Western Conference Roll call
Probable starters: F Shawn Marion, F Dirk Nowitzki, C Chris Kaman, G Darren Collison, G O.J. Mayo.
Reserves: G/F Vince Carter, F Elton Brand, G Roddy Beaubois, G/F Dahntay Jones, G Delonte West, F/C Brandan Wright, G Dominique Jones, F Jae Crowder, G Jared Cunningham.
Needs: Post defender, wing shooter.
Notes: A room exception of roughly $2.5 million was Dallas’ main weapon to add one last key piece, according to ESPN, so Delonte West getting his wish to remain is great news for the Mavericks. They did a great job rebounding from whiffing on Deron Williams, maintaining cap flexibility while giving themselves a chance this season. All that’s missing to fully envelop Nowitzki with a legitimate chance to win a title, so expect a veteran’s minimum to go out to a big center or a shooter like Jason Kapono.
Probable starters: F Danilo Gallinari, F Kenneth Faried, C JaVale McGee, G Ty Lawson, G Andre Iguodala.
Reserves: G Andre Miller, F Wilson Chandler, C Timofey Mozgov, G/F Corey Brewer, F/C Kosta Koufos, G/F Jordan Hamilton, F Anthony Randolph, F/G Evan Fournier, G Julyan Stone.
Needs: A shooter or additional power forward.
Notes: This is expected to be the core for quite some time, especially with Ty Lawson likely to command a substantial raise next summer. Masai Ujiri and his staff have done a great job of assembling young talent. If Iguodala is a perfect fit and McGee lives up to the contract the Nuggets were pot-committed to handing him…
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Probable starters: F Harrison Barnes, F David Lee, C Andrew Bogut, G Stephen Curry, G Klay Thompson.
Reserves: G Jarrett Jack, F Carl Landry, F Richard Jefferson, F/C Jeremy Tyler, G Charles Jenkins, C Andris Biedrins, F/C Festus Ezeli, F Draymond Green, G Kent Bazemore.
Needs: Shooting guard. Capable mentor for all the young backup bigs.
Notes: Brandon Rush is locked into a $4 million qualifying offer that will solve their need for a capable backup behind Thompson. So long as no one spoils the Warriors plans of keeping him, Bob Myers has assembled a nice emerging nucleus surrounded by dependable veterans. Barnes may be one of those gifts you’re due every so often, but he’s got to prove he’s consistent before being placed in the Rookie of the Year mix.
Probable starters: F Chandler Parsons, F Patrick Patterson, C Omer Asik, G Jeremy Lin, G Kevin Martin.
Reserves: G Jeremy Lamb, F/C Donatas Motiejunas, F Royce White, F Terrence Jones, G Toney Douglas, F Marcus Morris, G/F Gary Forbes, G/F Carlos Delfino, F Jon Brockman, F JaJuan Johnson, G Shaun Livingston (NG), C/F Josh Harrellson (NG), F Diamon Simpson (NG), G Courtney Fortson (NG), C Greg Smith (NG).
Needs: A post you can play through. Backup point guard.
Notes: Combining Martin’s expiring $12 million deal with a few of their young prospects and non-guaranteed must net them the franchise centerpiece they’ve been coveting. They’ll move him at some point, as the team they would put out there without stiking a deal would be painfully young for a season where rebuilding wouldn’t go over well. Each of the team’s rookies impressed in Las Vegas, strengthening Houston’s assets. Lin is going to be given every opportunity to put up numbers, but I’d be surprised if the Rockets are successful going into the season without a major move.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Probable starters: F Caron Butler, F Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan, G Chris Paul, G Chauncey Billups.
Reserves: G Jamal Crawford, F Lamar Odom, F Grant Hill, G Eric Bledsoe, G Willie Green, C Ryan Hollins, C/F Ronny Turiaf, F Trey Thompkins, G Travis Leslie.
Needs: Seem set.
Notes: In win-now mode, look for L.A. to fill out its roster with veterans that can shore up an injury-prone frontcourt. They made the move for an additional big by keeping Turiaf from bolting overseas and acquiring Green in a sign-and-trade. Their success will hinge on health, Odom’s return to prominence and Vinny Del Negro’s ability to adjust on the fly. None of that sounds very promising. Best case, Griffin hits the ground running upon his return from a knee injury, while Paul and Billups re-capture last season’s chemistry while avoiding the inactive list.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Probable starters: F Metta World Peace, F Pau Gasol, C Dwight Howard, G Steve Nash, G Kobe Bryant.
Reserves: F Antawn Jamison, G Steve Blake, F/C Jordan Hill, F Devin Ebanks, F Earl Clark, G Chris Duhon, G Jodie Meeks, G Andrew Goudelock, C Robert Sacre (NG).
Needs: Backup center.
Notes: After pulling off the Howard coup, the Lakers also finalized a deal to add another shooter capable of taking advantage of the opportunities L.A.’s many playmakers are going to create. Meeks is an underrated get, especially if he rebounds from a poor offseason with Philly. The addition of Nash and Howard has made the Lakers a championship contender, potentially unbeatable if someone out of the group of Meeks, Ebanks, Hill, Clark and Goudelock can emerge.
Probable starters: F Rudy Gay, F Zach Randolph, C Marc Gasol, G Mike Conley, G Tony Allen.
Reserves: G Jerryd Bayless, G/F Quincy Pondexter, F/C Marreese Speights, F Darrell Arthur, G Josh Selby, C Hamed Haddadi, G Tony Wroten, G Wayne Ellington, F D.J. Kennedy.
Needs: Backup center.
Notes: They’re bringing back Hamed Haddadi, but the position still must be fortified behind Marc Gasol. GM Chris Wallace swung a deal with Minnesota that sent Dante Cunningham there for Ellington, who fills the need for a shooter. Beyond that, other than losing O.J. Mayo, these are the Grizzlies we’ve come to know. They failed to take the next step last year, but should be healthier up front while getting a spark from young Summer League standouts Selby and Wroten.
Probable starters: F Andrei Kirilenko, F Kevin Love, C Nikola Pekovic, G Ricky Rubio, G Brandon Roy.
Reserves: F Derrick Williams, G Luke Ridnour, G J.J. Barea, F Chase Budinger, C Greg Stiemsma, F Dante Cunningham, G Alexey Shved, G Malcolm Lee, G Jerome Dyson.
Needs: Seem set.
Notes: Ellington was finally moved for Cunningham, allowing the Timberwolves to get another forward for their rotation. After missing out on its big offer sheet for Nicolas Batum (four years, $46.5 million), Minnesota is hoping the gift they got in Budinger and bringing Kirilenko and Roy back to the NBA make this offseason a success. Yes, hinging your hopes on Roy seems dangerous, but it’s clear that’s what they’re doing since they gave up on Wesley Johnson. Additional size would aid the Wolves cause, so they could also make a run at another ex-Blazer, Joel Przybilla.
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
Probable starters: F Ryan Anderson, F Anthony Davis, C Jason Smith, G Austin Rivers, G Eric Gordon.
Reserves: F Al Farouq Aminu, G/F Xavier Henry, C Robin Lopez, G Greivis Vasquez, F Hakim Warrick, F Lance Thomas, G Roger Mason, G Darius Miller (NG).
Needs: Veteran mentor-type point guard. A shooter who can defend both wing spots. Center/big forward.
Notes: It’s obvious that the Hornets are going to be one of the league’s worst teams this season, but you can see the method to the madness since they’ll add another high draft pick come late June. Adding another bodyguard at the vet’s minimum would also be advisable. Derek Fisher is an ideal mentor for Rivers, but he’s out to win one more championship.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Probable starters: F Kevin Durant, F Serge Ibaka, C Kendrick Perkins, G Russell Westbrook, G Thabo Sefolosha.
Reserves: G James Harden, F/C Nick Collison, G Eric Maynor, G/F Daequan Cook, F Lazar Hayward, G Reggie Jackson, C Cole Aldrich, C Hasheem Thabeet, F Perry Jones III, F Hollis Thompson.
Needs: None. The roster is filled out and fully-stocked.
Notes: In adding Thabeet and undrafted rookie Thompson, the Thunder have their 15 players signed. Stealing the impressive Jones set the stage for a summer spent chasing low-risk, high-reward propositions to round out a roster that returns nearly intact after being favored by oddsmakers to beat Miami in the NBA Finals. Next offseason’s big decisions will be finding a way to keep Ibaka and Harden long-term.
Probable starters: F Michael Beasley, F Luis Scola, C Marcin Gortat, G Goran Dragic, G Jared Dudley.
Reserves: F/C Channing Frye, G Shannon Brown, F Markieff Morris, G/F Wesley Johnson, G Kendall Marshall, C Jermaine O’Neal, G Sebastian Telfair, F P.J. Tucker
Needs: Seem set.
Notes: Having dealt Lopez and tweener Warrick, the Suns suddenly look like they need another big body. After whiffing on Gordon and Mayo, Phoenix had to settle for bringing Shannon Brown back and had room for another shooter to close out a successful offseason where they opted for a facelift. Johnson, the No. 4 pick in 2010, never got it going with the Wolves. Phoenix is hoping he’ll ultimately push Dudley for the starting spot.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Probable starters: F Nicolas Batum, F LaMarcus Aldridge, C J.J. Hickson, G Damian Lillard, G Wes Matthews.
Reserves: F Luke Babbitt, F/C Joel Freeland, C Meyers Leonard, G Nolan Smith, G Elliott Williams, G Ronnie Price, F Victor Claver, G/F Will Barton, G/F Sasha Pavlovic (NG)
Needs: Plenty on the floor, but this is the group whoever winds up coaching this team inherits.
Notes: This season is all about discovery for new GM Neil Olshey and whoever is eventually hired to coach. On paper, the bench is among the worst in the league, but Portland will be able to weed out those who can play from those who can’t, hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
Probable starters: F John Salmons, F Jason Thompson, C DeMarcus Cousins, G Isaiah Thomas, G Tyreke Evans.
Reserves: G Marcus Thornton, G Aaron Brooks, F/C Chuck Hayes, F Thomas Robinson, F Travis Outlaw, G Jimmer Fredette, G Francisco Garcia, F James Johnson, F Tyler Honeycutt.
Needs: Shot-blocking center.
Notes: Hassan Whiteside proved to be too much of a project to hang around, but without a 7-footer on the roster, that’s the only move the Kings would even make at this point. There’s a lot of versatility for Keith Smart on this roster, but it remains to be seen whether all the pieces fit. Thus far, they haven’t. Cousins needs to challenge for an All-Star berth this season, while a decision must be made if and where Evans is best-suited long-term.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Probable starters: F Kawhi Leonard, F Tim Duncan, C Boris Diaw, G Tony Parker, G Danny Green.
Reserves: G Manu Ginobili, G/F Stephen Jackson, C Tiago Splitter, F Matt Bonner, G Patty Mills, F/C DeJuan Blair (NG), G Cory Joseph, G Nando DeColo, F Eric Duncan (NG), Derrick Byars (NG).
Needs: Another big, especially if Blair is waived.
Notes: Because the disgruntled Blair’s deal isn’t guaranteed if he’s waived by Nov. 1, it will be interesting to see if the Spurs like anything they see among the available veteran bigs. Bringing back Duncan, Diaw and Green is proof San Antonio feels it has unfinished business after squandering homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs in dropping the Western Conference Finals to OKC.
Probable starters: F Marvin Williams, F Paul Millsap, C Al Jefferson, G Mo Williams, G Gordon Hayward.
Reserves: F Derrick Favors, G Randy Foye, G Earl Watson, C Enes Kanter, F Jeremy Evans, G Alec Burks, G Jamaal Tinsley, F DeMarre Carroll (NG), G/F Kevin Murphy (NG), G Raja Bell.
Needs: Well-stocked and settled outside of dealing some expiring contracts. Another versatile veteran wing who can shoot wouldn’t hurt.
Notes: With Millsap and Jefferson entering the final year of their contracts, this is a key season for the Jazz. The dynamic between the veterans and the kids is likely to dictate their success. They need both Williams to hit the ground running and Hayward and Burks to take the next in their development.