NBA Power Rankings: Battle for seeding priority of OKC Thunder and peers

OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings week 22 (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings week 22 (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder trade deadline series
Tristan Thompson, OKC Thunder trade deadline series (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

team. 156. . 17-53. Previous: 29th. Cleveland Cavaliers. 29

Two weeks ago I channeled the old T.V. show Dallas replacing “Who shot J.R?” with “Where is J.R?”.

That show is even a bit out there in the timeline for me – but trust me -google it, because apparently an entire summer of reruns was occupied with that question.

Anyway, I digress — so the reason I brought this up recently was specifically that I was thinking toward this summer, free agency, contracts, teams who reposition etc.

Then Bill Simmons stole my thunder (no pun intended 😉) because of J.R. Smith’s contract. Set to make $15.7M in 2019-20 the Cavs could shift their dynamic by trading his contract to clear their own cap space and add talent.

But (as Simmons also pointed out in his recent show) the key for the trading team is Smith’s contract is not fully guaranteed. So two different teams could create cap room with the Cavaliers picking up assets for his contract while the team he lands with could waive him ($3.87M guaranteed which would equate to a $1.29M cap hit) and simultaneously open up their own cap sheet for spending! So, yeah – while I was teasing with who shot J.R. — the reality might be Who got JR?

Anyway, watch for JR Smith to be a factor for a team who wants to clear cap space to pursue a free agent and/or get in on the Anthony Davis sweepstakes.

Schedule particulars:

Tankathon rank for schedule strength of remaining games: 5th

Games Remaining: 12 | Home: 6 | Road: 6

  • Versus top 10 offenses: eight
  • Versus top 10 defenses: three
  • Games facing teams over .500: nine
  • Last 10 games: 3-7
  • Back to back sets: one

Key Stats:

Offensive Rating: 26th (106.3)
Defensive Rating: 30th (116.1 )
Net Differential: 30th (-9.8)

Record: 14th in EC
Home:  11-24 | Road: 6-29 | Back to back sets: 12
Versus the West: 4-19 | Versus the East: 13-34

Week 22, 1-3:  Won vs. Raptors, Lost vs.@76ers, @Magic, @Mavericks
On tap for week 23:  vs. Pistons, Bucks, Lost Clippers, @Bucks