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NBA Power Rankings: Suns take big leap with Kevin Durant trade, top 3 remains unchanged

Chinmay Vaidya updates his NBA power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

Michael Rubin’s 2023 Fanatics Super Bowl Party
Kevin Durant and guest attends Michael Rubin’s 2023 Fanatics Super Bowl Party at the Arizona Biltmore on February 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Fanatics

The NBA trade deadline in 2023 did not disappoint, with lots of key players changing teams as the playoff race begins to heat up. The biggest move by far was the Brooklyn Nets sending Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns at 1 a.m. ET on Thursday. Durant had tried to go to the Suns last offseason but ultimately came back to Brooklyn. Once Kyrie Irving got traded, it felt like the wheels were in motion for Durant to make a move.

The Suns did have to give up Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, but they managed to keep Deandre Ayton out of the trade. Phoenix has four great starters in Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Durant and Ayton. Landry Shamet, Damion Lee, Torrey Craig and a handful of buyout players will round out what should be a championship-caliber roster. Now, Durant is still hurt and will need some time to get back to 100%. However, this team just became the favorite in the West for a good reason.

The Los Angeles Lakers also made key moves around the roster, changing up nearly the entire rotation to give LeBron James and Anthony Davis more help. The Lakers will have to hope James’ ankle injury isn’t as serious as many insiders believe it is, but this team got better without giving up too much.

The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets remain the top three teams in the power rankings. The Bucks are on a massive winning streak, while the Nuggets have built a sizable cushion in the West. The Celtics took down the Grizzlies Sunday despite missing both Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. When those two get back, it’ll be hard to beat this unit four times in a playoff series.

Here’s a look at the updated power rankings for the 2022-23 season.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 18

Team Ranking Previous Ranking
Team Ranking Previous Ranking
Boston Celtics 1 1
Milwaukee Bucks 2 2
Denver Nuggets 3 3
Philadelphia 76ers 4 4
Cleveland Cavaliers 5 5
Memphis Grizzlies 6 7
Los Angeles Clippers 7 6
Phoenix Suns 8 14
Dallas Mavericks 9 8
Sacramento Kings 10 11
Miami Heat 11 9
New Orleans Pelicans 12 13
New York Knicks 13 10
Brooklyn Nets 14 12
Atlanta Hawks 15 16
Minnesota Timberwolves 16 19
Portland Trail Blazers 17 18
Los Angeles Lakers 18 23
Golden State Warriors 19 15
Chicago Bulls 20 17
Washington Wizards 21 21
Toronto Raptors 22 22
Indiana Pacers 23 20
Utah Jazz 24 24
Oklahoma City Thunder 25 25
Orlando Magic 26 26
Charlotte Hornets 27 28
Detroit Pistons 28 27
Houston Rockets 29 29
San Antonio Spurs 30 30