NBA power rankings: Best quartets in new-look Western Conference
Four best players: Ja Morant, Andre Iguodala, Jaren Jackson Jr, Jonas Valanciunas
The jury is out on Morant, but the young point guard has incredible potential. Jackson Jr. showed he has major upside last season as a rookie. Valanciunas can man the paint and score a little bit. Iguodala will not stay long in Memphis. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP most likely will end up with a contender where he can assume an important role, and not have to be one of the four most important players on the team.
Four best players: Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric
The Suns have two building blocks in Ayton and Booker. Any franchise would love to have them as a future foundation. Rubio is a defense and pass-first guard, that has a highly limited offensive game. Saric still is young, and he might turn into a valuable scorer if he can find some consistency.
Four best players: Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, Jeff Teague
KAT is as skilled as anyone on this list, but he has not fully put it together. Wiggins has been a major disappointment so far in his young career, but he still can (inefficiently) put up points. Covington is a great "3-and-D" wing that might be a great trade chip at the deadline. Teague's best days are behind him, but he still is a solid point guard.
Four best players: De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley, Harrison Barnes
By the end of next season, this group has the chance to rise considerably up the list. Fox and Hield are forming a great scoring backcourt, and Bagley can develop into a dominant power forward. Barnes is a consistent wing that can be a solid No. 4 option on a good team.
Four best players: Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Seth Curry
The duo of Doncic and Porzingis should be the building blocks of a very promising future in Dallas. But after those two, the team is made up of role players like Hardaway Jr. and Curry.
Four best players: Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, JJ Redick, Brandon Ingram
There isn't a team in the league that has more boom or bust potential than the Pelicans. Holiday is an underrated yet consistent player that is good on both ends of the court, and Redick has been one of the best shooters in the game for a long time. Williamson and Ingram are players with the tools to be among the elite in the game, even as soon as next season, but we just don't know when and if it will happen.
Four best players: Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
It is unlikely that these four stay together for the whole season, but on talent alone, they are a great mixture of skills, age and size. Paul is not the player he used to be, but he still can be effective running the show when he is healthy. Adams is a bruising big man that should collect more rebounds without Russell Westbrook stealing them. Gallinari is a professional scorer with good size, and Gilgeous-Alexander has incredible upside and potential.
Four best players: DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Dejounte Murray
Both DeRozan and Aldridge can score as well as anyone from the mid-range, and the duo can use another year playing together to fully develop their chemistry. Gay's found his 3-point shot and it's made him a more complete offensive player. Murray missed all of last season due to injury, but he is an up-and-coming weapon who already was an elite defender before the injury.
Four best players: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Paul Millsap
Jokic played so well last year that the lumbering big man received MVP votes. Murray just got a large contract, and he will continue to form a great offensive duo with Jokic. Harris and Millsap, along with other talented players on their bench, play valuable roles for the Nuggets.
6. Trail Blazers
Four best players: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Hassan Whiteside
Lillard and McCollum are consistently one of the best scoring backcourts in the NBA, and they carried the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference finals last season. Nurkic, before a brutal injury, was having his best season of his young career. Whiteside still can show flashes of dominance, but off-the-court and locker room distractions have limited him.
Four best players: Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovich
The Jazz's top four might be the most complete in terms of covering all the bases. They have an oft-injured but great point guard in Conley, a dynamic young scorer in Mitchell, an elite rim-protector in Gobert and a sharpshooting wing in Bogdanovich.
Four best players: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker
In a vacuum, combining the talents of former MVP's Harden and Westbrook, to go along with the underrated abilities of Gordon and Tucker, should make for a guaranteed contender. Question marks remain, though, as some wonder how the fit between Harden and Westbrook will work, and if Westbrook's shooting can rebound from a rough season to make him an effective weapon off the ball.
Four best players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, DeMarcus Cousins
It would be hard to find a superstar duo that compliments each other's skillset better than James and Davis. Kuzma is becoming a young, reliable scorer, but there is a big question mark on what Cousins still can bring. If Cousins consistently can play like he did during some solid stretches for the Warriors, then these four could vault over the others.
Four best players: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell
The Clippers might be the best team in the West right now, and their two best players are as good as duo in the league. Both Leonard and George are lethal offensively AND defensively. Williams can score in bunches and Harrell is getting better and more dangerous every year.
Four best players: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, D'Angelo Russell
Without Kevin Durant, the Warriors original Big 3 almost led the injury-riddled team to another NBA title. If Klay Thompson is himself when he returns from injury, the Warriors' Big 3 should be as dominant as ever. Add Russell, an Eastern Conference All-Star last season, into the mix, and that is a very talented top-four.