NBA player profiles: All 30 teams

LaMarcus Aldridge: Spurs organization is 'first class' (2:04)

Spurs PF LaMarcus Aldridge talks to Sage Steele about returning to Texas, playing his first season with the Spurs and modifying his game to the San Antonio way. (2:04)

ESPN Insider's group of NBA experts provides in-depth breakdowns of every team's roster heading into the 2015-16 season.


Golden State Warriors

Proj. record: 60-22
Last season: 67-15

Player spotlight: Stephen Curry
Rather than being forced to create out of static pick-and-roll sets, Curry was able to get the ball on the move off cuts and screens before going into pick-and-rolls. To Curry's credit, his increased aggression level when met with these easier sets led to fantastic, memorable plays that had massive momentum-shifting effects during games. More impressively, the new Warriors staff put the onus on Curry to defend his position, rather than have him hidden and cross match as previous staffs had.

Read our full analysis on Curry and every Warriors player Insider

Los Angeles Clippers

Proj. record: 56-26
Last season: 56-26

Player spotlight: DeAndre Jordan
Defensively, he's got gaudy shot-block statistics, but they are the result of his insatiable urge to chase blocks. He's prone to biting on pump fakes and overcommitting himself positionally. In many ways, Jordan is actually a better defender away from the basket, as he can move his feet well laterally and focus more on containment when the allure of getting a block is removed. Jordan led the league by grabbing 32 percent of available defensive rebounds, but there's an element of cannibalization that's occurring, as the Clippers' team rebounding declines only marginally when he's off the floor.

Read our full analysis on Jordan and every Clippers player Insider

Phoenix Suns

Proj. record: 35-47
Last season: 39-43

Player spotlight: Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe remains a player whose best moments occur barreling to the basket, where he can get to the basket and finish or set up teammates around the basket area -- particularly with over-the-top lobs to over-the-top athletes, which will no doubt come into play with Chandler this season. Bledsoe's perimeter shooting remains spotty, confirming that while he isn't going to be confused for Kyle Korver anytime soon, he still commands enough respect from defenders.

Read our full analysis on Bledsoe and every Suns player Insider

Sacramento Kings

Proj. record: 31-51
Last season: 29-53

Player spotlight: DeMarcus Cousins
While Cousins is not an explosive athlete, he's particularly light on his feet and is able to attack the basket off the dribble as easily as he backs someone down. He has made great strides on the defensive end, posting one of the highest defensive RPM ratings in the league last year. If he can set aside his petty in-fighting with coach George Karl, Cousins could be in line for an even more effective season with better spacing around him.

Read our full analysis on Cousins and every Kings player Insider

Los Angeles Lakers

Proj. record: 26-56
Last season: 21-61

Player spotlight: Kobe Bryant
At this stage, he's turned into a parody of himself, with seemingly every field goal attempt coming "against all odds," as Bryant dominates the ball during possessions and often shoots long jumpers against double coverage. He posted the first sub-40 field goal percentage season of his career, and his eFG% was the 11th worst among all players with at least 500 minutes played last season.

Read our full analysis on Bryant and every Lakers player Insider


Cleveland Cavaliers

Proj. record: 59-23
Last season: 53-29

Player spotlight: LeBron James
Same elite passer, albeit with a few more turnovers. Same above-average rebounder. Same top-flight defender. He spent more time on the wing and less at 4 than he did in Miami before becoming more or less an enormous full-time point guard after Kyrie Irving went down during the playoffs. James turns 31 on Dec. 30 of this season, so we can't take this level of performance for granted. But if the one flaw in his game last season was his shooting stroke, you can expect a torrid showing in 2015-16.

Read our full analysis on James and every Cavaliers player Insider

Chicago Bulls

Proj. record: 50-32
Last season: 50-32

Player spotlight: Derrick Rose
The Rose we saw last season was a good player, but he wasn't the same guy as before the first major knee injury. How could he be after missing 208 games since 2012? In practical terms, that meant Rose was more jump-shot oriented than before, which isn't exactly ideal. Rose appeared to save himself for crunch time: In clutch situations, Rose's shots per 36 minutes ballooned to 24.8, but he shot just 30 percent. More often than not, the Bulls were better off with Rose forgoing an attempt to take over or ceding the responsibility to Jimmy Butler.

Read our full analysis on Rose and every Bulls player Insider

Milwaukee Bucks

Proj. record: 44-38
Last season: 41-41

Player spotlight: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Big steps are, quite literally, all Antetokounmpo can take. Listed at 6-foot-9 when he entered the NBA, the 20-year-old has grown two inches and now has a 7-foot-4 wingspan -- about the same as Dwight Howard's. Yet Antetokounmpo is a bonafide perimeter player who even took some experimental turns at point guard during the summer of 2014. That's not his future, but the "Greek Freak" is fast becoming a positionless player you can use in virtually any fashion.

Read our full analysis on Antetokounmpo and every Bucks player Insider

Indiana Pacers

Proj. record: 39-43
Last season: 38-44

Player spotlight: Paul George
While a healthy George might be the same player, he'll be returning to a very different Pacers team and to an unusual role. George, who was Indiana's starting shooting guard during his first two pro seasons before moving to the 3, is expected to receive extended run at the 4 this season as part of the Pacers' small-ball initiative. Needless to say, George will be a matchup nightmare for opposing 4s. He reached upper-tier status the season before his injury by becoming a dead-eye shooter from the corners and midrange, enough to fully augment his ability to attack opponents off the dribble.

Read our full analysis on George and every Pacers player Insider

Detroit Pistons

Proj. record: 35-47
Last season: 32-50

Player spotlight: Andre Drummond
Drummond's role on offense expanded last season. Stan Van Gundy increased Drummond's volume of post-ups, from 11 percent of his plays the season before to 28, according to Synergy. The results were mixed, but perhaps they were necessary growing pains to facilitate Drummond's growth from a run-to-the-rim dunker to a true offensive center.

Read our full analysis on Drummond and every Pistons player Insider


Toronto Raptors

Proj. record: 44-38
Last season: 49-33

Player spotlight: Kyle Lowry
Lowry got in the best shape of his career over the offseason, to the point where he was almost unrecognizable at media day. The hope is carrying less weight will help Lowry get through the long season. It should also help defensively, where Lowry has always been quick on his feet and strong with a low center of gravity. He's also a terrific rebounder from the backcourt.

Read our full analysis on Lowry and every Raptors player Insider

Boston Celtics

Proj. record: 40-42
Last season: 40-42

Player spotlight: Marcus Smart
Smart was a nominal point guard, but the playmaking duties were in Evan Turner's hands once Rajon Rondo split for Dallas. Smart isn't ready to be a distributor yet, handing out just 4.1 assists per 36 minutes, one of the worst rates for any starting point guard. His transition and pick-and-roll numbers were a complete mess. The questions about his readiness to run a team are legitimate.

Read our full analysis on Smart and every Celtics player Insider

Brooklyn Nets

Proj. record: 30-52
Last season: 38-44

Player spotlight: Brook Lopez
When healthy, Lopez is one of the league's most skilled offensive centers. He's a threat with his back to the basket and is exceptionally accurate using a turnaround push shot. Lopez will even use the push shot as something of a floater from the perimeter. A set shooter, he's a threat on the pick and pop, with range to about 20 feet.

Read our full analysis on Lopez and every Nets player Insider

New York Knicks

Proj. record: 25-57
Last season: 17-65

Player spotlight: Carmelo Anthony
During the 40 games he played, Anthony's offensive efficiency was down. Yet his touches were up thanks to the triangle's consistent ball movement, which he himself contributed to by making four more passes per 100 touches than the season before, per SportVu. Those passes resulted in scoring plays about 8 percent more often. And while Anthony's shooting efficiency was off, the decline was entirely a result of a slip from 41 percent to 31 percent on above-the-break 3s. That might be explained either by random fluctuation or the balky knee, but either way, it's an area you figure will bounce back.

Read our full analysis on Anthony and every Knicks player Insider

Philadelphia 76ers

Proj. record: 19-63
Last season: 18-64

Player spotlight: Jahlil Okafor
There's always a place for high-percentage post scorers with Okafor's ability and willingness to pass out of double teams. The question is in part whether Okafor will be a high-percentage post scorer. He certainly was in college, making 66.4 percent of his 2-point attempts. But Okafor struggled to generate the same looks using his well-honed post moves -- almost exclusively right-handed -- in NBA summer league action, shooting just 44 percent from the field. That suggests there could be an adjustment period as Okafor learns to deal with bigger, longer opponents capable of blocking his shot.

Read our full analysis on Okafor and every 76ers player Insider


San Antonio Spurs

Proj. record: 57-25
Last season: 55-27

Player spotlight: LaMarcus Aldridge
With the Spurs, Aldridge will have the opportunity to play inside-out with Tim Duncan and San Antonio's other big men, because he's comfortable in both the low and high block. But Aldridge might have to make quicker decisions with the ball than he did in Portland.

Read our full analysis on Aldridge and every Spurs player Insider

Houston Rockets

Proj. record: 56-26
Last season: 56-26

Player spotlight: James Harden
With Dwight Howard missing half the regular season, and limited when he did play, Harden pushed his usage rate from 27.8 percent of Houston's plays to a career-high 31.3 percent in 2014-15. He barely sacrificed any efficiency in the process, getting to the rim slightly more frequently while spending more time with the ball in his hands. In fact, Harden's time of possession (6.0 minutes per game) trailed only LeBron James among all non-point guards, according to SportVU tracking on NBA.com/Stats. Harden can make that work because he presents multiple threats to the defense.

Read our full analysis on Harden and every Rockets player Insider

Memphis Grizzlies

Proj. record: 51-31
Last season: 55-27

Player spotlight: Mike Conley
What separates Conley among the league's best offensive point guards is his ability at the other end. The Grizzlies' defense starts with Conley's ability to contain the ball at the point of attack. His quick hands generate steals at a high rate, and Conley's slight stature (he's listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds) is rarely an issue because of his strength and toughness.

Read our full analysis on Conley and every Grizzlies player Insider

New Orleans Pelicans

Proj. record: 47-35
Last season: 45-37

Player spotlight: Anthony Davis
If Davis' NBA career were a movie, we'd still be in the montage of him working to develop his game. Though Davis led the league in blocks for a second consecutive season, finished in the top 10 in scoring (fourth), rebounding (eighth) and field-goal percentage (seventh) and was named to the All-NBA First Team, the best is yet to come. What exactly the peak looks like for a player who has reached such heights before his graduating class finished college should be terrifying for opponents and thrilling for the Pelicans.

Read our full analysis on Davis and every Pelicans player Insider

Dallas Mavericks

Proj. record: 41-41
Last season: 50-32

Player spotlight: Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki spent the summer of 2014 working to release the ball quicker, which helped him get shots off without creating as much space as he once could. And he was assisted on 64 percent of his field goals, his highest mark since Steve Nash played in Dallas. Still, Nowitzki remains a dangerous shooter when left open. His 47.5 percent accuracy on 2-point jumpers from beyond 15 feet ranked sixth among players with at least 250 such attempts, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Read our full analysis on Nowitzki and every Mavs player Insider


Atlanta Hawks

Proj. record: 50-32
Last season: 60-22

Player spotlight: Kyle Korver
You could slice it a thousand ways, and you'd come to the same conclusion: Korver is really good at shooting the ball from faraway places. It doesn't really matter how you guard him. He made 42.5 percent of his 3-pointers when guarded "tight" and 50 percent when guarded "very tight," according to NBA.com SportVU tracking. If he gets the ball, you're already dead. But Korver is so much more than just a shooter, which is why he was a legit All-Star.

Read our full analysis on Korver and every Hawks player Insider

Miami Heat

Proj. record: 47-35
Last season: 37-45

Player spotlight: Dwyane Wade
Both Wade and Chris Bosh experienced a rude awakening about life without LeBron James. Wade missed 20 games due to injuries and saw his field goal percentage plummet to a seven-year low of 47 percent, while his turnovers skyrocketed to 3.4 per game. Real plus-minus says Wade's defense last season ruined all his virtues on the offensive end and made him a below-average player. Although that might be too harsh, Wade should be refreshed with a full summer.

Read our full analysis on Wade and every Heat player Insider

Washington Wizards

Proj. record: 46-36
Last season: 46-36

Player spotlight: John Wall
Wall can get a little carried away with his turnovers, but you'll live with it if he scores 20 points and sets up another 20. Quietly, Wall's best attribute may be his defense, where he ranked fourth among all point guards in defensive RPM. The Wizards were horrid on both ends when Wall stepped off the floor, but the bigger impact was felt on the defensive end, where they hemorrhaged 104.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench. The only thing keeping Wall from entering the MVP conversation is his 3-point shot.

Read our full analysis on Wall and every Wizards player Insider

Charlotte Hornets

Proj. record: 35-47
Last season: 33-49

Player spotlight: Kemba Walker
Walker isn't a natural distributor (5.4 assists per 36 minutes), but he keeps his turnovers to a minimum mostly because he's settling for easy mid-range jumpers so often. He has never been a threat from the outside, and while his mid-range jumper is solid, he gets himself in trouble in the 10 to 16 foot range, where he shot just 30 percent.

Read our full analysis on Walker and every Hornets player Insider

Orlando Magic

Proj. record: 30-52
Last season: 25-57

Player spotlight: Victor Oladipo
Oladipo still has plenty of work to do. According to NBA.com player-tracking data, Oladipo was one of 17 players to log over 600 drives to the basket, but none shot worse on driving field-goal attempts than Oladipo (41.8 percent). Oladipo gets separation with his length and athleticism but lacks the touch to convert in traffic. For comparison, the similarly sized Dwyane Wade registered 55.4 percent shooting in such situations, and Eric Bledsoe put up 47.7 percent. As of now, Oladipo's jumper isn't sharp enough to compensate for his inside woes.

Read our full analysis on Oladipo and every Magic player Insider


Oklahoma City Thunder

Proj. record: 55-27
Last season: 45-37

Player spotlight: Russell Westbrook
Westbrook broke out his full arsenal of skills last season, posting up more frequently and using post catches as a method of creating isolations closer to the basket. But he was most effective in the pick-and-roll, splitting double-teams when opponents tried to trap him and developing instant chemistry with Enes Kanter after his midseason addition.

Read our full analysis on Westbrook and every Thunder player Insider

Utah Jazz

Proj. record: 40-42
Last season: 38-44

Player spotlight: Gordon Hayward
It's hard to believe now that a year ago there was debate over whether it made sense for Utah to match the Charlotte Hornets' four-year, $62 million offer sheet to Hayward. Beyond the growth in the cap that has made Hayward's salary look paltry, his game has grown, too. Hayward emerged last season as the Jazz's go-to player and one of the league's best all-around wings, at age 25. The key to Hayward's development was shot creation.

Read our full analysis on Hayward and every Jazz player Insider

Portland Trail Blazers

Proj. record: 31-51
Last season: 51-31

Player spotlight: Damian Lillard
After serving as a perimeter counterweight to LaMarcus Aldridge during his first three NBA seasons, two-time All-Star Damian Lillard will step into a leading role. Portland has surrounded Lillard with pick-and-roll big men capable of drawing defensive attention. That makes sense given nobody in the NBA scored more points as a pick-and-roll ball handler than Lillard last season.

Read our full analysis on Lillard and every Blazers player Insider

Denver Nuggets

Proj. record: 27-55
Last season: 30-52

Player spotlight: Emmanuel Mudiay
Expectations of immediate production should probably be tempered. His shooting will be an issue. Mudiay made just 57.4 percent of his free throws in China, which limits the value of his ability to get to the basket. On the plus side, Mudiay is already a skilled pick-and-roll operator, and he flashed impressive court vision in Las Vegas, finding open shooters when he drove the lane.

Read our full analysis on Mudiay and every Nuggets playerInsider

Minnesota Timberwolves

Proj. record: 24-58
Last season: 16-66

Player spotlight: Ricky Rubio
Rubio is still worth the four-year, $55 million extension he signed last October, largely because of his defense. Minnesota allowed 7.5 more points per 100 possessions with Rubio on the bench, which is consistent with his strong defensive track record in ESPN's real plus-minus, which has rated him on the fringes of the top 10 point guards overall.

Read our full analysis on Rubio and every Wolves player Insider