Eastern Conference roll call


Probable starters: F Josh Smith, F Al Horford, C Zaza Pachulia, G Jeff Teague, G Devin Harris.

Reserves: G Lou Williams, F Kyle Korver,  F Ivan Johnson, G Anthony Morrow,  G John Jenkins, C Johan Petro, F/C Jordan Williams, G/F Pape Sy (NG).

Needs: Traditional backup PG, wing shooter, post defender.

Notes: Danny Ferry not only began a house-cleaning upon arrival, he also went for overkill in addressing the biggest weakness from a year ago — 3-point shooting. If Harris and Teague can pressure and the bench hits their share of 3-pointers, the Hawks may be a factor despite the loss of the league’s second-priciest player.


Probable starters: F Paul Pierce, F Brandon Bass, C Kevin Garnett, G Rajon Rondo, G Courtney Lee.

Reserves: G Jason Terry, F Jeff Green, C/F Chris Wilcox, G Avery Bradley, F Jared Sullinger, G Keyon Dooling, C Jason Collins, G Dionte Christmas (PG), C Fab Melo, F Kris Joseph (NG).

Needs: 3-point shooter.

Notes: Danny Ainge did a tremendous job of improving his basketball team in the offseason, going out and landing Terry in a proactive move that helps ease the impact of Ray Allen’s defection. Mix in the crafty manuevering required to land Lee, keeping the frontcourt intact and adding young draftees and there’s no question the Celtics have significantly improved.  With Bradley out a few months, Lee and Terry will carve out roles and then be forced to accommodate his return once everyone is healthy. If there’s a hole, it’s the lack of a sniper. Someone get John Shurna on the phone.


Probable starters: F Gerald Wallace, F Kris Humphries, C Brook Lopez, G Deron Williams, G Joe Johnson.

Reserves: G Marshon Brooks, F Reggie Evans, F Mirza Teletovic, G C.J. Watson, G/F Keith Bogans, F Toko Shengelia, G Tyshawn Taylor, G Jerry Stackhouse.

Needs: Centers – take that plural into account.

Notes: After breaking the bank to keep Williams and being forced to take Plan B after the Dwight dealings fell through, the Nets had to be creative to build a bench. A lot hinges on Teletovic or Shengelia, who both require an adjustment period. Evans, Watson and Bogans are reliable backups, while Brooks could be a strong sixth man. Who’s backing up the injury-prone Lopez? Anyone? The Mohammed deal fell through and quality 7-footers are scarce.


Probable starters: F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F B.J. Mullens, C Brendan Haywood, G Kemba Walker, G Gerald Henderson.

Reserves: G Ben Gordon, F Tyrus Thomas, G Ramon Sessions, C Bismack Biyombo, F Reggie Williams, G Matt Carroll, G/F Jeffrey Taylor, C DeSagana Diop.

Needs: Forward who can have impact in rotation. Another young wing to keep competition lively.

Notes: In retrospect, it looks like the Bobcats were correct in not moving down in the draft, grabbing MKG and banking he’ll fit in no matter what form this team takes in the future. Getting Gordon gives the bench some pop, while Sessions has to prove he can replace Augustin’s production. Stealing Alonzo Gee from the Cavs would be one way to go.


Probable starters: F Luol Deng, F Carlos Boozer, C Joakim Noah, G Kirk Hinrich, G Richard Hamilton.

Reserves: F Taj Gibson, F Jimmy Butler, G Marquis Teague, G Marco Belinelli, C Nazr Mohammed, G Nate Robinson, F Vlad Radmanovic, G Derrick Rose

Needs: Plenty, but I’d say it’s re-signing Malcolm Thomas.

Notes: Taj Gibson tweeted that he’s the last one left from the Bench Mob that made this team so special and dangerous the past few seasons. Now completely different, don’t expect it to take off until Rose returns after the All-Star break and Hinrich can help change tempo. Early on, too much appears to be on a group that seems like a strange mix. With Rose expected to miss such a large part of the season, the Bulls opted not to spend on key reserve pieces that helped them impose their will over 48 minutes. Still, Summer League standouts Butler and free agent Thomas play with great energy. Patrick Beverley and E’Twaun Moore are others on the radar, according to the Chicago Tribune.


Probable starters: F Omri Casspi, F Tristan Thompson, C Anderson Varejao, G Kyrie Irving, G Dion Waiters.

Reserves: G/F CJ Miles, G Daniel Gibson, C Tyler Zeller, F Samardo Samuels, F Luke Harangody, F Luke Walton, F/C Jon Leuer, G/F Kelenna Azubuike , F Kevin Jones, G Jeremy Pargo, C Michael Eric.

Needs: Given the agenda of netting another top pick, someone to help mentor Irving, push Waiters to improve and wing who fits with the tempo the Cavs want to play going forward.

Notes: It’s apparent that the Cavs are following the Thunder model, moving along nicely, accumulating assets and allowing a youth movement to reign. That’s why it’s unlikely they’ll blow it up moving on an Andrew Bynum deal, especially since center is one of the few positions they’re sound on and Thompson or Waiters are currently untouchable. If he’s available in the summer, that may be different. With Walton leading a few expiring contracts, GM Chris Grant can make a move if it suits the vision. Alonzo Gee is unlikely to return, so talk about reaching out to C.J. Miles and Jonny Flynn makes sense since they would wind up on short trials.


Probable starters: F Tayshaun Prince, F Greg Monroe, C Jason Maxiell, G Brandon Knight, G Rodney Stuckey.

Reserves: F/G Corey Maggette, F Jonas Jerebko, F Charlie Villanueva, C Andre Drummond, G Will Bynum, F Kyle Singler, F Austin Daye, F/G Khris Middleton, C Slava Kravtsov, G Kim English.

Needs: Roster complete.

Notes: It appears this will be a year when Joe Dumars will sit back and survey, having secured a trade of Ben Gordon that helps restore cap flexibility in the near future. The key is going to be the development of Monroe, Knight and Drummond. The former has to take the next step as a traditional power forward, while the team’s last two lottery picks must prove they’re dependable by season’s end.  .


Probable starters: F Danny Granger, F David West, C Roy Hibbert, G George Hill, G Paul George.

Reserves: G D.J. Augustin, F Tyler Hansbrough, C Ian Mahinmi, G/F Gerald Green, F Jeff Pendergraph, G Lance Stephenson, G Orlando Johnson, C Miles Plumlee.

Needs: Another wing.

Notes: If another move is made, look for it to be to add another small forward, preferably someone who can defend and help spread the floor, given how the team is constructed. Beyond that, the team that led eventual champion Miami has been fine-tuned by new voices Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard with some nice young talent. A key to how good they can be lies in how well D.J. Augustin keys the second unit. He’s definitely talented, but hasn’t been part of a winner. You really want to go into the season banking on those backup wings?  Mickael Pietrus and Marquis Daniels would bring experience to the table.


Probable starters: F Shane Battier, F LeBron James, C Chris Bosh, G Mario Chalmers, G Dwyane Wade.

Reserves: F Udonis Haslem, G Ray Allen, F/G Mike Miller, C Joel Anthony,  G Norris Cole, F James Jones, C Dexter Pittman, F Rashard Lewis, F Terrel Harris (NG)

Needs: If they’re eager to pay tax, another point guard and a big might fit.

Notes: Never underestimate the Heat’s desire to add another big man to the mix. With Allen at guard, there’s an array of shooters for whenever Erik Spoelstra wants to spread the floor. While Cole emerged in last year’s Finals, the point guard spot could always see a veteran influence if the situation arises.


Probable starters: F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, F Ersan Ilyasova, C Samuel Dalembert, G Brandon Jennings, G Monta Ellis.

Reserves: G Beno Udrih, F/C Drew Gooden, F/G Mike Dunleavy, C Ekpe Udoh, F John Henson, F Tobias Harris, C Joel Przybilla, C/F  Larry Sanders, G Doron Lamb.

Needs: Rotation shooting guard who can defend the position. Play-making point guard or burly center.

Notes: There has to be another wing inserted into the mix, but other than that, the Bucks have to be confident they finally have the right mix. Dalembert is an affordable replacement to Andrew Bogut, Ilyasova was rewarded for his breakout season and they can bank on the frontcourt’s younger assets defensively.  Three guards can handle the ball, but outside of Dunleavy and maybe the rookie Lamb, the need for another shooter that can guard his position is great. It’s kind of wild the Bucks don’t want Carlos Delfiino back, but someone has to fill that void. Sonny Weems or Jodie Meeks are options.


Probable starters: F Carmelo Anthony, F Amar’e Stoudemire, C Tyson Chandler, G Jason Kidd, G J.R. Smith.

Reserves: G Raymond Felton, C/F Kurt Thomas, G Ronnie Brewer, C Marcus Camby, F Steve Novak, F/G Renaldo Balkman , G/F James White, G Iman Shumpert, G Pablo Prigioni, F Chris Copeland (NG), G Chris Smith (NG).

Needs: It seems like they have everyone they’re carrying, but I see a need for another power forward.

Notes: The Knicks are counting on Stoudemire to live up to his $100 milion status, but beyond that, need their backcourt to be far better than mediocre, which is a major concern. Not matching for Jeremy Lin means that newcomers Kidd and Felton have to carry the playmaker position at a high level to avoid backlash. Shumpert, already one of the NBA’s top defenders,  will be out for months. Acquiring Brewer to make up the difference and move ahead of White on the depth chart once that situation arrives makes him a key acquistion. Ideally, there would be one more big to count on like Andray Blatche, Anthony Tolliver, Troy Murphy, Chris Andersen or Yi Jianlian.


Probable starters: F Hedo Turkoglu, F Glen Davis, C Nikola Vucevic, G Jameer Nelson, G Arron Afflalo.

Reserves: F Al Harrington, G J.J. Redick, G/F Maurice Harkless, F/C Josh McRoberts, F Justin Harper, F Andrew Nicholson, C/F Gustavo Ayon (NG),  F Quentin Richardson, G Ish Smith, C/F Kyle O’Quinn, F/G Christian Eyenga,  G DeAndre Liggins (NG).

Needs: Rebuilding mode. A big, point guard and an additional wing would help round out the roster. Finding a way to hit the reset button in a deal for Howard is what the Magic wants to do, especially with game-changing prospects expected among the top two picks in the next few drafts.


Probable starters: F Jason Richardson, F Thaddeous Young, C Andrew Bynum, G Jrue Holiday, G Evan Turner.

Reserves: G Nick Young, F Dorrell Wright, C Spencer Hawes,  F/C Lavoy Allen, C Kwame Brown, F Arnett Moultrie, G Royal Ivey, G Maalik Wayns.

Needs: One more impact guard to come off the bench.

Notes: The sense that another shoe was set to drop came to fruition with Iguodala dealt for Bynum and Richardson. Having loaded up on young wings, re-signing Hawes and Allen adding Brown and drafting Allen, it appears Philly is set inside. Having lost Lou Williams, the need is there for a difference-making ball-handler off the bench and a shooter to replace Meeks. If there was ever a spot for Leandro Barbosa or a veteran like Derek Fisher, this would be it.


Probable starters: F Landry Fields, F Andrea Bargnani, C Amir Johnson, G Kyle Lowry, G DeMar DeRozan.

Reserves: G Jose Calderon, G/F Terrence Ross, F Ed Davis, C Jonas Valanciunas, F Linas Kleiza, C Aaron Gray, G/F Alan Anderson, F Quincy Acy.

Needs: Wing or combo guard.

Notes: The Raptors are looking to keep the core of this team in place outside of Jose Calderon, who could be disgruntled if he’s backing up Lowry. Not utilizing the amnesty provision on his expiring $10.56 million deal makes him an attractive trade piece. The additions of Fields and Lowry make the defensive-minded Dwane Casey smile.


Probable starters: F Trevor Ariza, F Emeka Okafor, C Nene, G John Wall, G Bradley Beal.

Reserves: G Jordan Crawford, F/C Kevin Seraphin, F Trevor Booker, G A.J. Price, F Chris Singleton, F Jan Vesely, G Shelvin Mack.

Needs: Shooters.

Notes: The amnesty of Andray Blatche provides some cushion, but outside of taking a shot at Brandon Rush, it’s more likely that the Wizards add a few inexpensive veterans to aid the backcourt in their pursuit of a playoff berth. Price is expected to get minutes behind Wall, but another combo guard that can stroke it would be a welcome addition. The Beal/Crawford battle for the starting shooting guard spot is going to highlight training camp.


Follow Tony Mejia at @TonyMejiaNBA