These rankings are obviously my opinion, and different people have very different opinions on what makes a team fun to watch or keep up with. Here are the things that affect my rankings:
1. Is the team fun to watch? For me, this comes down to a lot of things. Is there a superstar/dominant player on the team, one who has can't miss nights relatively frequently? Do they play modern, up tempo basketball or more of a plodding style? (I like the pace and space era a lot myself) Are there any unintentional comedy players on the team (JaVale McGee and Nick Young come to mind)?
2. Are there interesting young players on the team? I am fascinated by player development and love watching prospects figure out the NBA game and improve. Some watchers might prefer veteran play and higher basketball IQs however.
3. Is the team good? Good teams play in more "meaningful" games, especially towards the end of the season, and higher quality basketball is obviously nice. But some good teams aren't very fun to watch, and some bad teams are quite interesting.
4. Random stuff. I really don't care much about announcers, or uniforms, or court colors, or more of the miscellaneous things that fascinate some NBA fans (shout out to Zach Lowe and his league pass rankings). They can factor in a bit, especially the announcing, but won't hugely sway me one way or another. So on that note, here we go!
29. Brooklyn Nets- Avoid at all costs. Mediocre, boring, and irrelevant is no way to go through life, son. Sadly, such is the nature of the Nets these days.
28. Charlotte Hornets- Unless you really, really like watching traditional post moves (Al Jefferson), this team is not going to be very fun. Michael Kidd Gilchrist's injury not only removed their best wing defender, but also by far their most exciting player. The Hornets' redeeming feature is the incredible squad of backup white big men: Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Spencer Hawes, and Tyler Hansbrough.
27. Philadelphia 76ers- I like seeing young prospects develop and improve. I do not like watching terrible players when I can watch good ones. Nerlens Noel is awesome, Jahlil Okafor should be fun, and they have a couple other NBA caliber players. The rest of their roster is trash. Coach Brett Brown deserves better.
26. The Memphis Grizzlies- Yes, the Grizzlies are probably going to win 50+ games this year. They are also going to play slow, grinding basketball that is unenjoyable to watch, and have few young players of note. They are what they are.
25. The Houston Rockets- The Rockets are some very smart basketball people's choice to win the West (Lowe most notably). Unfortunately they feature James Harden on offense, and watching him score 25 points by using rip through dribble moves and taking an endless amount of free throws a game does not qualify as fun basketball. Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza are both incredible defenders, but Harden sucks the life out of my basketball soul.
24. The Boston Celtics- Brad Stevens is a wizard and will somehow drag this team to 40+ wins. When you look at their roster, it shouldn't be that way. The Celts are a squad of 5th-8th rotation players, and their best overall player comes off the bench. They aren't going to be great, and they don't have any exciting (Isaiah Thomas aside) or standout players. Marcus Smart might get there in a couple years.
23. The Dallas Mavericks- The Rick Carlisle/Dirk Nowitzki pairing is one of the greats in NBA history. Dirk is still a pleasure to watch on offense, and I am intrigued by Wes Matthews' and Chandler Parsons' recovery. But the rest of their team is icky, and they just don't have the juice to make the playoffs. Also, Deron Williams makes me sad.
22. The Denver Nuggets- Emmanuel Mudiay promises to have an exciting if uneven rookie year. He is huge, athletic, and has actual point guard skills. Danilo Gallinari is super fun when healthy, and he played extremely well down the stretch last year. Jusuf Nurkic is scary, and his dad looks like the end boss from one of the Taken movies. Nobody else really sparks my interest (has any young player fallen off quicker than Kenneth Faried?)
21. The Indiana Pacers- Paul George is coming back! Monta have it all is arriving in Nap City! The Pacers finally ditched Roy Hibbert! That's all I got. Should be around 41 wins and a fine team to watch.
20. The Los Angeles Lakers- At least they will be better than last year. With a healthy Julius Randle, the addition of D'Angelo Russell, and the breakout of Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers have a promising young nucleus. They also command two of the premier heat check players in the NBA in Lou Williams and Nick Young. But Kobe Bryant will be putting in another twilight year of work on a terrible team.
19. The Orlando Magic- Super Mario (Hezonja) is going to be awesome. Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton already play terrific defense and pass the ball well. The rest of the team is an intriguing mix of tweeners (Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon) and boring backup veterans, but they won't be anywhere near the playoffs.
18. The Chicago Bulls- Color me unexcited. The Bulls will hopefully play more up tempo under new coach Fred Hoiberg, but they are still old, injury prone, and shallow in the back court. Jimmy Butler is awesome, Nikola Mirotic had a promising rookie season, and Bobby Portis looked great in preseason. They could either shoot up the rankings (Derrick Rose is healthy and Hoiberg is a success) or drop to the bottom (Kirk Hinrich starts 50 games and their big men continue spiraling downwards).
17. The Phoenix Suns- Ex Clipper Eric Bledsoe is a dervish of activity on the court and has quietly turned into a very good player. TJ Warren was an incredible grab in last year's draft (I expect him to start by Christmas). I am very curious as to how Brandon Knight plays for the Suns this season after collapsing post trade last year. Their ranking this low more has to do with how awesome the NBA is than anything against Phoenix.
16. The Toronto Raptors- What an odd team. I am probably just a sucker for Kyle Lowry's weight loss and tear through the preseason, but man did he put on a show. The DeMarre Carroll signing as well as the importation of a couple Spurs' rotation players should help them on defense and with ball movement. My issue with the Drakes is simple: DeMar DeRozan is a terrible relic(a dinosaur, if you will) of the early 2000s era of the NBA, when a large wing player got the ball on one side in an isolation, did a bunch of moves, and then took a horrific contested midrange jumper. He is one of the more overrated "star" players in the NBA today, and takes the Raptors' watchability down with him.
15. The Milwaukee Bucks-Another team where one has to juggle some awesomeness against lots of meh. The Greek Freak is overrated as a basketball player, but there is no doubt he is incredible to watch, one of the few players who can do almost anything on the court. I am very excited to see the return of Jabari Parker, who I think can be a 20 point scorer along the lines of Rudy Gay or Carmelo Anthony sooner rather than later. Khris Middleton is still relatively unknown despite earning a 70 million dollar contract this summer. However, outside of Middleton they have no outside shooters, which clogs up the paint for new acquisition Greg Monroe. This will lead to a lot of low scoring affairs and Michael Carter Williams bricks.