Week 6 NBA Power Ranking! This week, we will be looking at one player that every team should look to acquire at the trade deadline.
*Stats and records from games on 2/2/21 are not included.
1. Los Angeles Clippers Record: 16-5 Previous: 3
The Lakers have been dethroned from the top spot on the ranking after the Clippers went 3-0 last week with wins over Miami, Orlando, and New York. The Clippers could use some depth at center, and Khem Birch of the Orlando Magic would be a low-cost possible high-reward option.
2. Philadelphia 76ers Record: 15-6 Previous: 4
The 76ers continue to soar up the rankings as they beat the Lakers, Timberwolves, and Pacers in week five. While not a trade, the 76ers should look to re-sign Ersan Ilyasova, who played for the Bucks last year and would provide some needed depth at power forward.
3. Utah Jazz Record: 15-5 Previous: 2
The Jazz finally had their eleven-game winning streak snapped by Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets on Sunday. Utah should try to make a play for Julius Randle, who will be a massive upgrade over Royce O’Neale at power forward, although it’s unclear if the Knicks will be sellers.
4. Los Angeles Lakers Record: 16-6 Previous: 1
After earning the top spot each of the first five weeks, the Lakers finally drop down three spots after going 2-2 last week. If J.J. Redick gets a buyout from the Pelicans, he would be a perfect option for the Lakers, who could use his scoring off the bench.
5. Milwaukee Bucks Record: 12-8 Previous: 5
The Bucks had an inconsistent week, going 2-2, but remain at the fifth spot on this ranking. Willie Cauley-Stein is a reliable center on a cheap deal with Dallas and would help provide Milwaukee with some depth.
6. Brooklyn Nets Record: 13-9 Previous: 7
The Nets went 2-1 last week, despite somehow blowing a game late against the Washington Wizards. Brooklyn desperately needs an upgrade at center, and Andre Drummond would be a reliable option if he receives a buyout from Cleveland.
7. Denver Nuggets Record: 12-8 Previous: 9
Nikola Jokic has been on an MVP-level tear as the Nuggets have now won six of their last seven games. Buddy Hield from Sacramento would fit in perfectly with the Nuggets as Gary Harris has struggled to stay healthy this season.
8. Memphis Grizzlies Record: 9-6 Previous: 13
Quietly, the Grizzlies have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak. Memphis should make a play to acquire Derrick Rose from Detroit to help provide some needed depth behind Ja Morant.
9. Boston Celtics Record: 10-8 Previous: 6
The Celtics went 0-2 last week and suffered a significant loss as Marcus Smart will miss 2-3 weeks with a calf strain. The Celtics have a 28.5M trade exception from Charlotte and should use it to acquire Nikola Vucevic from the Magic, who would be a massive upgrade at the center position.
10. Phoenix Suns Record: 11-8 Previous: 11
The Suns rebounded from a rough stretch of games as Devin Booker hit a game-winner against Dallas on Monday. Phoenix needs a better backup point guard, and George Hill of Oklahoma City would be a perfect option at a low price.
11. Indiana Pacers Record: 11-9 Previous: 8
The Pacers had a down week, going 1-2, highlighted by late-game collapses against Charlotte and Philadelphia. Assuming the Cavaliers are sellers, Indiana should make a play for Larry Nance Jr., who would be a reliable backup behind Domantas Sabonis.
12. Golden State Warriors Record: 11-9 Previous: 12
The Warriors went 2-1 last week, albeit their two wins were against Detroit and Minnesota. The Warriors need to upgrade their backup point guard, and Patty Mills, who is having the best year of his career at age 32, would be a perfect option.
13. Portland Trail Blazers Record: 10-9 Previous: 10
The Trail Blazers have been inconsistent all year, and that remained the case in week five as they went 1-2. Rodney Hood hasn’t looked the same since coming back from his torn Achilles, so Portland should look to bring in Denzel Valentine from Chicago.
14. Houston Rockets Record: 10-9 Previous: 21
After trading James Harden, Houston has been one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of six straight games. The Rockets may be sellers at the deadline but should acquire Goga Bitadze from Indiana if the Pacers try to trade for PJ Tucker.
15. San Antonio Spurs Record: 11-10 Previous: 15
After wins over Boston and Denver, the Spurs dropped back-to-back games against Memphis in week five. The Spurs are likely going to sell at the deadline and try to bring in rookie Jalen Smith from Phoenix if the Suns try to trade for DeMar DeRozan.
16. Atlanta Hawks Record: 10-10 Previous: 14
The Hawks have been up-and-down all year as they went 1-2 last week, and currently possess the sixth seed in the East. Assuming the Hawks are buyers, Atlanta should do everything in their power to bring in Zach LaVine, including offering De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish.
17. Cleveland Cavaliers Record: 10-11 Previous: 18
The Cavaliers have remained in contention in the East as they went 2-2 in week five. Despite their decent start, the Cavaliers should look to sell their veterans for young players at the deadline, including targeting rookie Udoka Azubuike from Utah.
18. Charlotte Hornets Record: 10-11 Previous: 25
The Hornets are challenging to evaluate as they went on another winning streak, winners of three straight games. However, the Hornets likely won’t make a huge playoff push and should consider taking a flier on Mo Bamba from the Orlando Magic.
19. Toronto Raptors Record: 8-12 Previous: 17
The Raptors have yet to get back in the playoff picture as they went 1-2 last week. Despite their struggles, the Raptors are still looking to contend and should bring in Kevin Love since they desperately need a reliable big man.
20. Chicago Bulls Record: 8-11 Previous: 24
The Bulls had a game postponed as they went 1-1 last week, including a win over the Knicks. The Bulls should look to sell Zach LaVine, and if the Knicks make a move, they should ask for rookie (and this year’s eight overall pick) Obi Toppin.
21. Sacramento Kings Record: 9-11 Previous: 26
The Kings have broken out of their slump as they are now winners of four of their last five games. Sacramento should look to trade Hassan Whiteside and Jabari Parker to contenders and take a flier on Mfiondu Kabengele from the Clippers if LA tries to make a deal.
22. Miami Heat Record: 7-13 Previous: 20
The Heat continue to be one of the most disappointing teams in the league as they have now lost six of their last seven games. Miami wants to contend for a title and should attempt to make a big trade for Bradley Beal, creating a big three alongside Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
23. New York Knicks Record: 9-13 Previous: 22
The Knicks are still somewhat in the playoff hunt, despite going 1-2 in week five. The Knicks should sell at the deadline, but Leon Rose could look to bring in John Collins from Atlanta if they try to make a playoff push.
24. Oklahoma City Thunder Record: 8-11 Previous: 23
The Thunder drop down one spot in the ranking after going 1-2 last week, with losses against Brooklyn and Houston. It’s clear that this team will sell as much as possible at the deadline, and the Thunder should target Landry Shamet if Brooklyn makes a play for George Hill.
25. Dallas Mavericks Record: 8-13 Previous: 16
The Mavericks are in a brutal slump as they have lost six straight games and dropped nine spots in my ranking. Dallas needs additional scoring, and DeMar DeRozan would be a great option if the Spurs are open to trading him at the deadline.
26. New Orleans Pelicans Record: 7-12 Previous: 27
The Pelicans continue to disappoint as they went 2-2 last week and currently sit in 14th place in the West. If the Warriors try to make a trade for Lonzo Ball, then the Pelicans should target Eric Paschall in return.
27. Orlando Magic Record: 8-13 Previous: 19
The biggest fallers over the past three weeks, Orlando has now gone 2-11 since losing Markelle Fultz for the season. The Magic need to be sellers but could look to bring in Malik Monk if the Hornets try to trade for Mo Bamba.
28. Washington Wizards Record: 4-12 Previous: 29
One thing I severely dislike: giving credit to Russell Westbrook. However, he deserves praise for hitting a game-winner against Brooklyn on Sunday. If the Heat trade for Bradley Beal, Washington should target Tyler Herro in return.
29. Minnesota Timberwolves Record: 5-15 Previous: 28
Despite a win over Cleveland, the Timberwolves continued to slide in week five, going 1-3 overall. Several teams could look to acquire Malik Beasley or Ricky Rubio, and if the Miami Heat make a play, then Minnesota should target Kendrick Nunn in return.
30. Detroit Pistons Record: 5-15 Previous: 30
The Pistons come in at the bottom for the sixth straight week after they went 1-2 last week and had a game get postponed. Detroit will sell as much as they can, and if the Knicks look to acquire anyone, the Pistons could take a flier on Dennis Smith Jr.
Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Main Image Credit: