The NBA is back!
… Even though it felt like it never went away.
The NBA has mastered the art of keeping basketball relevant, even when games are over. Following a dramatic, exciting NBA Finals, there was the draft, followed by as hectic a free agency period as the league has ever seen, and then in August and most of September, the league finally takes a breather.
As teams head to training camp, here’s a look at where each team stands after a wild offseason.
2014 record: 67-15, 1st in West
Key additions: Jason Thompson
Key losses: David Lee
One thing to know: The Warriors kept their team together while quietly adding an impactful backup big man in Jason Thompson. They still look like the best team in the West.
2014 record: 53-29, 2nd in East
Key additions: Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson
Key losses: none
One thing to know: The Cavs also brought back their whole core from last season. Tristan Thompson will be back eventually, too, but his ongoing standoff with the Cavs is still a concern for the overall team atmosphere.
2014 record: 56-26, 3rd in West
Key additions: Josh Smith, Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Cole Aldrich
Key losses: Matt Barnes, Spencer Hawes
2014 record: 56-26, 2nd in West
Key additions: Ty Lawson, Marcus Thornton, Sam Dekker
Key losses: Josh Smith
One thing to know: The addition for Ty Lawson could take a ton of pressure off James Harden to run the show on offence.
2014 record: 45-37, 9th in West
Key additions: Billy Donovan (coach)
Key losses: none
One thing to know: The Thunder retained the same roster they built through trades last year, in hopes that with some health luck from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka, they can contend in the West again.
2014 record: 50-32, 3rd in East
Key additions: Fred Hoiberg (coach)
Key losses: none
One thing to know: The Bulls fired Tom Thibodeau and hired Fred Hoiberg. They're betting a coaching change and a little bit of luck is all that's needed to contend in the weak East.
2014 record: 55-27, 5th in West
Key additions: Brandan Wright, Matt Barnes
Key losses: Kosta Koufos
One thing to know: In a stacked Western Conference, the Grizzlies still seem a notch below the top contenders.
2014 record: 37-45, 10th in East
Key additions: Justise Winslow, Amar'e Stoudemire, Gerald Green
Key losses: Shabazz Napier
One thing to know: The Heat re-signed Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade, stole Justise Winslow in the draft, added some much-needed depth, and will get Chris Bosh back this year. On paper, they have one of the most intriguing rosters in the league.
2014 record: 60-22
Key additions: Tiago Splitter, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Key losses: DeMarre Carroll
One thing to know: The Hawks were two different teams last year: defensive juggernauts with a pass-happy, Spurs-like offence, and then a slightly above-average team on both ends that got rocked by the Cavs in the Finals. After losing their best perimeter defender in Carroll, which team will we see this year?
2014 record: 46-36, 5th in East
Key additions: Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Gary Neal
Key losses: Paul Pierce
One thing to know: The Wizards gave into the small-ball movement in the playoffs and it worked. It looks like their offseason moves were geared toward continuing that strategy.
2014 record: 45-37, 8th in West
Key additions: Alvin Gentry (coach)
Key losses: none
One thing to know: The Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry, the engineer behind the Warriors offence last year, to bring Anthony Davis and Co. to the next level.
2014 record: 39-43, 10th in West
Key additions: Tyson Chandler, Mirza Teletovic, Devin Booker
Key losses: Marcus Morris, Gerald Green
One thing to know: The Suns got a talent boost this offseason, but face a current dilemma with Markieff Morris demanding out.
2014 record: 49-33, 4th in East
Key additions: DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Bismack Biyombo, Luis Scola, Aron Baynes
Key losses: Lou Williams, Amir Johnson, Greivis Vasquez
One thing to know: After flaming out of the playoffs in four games, did the Raptors tinker enough with the edges to get that much better?
2014 record: 41-41, 6th in East
Key additions: Greg Monroe, Grievis Vasquez, Chris Copeland
Key losses: Ersan Ilyasova
One thing to know: The Bucks added a big-name free agent in Greg Monroe, and are hoping for further internal development from the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jabari Parker.
2014 record: 40-42, 7th in East
Key additions: David Lee, Amir Johnson
Key losses: Brandon Bass
One thing to know: The Celtics have a roster busting with role players and trade assets, but Brad Stevens proved last year he can turn them into a competitive playoff team.
2014 record: 50-32, 7th in West
Key additions: Wesley Matthews, Deron Williams, Zaza Pachulia
Key losses: Tyson Chandler, Rajon Rondo, Amar'e Stoudemire, Richard Jefferson
One thing to know: The Mavs lost the DeAndre Jordan sweepstakes, overpaid Wes Matthews coming off a torn Achilles, and put together a ramshackle center rotation. Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle can keep the offence going, but the defence will be rough.
2014 record: 33-49, 11th in East
Key additions: Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin, Frank Kaminsky, Spencer Hawes
Key losses: Lance Stephenson, Bismack Biyombo
One thing to know: The Hornets geared their offseason to adding shooting and playmakers to help a sturdy defence. If it all comes together, they will fight for a playoff spot.
2014 record: 17-65, 15th in East
Key additions: Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Kyle O'Quinn, Kristaps Porzingis, Jerian Grant
Key losses: Tim Hardaway Jr., Andrea Bargnani, Shane Larkin, Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith
One thing to know: The Knicks re-tooled in a smart, albeit modest, way this offseason. If Carmelo Anthony is healthy and intriguing rookie Kristaps Porzingis can contribute right away, they could fight for a playoff spot.
2014 record: 38-44, 8th in East
Key additions: Andre Bargnani, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington
Key losses: Deron Williams, Mason Plumlee
One thing to know: The Nets had a quiet offseason, but still have two All-Stars in Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, the latter of which is reportedly happy that Deron Williams is gone.
2014 record: 32-50, 12th in East
Key additions: Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson
Key losses: Greg Monroe
One thing to know: The Pistons got rid of a front-court jam with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, and are building a spread offence that looks like the Orlando Magic did with Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard.
2014 record: 25-57, 13th in East
Key additions: Jason Smith, Shabazz Napier, Mario Hezonja
Key losses: Kyle O'Quinn, Maurice Harkless
One thing to know: The Magic may have an intriguing young core, and are expecting them to compete for a playoff spot this year, but unless someone makes a big leap, they still look like a lottery team.
2014 record: 21-61, 14th in West
Key additions: Lou Williams, Roy Hibbert, Brandon Bass, D'Angelo Russell, Metta World Peace!
Key losses: Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill, Ed Davis
One thing to know: The Lakers added some pieces that should at least make them more competitive this year. Once again, they feel reliant on Kobe Bryant's health and willingness to get others involved.
2014 record: 16-66, 15th in West
Key additions: Tayshaun Prince, Andre Miller, Karl Towns, Tyus Jones
Key losses: Chase Budinger
One thing to know: The Wolves have one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA, and combined with some useful veterans, will probably be much better than last year's record.
2014 record: 51-31
Key additions: Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis, Mason Plumlee, Maurice Harkless, Gerald Handerson, Noah Vonleh
Key losses: LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez
One thing to know: The Blazers rebounded well after losing 80% of their starting lineup by grabbing young, long, intriguing players, but it might be years before they're competitive again.
2014 record: 18-64
Key additions: Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, Kendall Marshall, Jahlil Okafor
Key losses: none
One thing to know: The Sixers surprised people by taking Jahlil Okafor in the draft -- essentially as a replacement for Joel Embiid, who's out another year. They're still squarely in rebuilding mode.
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