Bucks, Mavs, Clippers highlight our ‘way too early’ NBA Tiers

The NBA season ended just a week ago, but teams are already gearing up for next season as the draft hurriedly approaches.

And with every team on a clean slate heading into 2022-23, Nick Wright has crafted a “way too early” rendition of his classic tiers compilation. The placement of several teams on his list may surprise you.

Here’s Wright’s countdown, with each group’s best title odds presented via FOX Bet.

Warriors, Bucks, Mavs feature in Nick’s early NBA tiers

Warriors, Bucks, Mavs feature in Nick's early NBA tiers

It’s way too soon for Nick Wright to be ranking the top NBA teams, and yet here we are! Watch as Nick tells us who will be the teams to beat next season. Also, Chris Broussard explains why the Golden State Warriors, who just won their fourth NBA title in eight years, are ranked too low.

Those that shall not be named: Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets

Best title odds: Trail Blazers +1100

Wright’s thoughts: “You have the Oklahoma City Ponzi scheme. There’s [Kevin] Wildes’ frisky Magic, the Pistons I actually think could be fun to watch, I like Cade [Cunningham]. It pains me to put the Blazers and Spurs because of the respect I have for Dame [Lillard] and Gregg Popovich, but both of those teams are play-in at best.”

Eh, I guess: Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets

Best title odds: Jazz +4500

Wright’s thoughts: “Bulls and Jazz are both going to be worse next year than they were this year, and this year, they weren’t good enough to win a round. Hawks and Hornets will be fine, but none of these teams have any shot at winning a playoff round. Sorry Trae Young’s dad, I know you’re a viewer. It’s not your son’s fault, the team’s not that good.”

On the upswing: New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors

Best title odds: Pelicans +5000

Wright’s thoughts: “Great young players on these teams. I love Zion Williamson and really like Brandon Ingram. I love Anthony Edwards, I’m okay with Karl-Anthony Towns. I love Evan Mobley and really like Darius Garland. And Scottie Barnes is awesome. One of these teams is going to be this year’s Grizzlies, the team that got a taste of the playoffs, and has a legitimate chance to win a round.”

What do you want?: Los Angeles Lakers

Title odds: +2000

Wright’s thoughts: “Do you want to be the Lakers and try to win championships? Or do you want to rest on the fact that ‘oh, we’re the Lakers?’ Once upon a time, the Boston Celtics won 16 titles in 50 years. They’ve won one in the last 35. You can go quick. The Celtics have as many championships in my lifetime as the Kansas City Royals. It’s not a birthright to be great in every decade like you have been. You still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Make something happen.”

Championship upside: Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers

Best title odds: Nets +600

Wright’s thoughts: “Need some tweaks, but if everything falls right, you can get to the Finals. Brooklyn’s got a ton of questions, but the answer to a lot of them is ‘we have Kevin Durant.’ The Suns: What are you going to do with Deandre Ayton, is Chris Paul going to be able to maintain? Sixers, James Harden, eh, I don’t know, but you still have Joel Embiid. The Nuggets, you have to see how healthy their two secondary pieces are, and Pat Riley has something up his sleeve with the Heat.”

Title contenders: Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors

Best title odds: Warriors +550 (Best in league)

Wright’s thoughts: “They all proved this year that they are obvious title contenders as presently constituted. They don’t need to make any changes like the teams beneath them might need to in order to potentially win the title. Boston should be better, the Grizzlies would hope to be healthier, and the Warriors literally just won the title.”

Potentially devastating: Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers

Best titles odds: Clippers +700

Wright’s thoughts: “To me, these are far and away the two best teams in the Western Conference heading into next year. I already like the minor move the Mavs made, but they also have the best player in the conference, who’s only going to get better. The Clippers trust their coach, I like some of the moves they made depth-wise, and you’ve got to think Kawhi Leonard is going to be the freshest he’s ever been after he’s missed a year and a half with an injury some people come back from in nine months.”

Overwhelming favorites: Milwaukee Bucks

Title odds: +750

Wright’s thoughts: “The team would’ve coasted to a title if not for the Khris Middleton injury. It employs 27-year-old Giannis Antentokounmpo. He’s still 27 and doesn’t turn 28 until late December. He’s only going to get better.”

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