STAYING: Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, Clint Capela, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, KJ McDaniels, Donatas Motiejunas and Jason Terry.
ADDED: Will Cummings (Temple), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Arsalan Kazemi (Atlanta), Ty Lawson (Denver), Denzen Livingston (Incarnate Word), Joshua Smith (Georgetown), Marcus Thornton (Phoenix), Jeremy Tyler (Free Agent) and Chris Walker (Florida).
GONE: Joey Dorsey (Galatasaray), Nick Johnson (Denver), Kostas Papanikolaou (Free Agent), Pablo Prigioni (LA Clippers) and Josh Smith (LA Clippers).
STRENGTHS: James Harden–Dwight Howard is an amazing one-two punch to have … Harden is a creative scorer like few others in recent NBA history … His defense has improved too … An MVP candidate right there … A healthy Howard is a legit 20-10 threat every night … He’s just too strong, mobile and athletic … Talent upgrade at the point guard position with the acquisition of Ty Lawson … The formet Nugget can really push the ball and score … An excellent fast-break squad gets even better with Lawson on board … He’s in for a fight for minutes with defensive ace Patrick Beverley, which should keep him focused … Plethora of role players that bring different things to the table … Trevor Ariza is a terrific three-and-D guy … Corey Brewer runs the court real well … Jason Terry keeps scoring off the bench at a good rate … Donatas Motiejunas has really nice touch near the rim and opens up the floor with his three-point shooting ability … Ditto for Terrence Jones … Tasks are well defined … Harden eats first, Howard second and the rest know they have a role to play … They will shoot and make threes all day.
WEAKNESSES: You can pretty much count on Howard missing a bunch of games due to physical problems … He is still not making his free throws consistently and becomes an easy target for opponents … Free-throw shooting is quite an issue among the team’s big men with Motiejunas, Jones and Clint Capela also shooting bad percentages … Roster is deep and talented, but not as much as Golden State’s or San Antonio’s … Such a competitive division and conference … A roster upgrade may not equal improved results.
PREDICTION: 2nd in the Southwest Division / 5th in the Western Conference.