Utah Jazz: The J-Notes’ Western Conference composite power rankings, September edition

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 14: The Houston Rockets introduces Chris Paul as he speaks to the media during a press conference on July 14, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 14: The Houston Rockets introduces Chris Paul as he speaks to the media during a press conference on July 14, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Paul Millsap Denver Nuggets
DENVER, CO – JULY 13: The Denver Nuggets Introduce Paul Millsap during a press conference on July 13, 2017 at the Montbello Recreation Center in Denver, Colorado. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

9) Denver Nuggets

Avg: 8.7, Hi: 7, Low: 10, Aston: 8

Paul Millsap returns to the Northwest Division next season, joining a Denver Nuggets team that should be a force to be reckoned with for the next five-plus years. There’s even reason to believe they could challenge for a mid-tier playoff spot during the 2017-18 campaign.

Even before the move to acquire Millsap, there was a lot to love in Denver. Nikola Jokic has quickly become one of the game’s elite big men and will make a strong play for an All-Star nod in the months ahead. Throw in Gary Harris, Will Barton, Juancho Hernangomez, Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay and you’ve got one of the game’s best young cores.

That said, The J-Notes crew is somewhat less bullish on the Nuggs than some. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Denver was a non-playoff team last season. Despite the upgrades and expected internal growth, there’s still work left to be done on the other side of the Rockies.