How OKC Thunder compare vs. adversaries- dissecting Sports Illustrated top 100 by conference, division, team

Russell Westbrook, Paul George, OKC Thunder (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, Paul George, OKC Thunder (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Chris Paul, James Harden, OKC Thunder stats comparison article (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Southwest Division:

Although this division lands the second most ranked players it’s not the NBA’s power house division any longer having been usurped by the Northwest. Only one team snags five spots, while two grab four.

The takeaway from the list points to a shift in the SW as analysts wait with baited breath to discover precisely what a Spurs squad without Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard will look like. Will this be the master’s (Popovich) last season? Will the Spurs miss the playoffs for the first time in over two decades? So many questions in San Antonio.

In fact, arguably this division is in the most flux of the six in the Association. How will the Chris Paul contract look in another season and how does it affect the long term viability of Harden’s Rockets?

With Anthony Davis shifting management, is that a precursor to indicate he may also want to change addresses? Are the once mighty and powerful Grizzlies simply injecting to create Grit and Grind 2.0 or is a full rebuild simply one season away?

As  for the Mavericks, despite landing just three players on the list, this season could offer ample insight for the immediate future. Topping the list is whether this will be No. 96 (Dirk Nowitzki‘s) last season and how many teams will be be kicking themselves for their draft selections after Luka Doncic makes his mark?

Breakdown by tier:

  • three players in top 10 (two come from Rockets and Davis is a natural to be top five)
  • one player ranked 11 – 25
  • seven players in 26 to 50 range
  • three  players in 51 -75 range
  • five  players in 76-100 range

Dallas Mavericks:

Houston Rockets:

Memphis Grizzlies:

New Orleans Pelicans:

San Antonio Spurs: