NBA Power Rankings: Who's Got the Deepest Bench in the Association?

Devin Noonan@@devinnoonanCorrespondent IIIJuly 17, 2012

NBA Power Rankings: Who's Got the Deepest Bench in the Association?

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    NBA free agency is well underway as teams look to add role players to their bench and solidify their starters.

    With teams still waiting on offer sheets and possible trades, there are still a few more hectic weeks left before most of the rosters are set for next year.

    Most of the big name players have found a home for the 2012-13 NBA season, but there is still some talent out there.

    Now is the time where key assets are added to the depths of potential championship rosters, where the smallest signings can save you from the unforeseen happenings of an unpredictable 82-game regular season.

    It's time that we take a look around the league and see which teams are set for success with the deepest benches in the NBA.

30. Portland Trail Blazers

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    The Portland Trail Blazers are a very young team that still needs some time to develop.

    The sixth overall pick in this year's draft, Damian Lillard, will be expected to jump right in as the starting point guard this season.

    Wesley Matthews will remain at shooting guard and All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will be the anchor at power forward for this young squad.

    Recently acquired Dan Gadzuric will start at center but don't be surprised if Meyers Leonard, the No. 11 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, sees significant playing time as well.

    Gadzuric came over to Portland along with back up power forward Jared Jeffries in a deal that sent both Raymond Felton and and Kurt Thomas packing to the Knicks.

    The small forward position appears to belong to the 23-year-old Victor Claver from Spain, a first-round pick by Portland back in 2009 who has yet to play in the NBA.

    That means rookie Will Barton, Luke Babbit, J.J. Hickson, Nolan Smith, and Elliot Williams will round out the rest of the squad for the Trail Blazers in 2012-13.

    Not one of those aforementioned bench players has reached their 24th birthday.

29. Chicago Bulls

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    The Chicago Bulls are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference when Derrick Rose is on the court.

    Their starting lineup of Rose, Luol Deng, Rip Hamilton, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah is a serious force to be reckoned with.

    They had a solid bench in 2011-12 with Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson, and Kyle Korver all seeing significant playing time.

    However, the Bulls have started to break down their reliable bench and move in a different direction.

    All three of the aforementioned players are now gone, and backup center Omer Asik is close to signing a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets if the Bulls decide not to match it.

    So far the biggest offseason acquisition was the return of Kirk Hinrich, who is not the answer to the Bulls newly created depth issues.

    If the Bulls don't make some moves this offseason to bring in another quality scorer and some defensive size then the team will have to rely solely on its starting five if they hope to compete with teams like the Heat.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

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    The Los Angeles Lakers may have the best starting five in basketball after their recent signing of Steve Nash.

    If Dwight Howard miraculously makes his way to L.A., then there will be no disputing their dominance.

    Their bench, however, is seriously lacking in depth.

    Steve Blake can shoot from the perimeter, but doesn't offer much help in any other aspect of the game.

    Christian Eyenga and Andrew Goudelock are both young and need time to improve, although Goudelock did shoot 37.3 percent from deep in 10.5 minutes per game last year.

    Josh McRoberts has yet to prove himself as much more than a big body down low with mediocre numbers.

    Darius Johnson-Odom has potential coming out of Marquette, but you can never bank on a rookie coming into the league and making an immediate impact. Hopefully he can learn a thing or two from Nash.

    Robert Sacre, the seven-footer from Gonzaga, was selected in the late second round but is not guaranteed to find a spot on the team come the fall.

    Expect the Lakers to keep shopping, especially as long as Dwight is still an option.

27. Utah Jazz

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    The Utah Jazz have been quietly competitive for quite some time now.

    Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and recently acquired Marvin Williams will start for the Jazz frontcourt in 2012-13.

    The younger trio of Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and DeMarre Carrol will provide the back up duties for these players down low.

    Mo Williams will take over the ball handling responsibilities for Devin Harris, while Gordon Hayward will retain his starting spot at shooting guard in 2012.

    The team still lacks quality depth at the guard positions, despite numerous players available off of the bench in Earl Watson, Alec Burks, Kevin Murphy, and Shan Foster.

    John Stockton's son, Michael, is currently on the Jazz summer league team trying to follow in his father's footsteps.

    If he ultimately does make the squad, he still is not the answer in the backcourt that the Jazz need to be actively seeking.

26. Phoenix Suns

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    The Phoenix Suns look like a lost cause in 2012-13.

    Goran Dragic is replacing the great Steve Nash at point guard, a comparison which isn't even worth our time or thought.

    Kendall Marshall is a talented pickup from the draft, but will likely sit the bench after the signing of Dragic.

    Michael Beasley will be making his way to Phoenix, but he has yet to live up to expectations.

    Off the bench, the team has Hakim Warrick to work with in the frontcourt and Sebastian Telfair to assist Kendall Marshall in the back-up guard duties.

    Robin Lopez is inconsistent as a backup center and Aaron Brooks is an uncertain pickup, coming to the team after a season overseas in China.

    The recent signing of Luis Scola is a big move for this Suns team, but they still have way too many question marks to give fans any real hope next season.

25. Toronto Raptors

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    The Toronto Raptors' acquisition of Steve Nash fell through, but they were able to acquire Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets for a future first round lottery pick.

    Lowry will take on the starting point guard duties, with former starter Jose Calderon backing him up.

    The team has also brought in Landry Fields from the Knicks to help out DeMar Rozan and rookie Terrence Ross at the shooting guard position.

    Their backcourt now has some quality depth, but the frontcourt could still use a little help.

    Andrea Bargnani will hold it down at center, while Amir Johnson will take on the responsibilities at the 4.

    The small forward position currently belongs to Linas Kleiza, but the team should look to add some more talent there.

    Quincy Acy and Tomislav Zubcic were both drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft, but neither are expected to be major contributors in their first season with the team.

    They've improved significantly at the guard positions, but the Raptors need to add depth and size to their 3-4-5 if they hope to be legit contenders.

24. Orlando Magic

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    The Orlando Magic are hoping to stack up draft picks and salary space with a Dwight Howard deal this offseason.

    Jameer Nelson has re-signed with the team and J.J. Reddick was not waived, meaning the team will pick up his option for 2012-13.

    They drafted power forward Andrew Nicholson with the 19th overall pick, who recorded a double-double in his first summer league debut.

    They also drafted Kyle O'Quinn in the second round out of Norfolk State, another power forward who played extremely well in the summer league opener that hopes to make the team come this fall.

    Power forward Gustavo Ayon was recently acquired from the Hornets, an adequate back up or replacement for Glen "Big Baby" Davis if he happens to be shipped off in a deal for Howard.

    It's hard to tell if veterans Hedo Turkoglu, Quentin Richardson, Jason Richardson, and Chris Duhon will be with the team at the start of the season.

    For now, we'll have to assume that all of these guys will remain with the Magic.

    That leaves shooting guard Von Wafer and forward Justin Harper as the remaining members of the bench—a bench that is talented, yet old.

23. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller are the newest youngsters to join Kyrie Irving and company in Cleveland.

    The team is still hoping to send Anderson Varejao packing this offseason, allowing for younger guys like Zeller and Tristan Thompson to step up and earn some valuable playing time.

    The team lacks a talented small forward, although the acquisition of Kelenna Azubuike in the deal for Tyler Zeller will create some competition between him, Omri Casspi, and Luke Walton.

    The team hopes to bring back Alonzo Gee to compete for the starting job as well after surprising the Cavaliers with an average of 10.6 PPG last season.

    A healthy Daniel Gibson will likely earn the start at shooting guard, allowing Dion Waiters to develop a bit more before transitioning into a full-time starting role.

    The depth of the team's backcourt is lacking with Donald Sloan and D.J. Kennedy coming off the bench, although the team is unlikely to make a move for additional support.

    Overall, the team is in the early stages of building and developing still and should be looked at as a few years away from being serious competition.

22. Detroit Pistons

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    The Detroit Pistons are hoping to make their return to dominance sooner rather than later.

    The team will return starters Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey at the 1 and the 2.

    Charlie Villanueva will play the 4 and it is likely that Greg Monroe will start the season at the 5.

    Small forward Corey Maggette was acquired from the Bobcats for Ben Gordon and a protected first round pick in 2013, so expect him to compete with Tayshaun Prince for minutes at the 3.

    Rookie big-man Andre Drummond from Connecticut will take some time to develop, but will see some playing time off of the bench this season.

    Kyle Singler signed a three-year deal after playing last season in Europe, so it will be interesting to see what the former Duke standout will offer in terms of production.

    Forwards Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye will also see some minutes in the frontcourt, as will point guard Will Bynum in the back.

    I wouldn't expect much production to come from second round picks Khris Middleton or Kim English, who will both be fighting for a final roster spot come the start of the regular season.

    The Pistons have some quality players, but the talent and depth of the rest of the conference will prove to be a challenge for Detroit this year.

21. Washington Wizards

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    The Washington Wizards have finally begun to put some pieces around their young point guard John Wall.

    Nene, Emeka Okafor, and Andray Blatche will command a serious presence down low as they will likely share playing time at the 4 and the 5 this season.

    Trevor Ariza will join the team and likely take the starting role at small forward, rounding out a solid frontcourt for the Wizards.

    The team has a young group of forwards led by Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin who will gladly offer their services off of the bench.

    Rookie Bradley Beal is considered by some to be the next Ray Allen, and will be expected to emerge as a major scoring threat as the starting shooting guard this season.

    The only other guards on the roster as of now are Cartier Martin and Shelvin Mack, so Wall and Beal better be ready to handle a very heavy workload.

    The Wizards need to add just one or two more guards to their mix, and they should be primed to compete.

20. Golden State Warriors

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    Golden State is a team that has a lot of quality players that could potentially make a run in the playoffs next season.

    Andrew Bogut, David Lee, and Richard Jefferson are the heart and soul of their frontcourt.

    Expect rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green to fight for playing time off of the bench, with Barnes seeing a significantly larger role in his first season with the team.

    Rookie center Festus Ezeli out of Vanderbilt will also be battling with seven-footer Andris Biedrins for time behind Bogut.

    After the recent trade that sent Dorell Wright to Philadelphia and brought point guard Jarrett Jack to Golden State, it appears as though Stephen Curry will now slide over to the shooting guard slot for 2012.

    The bench still features talented young guards in Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins who will both earn playing time for themselves this season as well.

    Golden State's recently found depth will help the Warriors make a decent run at the playoffs in 2012-13.

19. Sacramento Kings

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    The Sacramento Kings are a young team that simply lacks star power and leadership.

    DeMarcus Cousins is their big man in the middle, with Jason Thompson returning as their starter at the 4 and Tyreke Evans looking like a solid option at the 3.

    Fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson will be in the battle for Thompson's starting job after a stellar All-American season at Kansas last year.

    Veterans Chuck Hayes and Travis Outlaw will see some time off the bench, as well as youngsters Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside, who hope to see their playing time increase this season.

    The 5'9" Isaiah Thomas will assume the ball-handling duties at the point, while Marcus Thornton will likely be their starter at shooting guard once again.

    That leaves guys like Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, and John Salmons fighting for time off the pine in the backcourt.

    DeMarcus Cousins may be the closest thing the Kings have to a big name star as of now, but they certainly run deep as far as youth and potential goes.

18. Milwaukee Bucks

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    The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the few teams that have stayed relatively quiet throughout the offseason.

    Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis will start in the backcourt being backed by Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston, and rookie Doron Lamb.

    Ekpe Udoh seems to have a hold on the starting center role, while Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, and rookie John Henson will all battle for playing time at power forward.

    With Mike Dunleavy and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as the most talented small forwards on the roster, it appears that their position will be up for grabs as well.

    Larry Sanders will be the main back up for Ekpe Udoh at the 5, and clearly the depth at forward is not an issue with the preseason position battles looking rather intense.

    This team was on the outskirts of the playoffs last season, so it will be interesting to see how the Bucks fare this year as the team retains the majority of their players.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to add some depth and star power to help out youngsters Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

    Nicolas Batum was offered a $45.5 million contract over five-years, but the T-Wolves must wait to see if the Portland Trail Blazers will match their offer.

    Brandon Roy has emerged from retirement and apparently expects to take on a starting role in his return to the NBA.

    Assuming he can step in at shooting guard and Batum joins at small forward, that leaves Nikola Pekovic at center to round out the starting five with Love and Rubio.

    Rubio will have J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour coming off the bench to assist him.

    Assuming that Roy earns the starting spot, he'll have the support of Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, and Malcolm Lee behind him.

    The major drawback of the Timberwolves roster is their current lack of size.

    Only Love and Pekovic crack the 6'10" mark with the smaller forwards of Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams, and Martell Webster as their only other options in the paint.

    The T-Wolves need to solidify their small forward position, ideally with Batum, and then move on to acquiring some serious size if they hope to be competitive this season.

16. New Orleans Hornets

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    The New Orleans Hornets have done a great job of bringing in youth to their declining franchise.

    Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers are expected to be staple points of this organization for years to come.

    The recent re-signing of Eric Gordon provides the team with a serious scoring threat and leadership in the backcourt.

    Jarret Jack's departure leaves a gaping hole at the point guard slot, one that the team is hoping Austin Rivers can fill immediately.

    Forward Ryan Anderson was recently acquired from the Orlando Magic in a trade for Gustavo Ayon.

    The 24-year-old power forward earned the Most Improved Player award last season as he averaged 16.1 PPG and demonstrated his range from behind the arc.

    Jason Smith has proved to be a decent option towering at 7'0" tall, and the acquisition of seven-footer Brad Miller should help bring some depth to the front court.

    The young Hornets squad still needs some time to develop, but could be seriously competitive in the years to come.

15. Philadelphia 76ers

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    The Philadelphia 76ers are getting younger by the minute, and better too.

    Elton Brand is officially gone via the NBA amnesty clause, which means a trade with Golden State will bring small forward Dorell Wright to Philadelphia.

    Wright emerged two seasons ago as a major scoring threat, leading the league in three-point shot makes and attempts.

    With Brand's departure, the door is open for Thaddeus Young or even rookie Arnett Moultrie to step up and see some playing time.

    Nick Young was brought in to replace the NBA Sixth-Man of the Year runner-up Lou Williams as a backup to Evan Turner.

    Forwards Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie were acquired in the first round of this year's draft to help bolster the team's backcourt.

    It's still uncertain whether the team will deal Andre Iguodala and give Dorell Wright or Maurice Harkless a shot to start, or keep both small forwards on the bench behind their All-Star.

    Odds are Iguodala is out.

14. Brooklyn Nets

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    The Brooklyn Nets have given up on the Dwight Howard deal that would have catapuled them into title contention next season.

    As of right now, the team is still in the process of assembling a team around their recently signed focal point, Deron Williams.

    NBA superstar Joe Johnson was brought in from the Atlanta Hawks to offer some serious help on the offensive end.

    Gerald Wallace has re-signed and will play small forward alongside Brook Lopez in the middle.

    There remains a hole at the power forward position for now, although it is expected that Kris Humphries will re-sign with the team.

    As of this moment, the team will rely on Mirza Teletovic who is making his way over from Europe, and Reggie Evans who is a decent rebounder off the bench.

    In a surprise move, the Nets also brought in veteran small forward Jerry Stackhouse for a one-year deal to add some experience and leadership to the team.

    MarShon Brooks, rookie Tyshawn Taylor, and recently acquired C.J. Watson will round out the backcourt for the Nets in 2012-13.

    If they can add a bit more size to the roster before the start of the season, the Nets will emerge as yet another competitive opponent in the Eastern Conference.

13. Houston Rockets

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    The Houston Rockets are on the verge of going "Linsane".

    With Jeremy Lin's arrival now looking imminent, the team will likely continue to push for the acquisition of either Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard to play alongside him.

    The Rockets have a lot of valuable future draft picks as well as young talent that they were able to acquire in this year's draft.

    Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, and Terrence Jones were all taken in the first round of the draft and have a lot of upside, making them excellent trade bait for the Rockets at this point.

    Houston just brought in Toney Douglas to help out Lin at the point and Josh Harrellson to offer some help under the basket in a deal that sent Marcus Camby to the New York Knicks.

    With Kyle Lowry now in Toronto, it looks as though Douglas will act as the backup for Lin in 2012-13.

    Luis Scola's departure to the Suns opens up the door for young players such as Patrick Patterson, Chandler Parsons, Harrellson, White, and Jones to fight for starting positions at the 3 and the 4.

    It's very unclear as to who will remain with the team come opening tip-off this fall, but the current roster is full of youth and full of depth.

12. Los Angeles Clippers

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    Blake Griffin has signed on for the next five years, which means the Staples Center will be jam-packed with Clippers fans for years to come.

    Chris Paul is still running the point, while DeAndre Jordan will remain the team's starting center.

    It currently looks as though Caron Butler will fill in the empty space at small forward, while shooting guard remains up for grabs.

    Barring any other offseason additions, it is likely that the recently signed Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford will be the two players duking it out for a starting role at the 2.

    The Clips' recently received Lamar Odom from the Mavericks in a four team deal that sent the Clippers' Mo Williams to Utah.

    Odom brings much needed size and veteran experience to the roster next year.

    The rest of the squad features young guards such as Eric Bledsoe and Travis Leslie who will fill in behind Paul and either Billups or Crawford, respectively.

    In addition to Lamar Odom, forwards Trey Thompkins and Ryan Gomes will fight for minutes off the bench as well.

    The Clippers seem poised to, at the very least, make another run to the playoffs with their added depth this offseason.

11. Memphis Grizzlies

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    The Memphis Grizzlies are a very talented and extremely deep young team.

    The starting frontcourt combination of Marc Gasol, Zack Randolph, and Rudy Gay is as solid as they come.

    Quincy Pondexter, Marreese Speights and Dante Cunningham all provide quality minutes for the team down low as well.

    The return of power forward Darrel Arthur, who missed last season with a torn Achilles tendon, will bring back even more depth to the Grizzlies under the basket.

    Mike Conley will resume his starting duties at the point, while Tony Allen appears to be their man in the shooting guard slot.

    The team recently signed Jerryd Bayless to help out with some of the ball handling and long range shooting off the bench, but the Grizzlies are still in need of another scoring threat to assist Tony Allen at the 2.

10. Charlotte Bobcats

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    After coming off of the worst season in NBA history, the Bobcats are praying they can win 20 games this year.

    With offseason acquisitions like Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, and Brendan Haywood, winning suddenly seems more than plausible.

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the second overall pick in 2012 and will be expected to see some playing time along with Reggie Williams at small forward.

    The 6'9", 19-year-old big man Bismack Biyombo is expected to fight for a starting job along with Tyrus Thomas at the 4.

    DeSagana Diop, Byron Mullens, and Haywood are each going to have a shot at the starting center role with each man standing in at seven-feet-tall.

    With leading scorer Gerald Henderson now sharing time with Ben Gordon and the youngster Kemba Walker coming off the bench for Sessions, this team suddenly looks like they could be competitive.

    Quite the drastic change from last season's abysmal performance.

9. Boston Celtics

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    With Ray Allen's departure to the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics have wasted no time in filling out the rest of their roster.

    Jason Terry was signed to a three-year deal to bring experience and consistent shooting to the table. He's not Ray Allen from behind the arc, but he's one of the few guys you can trust coming in and filling a similar role.

    Terry will likely start the season at shooting guard, since Avery Bradley suffered a setback and had to receive a second surgery on his opposite shoulder just a week ago.

    The additions of rookies Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, and Kris Joseph will offer a fresh new look for their frontcourt off the bench.

    Sullinger has some injury concerns, but the Celtics liked their chances on taking such a talented young forward so late in the first round.

    Melo can offer some defensive presence to support Garnett down low while Joseph can provide Paul Pierce with some assistance on the perimeter.

    One of the teams greatest assets comes in the form of Jeff Green, who missed all of last season with a heart condition. Green averaged over 15.0 PPG from 2008-2011 while starting for the Oklahoma City Thunder at small forward.

    Expect Green and Terry to come off the bench shooting in 2012.

    The rest of the team features JaJuan Johnson, Chris Wilcox, E'Twaun Moore, and Sean Williams riding the pine for now.

8. Indiana Pacers

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    The Indiana Pacers have accomplished their main goal this offseason with the re-signing of Roy Hibbert to a four-year deal.

    Their next major move involved sending Darren Collinson and Dahntay Jones to the Mavericks for big-man Ian Mahinmi in a move to help clear some cap space and add some size.

    With Collinson out, they brought in D.J. Augustin for a one-year deal to help take on some of the point guard responsibilities alongside George Hill.

    Paul George will remain the starter at shooting guard for the Pacers with recently acquired swingman Gerald Green adding a spark off the bench behind him.

    David West and Danny Granger still have a firm grasp on the starting forward positions, with Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph handling the back up duties down low.

    It currently looks as though Miles Plumlee, the No. 22 overall selection in this year's draft, will see very limited playing time with the extensive depth of the Pacers bench.

    The Pacers made some noise in the playoffs last season and I'd expect them to do the same in 2013.

7. Dallas Mavericks

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    The Dallas Mavericks are trying to make their way back to the NBA Finals, and they've made some moves to help them get there.

    With Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, and Delonte West now gone, the Mavs made an excellent move in trading for point guard Darren Collinson and shooting guard Dahntay Jones from the Pacers.

    They've also brought in veteran power forward Elton Brand as well as a seven-footer in Chris Kaman to help replace Brendan Haywood under the basket.

    Guards Vince Carter, Rodrigue Beaubois, and Dominique Jones are all back again to provide support when called upon.

    Rookies Bernard James, Jared Cunningham, and Jae Crowder will all be fighting for the opportunity to round out the Maverick's bench this season.

    The team may have one of the older rosters in the NBA, but they still have a ton of talent and a ton of depth which should make them top contenders come playoff time.

6. Denver Nuggets

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    The Denver Nuggets received a nice infusion of talent after sending Carmelo Anthony to New York a few years back.

    It appears that so far this offseason, the team is rather content with the players they already have.

    Free agent point guard Andre Miller signed a three-year deal to stay with the team, and the Nuggets have otherwise been quiet.

    They drafted 19-year-old shooting guard Evan Fournier out of France with the No. 22 overall pick, who will likely remain overseas for at least another year or two with the depth of the current roster.

    Second-round picks Quincy Miller and Izzet Turkyilmaz both have an outside shot of making the team, but Turkyilmaz may be best off waiting another year overseas as well.

    Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov will battle for the starting center job, with Chris "Birdman" Anderson providing support off the bench.

    Kenneth Faried proved himself worthy enough to hold down the power forward position, while Danilo Gallinari will continue in his role at small forward.

    Ty Lawson will pick up the point guard duties once again and Arron Afflalo will remain at shooting guard. 

    That leaves Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, and Al Harrington coming off the bench in the frontcourt in addition to Birdman.

    As far as the backcourt goes, youngsters Julyan Stone and Jordan Hamilton will see limited playing time with Andre Miller being the first option as a reserve.

    Hopefully the continuity and depth of this team will provide continued success in the highly competitive Western Conference.

5. Atlanta Hawks

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    With Joe Johnson's move to Brooklyn and Marvin Williams' trade to the Jazz, the Atlanta Hawks core will revolve around Josh Smith and Al Horford.

    The Hawks received a quality point guard in Devin Harris from their trade with the Jazz, arguably the top of the crop that they've recently brought in.

    He will likely compete with Jeff Teague for the starting job this fall.

    The team also received PG Jordan Farmar, SG Anthony Morrow, C Johan Petro, SF DeShawn Stevenson, and F Jordan Williams from the Nets in return for Joe Johnson.

    Most of these players are expected to be contributors off of the bench, with Anthony Morrow vying for the starting spot at shooting guard.

    Other offseason acquisitions include the 76er's leading scorer and sixth-man from last season, Lou Williams.

    Williams averaged a career high 14.9 PPG last season while shooting 36.2 percent from behind the arc, but isn't the All-Star caliber player that they had in Johnson.

    Kyle Korver was brought in from the Bulls to provide some sharpshooting of his own, and will likely take on the starting role at small forward.

    Rookie John Jenkins is a pure shooter out of Vanderbilt who was taken 23rd overall in this year's draft, another nice long range threat to add to the Hawks bench.

    Back up center Zaza Pachulia returns as the only other remaining player from the 2011-12 roster.

    The team has a whole lot of depth for the upcoming season, but lacks the star power needed to win an NBA Championship.

4. New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks have made some great moves this offseason to add some much needed depth for 2012-13.

    Sharpshooters Steve Novak and J.R. Smith will be back in New York for a few more years.

    Despite losing out on Lin, the acquisition of Raymond Felton from Portland as well as the signing of Jason Kidd has more than adequately filled the Knicks' void at point guard.

    With Kurt Thomas coming over in the deal from Portland along woth the recent signing of Marcus Camby, the frontcourt suddenly has the size and defensive tenacity needed to assist reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler.

    The team has also brought in shooting guard James White from the Italian League to help offer some backcourt support as well.

    The league better watch out with the newly found depth on the Knicks' roster, because they may emerge as a top contender out of the East.

3. San Antonio Spurs

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    The San Antonio Spurs are one of the most consistent teams in the Western Conference year in and year out.

    Tim Duncan has decided to come back and join Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli as they continue their pursuit of yet another ring.

    Danny Green will return at shooting guard for the 2012-13 season, while the newly acquired Boris Diaw will help provide some additional size under the basket.

    The frontcourt is relatively solid with Dejuan Blair, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter and Derrick Byars all coming off of the bench.

    Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, and Gary Neal are all solid relief options in the backcourt as well.

    Ginobili has always been a long range threat for the Spurs, shooting 41.3 percent from the perimeter last season.

    Jackson, as you may recall, shot over 60.0 percent from behind the arc in the Spurs most recent playoff run.

    The Spurs core may be getting older, but they have more than enough depth and youth on their bench to still be a dominant force in the Western Conference.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Despite having the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in James Harden, the Oklahoma City Thunder still lacked the depth needed to bring home a ring last season.

    The majority of their Western Conference Championship team is still intact, and the Thunder are looking ready as ever to make another run at an NBA Championship.

    The starting five will remain the same as the team enters the 2012 season, but their bench has improved in a few aspects.

    They had quite possibly the steal of the draft, picking up a top 10 talent in Baylor's Perry Jones III with the No. 28 overall pick.

    With his size at 6'11", he could very easily see some time at either the 3 or the 4 throughout the course of the season.

    Harden and Nick Collison will be the go to guys off the bench once again, with a healthy Eric Maynor also returning to back up Russell Westbrook.

    Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka will have some additional help down low as well, with 7'3" center Hasheem Thabeet signing on for the next two years and undrafted forward Hollis Thompson inking a three-year deal of his own.

    The Thunder didn't need to do much to keep them in title contention, but they have certainly done enough to keep their spot as the team to beat in the West.

1. Miami Heat

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    Mike Miller set a record off of the bench with seven three-pointers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals for the Miami Heat.

    Plagued by an assortment of injuries, his NBA future remains uncertain for now.

    The Heat will have to make due with Ray Allen, the league's greatest three-point shooter in history, off of the bench instead.

    Ray Allen is one of the most recent NBA stars to jump on the Heat bandwagon, hoping to earn another ring before his career comes to a close.

    Sharpshooter Rashard Lewis has also hopped on board, offering some more depth at forward alongside the still talented Shane Battier.

    With Joel Anthony, Norris Cole, James Jones and possibly Mike Miller rounding out the rest of the key role players, it's hard to imagine any other team holding up the trophy at the end of next year.