droughts with big-time trades and free agency signings.

And then there is all the uncertainty surrounding the Houston Rockets, who could end up trading James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook, which could seriously alter the NBA pecking order. But for now, here is our first offseason edition of the Power Rankings, keeping in mind that this is how we think teams will start the season, not necessarily how we think they will finish.

Biggest Movers
17 Warriors
23 Thunder
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1 Lakers The Lakers have put together a doozy of an offseason, acquiring Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell to bolster their bench scoring while adding Wesley Matthews on a team-friendly deal to replace Danny Green and signing Marc Gasol. Overall it looks like the champs will be able to find ample rest for LeBron James and Anthony Davis without sacrificing a potential No. 1 seed in the West, and could be even more dangerous than last year. 2 47-35
2 Bucks Well, things didn't exactly go as planned, as a potential sign-and-trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic fell through the cracks, but the Bucks certainly improved their roster with the addition of Jrue Holiday and veteran pieces like DJ Augustin, Torrey Craig, Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes. As long as Giannis Antetokounmpo is healthy, the Bucks should be the favorite to win the No. 1 seed in the East, but with Milwaukee it's no longer about the regular season. -- 49-33
3 Heat The Heat lost a couple of wings in Jae Crowder and Derrick Jones Jr., but replaced them with veterans Moe Harkless and Avery Bradley. Most importantly they were able to re-sign Goran Dragic, who looked rejuvenated last season, particularly in the bubble. With expected improvement from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro added to the steadiness of Jimmy Butler, the Heat should have a much better regular season than last year and should be an even bigger postseason threat. 3 46-36
4 Celtics The Celtics lost Gordon Hayward, but that could be a blessing in disguise as it takes away the logjam at the wing with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Tristan Thompson could be the answer in the middle they've been seeking and Aaron Nesmith is one of the best shooters in the draft. Boston is right in the mix at the top of an Eastern Conference that has become talented and crowded. 1 64-18
5 Clippers Harrell going to the Lakers looked like a rough blow for the Clippers, but then they signed Serge Ibaka, who might actually be a better fit. We can't ignore what happened last postseason, but if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy, this is a devastating regular-season team. 1 51-31
6 Raptors Re-signing Fred VanVleet was the biggest priority of the offseason for Toronto to remain a contender, but losing Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka hurts -- though signing Aron Baynes softens the blow. We've learned never to doubt Nick Nurse and Kyle Lowry, however, and the Raptors should once again be in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference. 5 25-57
7 Nuggets The loss of Jerami Grant is huge, with all that he did on both ends of the floor, and JaMychal Green is hardly a full replacement. Losing Mason Plumlee could also hurt a little bit more than expected, since Bol Bol may or may not be ready to play consistent backup center minutes. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are special players, but it's hard to say that the Nuggets didn't get slightly worse this offseason. 4 57-25
8 Nets The Nets are as difficult a team to project as any in the league given the health issues of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but there's a chance they could be the best team in the East, even if they don't end up with James Harden. They paid a lot for Joe Harris, but he's essential as a floor spacer no matter who's on the court. If Durant and Irving are in top form, this is a terrifying team. 7 32-50
9 76ers Daryl Morey wasted no time working his magic in Philly, shedding Al Horford's contract in exchange for Danny Green and swapping Josh Richardson for the sweet-shooting Seth Curry. He also brought in Dwight Howard to back up Joel Embiid. Whether the 76ers are content trying to win with Embiid and Ben Simmons or they're setting up a blockbuster trade, they certainly appear to be in a better position than they were at the end of last season. 4 47-35
10 Jazz The Jazz forked over a ton of cash for Jordan Clarkson and brought back Derrick Favors to give them more lineup versatility, then gave the expected max extension to Donovan Mitchell. Last season the Jazz sacrificed defense for a better offense, and Favors' return should make that a more even balance. 4 31-51
11 Mavericks Dallas decided to bolster its defense by trading Seth Curry for Josh Richardson and signing Wes Iwundu to flank Luka Doncic. The Mavs may get off to a slow start with Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss the beginning of the season, but if everyone's healthy come playoff time, the Mavericks will be a dangerous opponent. 2 50-32
12 Warriors What a roller coaster it's been. The Warriors went from having the worst record in the league to being title contenders to being ... well, we're not quite sure now. Golden State is a tier below the Lakers, Clippers and maybe the Nuggets out West given Klay Thompson's injury, but they've done well to surround Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins with a nice combination of young talent and veterans. Kelly Oubre Jr. and second overall pick James Wiseman have great upside, and the Warriors have a lot of assets should a star (*cough* Bradley Beal *cough*) become available. 17 46-36
13 Trail Blazers After struggling to fill gaps on the wing all last season, the Blazers traded for Robert Covington, signed Derrick Jones Jr. and re-signed both Rodney Hood and Carmelo Anthony. Those pieces around Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic should make Portland a real threat in the West after a down year. 3 21-61
14 Pacers For a second it looked like Indiana was going to get Gordon Hayward, but instead it's in position to run it back following a solid 2019-20 season. If Victor Oladipo can go back to his pre-injury form and TJ Warren can build off the strides he made in the bubble, they could be a very dangerous team in the East. Depending on how things go, they could also be active in the trade market in the coming weeks, or even during the season. 2 47-35
15 Suns Already a trendy pick to make the playoffs after their 8-0 bubble performance, the Suns made a potentially franchise-changing trade for Chris Paul. Reaching for Jalen Smith at No. 10 in the draft was an odd choice, but that shouldn't prevent Phoenix from going from perpetual bottom-feeder to postseason contender this season. 2 49-33
16 Grizzlies The Memphis front office just continues to impress, picking up first-round talents Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman at the beginning of the second round of the draft. One of the hardest things for a young team to do is make the leap from frisky and interesting to a perennial playoff team, so Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Grizzlies will have to fight hard in a tough Western Conference in order to live up to suddenly high expectations. 2 27-55
17 Rockets It's hard to evaluate the Rockets at this stage, but no matter what happens regarding James Harden and Russell Westbrook's trade demands, Houston did well to sign Christian Wood, an intriguing young talent coming off a breakout season. It's hard to imagine Harden, Westbrook and the Rockets going back to business as usual after this offseason, so it's safe to expect them to take a significant step back this coming season. 9 41-41
18 Hawks So apparently the Hawks really want to make the playoffs! They used their cap space to sign Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo, then threw a huge offer sheet at Bogdan Bogdanovic. They also drafted Onyeka Okongwu, who some feel could end up being the best big man in the class, and signed Kris Dunn to help defensively in the backcourt. Trae Young has a lot more help, and we'll see if the moves can accelerate Atlanta's path to the postseason. 7 36-46
19 Magic The Magic have stayed relatively quiet this offseason, but it wouldn't be a shock if they eventually dealt Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier or even Nikola Vucevic if they decide to go in another direction. Cole Anthony is an intriguing draft pick for a team that's lacked dynamism in the backcourt for years. 3 47-35
20 Pelicans Assuming they lock up Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans are one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA, but their immediate chances at a playoff spot may have taken a hit by swapping Eric Bledsoe for Jrue Holiday, despite the addition of Steven Adams in the middle. Hopefully Zion Williamson comes back healthy and in shape so we can see what he's fully capable of. -- 49-33
21 Spurs The Spurs drafted well, picking up 3-and-D prospect Devin Vassell and steady point guard Tre Jones. They haven't made a splash this offseason yet, as it looks like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge won't be traded as of now, but they should be able to compete for a playoff spot unless they blow it up and go for a full rebuild. 2 22-60
22 Kings Ever the butt of front-office jokes, the Kings have put together a solid offseason under new general manager Monte McNair. They were able to get a top-five draft talent, Tyrese Haliburton, at No. 12 and also hit a home run with second-round pick Robert Woodard, who should be able to defend immediately. There are still questions surrounding Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, but Sacramento appears to be headed in the right direction after signing De'Aaron Fox to a max extension. Making the playoffs in the West, however, will be a tall task. 1 46-36
23 Hornets Charlotte drafted LaMelo Ball to become the potential face of the franchise during a rebuild, then came out of nowhere and paid Gordon Hayward $120 million. Um, sure? It was an odd move for a franchise in no position to compete anytime soon, but the so-so bottom of the East makes the playoffs at least somewhat attainable if things go well. -- 21-61
24 Bulls The new Bulls front office made a slightly surprising move by taking Patrick Williams at No. 4, and there are still a ton of questions as to which young, talented players will actually stick around on the Chicago roster. They should still be able to compete for a playoff spot under new coach Billy Donovan, but on the surface it doesn't seem like they've improved significantly, at least roster-wise, from last year. -- 39-43
25 Wizards Bradley Beal decided to commit to the Wizards in order to see what things look like with a healthy John Wall, and now Wall reportedly wants out of Washington. Not great. The good news is they locked in Davis Bertans and drafted Deni Avdija, but the future -- both immediate and long-term -- is still quite murky in the nation's capital. 3 15-67
26 Timberwolves No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards is a good positional fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but the Wolves have done little to address the defensive concerns that have plagued them for years. There is a lot of young talent on this roster, so we'll just have to see how it all comes together. -- 56-26
27 Pistons The Pistons had one of the strangest offseasons of any NBA team, acquiring five centers and paying $60 million for Jerami Grant while letting Christian Wood sign in Houston. Some believe Killian Hayes will end up being the best player in the draft, but he needs time to develop. Detroit is a contender for a playoff spot if Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are healthy, but we're going to have to see how it all looks on the court. 3 14-68
28 Knicks Their fans might be disappointed, but this offseason the Knicks have acted the way bad teams are supposed to act. They drafted the best player on the board at No. 8 in Obi Toppin and have made some shrewd moves to pick up future draft picks while keeping their future cap space intact. They could be the worst team in the league this season, but that's not a bad thing heading into one of the most loaded drafts in recent memory. 1 50-32
29 Cavaliers The Cavs aren't going to be good this season, and they're likely still trying to find trade partners for Kevin Love and Andre Drummond. Collin Sexton broke out last season and rookie Isaac Okoro should help Cleveland's miserable defense, but it's still going to be a long, slow climb to relevance. 1 48-34
30 Thunder The OKC fire sale officially commenced this offseason, trading Chris Paul and Steven Adams while watching Danilo Gallinari sign in Atlanta. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will now run the show on a team that doesn't appear to have any designs on competing in 2020-21. At least fans will be treated to The Aleksej Pokusevski Show when the 7-footer with guard skills makes his NBA debut. 23 57-25