With the current NBA season still in a holding pattern, it's time to look ahead. We already peered into the future at the next five seasons (in podcast form), but for this exercise we're only focused on next season.
Alex Barutha and Nick Whalen collaboratively ranked each team, 1 through 30, with just one question in mind: Which team has the best chance to win the title?
Roster construction was most heavily considered, and projections were made where necessary. However, with so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming NBA offseason, we shied away from making any major free agency or trade assumptions. The 2020 free agency class projects to be among the weakest in recent memory, anyway, so it's unlikely we see a flurry of major names on the move again as was the case last summer.
After revealing our top 10 teams last week, here are teams 11 through 20 on our list grouped into tiers:
Tier 3: Dangerous Playoff Teams
11. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors were expected to take a step back in 2019-20 following the departure of Kawhi Leonard. However, the team didn't miss a beat, claiming the NBA's fourth-best simple rating, fueled by the second-best defensive rating (105.2). Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell all took major steps forward, with solid depth and great coaching able to keep the ship afloat despite plenty of injuries throughout the season.