NBA Power Rankings: Warriors take the No. 1 spot in quest to repeat

Rookie Wire took a look at the NBA and ranked each team from worst to first ahead of the start of the season.

The 2022-23 season unofficially tips off Monday for the majority of NBA teams with players set to meet with the media ahead of the start of training camp on Tuesday.

The offseason possessed plenty of player changes across the league that figure to create several storylines entering the season. Even recently, some trades, injury news and the situation with Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka have sparked plenty of conversation.

On the court, however, the Golden State Warriors enter the season as one of the favorites to repeat as champions after a stellar 2021-22 campaign. They figure to have plenty of competition with challengers emerging from each conference after a flurry of moves and trades.

To make further sense of it all, Rookie Wire took a look at the NBA and ranked each team from worst to first. We will come back at the start of the regular season and provide our latest assessment on the best teams and those that are rising.

NBA draft 2022: Rookie-scale salaries for each first-round pick

With training camp set to begin this week, Rookie Wire took a look at the rookie scale salaries for every first-round pick.

The NBA on June 30 announced the salary cap for the 2022-23 season would be $123.655 million. When the salary cap was set, the salaries of the incoming rookie class were also locked in.

Contracts for first-round picks are slotted based on where they were drafted. The amount is tied to a certain percentage of the salary cap and fluctuates each season. Players can sign for as much as 120% and as little as 80% of the rookie scale so each contract can be different.

While the amount of each contract is locked in, agents can negotiate different conditions for their clients. Some players will take salary advancement payments while others will negotiate when they will be paid throughout the season.

With training camp set to begin this week for most teams, Rookie Wire took a look at the rookie scale baseline salaries for every first-round pick over the next several seasons.

Pick Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Total
1 $9,089,200 $9,543,900 $9,998,300 $12,607,856 $41,239,256
2 $8,132,500 $8,539,000 $8,945,900 $11,289,726 $36,907,126
3 $7,303,100 $7,668,100 $8,033,500 $10,154,344 $33,159,044
4 $6,584,400 $6,913,800 $7,242,900 $9,162,269 $29,903,369
5 $5,962,700 $6,260,600 $6,558,800 $8,310,000 $27,092,100
6 $5,415,500 $5,686,100 $5,957,300 $7,553,856 $24,612,756
7 $4,943,700 $5,191,100 $5,437,800 $6,906,006 $22,478,606
8 $4,529,000 $4,755,500 $4,982,000 $6,337,104 $20,603,604
9 $4,163,200 $4,371,400 $4,579,600 $5,834,410 $18,948,610
10 $3,955,000 $4,152,900 $4,350,300 $5,546,633 $18,004,833
11 $3,757,200 $3,945,100 $4,133,100 $5,484,624 $17,320,024
12 $3,569,400 $3,748,100 $3,926,500 $5,410,717 $16,654,717
13 $3,391,000 $3,560,500 $3,729,900 $5,330,027 $16,011,427
14 $3,221,500 $3,382,500 $3,543,800 $5,248,368 $15,396,168
15 $3,060,100 $3,213,200 $3,366,100 $5,160,231 $14,799,631
16 $2,907,300 $3,052,700 $3,198,300 $4,906,192 $14,064,492
17 $2,761,800 $2,900,000 $3,038,100 $4,666,522 $13,366,422
18 $2,623,800 $2,754,900 $2,886,100 $4,438,822 $12,703,622
19 $2,505,600 $2,631,000 $2,756,300 $4,244,702 $12,137,602
20 $2,405,200 $2,525,500 $2,645,700 $4,079,669 $11,656,069
21 $2,309,000 $2,424,700 $2,540,100 $4,046,379 $11,320,179
22 $2,216,700 $2,327,600 $2,438,500 $4,011,333 $10,994,133
23 $2,128,300 $2,234,900 $2,340,900 $3,972,507 $10,676,607
24 $2,043,200 $2,145,300 $2,247,600 $3,931,052 $10,367,152
25 $1,961,400 $2,059,300 $2,157,600 $3,885,838 $10,064,138
26 $1,896,400 $1,990,900 $2,085,800 $3,760,697 $9,733,797
27 $1,841,600 $1,933,700 $2,025,800 $3,654,543 $9,455,643
28 $1,830,300 $1,922,000 $2,013,500 $3,634,368 $9,400,168
29 $1,816,900 $1,907,600 $1,998,800 $3,607,834 $9,331,134
30 $1,803,800 $1,894,000 $1,984,400 $3,581,842 $9,264,042

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac

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2022-23 NBA season: Key dates, important events and other info

Rookie Wire took a look at the key dates and other deadlines for the 2022-23 regular season.

The 77th season in the NBA is set to tip off this week with training camp opening for most teams after another exciting offseason that featured plenty of change and player movement.

The regular season, which consists of 82 games for each team, begins Oct. 18 and concludes on April 9, 2023. The play-in tournament is scheduled for April 11-14. The first round of the playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 15 and the NBA Finals start date is June 1.

Of course, the upcoming season will feature plenty of other important deadlines and dates to monitor as the season progresses. With the season beginning soon, Rookie Wire took a look at several notable dates and important events to keep an eye on.

  • Sept. 27: Training camp begins for teams
  • Sept. 30: Preseason games begin
  • Oct. 14: Preseason games end
  • Oct. 18: Start of the 2022-23 regular season
  • Dec. 17: NBA Mexico City game: Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs
  • Jan. 5: 10-day contracts can be signed
  • Jan. 10: Standard contracts are guaranteed for the season
  • Feb. 9: NBA trade deadline (3 p.m. EST)
  • Feb. 17-19: NBA All-Star Weekend (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Feb. 17-22: NBA All-Star break
  • March 1: Playoff eligibility waiver deadline
  • April 9: NBA regular season ends
  • April 11-14: NBA play-in tournament
  • April 15: NBA playoffs begin
  • April 23: NBA early entry eligibility deadline (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • May 16: NBA draft lottery
  • June 1: NBA Finals begin
  • June 12: NBA draft early entry withdrawal deadline (5 p.m. EST)
  • June 18: NBA Finals Game 7 (if necessary)
  • June 22: 2023 NBA draft

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NBA contracts: The top player salaries for the 2022-23 season

Rookie Wire took a look at the highest-paid players for the 2022-23 season.

With teams opening up training camp this month, the start of the 2022-23 season is just around the corner after another busy offseason period in the NBA that saw plenty of action and player movement.

The summer featured several blockbuster trades with the likes of Patrick Beverley, Malcolm Brogdon, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell among the players that were moved. The trades figure to help each respective team take the next step this season.

Mixed in with the trade activity, several notable players elsewhere found deals with new teams while others agreed to contract extensions. The flurry of moves saw some players agree to monstrous contracts, including a record-breaking one, early in free agency.

With the offseason nearly wrapped up, Rookie Wire took a look at the upcoming season and the players set to be the highest-paid individuals on the court.

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac

2021 NBA Re-Draft: Cade Cunningham remains the No. 1 pick in re-draft

Rookie Wire took a look at the 2021 class and re-drafted the players based on what we know after one season.

As the NBA is set to welcome a new rookie class into the league for the 2022-23 season, observers are still raving about the previous group that saw great success on the court.

The players were highly touted entering the 2021 NBA draft with several notable names projected to be selected near the top of the board. The class had such depth that teams had the opportunity to draft impact players late in the first round, and even into the second round.

Throughout the year, the class was touted as one of the best in recent memory as many even believe it has the potential to go down as one of the best in history. The top picks proved worthy of their selections, while others showed that they should have been drafted higher.

With that in mind, we took a look at the players and re-drafted the class based on what we know after one season. Other factors, such as potential on the court and long-term outlook, were also considered in this early look back at the class.

NBA 2K23: Complete rookie ratings for each first-round pick

Rookie Wire went through and took a look at the ratings for each first-round pick in NBA 2K23.

2K Sports on Friday released NBA 2K23 worldwide with five editions now available for gameplay across all platforms ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season.

The latest iteration of the popular video game will feature Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker on the standard and deluxe editions. Hall of Famer Michael Jordan will grace the cover of two special versions while legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will be on the WNBA edition.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is the highest-rated player upon the initial release with an overall grade of 97. Just behind him, five players received a 96 rating, including Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

The makers of the game offered a glimpse of the incoming rookie class after releasing the grades for the five highest-rated first-year players this week. With the game officially launching on Friday, fans now know how each rookie will be rated entering the season.

Rookie Wire took a look at the grades for each of the first 30 selections in the NBA draft this year, sorted from the lowest to the highest rating on NBA 2K23.

Note: Ratings via

The top rookie scorers in every NBA season since the merger

Rookie Wire took a look at the top rookie scorers in every season since the merger in 1949.

The best basketball players in the world each had unique paths to the NBA over the years and faced their fair share of adversity to reach the mountain top.

Throughout history, several notable players came out of the gate strongly and enjoyed great success during their first season in the league. Others, of course, needed additional time to develop into outstanding players.

With that in mind, Rookie Wire went back looked at every first-year player who led their rookie class in scoring. From Cade Cunningham to Michael Jordan, some notable names claimed the scoring title in their respective class.

Note: Players listed according to the official leader board on

NBA players who wore the No. 6 during the 2021-22 season

The NBA and NBPA announced that the No. 6 worn by 11-time champion Bill Russell would be permanently retired to honor his life and legacy.

The National Basketball League and National Basketball Players Association on Thursday announced that the No. 6 worn by 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell would be permanently retired across the league to honor his life and legacy.

Players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys throughout the 2022-23 season to pay tribute to Russell, who passed away on July 31. Every team will also display a clover-shaped logo with the No. 6 to honor the Boston Celtics legend on the sidelines near the scorer’s table.

The Celtics will have a unique recognition for Russell on their uniforms.

Players currently wearing the No. 6 will be permitted to continue doing so but the number will not be issued again by any team to any player. The league also confirmed that if any of those players change teams, they will be able to continue wearing the number.

With the No. 6 now retired, Rookie Wire took a look at those players that donned that number last season and could wear it again during the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

Note: Information via Basketball-Reference.

2023 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: An early look at the top prospects next year

Rookie Wire took a very early look at the next rookie class and some of the top prospects to monitor over the course of the 2022-23 season.

With the basketball world over a month removed from the NBA draft, many have started to look ahead to the next rookie class and which prospects may be available.

The class is headlined by French phenom Victor Wembanyama, who is considered one of the top prospects in recent memory. He has performed well in the top basketball league in France and looks to already be locked in as the top pick in 2023.

Elsewhere, there are several other prospects that will be worth monitoring over the course of next season. The rankings will certainly change but it can be a productive exercise to see how prospects moved up and down draft boards ahead of next year.

Rookie Wire took a very early look at the next rookie class and some of the top prospects to monitor as the 2022-23 season approaches in a couple of months.

Note: The order of the draft was determined by the reverse championship odds set by Tipico Sportsbook. The 2023 draft will only have 59 picks after the Bulls were stripped of their second-round pick by the NBA due to a tampering violation involving the signing of Lonzo Ball.

Who is Victor Wembanyama? What you need to know

Victor Wembanyama is poised to make a big splash at the 2023 NBA Draft and beyond? Here’s what you need to know about the French phenom.

The 2023 draft may already have a main attraction with France’s Victor Wembanyama NBA eligibility drawing near. The 7’3″ Parisian big man might just be the next great star in the Association, and teams are already positioning themselves to add the intriguing phenom to their future plans.

Every so often prospects create this kind of epic gravity. Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James are among those generational players who earned name-brand recognition before ever stepping on to an NBA court. It appears Victor Wembanyama is destined for that same hype.

So what makes this young man so special? What is he good at and where are his weaknesses? Who is Victor Wembanyama?