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Klay Thompson brings some much-needed size to Golden State's backcourt.
SG: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Last year, following the trade that sent starting shooting guard Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, Thompson was due for an uptick in playing time.
His minutes increased to 30 per game over the final two months of the season, and the scoring output that Warriors coach Mark Jackson knew he was capable of surfaced.
Thompson posted 17 points per game over that span, dishing out 2.6 assists per night. He is the starting shooting guard of the future for the Warriors.
Those numbers over the final two months of the season should be expected from Thompson for the duration of the season.
C: Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
The Pistons decided to go in a different direction with their 2012 draft pick by selecting Andre Drummond out of UConn. The thought is to pair the 6'11" Drummond with the 6'11" Monroe and eventually have a powerful frontcourt.
Monroe is already developing well, and he posted 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season. This season, Monroe could reasonably put up a line of 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, elevating him amongst the elite centers of the league.
SF: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard was obtained at the high cost of Gregg Popovich's former favorite, George Hill. Fittingly enough, Leonard became Pop's new favorite. Popovich compared Leonard to former Spur Bruce Bowen, saying he was "more gifted."
His defensive abilities are undeniable, and his athleticism and desire to become a featured part in the Spurs offense should be showcased this season. He should get more minutes, with Stephen Jackson only being a stopgap solution and not a part of San Antonio's long-term plans.
The 6'7" swingman from San Diego State put up great per-36-minute numbers last year: 11.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and two steals. He could approach that level of production on a per-game if he sees 30 minutes a night this season.
SG: Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic
Arron Afflalo was the main piece in the Dwight Howard trade (at least from an immediate-impact perspective) for the Orlando Magic.
Afflalo is coming off of a career year for the Denver Nuggets. He put up 15.2 points per game and shot over 47 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from distance.
If he could step up his free-throw shooting significantly (80 percent for his career), he could enter the 50/40/90 club. He was just under 50 percent from the floor and over 42 percent from three in 2010-11.
Combine that shooting with lock-down defense, and Afflalo is the one player on the Orlando roster with a legitimate chance of making an All-Star team (with all due respect to Big Baby, who may be in for a career season in his own right).
PG: Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Kemba Walker had a bit of a disappointing season after ranking fifth among all scorers in the 2010-11 NCAA season with 23.5 points per game for UConn.
The thought was that drafting Walker would give the Bobcats a high-scoring guard to drive them out of the cellar and toward the realm of mediocrity.
Players often make huge strides during their sophomore seasons, and many fantasy basketball enthusiasts have pegged Walker as a sleeper this season. On a Bobcats team in desperate need of scoring, Walker should be able to get up plenty of shots.
Walker posted 12.1 points in just over 27 minutes per game last season, and he should be able to put up 15 points per game this season if he's actively seeking his shot.
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL), Thaddeus Young (PHI), Evan Turner (PHI), Nikola Pekovic (MIN), Goran Dragic (PHO), Gordon Hayward (UTA), DeMar DeRozan (TOR), Tristan Thompson (CLE), Kevin Seraphin (WAS), O.J. Mayo (DAL), Omer Asik (HOU)