WRITTEN BY: Stephen A. Kellerman 

OKKKKKKKKKAAYYYYYY BOYSSSSS! Season 7. For the first time ever, we are calling this the 'A Division' which naturally means that we are going to have an incredible level of talent and competition while still maintaining a bit of balance. We tried to limit teams to a maximum of 3 'allstar type' players and we shall see at the end of the season how well we did in that department. It's never going to be perfect especially with so many new players in the league this season and naturally some teams will still be stronger and some weaker but I respect everyone for taking on the challenge and joining what I believe is the most detailed league you will find (no bias lol). But seriously this season will be a movie with so many storylines and so many teams revamped looking to change their fortunes and claim that ETBL throne. We got 18 squads looking to do just that and we will have plenty of updates throughout the season but for now we are going to try and rank these teams as best as we could. Season kicks off November 6th at the Abilities Centre. It's a new location but a beautiful facility with 3 Fiba courts inside. The wait is almost over. Now let's get to these rankings!

  1. BOBCATS: The Champs are back and ready to defend the title! They replaced Christian Cassimier with JB Taylor and so their starting lineup is still loaded and experienced. They ran through the league last season and held on in an epic finals to claim the ETBL throne. This season is going to be different however. Teams have improved greatly and the amount of size in the league this season is going to give the Champs some trouble. Last season they had a pretty big team but now it seems like an average sized team and that just shows how the league is changing. They still got guys that can shoot the ball (Kalsang, Matthew, Allan, Jay, and more) and got guys that can create for others. Repeating will be incredibly tough but they deserve to be at the top of the list...at least for now.      

  2. THUNDER: Okay, so these guys lost in a heartbreaking finals. I am sure they feel like they could be easily the Champs of the league and now they are going to come back harder and show us why they deserve to be. They lost a couple key guys but they added Nabil Ibrahim to form a new big 3 with Janath and Hashi. Then you got a shooter in Camren and an uderrated big in Richard...the starting 5 is flat out loaded and going to be tough to beat. Size, skill, shooting, athleticism and IQ in the top unit and that is an elite combination. Add the chip on their shoulder (call it a revenge season) and we got a potential dynasty brewing. 

  3. CLIPPERS:  Tough season for the Clips last year but they look to have made some serious moves and coming with some reinforcements. They have big names and big talent and now it is just about being healthy and finding the chemistry on the court. They could potentially be at the top of this list and maybe it will happen sooner than later but they gotta put in some work early on and we shall see how it pans out. Losing Archu (to injury) and Anson (changed teams) hurts as they were anchors on defence and smart offensive players but overall this team is still hella dangerous. GM Randy looking to get his 2nd chip and he can definitely do it with this current unit. 

  4.  SIXERS: The former Knicks have made some changes including their team name. They chose the city of brotherly love (Philly)...now Ryan and company went out and got some brothers that can ball. Mayo Spencer and Delly Thomas are new talents joining the squad and they already look like they have a lot of chemistry with the other guys on the team (on and off the court). They did lose a couple of their key bigs from the past season but overall their top level talent has increased and their ability to play a high tempo game will be tuff for other teams to match. I can see them killing teams in transition and if they can consistently spread the court...they might be great in the halfcourt too. 

  5. PACERS: This will be one of the best defensive teams in the league and that will always keep them in games. They got the Season 5 MVP (Duzan) to pair up with Nidun and they will be tasked with making this team into a juggernaut. They have alot of veterans on the team and guys they are cool with which should help them on and off the court. I am not fully sold on whether their offence can hang with the top teams in the league or fully capable of hanging with some of the more athletic teams but their IQ alone should get them plenty of easy looks and baskets. If they do figure out their offence then this team is in the championship contender conversation. 

  6. PISTONS: The Pistons are back and looking to make some noise this season with a couple new additions. They did lose some pieces but overall they might have gotten a little bit better and that is bad news for the rest of the league. They have a good mix of size and shooting which is important but especially this season. GM Shaun has a better understanding of the league and players so he should be fully prepared and nothing should suprise them. Kendell and Big Mike are once again going to have to carry the offensive load and hope the supporting cast can play their roles effectively. In Season 7, will we see the Bad Boy Pistons? or the Dad Body Pistons...

  7. ROCKETS: Rockets were a good team last season and now they have added a couple players who aren't superstars but they fit the culture and play their roles perfectly. This makes them an even deeper team and allows them to be versatile and mix up matchups at anytime. Roshane will be asked to carry the offensive load again and he will need to be at his best if this team is going to make some real noise. The 3pt shooting will be key for them as they got some capable floor spacers plus their defence should be pretty locked in and now it is going to come down to consistency and everyone being on the same page. Potential is there for a big season. 

  8. LAKERS: This team was formerly the Jazz and they had an up and down year in season 6. But now they have big aspirations after revamping the squad and choosing the purple and gold might be a great start to the year. They got size and talent led by Jovan and Tristan and the newcomers like Shawn and Shavaughn are going to try and help this team get all the way to the mountain top. This might be a low ranking for them considering their additions but they gotta prove on the court first and then we can reevaluate. Could be a darkhorse/under the radar team that could suprise this season.

  9. KINGS: Another deep team that has a lot of experienced vets mixed in with a few young guys and this team will lean heavily on them to keep them relevant all season. Mithun and Chris D'Souza take their talents to the Kings and they will be surrounded by a solid group of ballers. Nishan will put on the coaching hat a lot more this season and be heavily involved in getting the team set up the right way. They are probably already figuring out the right lineups and practicing to start off strong and that will be key as the league is going to be competitive right down to the wire. I like this squad...just need some time to figure out how much I like them.

  10. RAPTORS: Very nice upgrades by GM Gogs and he is ready to make some noise this season. After not making the playoffs in season 6...he decided to revamp and only kept 2 of his guys (Marquise and Akin). The additions of Mustafa and his brother (Murtaza) bring some much needed size and skill while Rij gives them a solid point guard option. The big fish however is Tyrell Leotaud and we shall see if he can put up MVP numbers and take this team to the championship contender level. It is hard to move from non-playoff status to chip contender but I think Gogs might have outdid himself. 

  11. GRIZZLIES: Big Ben is back and this time he is going to have some help as they added a couple key players. The reigning MVP is always a problem and teams are going to have their hands full with him but it always comes down to how much the rest of the squad can do that will make the difference for the Grizz. Their role players will need to step up in key situations while playing above average defence overall. I have them in the middle of the pack but they can definitely move up or down depending on how good the competition is. I am looking forward to seeing their potential growth as a team this season.

  12. MAGIC: New GM Alvin will take on his biggest challenge yet and try to lead this Magic squad to contender status. They have the biggest player in the league (Shamus) and that is a great start but we gotta see what the rest of the team looks like and how their chemistry will be. Anthony aka Casper will be tasked with carrying being a focal point on offence and he will need to have a big year for them. This team could blow this ranking out of the water but for now we are going to ease up on the expectations until they prove otherwise. New GM, new players, and new team...gotta figure it out quickly or else they will be left behind. 

  13. HEAT: The squad that made the final 4 last season has now undergone major changes. They lose one star in Nidun and add another in Zaid...bring in Abdi, Aakgash, Kailash and Artan onto the squad as well and this Miami team looks solid. It looks like their players will have to all play well to make an immediate impact on the league and that is not going to be easy but if anyone can pull it off...it is GM Nitharshan. Maybe we can 'witness' another incredible playoff run. Gotta turn up the heat this season.

  14. BUCKS: GM Sarjun is looking to make sure his team is ready to play ball this season after a disastrous season 6. He has some nice new additions and I would bet on them being a playoff team but after how bad they did previously...we are going to have a wait and see approach. Gotta make sure everyone is committed and healthy and in shape. Lot of factors involved when trying to be a competitive team and now with the league talent increasing every season...the Bucks will have to be really on point. They have a chance to be the most improved team in the league and only time will tell if that actually happens.

  15. HAWKS: Not sure what to make of this new team. Couldn't really find too much information on them and usually if you have some ballers...they show up on some notable sites. With that being said...they could be a suprise team depending on how much experience and talent is actually on the team. Good coaching can help alleviate some of the lack of experience but overall they are going to have to learn quickly and adapt. Not sure how much chemistry they already have but if they play as a team then the Hawks could fly high this season.

  16. NETS: The Nets have made some changes and are now ready to try and make a playoff push. They did just miss the playoffs in season 6 but this season is going to be a little tougher and hopefully they got enough reinforcements to make some noise. They played with grit and tenacity on defence and they will need to do that once again this season. If they can find some consistent shooting and floor spacers...I like their chances...but without knowing for certain...we will start them off lower in the ranks.

  17. WARRIORS: The lack of size is glaring and this is not the season that you want to be considered a small team. Coulda got away with it in previous seasons but there are going to be a lot of bigs in season 7 and the Warriors will have to find a way to battle them and keep them off the boards. GM Kapi is taking on this new challenge and I believe he has a team with a bunch of friends on it and that should give them immediate chemistry but they are still going to have to find a way to defend and score at a high level. They are going to have to play like warriors and really bring it every game. 

  18. CAVALIERS: Bavi is back in the league and this time he tries his GM hat on and on paper he doesn't have a strong team. Lot of inexperienced young players and they are going to have to learn on the fly. We don't really know too much else about them and so we are going to place them here for now. This could look like a rediculous ranking in 2 or 3 weeks but the Commish gave me very little information to work with. Hopefully they are the Lebron Cavs and not the Kyrie Cavs.