NBA Power Rankings week 8 – OKC Thunder cling to middle, trade market opens up

OKC Thunder NBA Power Rankings: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. LeBron James (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images).
OKC Thunder NBA Power Rankings: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. LeBron James (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images). /
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OKC Thunder
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz drives past Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 9, (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

NBA Power Rankings highlights for week eight finds a slew of players now trade eligible affecting all teams but especially the OKC Thunder.

With week eight in the books a third of the season is complete. Much like the quarter pole every additional week puts distance between the tiers. Week nine features the top two teams playing each other so it will be extremely interesting to see how that one game might change the dynamics of the tiers. For that reason, I’ll hold off until week nine to dive a little deeper into the tiers. In terms of the OKC Thunder although they suffered some losses this past week they also simultaneously had a minor breakthrough.

They enter this week still in the middle which is a testament to their clutch time identity coupled with so many other clubs either underachieving or dealing with injuries. They are percolating and it’s clear there is a tight unit here who have bought into the identity and each other. At issue is how long this specific group will remain intact.

To that end, week eight finished on Sunday, December 15th and with it unleashed approximately 120 players who are now eligible to be traded. Until this date, they were ineligible to be moved. Unlike so many seasons this campaign trade market has been colder than Siberia and that’s partially due to so many players changing teams and having to wait until December 15th.

It’s also due to so many teams still credibly being in the mix for playoff seeds, this summer’s draft not possessing a Zion Williamson or Ja Morant type talent and finally, the lack of big name free agents in 2020 is playing a role as well.

It seems like there is a great deal of caution and patience being exercised and as each week ticks away those shackles will be released.

Which brings me to week eight of my power rankings. There aren’t huge shifts but as per usual the seedings are based on performances of the week and cumulative weeks, rankings in the key categories, health and strength of schedule.

For those who prefer to keep track on a week by week basis each is linked below:

And with that I give you my NBA Power Rankings for week eight of action: