The Warriors weren't the only team to make big changes
Kevin Durant joining the Warriors has been the story of the NBA offseason, but plenty of other teams underwent significant changes to try to compete with the league's elite. Here are the nine clubs that changed the most.
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Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers will open the 2016-17 season without Kobe Bryant on the roster for the first time in 20 years. When factoring in a new head coach (Luke Walton) and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft (Brandon Ingram), it's fair to say a new era is underway in Los Angeles.
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San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan decided to hang 'em up after 19 NBA seasons, but the Spurs will still be contenders without him. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard have San Antonio in good hands, and the additions of Pau Gasol and David Lee should make the Spurs' offense as fluid as ever.
It seemed like Orlando's plan this summer was simply to grab as many random pieces as possible. It's unclear how everything will fit under new head coach Frank Vogel, who was unceremoniously ousted in Indiana simply because management wanted the Pacers to play at a faster ... pace. But the additions of Serge Ibaka (7), Jeff Green and Bismack Biyombo should be interesting nonetheless.
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Dallas has the luxury of reinventing its roster each year because head coach Rick Carlisle is one of the best in the business at turning just about any group into a competent NBA squad. Andrew Bogut (pictured) and Harrison Barnes were the big additions this summer, so we'll see if Carlisle can once again work his magic to get Dirk Nowitzki another shot at playing in the postseason.
The Rockets moved on from Dwight Howard (12) and went all-in on offense. Houston signed Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson — two guys who can knock down 3s at a high percentage, and who should benefit greatly from James Harden's ability to draw multiple defenders. Add in Mike D'Antoni as head coach, and we may see this Rockets team score 120 points per game; the question is whether or not they'll give up more than that defensively.
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New York Knicks
There is a segment of Knicks fans that wasn't all that happy with the trade for Derrick Rose. It's not that New York gave up too much to get him by sending Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to Chicago, but some believe that bottoming out and building through the draft is the best road to championship contention. That's never going to be an option as long as Carmelo Anthony is on the roster, however, and with Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and a new head coach in Jeff Hornacek also in place, New York may very well return to the playoffs next season.
Not only did the Bulls move on from Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, but they also added some significant talent to replace them. Dwyane Wade surprised us all by leaving Miami after 13 seasons to sign in Chicago, and the Bulls added veteran (but prickly) point guard Rajon Rondo to the mix, as well.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant's departure broke up a duo that featured two of the league's five best players, but the bright side is that Russell Westbrook should be able to play next season completely unleashed. Newly acquired Victor Oladipo will help ease the load offensively for Westbrook, and the emergence of Steven Adams should help make up for the loss of Serge Ibaka. This is going to be a very different Thunder team without Durant, but one that still could do some damage if Westbrook reaches his full potential.
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Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant joining an historically great Warriors team doesn't seem fair on the surface. But when you look at all of the players Golden State had to part with in order to make that happen — a list that includes Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Marreese Speights, Festus Ezeli and Leandro Barbosa — you realize just how different the 2017 version of the Warriors will be, and that maybe things will take longer to come together than most people think.