- Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesKevin Durant and a healthy Russell Westbrook look to bring the Thunder to the top of the West again.
Our annual Summer Forecast series is back!
OUR NEW PREDICTION ENGINE
These Summer Forecast predictions are powered by ESPN Forecast.
Over the next two weeks, we'll roll out our predictions for how each team will do this season, as well as the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year, Best Newcomer, Worst Newcomer, MVP, conference champions and NBA champs. We'll also examine which teams will make the biggest turnarounds this season and which teams could be in for the most turmoil.
For our results, we surveyed our ESPN Forecast panel on each topic.
Let's begin with a look at the conference that features the reigning NBA champs. We'll announce one team every half-hour (from 1 to 15), starting at noon ET.
Here we go ...
RANK TEAM W L PCT '13 W '13 L '13 PCT 1 Oklahoma City Thunder 58 24 .707 60 22 .732 @wibo8: No big moves in the offseason? No worries, Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka is all we need to top the West!
@mJaYs3: OKC has no depth, they lost Kevin Martin and did not fill that piece. If anything they got worse this offseason.
2 Los Angeles Clippers 57 25 .695 56 26 .683 @Hmkhitar: The acquisition of shooters JJ & Dudley is a dream come true for CP3, he now can make teams pay when they crash on his drives.
@nicopatella: Clippers practically haven't change the roster. Only a few changes, then why would they be so high in the ESPNForecast?
3 San Antonio Spurs 55 27 .671 58 24 .707 @JordanMay1: I love it!! Spurs under the radar yet again. Defending Western Conf. champs and a better/experienced supporting cast.
@GreyhoundsKc: Spurs were 26 seconds, a made free throw or Ray Allen not hitting the shot, away from a 5th ring!! How are they this low?
4 Houston Rockets 53 29 .646 45 37 .549 @James_Mao35: Best C in the league? Arguably best SG in the league? I smell Shaq-Kobe 2.0. Without the feud, hopefully.
@MishrigiG: Rockets are a bit too high, don't have the depth and experience like the Grizzles or Warriors.
5 Memphis Grizzlies 51 31 .622 56 26 .683 @TylerGee_95: Memphis over the Warriors? Memphis only got to Conf. finals cause of no Westbrook. Warriors are deep. Also #SplashBros
@Aleksandr901: Looks like a lotta people are gonna be shocked when Memphis gets home court. #weinthemud
6 Golden State Warriors 50 32 .610 47 35 .573 @SherwoodStrauss: "Warriors fans are mad about a predicted 50 win season" is something I thought I'd never say.
@jamesnewlin: What's crazy is that in a loaded West, the Warriors, even with another huge piece in Iguodala, could still be 6th.
7 Denver Nuggets 43 39 .524 57 25 .695 @Tyfrees: Denver at 7 seed is reasonable in the stacked west, but 43 wins? Losing Iggy, Nuggs are still good for 48-50 wins.
@SheaEhlert: When Denver doesn't make the playoffs ppl will realize how important coaching actually is in the NBA! KARL = Legend
8 Minnesota Timberwolves 40 42 .488 31 51 .378 @DeeshotKofi: I agree with fighting for 8th seed in Western Conference, but my fav team is NOT having another losing season.
@iamjamesbedell: Don't know what's scarier: the West's 8th seed with a losing record, or the West's 8th seed as Minnesota.
9 Dallas Mavericks 39 43 .476 41 41 .500 @peman3232: Mavs have potential to be one of the best offensive teams in the league. Defense doesn't look as promising.
@JabberWalker: Dallas at 9? Didn't we just see last season what happens to a terrible defensive backcourt in the NBA?
10 Portland Trail Blazers 38 44 .463 33 49 .402 @rydstein: Blazers improved their league-worst bench but still can't get into the playoffs... life sure is tough out West.
@T_Rey14: Blazers at 10 is laughable. With the new roster additions they're going to be the team that nobody wants to play come playoffs.
11 New Orleans Pelicans 37 45 .451 27 55 .329 @cmac81: Pelicans could be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA with Davis, Jrue and Gordon. Gonna be in the battle for the 7/8th seed.
@KennedyCourtney: If Anthony Davis is the real deal they can easily be the 7th seed. 18/11/2.5 blks written all over him.
12 Los Angeles Lakers 36 46 .439 45 37 .549 @kobebryant: 12th I see.. | @jordanchill43: Ranked 12th?!? In the west?!?
@mikewu43: #ESPNForecast is predicting a lot of losses for the Lakers. Most of those losses will probably be on national television.
13 Utah Jazz 32 50 .390 43 39 .524 @salexwebb: Jazz starting 5 all lottery picks; oldest is 23. Six first-round picks in the next few drafts. Future is bright; present is rough.
@ratdogz: According to #ESPNForecast the Jazz are only 8 games from the 8th seed. If they can get anything from their bench, they could be a surprise.
14 Sacramento Kings 30 52 .366 28 54 .341 @ArmanditoV: I say 32 wins. RT @ESPNNBA: ESPN Summer Forecast, No. 14 in West: Sacramento Kings (30-52). #ESPNForecast
@Sir_adel: @ESPNNBA: ESPN Summer Forecast, No. 14 in West: Sacramento Kings (30-52). We ain't last thoooo.
15 Phoenix Suns 22 60 .269 25 57 .305 @FatHunty: Give Dragic and Bledsoe a year to work out their roles together and then draft Wiggins? Future looks bright in Phoenix. #ESPNForecast
@Suns: Everyone knows the Summer Forecast in Phoenix is always Sunny. "@ESPNNBA: ESPN Summer Forecast, No. 15 in West: Phoenix Suns"
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