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The 2016 Uni Watch NBA preview

The Sacramento Kings highlight a slate of new looks in the NBA this season. Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

With the 2016-17 NBA season set to tip off Oct. 25, the league's uniforms are going to be featuring a whole lot of nothing -- or at least a whole lot of zeroes.

That's because three NBA teams currently have a No. 0 and a No. 00 on their rosters (yes, that's legal in the NBA). One of those teams, the Nuggets, has had the zero and double-zero situation since last season, when Emmanuel Mudiay (0) played alongside Darrell Arthur (00). Thanks to some offseason player moves, the distinction is now shared by the Cavaliers, who have Kevin Love (0) and Chris Andersen (00), and the Pacers, who have C.J. Miles (0) and Aaron Brooks (00). That appears to set the high-water mark for the most teams featuring this uni-numerical quirk at the same time. So the season hasn't even started yet and we've already set a uni-related record -- not bad.

Of course, the NBA uni-verse features lots of other developments this season. Here's our annual team-by-team look at what you can expect to see on the court this season, broken down by division.

Atlantic Division

Celtics: No announced changes or news.


• The Knicks are marking their 70th anniversary with a jersey patch. Here's how it looks on the home and road jerseys:

The Knicks will also be wearing 1946 throwbacks for selected games. They introduced the design with this excellent video clip, which other teams could definitely learn from:


• The Nets have a new alternate uniform inspired by the team's old Dr. J-era uniforms. It'll make its on-court debut for the team's home opener on Oct. 28 against the Pacers (additional info, photos and an alternate jersey schedule are all here):


• The Raptors have two new uniforms this season -- a very nice Toronto Huskies throwback and a Chinese New Year alternate (additional info on both designs here):


• The 76ers will mark the 50th anniversary of their 1966-67 championship team with a throwback uniform, which will be worn for six Saturday home games and will be paired with an alternate court design:

Although you can't see it in that court mock-up, the center-court design will feature the signatures of all Sixers season-ticket subscribers, which according to the team will be "the first time in NBA history that fan signatures will appear within the playing surface of an NBA court."

In a nice additional touch, the 1966-67 team will be honored on this season's tickets:

And speaking of tickets, the Sixers were the first NBA team to ink a uniform-advertising deal for next season, selling space on their jersey to StubHub:

Central Division

Bucks: No announced changes or news.


Bulls: No announced changes or news.


• The Cavaliers won their first title, and their jerseys are now carrying the little gold rear-collar tab that all past NBA champions wear. They'll also be raising their first championship banner, which will include the names of last year's season-ticket subscribers:

The Cavs had also planned to roll out a new court design, but fan feedback was negative, so team owner Dan Gilbert recently announced that they'll stick with the old design for the season opener and come out with a revised version soon.

And although it hasn't been announced yet, all signs point to the Cavs wearing orange World B. Free-era throwbacks at some point this season.


• The Pacers are celebrating their 50th season with a variety of initiatives, beginning with a commemorative logo that will be worn as a jersey patch and will also appear on the court:

In addition, the Pacers will play a series of "Decade Games" -- once per month, with each honoring one of the team's previous decades -- featuring era-specific bobblehead giveaways and entertainment. They'll also wear their Hickory throwbacks, inspired by the movie Hoosiers, for six additional games. Further info on both of those promotions, including the specific game dates, is available here.


• The Pistons have made a slight change to their court design:

The Pistons also appear to have a new secondary logo. Oddly, the team has denied the logo's existence, but it keeps showing up on merchandise and is even on that new court design. Weird.

Southeast Division

• The Hawks' wacky uniform set will look even wackier this season, because they're adding a racing stripe throwback from the Pete Maravich era. It will make its on-court debut on Jan. 13 and will also be worn on Feb. 24, March 6, and April 6.


• Several sources have indicated the Heat will have a new alternate uniform this season. Although nothing has been released yet, the video game NBA 2K17 may have provided a hint of how the design will look:


• The Hornets' arena has a new name -- the Spectrum Center -- and also has a new high-definition scoreboard (additional info here):


• The Magic are adding a fairly minimalist alternate jersey to their wardrobe (additional info here):

In addition, the Magic will raise a No. 49 banner as part of their Opening Night festivities on Oct. 26, in memory of the 49 victims of last summer's Pulse nightclub shootings. They've also created a rainbow-patterned pride logo for the occasion:


• The Wizards have a new alternate uniform with a stars-and-stripes design motif. The uniform will make its on-court debut for the Nov. 11 game -- Veterans Day -- against the Cavaliers.

Northwest Division

• The Jazz have a new uniform set this season. The four new designs include an unusual sleeved alternate that's bound to be controversial (many fans have already dubbed it "the soccer jersey"). There's lots of additional info on this excellent interactive page (kudos to whoever designed that presentation), and here's a full Uni Watch assessment.

The Jazz also have a new court design this season (additional photos here):


• The Nuggets will retire Dikembe Mutombo's No. 55 as part of the festivities for their home opener against the Trail Blazers on Oct. 29, and they'll wear rainbow-striped throwbacks for the occasion.


Thunder: No announced changes or news.


Timberwolves: No announced changes or news.


• Nothing new this year for the Trail Blazers, but team president Chris McGowan recently said the club will have new uniforms and a new logo next season.

Pacific Division

• No announced changes for the Clippers, but it's worth noting they seem to be referring to their location as L.A., not Los Angeles. A subtle way of distinguishing themselves from the Lakers, perhaps.


• Major upgrade for the Kings, whose new uniforms are a serious improvement over their previous set. There's a lot of additional info on this interactive page, and you can also check out this photo gallery and this Uni Watch assessment of the new threads.

The new uniform set is being paired with a new logo, which is actually an updated version of the team's old "crowned ball" logo, the original version of which dates to the franchise's previous incarnation as the Cincinnati Royals.

That old Royals logo was designed by a guy named Robert Grove. Here's an exclusive Uni Watch interview with him, and a good article on how the new logo set was developed.

The Kings also have a new court design (here's some additional info and photos of the floor being installed):

Also: Fans of cool graphics will enjoy the concourse in the Kings' new arena, which features lots of excellent vintage neon signage from the Sacramento area:

Also-also: In what appears to be an NBA first, the Kings have created Twitter and Instagram accounts specifically to showcase their players' sneakers. The accounts, which is called Kings Kicks, feature footwear worn by current and former Kings stars (further info here):

Finally, as you may have heard, the Kings will be wearing a Blue Diamond Almonds advertising patch next season (additional info here):


• Although it hasn't been officially announced yet, multiple sources indicate the Lakers to be wearing Magic Johnson-era throwbacks at some point this season.

It's also worth noting that Metta World Peace wanted to change his uniform number to No. 60, to honor Kobe Bryant's 60-point NBA finale from last season. But the deadline for new numbers had already passed, so he's stuck with No. 37, at least for now.


• The Suns have a new court design, featuring a revival of the old purple border (additional info here):


• Two patches this season for the Warriors -- a 70th-season logo (dating to the franchise's 1946 inception in Philadelphia) and a "42" memorial band for the late Nate Thurmond.

Golden State will also wear early-'90s "Run TMC"-era throwbacks for six Sunday home games (additional info and throwback dates here):

Southwest Division

• The Grizzlies have partnered with the National Civil Rights Museum, which is based in Memphis, to create a thoughtfully designed alternate uniform honoring Martin Luther King. It will debut on Jan. 15, when the Grizzlies play the Bulls, and will then be worn for various games during Black History Month in February. Too bad about the sleeves, but every other aspect of this one is a winner. Nicely done (additional info and photos here).


Mavericks: No announced changes or news.


• The Pelicans are hosting this season's NBA All-Star Game. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Charlotte (it was moved due to North Carolina's law that limits anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people), which may explain why the Pelicans' patch seems like an underwhelming rush job:


The Rockets are celebrating their 50th season with a jersey patch:

The Rockets also have a new court design:

Also: In September of 2015, the Rockets took the unusual step of unveiling three alternate uniforms and announcing that one of them wouldn't be worn until the 2016-17 season. A year later, it's finally time for that uniform -- a straightforward black design -- to join the team's wardrobe.

And in one last development, the Rockets will retire Yao Ming's No. 11 on Feb. 2.


Spurs: No announced changes or news.

Additional Notes

• Expect to see lots of striped socks on the court this season.

Additional sock designs will be released soon, probably next week. A spokesman for Stance, the league's sock provider, said eight teams will have new uniform-specific sock designs (the Knicks, Lakers, Kings, Wizards, Bucks, Magic, Mavericks, and Warriors), plus there will be new sock designs for throwbacks, alternate uniforms, military appreciation, Black History Month, and more.


• This year's Christmas uniforms haven't officially been released yet, but the design leaked back in June. They've very similar to last year's designs, which were generally well received.


• The Celtics and Bulls are both scheduled to play on March 17, which means their St. Patrick's Day uniforms will be making their annual appearance:


• We can also expect to see the usual assortment of Spanish-language jerseys as part of the league's Noche Latina program.


• The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Feb. 19. It was originally slated to take place in Charlotte, but the league moved it to New Orleans due to North Carolina's law that limits anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people. The game's original logo was scrapped, and a new one, with a New Orleans theme, has been issued in its place. No word yet on the uniforms.


• All NBA arenas have been equipped with new shot clocks and timing systems (additional info here):

That's it. Did we miss anything? If so, you know what to do.

For better or worse, the league will likely look very different next season. Nike will be taking over for Adidas as the league's uniform outfitter, and teams will be permitted to wear corporate advertising patches for the first time. All of which should make for a lively rundown of information when we reconvene here for the 2017-18 season preview.

Paul Lukas agrees that Utah's new sleeved alternate looks soccer-ish, but he really likes it anyway. If you like this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.