At RealGM, Power Rankings for the NBA after a whirl-wind free agency process:
1. Oklahoma City Thunder: The one elite team who could afford to stand pat, and they mostly did. Now they have to handle the heavy burden of title expectations while trying to manage the egos of three emerging young stars -- Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden -- looking for their first big NBA contracts.
2. Miami Heat: They plugged their hole at point guard by re-signing Mario Chalmers and drafting Norris Cole, but they’ve done little to address their undersized frontline. With roster flexibility for capped-out teams limited in the new CBA, there’s no point in keeping Mike Miller and signing Shane Battier if they aren’t going to play in the fourth-quarter, which means they must be comfortable with a frontline of LeBron James and Chris Bosh closing out playoff games. It’s something Don Nelson would have tried.
3. Chicago Bulls: They are still an excellent defensive team with an MVP candidate, but they haven’t fixed their match-up problems with Miami, the team standing in their way. They need another shot-creator to take pressure off Derrick Rose, and a 33-year-old Richard Hamilton isn’t the solution. They have two attractive trade chips: Omer Asik, a restricted free agent next season they’re unlikely to be able to afford, and Nikola Mirotic, a 6’10+ European sharp-shooter they stole at the end of the first round.