With the 2022-23 NBA season right around the corner, we have decided to rank all 30 teams in terms of how watchable they will be, be it due to their star power, loaded roster, train-wreck potential – or whatever else.
The reigning champion Golden State Warriors finish high in this exercise, especially after the drama surrounding the Draymond Green–Jordan Poole scuffle… as will the Brooklyn Nets, with their potential to be either a top contender or a total disappointment yet again.
The Indiana Pacers will be in the running for the No. 1 pick next season. They have some interesting young pieces, primarily Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte and Benn Mathurin, as well as some veteran guys like Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, who will play hard to improve their trade value, but overall, the roster is pretty weak in the talent department. Indiana will be even less watchable after the trade deadline when Turner and Hield will likely have new homes.
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Like the Pacers, the Utah Jazz will be deep in the 2022-23 tank wars, which could go down in the annals of NBA history as one of the ugliest seasons the league has ever seen in terms of teams tanking for the No. 1 pick. (Hard to blame any team for doing this, though – after all, have you seen Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson?) Utah has already stripped its talent corp pretty bare, shipping away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, and Danny Ainge likely isn’t done dealing, either. Collin Sexton is a solid young piece, but this roster even lacks rookies to be excited about.
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San Antonio Spurs
Unlike the prior two teams, the San Antonio Spurs do have some talent that improves their watchability – like Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl and Devin Vassell – but overall, the team’s roster is nothing to get crazy about. This will be another team in the race for Wembanyama.
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Oklahoma City Thunder
The first team on this ranking with a legit stud on its roster. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the primary reason to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2022-23. They also have other exciting young players to watch in Josh Giddey, Tre Mann and even Aleksej Pokuševski. The Thunder would have ranked far higher on this list if not for Chet Holmgren’s season-ending injury.
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Unlike the prior four teams, the Washington Wizards should be fighting for a playoff spot in 2022-23 behind All-Star Bradley Beal. Washington has some solid pieces around Beal in Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, Monte Morris and Will Barton. You may have noticed, those are a lot of offensive-minded, defensively-lacking players, which could make the Wizards entertaining in 2022-23, as they’ll likely score a lot and give up a lot of points. Scoring is fun to watch, isn’t it?
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Be proud, Sacramento Kings fans, as your favorite team now owns the record for the longest playoff drought in American sports, having missed the postseason the last 16 seasons. Regardless, this team is strong on paper and will at least have a chance to break that ugly streak. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are All-Star-level players and we might regret ranking Sacramento this low if Keegan Murray carries over his Summer League/preseason form into the regular season and becomes a Rookie of the Year contender. Will the Kings play up to their potential in Year 1 of the Mike Brown era? Or will they revert back to their lackadaisical effort levels?
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The Houston Rockets will have a lot of lineups that will be the youngest in the league in 2022-23. Following the James Harden era, they’ve done a solid job of stacking up exciting talent with loads of upside, the likes of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun. Watching that explosive talent develop next season will make the Rockets a fun to follow on League Pass from time to time.
For the latest Houston Rockets rumors, click here.
New York Knicks
It could be exciting to watch New York with its best point guard in a lot of time after the offseason addition of Jalen Brunson. What’s more, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are studs while the team also has solid young pieces in Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin. Who knows? The Knicks could be sneaky fun to watch next year.
For the latest New York Knicks rumors, click here.
Portland Trail Blazers
Behind a now-healthy Damian Lillard, as well as Jusuf Nurkic and Jerami Grant, the Portland Trail Blazers will be one of many teams vying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Anfernee Simons could one of the most exciting players to watch in 2022-23, too, if he continues on the trajectory he’s been on over the past couple of seasons. However, the team lacks depth, particularly on the wings, and it’ll take vintage Dame Time performances consistently to make them more watchable than the teams ahead of them on this list.
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The Charlotte Hornets’ watchability is boosted greatly by LaMelo Ball, one of the most creative young playmakers in the league – one with deep shooting prowess – and Terry Rozier, a solid sidekick in the team’s backcourt to Ball. The team also has some fun high-flyers in Kelly Oubre and Cody Martin and a decent starting center in Mason Plumlee. Still, people tuning in to watch the Hornets on a random Tuesday night in February will be doing so to watch Ball.
For the latest Charlotte Hornets rumors, click here.
The Chicago Bulls could be some fun to watch in 2022-23, primarily thanks to the combo of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, two high-level scorers with serious leaping potential (especially the former). Will they be able to find their early 2021-22 form, when they were one of the best teams in the league? It’ll depend on the returns of Lonzo Ball and Patrick Williams, as well as the play of All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic. Alex Caruso is also one of the most entertaining role players in basketball.
For the latest Chicago Bulls rumors, click here.
As has been the case a lot of the time outside of the LeBron James era, the Miami Heat will be one of the hardest-working defensive-minded teams in the league, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be as watchable as the teams ahead of them on this list, as they don’t score particularly explosively, nor do they have super exciting young pieces. Still, behind Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry, along with Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo, Miami should be one of the better teams in the East.
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The Detroit Pistons are more talented than they have been of late, but in terms of watchability, fans outside of Detroit will be tuning in for one thing: to watch the Cade Cunningham–Jaden Ivey backcourt. Cunningham is a three-level scorer and playmaker with great size and All-Star potential while Ivey is lightning fast and can jump out of the gym. That backcourt will be loads of fun to watch in 2022-23.
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Somewhat quietly, the Orlando Magic have amassed an exciting team for 2022-23, particularly behind No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero, a playmaker at power forward who can smoothly get buckets on the perimeter. There’s also a surprising young piece in Franz Wagner and a backcourt featuring Cole Anthony. There has been a lot of offseason buzz around Bol Bol, too, who one Magic player said was the best shooter on the team. We’ve heard the Bol hype before, though, so we’re cautious as to whether to believe that.
For the latest Orlando Magic rumors, click here.
One of the most well-coached teams in the league, the Toronto Raptors are interesting – and watchable – for their play style, as the team boasts a starting lineup of four wings and one excellent point guard, Fred VanVleet. One of those wings is reigning Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes, who has a very unique game and skill set for a forward, and plays hard every single game. Pascal Siakam is another stud and reason to tune into the Raptors in 2022-23.
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The Phoenix Suns will be plenty watchable in 2022-23, for both good and bad reasons. The good: Devin Booker and Chris Paul are awesome while Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are talented role players. The bad: The Deandre Ayton situation with head coach Monty Williams doesn’t seem totally resolved, Jae Crowder has yet to be traded and the bench is pretty weak. It’ll be fascinating to see how the team bounces back after such a disappointing end to its playoff run last year.
For the latest Phoenix Suns rumors, click here.
On his own, Trae Young makes the Atlanta Hawks very fun to watch as one of the best point guards in the league, one who can score and create at a high level. Add in his new backcourt mate, Dejounte Murray, along with two explosive bigs in John Collins and Clint Capela and the Hawks may be one of the most exciting teams in the East in 2022-23.
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This spot on the list might seem a bit low for the reigning Eastern Conference champions and for a team with a blossoming superstar, Jayson Tatum, and an All-Star partner on the wing in Jaylen Brown. Plus, the Boston Celtics should be dominant in the upcoming regular season as they were in the second half of last season. We’ll just say Marcus Smart and his flopping antics hurt the team’s place on this ranking.
For the latest Boston Celtics rumors, click here.
Los Angeles Lakers
What’s that analogy about trainwrecks and not being able to look away? The Lakers could be much-improved in 2022-23 after making wholesale changes to their role-player rotation. But even if they aren’t, LeBron James remains one of the most exciting players in the league whose game does not seem to be slowing down despite his age. Anthony Davis is also a two-way force, when healthy. Plus, if nothing else, the Russell Westbrook–Patrick Beverley backcourt should be entertaining, one way or another.
For the latest Los Angeles Lakers rumors, click here.
Nikola Jokic alone makes the Denver Nuggets must-watch television, as the supremely talented center possesses a game unlike any we have ever seen for a center in the NBA. Along with a returning Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., as well as solid role players like Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver just missed a spot in the Top 10 of our watchability rankings but even so, it should be one of the most fun teams to watch in 2022-23.
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There are so many reasons to be excited to watch the 2022-23 Cleveland Cavaliers, even for non-Cavs fans. For starters, whenever a team debuts a new All-Star, it makes for entertaining viewing, and that will be the case with Donovan Mitchell heading into Year 1 in Cleveland. He’s joining a roster filled with strong young pieces, too, including savvy point guard Darius Garland, a Unicorn Lite in Evan Mobley and the bouncy Jarrett Allen.
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We promise it’s just a coincidence that the two teams the former Jazz stars ended up on finished next to each other in our ranking, but that’s the way it shook out. Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns will be a fascinating frontcourt to watch, two elite centers starting alongside each other, though one more modernized than the other. Besides them, Anthony Edwards is one of the most exciting burgeoning star shooting guards in the league, with huge potential thanks to his three-level scoring and above-the-rim athleticism.
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Their place in our watchability rankings doesn’t match their talent level, as the Los Angeles Clippers are legit title contenders and one of the deepest teams in the league. A returning Kawhi Leonard on his own would make a team highly watchable, but add to that another elite two-way swingman in Paul George and a bundle of top-notch role players should make Los Angeles highly entertaining to watch in 2022-23.
For the latest Los Angeles Clippers rumors, click here.
For the same reason we discussed with the Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets will be very watchable due to their insanely high variance level. The team could be a championship contender or could fall apart by the trade deadline, leading to more drama surrounding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. And based on their preseason play, the latter doesn’t look out of the question, as Ben Simmons looks absolutely lost out there. Regardless, people will be tuning in to watch this team in droves either because they’ll be good or because they’ll be a trainwreck.
For the latest Brooklyn Nets rumors, click here.
Watching a talent as rare and enormous as Giannis Antetokounmpo never gets old, as the near-7-footer is a freak athlete, gives absurd amounts of effort every game and is able to drop 30 points to go with 14 rebounds while playing elite defense on a nightly basis. And he has a top roster around him, with Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton giving the Milwaukee Bucks one of the league’s best Big 3s.
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This year’s Philadelphia 76ers give off some 1994-95 Rockets vibes, with James Harden playing the part of Clyde Drexler and Joel Embiid as the do-everything two-way beast at center, Hakeem Olajuwon. Even Tobias Harris, though possessing a bigger bag, can be seen as a modern-day Robert Horry. Of course, Harden could heal up from that hamstring and play way better than Drexler did that year (before the playoffs) and make us look bad for saying this. Also making the Sixers highly watchable: Tyrese Maxey. He is confident, athletic, talented and can score from all over the floor.
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One of the best players in the world features on this team and will make them highly watchable, as Luka Doncic heads into 2022-23 as the MVP favorite thanks to his elite scoring, unreal playmaking and excellent rebounding for his position. This Dallas Mavericks team may not be championship-level due to the pieces around Doncic, but the Slovenian superstar will make them entertaining to view anyway.
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New Orleans Pelicans
In a world of outrageously freakish talents playing in the NBA, Zion Williamson remains one of the most unique players we have, an undersized power forward with the physique of an NFL left tackle who has soft touch, elite quickness and impossible bounce, who can score at an elite level extremely efficiently – without a jump shot. Alongside him, the New Orleans Pelicans also have other high-level talents in CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, so we are very excited to watch this team in 2022-23.
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Speaking of freak athletes, Ja Morant and the cast of high-level players he has around him – many with intense demeanors on the court – make the Memphis Grizzlies one of the most watchable teams in the NBA for the 2022-23 season. Morant’s highlight reel almost looks fake, his athleticism is that otherworldy, and he’s got a blossoming skill level to go with it that makes him one of the top point guards in the league. One could even argue Morant is the most exciting player in the NBA heading into this upcoming campaign.
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Golden State Warriors
Where to even begin with this team? Even under more normal circumstances, the Warriors, as reigning champions featuring one of the most uniquely talented guards ever in Stephen Curry, would have finished high in this ranking, perhaps even at No. 1 regardless. But add the recent Green drama with Poole to matters and that gets taken to another level, a far more volatile one. Drama aside, we could also see a Klay Thompson resurgence after returning late last season a bit rusty, along with young, talented pieces such as James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Patrick Baldwin continuing to develop, all of which make Golden State our most watchable team in the league for 2022-23.
For the latest Golden State Warriors rumors, click here.