The Milwaukee Bucks are the 2021 NBA champions after rallying from a 2-Zero sequence deficit towards the Phoenix Suns.

Now what?

We’re not losing any time spinning ahead to subsequent season, the place a number of present contenders and potential superteams will goal to unseat Giannis Antetokounmpo & Co. in 2022.

What’s going to the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be in Yr Three of the LeBron JamesAnthony Davis partnership? What sort of juggernaut will the Brooklyn Nets evolve into as their star trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (hopefully) returns to full well being? Are these Suns one and accomplished, or is a repeat Finals journey of their future?

Let’s take a way-too-early have a look at the place all 30 groups stand instantly following the Bucks’ spectacular highway to the NBA championship.

Notice: These rankings are based mostly on the place the members of our panel (ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Kevin Pelton, Royce Younger and Ohm Youngmisuk) suppose groups belong heading into subsequent season, taking into consideration potential participant motion and the draft. Title odds for 2022 by Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2020-21 report: 46-26
Outcome: NBA champions
2022 title odds: +900

The Bucks went all-in final offseason in buying and selling for Jrue Vacation and had been repaid for doing so by successful the title Tuesday night time with their victory over the Suns in Sport 6 of the NBA Finals. With Vacation, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo all locked up long run, Milwaukee must be a risk within the East for years to come back. The main focus now can be on whether or not Milwaukee is ready to re-sign P.J. Tucker, who’s an unrestricted free agent, and whether or not it could possibly give you an extension for Donte DiVincenzo, the Bucks’ gifted younger taking pictures guard who missed many of the playoffs after present process ankle surgical procedure. — Bontemps


2. Brooklyn Nets
2020-21 report: 48-24
Outcome: Misplaced in East semis
2022 title odds: +230

For his or her first full season collectively, the Large Three in Brooklyn had a troublesome finish to the yr, with accidents derailing the superteam nature of the roster and leaving Kevin Durant primarily attempting to hold the Nets alone. It was an ungainly season general, with accidents, well being and security protocols and loads of getting-to-know-you occurring, however clearly the trail ahead for the Nets is vibrant. They’ve some questions on the complementary aspect of the roster, with Spencer Dinwiddie declining his participant choice and low-salary gamers Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown and Jeff Inexperienced set to turn out to be free brokers. The Nets are high heavy for good purpose, however as this postseason confirmed, high quality depth may be simply as helpful at occasions. — Younger


3. Phoenix Suns
2020-21 report: 51-21
Outcome: Misplaced in NBA Finals
2022 title odds: +1500

After a disappointing loss within the NBA Finals, the Suns have to determine one factor: the way to get again and win all of it. Because the Western Convention will get more healthy, the Suns’ highway again to a different Finals will begin this offseason with a call on Chris Paul‘s future. The Level God has a $44.2 million participant choice that might doubtless carry the Suns into the luxurious tax. Paul might decide out of the deal and attempt to safe extra assured cash with extra years, although. Phoenix can also be taking a look at negotiating the rookie extensions of former No. 1 choose Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. — Lopez


4. Los Angeles Lakers
2020-21 report: 42-30
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +400

For the defending champion Lakers, a first-round exit towards the Suns with LeBron James nonetheless not 100% and Anthony Davis knocked out of the sequence by harm had a silver lining: After going by means of the shortest offseason in NBA historical past, the Lakers get a comparatively regular break this offseason. James and Davis must be wholesome in October and able to go for a second title collectively. Nonetheless, there are questions on who will encompass them with as much as 11 Lakers turning into free brokers, together with place to begin guard Dennis Schroder hitting unrestricted free company after turning down a contract extension. — Pelton


5. Philadelphia 76ers
2020-21 report: 49-23
Outcome: Misplaced in East semis
2022 title odds: +1800

Following their disastrous second-round exit by the hands of the Hawks, the 76ers enter the offseason with one query looming over the franchise: Is it lastly time for the Ben SimmonsJoel Embiid partnership to be dissolved? Whether it is, Daryl Morey, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations, must craft a deal that may enable the Sixers to search out the playoff breakthrough they have been looking for. If it is not, then all eyes can be on Simmons this fall to see if he can repair his free throw points from the playoffs, and if he can add some semblance of a jumper to his arsenal. — Bontemps


6. Utah Jazz
2020-21 report: 52-20
Outcome: Misplaced in West semis
2022 title odds: +1500

How a lot luxurious tax is new proprietor Ryan Smith keen to pay after the Jazz completed the common season with the NBA’s finest report however had been bounced within the second spherical of the playoffs? The extensions for franchise cornerstones Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell begin subsequent season, which places Utah proper on the luxurious tax line earlier than free company opens. Meaning the Jazz must pay an particularly steep worth to maintain level guard Mike Conley, a should if Utah intends to contend within the speedy future. It might additionally issue into the choice on utilizing the $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception, maybe on a participant who might be utilized at middle in small-ball lineups. — MacMahon


7. Denver Nuggets
2020-21 report: 47-25
Outcome: Misplaced in West semis
2022 title odds: +2500

Nikola Jokic had an MVP marketing campaign, and the Nuggets regarded like respectable title contenders till Jamal Murray tore his ACL. With out Murray, they could not make it out of the second spherical of the playoffs. Now the Nuggets should patiently anticipate Murray to heal whereas constructing on what that they had going earlier than Murray went down. Denver may give Michael Porter Jr. a five-year, $168 million max extension this offseason or let him turn out to be a restricted free agent in 2022. Porter had a stretch within the second half when he performed like a star. Aaron Gordon, who got here in an enormous commerce on the deadline, is ready to enter the final season of his contract; Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee are free brokers; and Will Barton and JaMychal Inexperienced can decide out of their offers. In the meantime, the Nuggets have to enhance their backcourt depth. — Youngmisuk


8. Atlanta Hawks
2020-21 report: 41-31
Outcome: Misplaced in East finals
2022 title odds: +3000

The Hawks shocked nearly everybody exterior of Atlanta with their run to the convention finals, and so they may need made it even additional had Trae Younger not injured his ankle by stepping on an official’s foot. Younger’s spectacular efficiency within the playoffs (28.Eight factors, 9.5 assists) confirmed he might carry a crew when it issues. However will his crew look the identical subsequent season? John Collins‘ standing as a restricted free agent might imply Younger can be with out one among his favourite targets. However with Younger’s play and Nate McMillan’s interim tag being lifted, there’s nonetheless loads of optimism shifting ahead. — Lopez


9. LA Clippers
2020-21 report: 47-25
Outcome: Misplaced in West finals
2022 title odds: +2000

The Clippers redeemed themselves for his or her 2020 bubble meltdown with a resilient run to the Western Convention finals, however they enter the offseason with uncertainty surrounding their future and that of Kawhi Leonard. The franchise participant had surgical procedure to restore {a partially} torn ACL, and it stays to be seen how a lot of subsequent season he might miss. Additionally, Leonard has a participant choice in his deal and may turn out to be a free agent in August. Again in December, Leonard stated, “Clearly, if I am wholesome, the very best determination is to say no the participant choice. However that does not imply I am leaving or staying.” Serge Ibaka additionally has a participant choice. Reggie Jackson‘s playoff surge may need elevated his worth on the free-agent market past what the Clippers may give him. Paul George will need assistance to maintain the Clippers in rivalry till Leonard returns (if he does not decide out and signal elsewhere). The Clippers can nonetheless use further front-court depth and some extent guard/chief who can enhance their IQ/offensive effectivity. — Youngmisuk


10. Dallas Mavericks
2020-21 report: 42-30
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +3000

The Mavericks already made some main adjustments, hiring the tandem of GM Nico Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd to interchange the departed duo of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle. The speedy problem: upgrading the roster in Dallas’ closing offseason of salary-cap flexibility earlier than the supermax extension Luka Doncic is predicted to signal this summer time kicks in. The Mavs acknowledge the necessity to add one other playmaker to enhance Doncic. Can they discover a method to do this and re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr.? — MacMahon


11. Miami Warmth
2020-21 report: 40-32
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +3000

The bubble hangover was actual for a Miami crew that might by no means discover the identical type of magic it had throughout its push to the 2020 Finals. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo can be motivated to show that their run wasn’t only a flash within the pan, however Warmth president Pat Riley can have some robust roster selections to make. Revered veterans Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala each have crew choices, and level guard Kendrick Nunn is a restricted free agent. The Warmth nonetheless have loads of top-line expertise, however they want younger shooter Tyler Herro to take one other step in his growth to fortify the crew’s depth. Riley additionally should determine what to do with Victor Oladipo, who’s an unrestricted free agent and is coming off one other quad harm. — Friedell


12. Golden State Warriors
2020-21 report: 39-33
Outcome: Misplaced in West play-in
2022 title odds: +1000

It is a huge offseason for a Warriors squad that hopes to leap again into the thick of the Western Convention playoff image. Stephen Curry reminded all people that he can nonetheless play at an MVP degree whereas dominating at occasions in the course of the 2020-21 season. Andrew Wiggins registered arguably probably the most full season of his eight-year profession. Draymond Inexperienced confirmed that he can nonetheless be a dominant pressure when motivated — however even with all that the Warriors nonetheless could not make it again to the playoffs. Now the group should hope that veteran Klay Thompson can return to type after lacking two years due to ACL and Achilles accidents and 2020 No. 2 general choose James Wiseman can discover his type after an up-and-down rookie season. The Warriors additionally should discover extra depth, doubtless within the type of the No. 7 and No. 14 picks within the 2021 draft. — Friedell


13. Boston Celtics
2020-21 report: 36-36
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +5000

After probably the most secure organizations within the league went by means of some huge adjustments — Brad Stevens changing Danny Ainge atop the group, Ime Udoka changing Stevens on the sidelines and the Celtics’ commerce swapping Kemba Walker and their first-round choose for Al Horford — Boston enters the offseason with two key inquiries to reply. The primary is whether or not the Celtics will re-sign Evan Fournier, whom they acquired on the commerce deadline and is an unrestricted free agent. The opposite is whether or not they can conform to a long-term contract extension with Marcus Good — and if not, whether or not the crew will try to commerce him, somewhat than danger him leaving subsequent summer time for nothing. — Bontemps


14. New York Knicks
2020-21 report: 41-31
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +6000

The curse of overachieving, because the Knicks did in 2020-21, is it raises the expectations for the next yr. It would now be as much as New York to attempt to elevate its expertise degree to fulfill the rising bar. There are some things left for them to type out. First, New York has to see if Julius Randle is keen to take a contract extension. Second, it has to determine whether or not to say no Mitchell Robinson‘s very reasonably priced crew choice, making him a restricted free agent, or choose it up — that means he can be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Lastly, with a bunch of cap house, will New York attempt to use it or once more be affected person? — Bontemps


15. Memphis Grizzlies
2020-21 report: 38-34
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +8000

GM Zach Kleiman has accomplished a superb job because the architect of the Grizzlies’ speedy rebuild, however his one main misfire thus far has been the costly commerce for ahead Justise Winslow. Will the Grizzlies lower their losses and decline Winslow’s $13 million choice — giving them $22 million of wage cap house — or will they provide the 25-year-old one other season to show he may be the playmaking wing Memphis envisioned as a complement to Ja Morant? One other sophisticated problem: Can the Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson Jr. (given his harm historical past) conform to an extension of his rookie deal that is sensible for each side? — MacMahon


16. Portland Path Blazers
2020-21 report: 42-30
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +5000

The offseason already has been sloppy for the Blazers, beginning with the transition from longtime coach Terry Stotts to Chauncey Billups. Apart from the controversial nature of the rent (Billups confronted rape allegations in 1997) and the questions over transparency that got here with it, the Blazers are in a pinch in attempting to fulfill the ambitions of Damian Lillard. Common supervisor Neil Olshey indicated after Portland’s first-round exit to the Nuggets that the prevailing roster wasn’t the problem, so any adjustments is likely to be on the fringes, with inside growth round Billups’ strategy being the main focus. However there at all times looms the nuclear choice, with CJ McCollum‘s title routinely arising in commerce rumors. Might Olshey make a daring play to attempt to bump the Blazers again to the highest half of the West? — Younger


17. Indiana Pacers
2020-21 report: 34-38
Outcome: Misplaced in East play-in
2022 title odds: +6000

Who says you may’t go house once more? Rick Carlisle did simply that after resigning from his teaching place with the Mavericks to move again to Indiana for a 3rd time: He was an assistant from 1997 to 2000 after which head coach from 2003 to ’07. Indiana is coming off a season wherein it missed the playoffs for the primary time in six years, and there’s no plan for a rebuild. Now, whether or not Indiana tries to run it again with a more healthy model of final season’s roster or makes some strikes to vary it up stays to be seen. — Lopez


18. Charlotte Hornets
2020-21 report: 33-39
Outcome: Misplaced in East play-in
2022 title odds: +10000

The Hornets simply missed a playoff berth, however the future nonetheless seems vibrant in Charlotte due to the breakout play of LaMelo Ball. The 19-year-old level guard gave the Hornets the kind of electrical energy they have been looking for in recent times, and with the improved play of a younger core that features Devonte’ Graham, P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges and Malik Monk, the Hornets seem to have the items in place to push again into the postseason. Gordon Hayward‘s potential to remain on the ground can be essential for a younger crew that has a promising future with Ball paired alongside veteran guard Terry Rozier. — Friedell


19. Toronto Raptors
2020-21 report: 27-45
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +6000

Toronto’s misplaced season in Tampa, Florida, proved to be a blessing in a method, no less than, because the Raptors jumped up within the lottery to nab the fourth general choice in subsequent week’s NBA draft. That can assure the Raptors, assuming they do not commerce the choose, will come away with one of many star gamers within the high tier of this yr’s draft class: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Inexperienced, Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs. Whereas that call will come first, the following is whether or not Toronto will have the ability to retain level guard Kyle Lowry. After selecting to not commerce him on the deadline, the Raptors now no less than have the chance to maintain him with the crew he has been with the previous 9 years, assuming a deal may be struck that is sensible for each side. — Bontemps


20. Washington Wizards
2020-21 report: 34-38
Outcome: Misplaced in Spherical 1
2022 title odds: +10000

With new coach Wes Unseld Jr. changing Scott Brooks, Washington GM Tommy Sheppard can be targeted on doing what he can to encompass Bradley Beal with a successful product. The commerce for Russell Westbrook helped get the Wizards into the playoffs regardless of a COVID-19 outbreak that threatened their season. Now Sheppard has to proceed constructing a winner, and that begins with preserving Beal, who enters the final assured yr of his contract. Washington should enhance its protection, add impactful veterans but in addition proceed to develop younger expertise reminiscent of Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford. Getting wholesome will assist after dropping Thomas Bryant and Avdija to season-ending accidents. — Youngmisuk


21. New Orleans Pelicans
2020-21 report: 31-41
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +8000

After a disappointing end to the season, New Orleans and coach Stan Van Gundy parted methods after only one 72-game stretch. Now, Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Inexperienced can be tasked with attempting to get the Pelicans heading in the right direction. The Pelicans have main selections to make with restricted free brokers Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart in addition to whether or not they’ll commerce or preserve the No. 10 choose within the upcoming draft. However finally Inexperienced must make a roster centered round Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram work higher than Van Gundy did. — Lopez


22. San Antonio Spurs
2020-21 report: 33-39
Outcome: Misplaced in West play-in
2022 title odds: +25000

After making the playoffs for an NBA-record-tying 22 consecutive seasons, the Spurs have now missed the playoffs in back-to-back years after falling brief within the bubble in 2020 and dropping within the play-in event in 2021. The most important query going through the Spurs this season can be what occurs with a number of of the crew’s veterans who at the moment are free brokers, beginning with DeMar DeRozan. If DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Homosexual transfer on, the Spurs might be main gamers in free company or might even get belongings again in a possible DeRozan sign-and-trade deal in the event that they select that route. — Lopez


23. Chicago Bulls
2020-21 report: 31-41
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +10000

The Bulls took an enormous swing once they traded for veteran huge man Nikola Vucevic on the deadline, however it did not pan out the way in which the group hoped. Now the Bulls should discover a method to enhance with out a top-10 choose this yr (to not point out one other future first-rounder headed Orlando’s method) whereas huge cap questions persist. Zach LaVine turned an All-Star for the primary time this previous season and can be on the lookout for a max extension within the close to future. Will the Bulls attempt to use their wage cap house this summer time to hammer out a take care of him or use it some other place? What about former No. 7 choose Lauri Markkanen? He hasn’t improved the way in which the Bulls hoped and seems headed for a recent begin some other place. Chicago stays in the midst of a rebuild, however it’s unclear how a lot it is going to be in a position to enhance with out the draft capital that the majority younger groups use to enhance. — Friedell


24. Sacramento Kings
2020-21 report: 31-41
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +25000

A 31-41 end noticed the Kings tie the Clippers (from 1976-77 by means of 1990-91) for the longest playoff drought in NBA historical past. New GM Monte McNair preached persistence in his first yr, hoping to keep away from the errors of his predecessors, and added All-Rookie First Group choose Tyrese Haliburton to a backcourt that already included De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. This season, the stress can be on third-year head coach Luke Walton to enhance Sacramento’s dismal protection, which ranked final within the league by permitting 116.5 factors per 100 possessions. Re-signing beginning middle Richaun Holmes, an unrestricted free agent, would assist. — Pelton


25. Minnesota Timberwolves
2020-21 report: 23-49
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

After a robust end to the common season and a few optimistic development underneath coach Chris Finch, the Wolves are getting into the offseason with some expectations. The event of Anthony Edwards was a major optimistic from an general robust season, and within the video games wherein the Wolves had their full roster out there, they had been aggressive towards even the higher crust of the West. Common supervisor Gersson Rosas hasn’t been shy about roster tweaks, saying after the season he believes they’ve a present core of 5 gamers to construct on, however are in want of seven or eight additions. They traded this yr’s first-round choose to the Warriors two seasons in the past so as to add D’Angelo Russell, so the extra assist must come by way of trades or their midlevel exception in free company. — Younger


26. Detroit Pistons
2020-21 report: 20-52
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

Regardless of final yr’s 20-52 end, there’s purpose for hope within the Motor Metropolis. The primary draft for GM Troy Weaver yielded a pair of hits in All-Rookie First Group choose Saddiq Bey and second-team choice Isaiah Stewart. (The jury continues to be out on No. 7 general choose Killian Hayes.) In the meantime, Group USA Olympian Jerami Grant confirmed the flexibility to shoulder a heavy scoring load with affordable effectivity. To that core, the Pistons add this yr’s No. 1 general choose. Though that may doubtless nonetheless translate right into a lottery crew in 2021-22, the long-term future is vibrant in Detroit. — Pelton


27. Cleveland Cavaliers
2020-21 report: 22-50
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

This yr’s No. Three choose can be Cleveland’s highest choose since taking Andrew Wiggins No. 1 general in 2014. The Cavaliers want so as to add a star and determine on the way forward for guard Collin Sexton. Sexton has proven the flexibility to attain prolifically with above-average effectivity however won’t match properly if Cleveland drafts a guard (doubtless Jalen Inexperienced or Jalen Suggs) and is due a rookie extension. With inside growth and a full season from middle Jarrett Allen (a restricted free agent), the Cavaliers ought to take a step ahead after successful 60 video games over the previous three seasons. — Pelton


28. Orlando Magic
2020-21 report: 21-51
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

One other painful rebuild is underway for a Magic franchise that hasn’t been nationally related since buying and selling away Dwight Howard in 2012. Former Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley takes over for Steve Clifford and is tasked with attempting to construct out a younger roster that has huge query marks. Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are every coming off severe knee accidents because the Magic maintain out hope that each may be key elements of their future. It can be crucial that Magic president Jeff Weltman and his employees hit on the crew’s lottery picks (No. 5 and No. 8) within the upcoming draft because the group continues to guage ahead Wendell Carter Jr., who’s up for a possible rookie extension. — Friedell


29. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder
2020-21 report: 22-50
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +50000

The Thunder have been fairly clear about their intentions, utilizing the again finish of final season to place themselves for the very best draft choose doable. The pingpong balls did not bounce their method, as they ended up with the sixth general choose, complicating their constructing plan. However basic supervisor Sam Presti is prudent, and affected person, and will not let that disappointment throw him off his recreation. He has extra levers than anybody to drag if he needs to maneuver up within the draft. However past who the Thunder take at No. 6 (or wherever), in addition they will look to lock up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to an extension, solidifying a core participant for the long run. — Younger


30. Houston Rockets
2020-21 report: 17-55
Outcome: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +50000

Crucial determination the Rockets should make this summer time is what to do with the second general choose within the draft. GM Rafael Stone intends to discover all choices, together with buying and selling down, however Houston is actually enamored with the star potential of Jalen Inexperienced after the teenage guard starred for the G League Ignite. He might be a fantastic match with the rebuilding Rockets’ promising younger nucleus that features Christian Wooden, Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr. — plus a stockpile of future first-round picks. Houston has curiosity in re-signing veteran ahead/middle Kelly Olynyk. — MacMahon



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