STAYING: Ron Baker, Willy Hernangomez, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, Kyle O’Quinn, Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas.
ADDED: Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh), Michael Beasley (Milwaukee), Damyean Dotson (University of Houston), Tim Hardaway Jr (Atlanta), Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin), Jarrett Jack, Enes Kanter (Oklahoma City), Luke Kornet (Vanderbilt), Doug McDermott (Oklahoma City), Frank Ntilikina (Strasbourg), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) and Ramon Sessions (Charlotte).
GONE: Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City), Justin Holiday (Chicago), Maurice Ndour, Marshall Plumlee (LA Clippers), Chasson Randle, Derrick Rose (Cleveland) and Sasha Vujacic (Torino).
STRENGTHS: Kristaps Porzingis gets the chance to unleash his full potential as the clear go-to guy for the team … By all accounts, he’s gotten stronger, which should help avoid a late-season slump … He has star written all over him with that combination of length, athleticism and skill … It’s All-Star or bust for him … Pretty decent big man rotation with newly acquired stat machine Enes Kanter, the up-and-coming Willy Hernangomez and solid veteran Kyle O’Quinn … It’s a fresh start for a franchise that has experienced very little success lately … Has the black cloud been lifted off of the team? … Not as much drama this season?
WEAKNESSES: Most perimeter players are either too green or past their prime … Point guard play is likely going to be a problem … They will have to live with the growing pains of Frank Ntilikina, who’s a promising rookie but was not exactly setting the French League on fire before getting drafted … Overall, there’s just not enough talent around KP … Defensive struggles are likely to continue and subpar offensive output should get even worse now that Carmelo Anthony is no longer in New York.
PREDICTION: 4th in the Atlantic Division, 11th in the Eastern Conference.