A look at the potential top teams in the NBA East who will likely be battling for a playoff spot. Players in bold are new additions to the team.
Landing LeBron James and the first pick in the draft is no small feat. In clearing cap space for James, the Cavaliers did have to shed role players, but they replaced them with sharpshooting former teammates of James: Mike Miller and James Jones.
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Andrew Wiggins
SF: LeBron James
PF: Tristan Thompson
C: Anderson Varejao
Key reserves: PF Anthony Bennett, SG Dion Waiters
Key losses: SF Luol Deng, C Spencer Hawes, PG Jarrett Jack
Chicago’s biggest upgrade will be getting back a healthy Derrick Rose, who has had two straight injury-filled seasons. The addition of Pau Gasol alongside Joakim Noah gives Chicago two of the best-passing big men in the league, and Doug McDermott helps address last season’s shooting woes.
PG: Derrick Rose
SG: Jimmy Butler
SF: Mike Dunleavy
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Joakim Noah
Key reserves: PF Taj Gibson, PG Kirk Hinrich
Key losses: PG D.J. Augustin, PF Carlos Boozer
After Trevor Ariza landed in Houston, Washington replaced him with Paul Pierce. While he’s not in his prime, Pierce was very good defensively in the playoffs and can still knock down 3-point shots.
PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Paul Pierce
C: Marcin Gortat
Key reserves: PF Kris Humphries, SF Martell Webster
Key losses: SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker
Toronto is essentially bringing back the same team as last season, only getting a slight upgrade from John Salmons to Lou Williams and adding two high-upside international prospects: Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira.
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Terrence Ross
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Jonas Valanciunas
Key reserves: PF Patrick Patterson, PG Greivis Vasquez
Key losses: SF John Salmons
Although it lost the best player on the planet, Miami did gain Luol Deng’s defensive intensity and Josh McRoberts’ creative passing.
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Josh McRoberts
C: Chris Bosh
Key reserves: C Chris Andersen, SF Danny Granger
Key losses: SF LeBron James, PF Rashard Lewis, SG Ray Allen (UFA)
After losing Josh McRoberts to Miami and Utah matching the Hornets’ offer sheet for Gordon Hayward, the Hornets recovered in free agency with Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams and Brian Roberts. Top draft choice Noah Vonleh is young and will take time to develop.
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Lance Stephenson/Gerald Henderson
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF: Marvin Williams/Cody Zeller
C: Al Jefferson
Key reserves: SG Gary Neal, SG P.J. Hairston, SF Jeff Taylor
Key losses: PF Josh McRoberts, PG Luke Ridnour, SF Anthony Tolliver
The top seed in the East last year has yet to make any significant additions. With Lance Stephenson signing in Charlotte and Evan Turner an unrestricted free agent, the Pacers would take a step back with C.J. Miles as starting shooting guard.
PG: George Hill
SG: C.J. Miles
SF: Paul George
PF: David West
C: Roy Hibbert
Key reserves: PF Luis Scola, PG C.J. Watson
Key losses: SG Lance Stephenson, SG Evan Turner (UFA)
The Hawks weren’t able to lure any big-name players, but they’ll get an All-Star back with the return of Al Horford from a torn pectoral muscle. Atlanta also signed quality role players Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore.
PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: DeMarre Carroll
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Al Horford
Key reserves: SG Thabo Sefolosha, PF Adreian Payne
Key losses: SG Lou Williams, PF Elton Brand (UFA), PG Shelvin Mack (UFA)
New York got an upgrade at point guard (Jose Calderon over Raymond Felton) at the cost of their rim protector, Tyson Chandler. The team is also going from veteran coach Mike Woodson to first-time coach Derek Fisher.
PG: Jose Calderon
SG: Iman Shumpert
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Amare Stoudemire
Key reserves: SG Tim Hardaway Jr., SG J.R. Smith
Key losses: C Tyson Chandler, PG Raymond Felton, SF Metta World Peace (UFA)
Losing Paul Pierce hurts, but the Nets add size with the return of Brook Lopez, who missed most of two of the past three seasons with foot and ankle injuries. When healthy, he plays at an All-Star level.
PG: Deron Williams
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Andrei Kirilenko
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Brook Lopez
Key reserves: PG Jarrett Jack, SF Mirza Teletovic
Key losses: PF Andray Blatche (UFA), PG Shaun Livingston, SF Paul Pierce
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