Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard, Kevin McHale
The NBA players with the most to prove during the 2013-14 campaign will each enter the season carrying different chips on their respective shoulders.
Some of these players will open the season looking to prove they were actually worth the financial investment they received as free agents this summer.
Others will attempt to prove they are worth more than the dollars they secured, while some will also be tasked with the challenge of thriving in a new position.
Each player highlighted will be joining a new team in 2013-14 and attempting to prove doubters wrong with their on-court production. They are listed according to who has the most to prove heading into the season.
Tyreke Evans said recently that he has "no problem at all" being asked to play extended minutes on the wing this season for the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Brett Martel of the Associated Press.
Ultimately, though, the NBA veteran who spent the majority of his four-year career at point guard for the Sacramento Kings will need to prove that he is capable of being a productive contributor off the ball.
Before signing Evans to a four-year, $44 million contract, New Orleans acquired All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to pair with Eric Gordon in the backcourt. It also spent the 10th overall selection on combo guard Austin Rivers in 2012.
While learning to fit in at the wing position, Evans—whose production has declined annually since averaging 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds as a rookie—must also take a step forward statistically this year in his new environment.
Evans' overall skill set and athleticism would suggest that he is capable of making this transition successfully. When the 2013-14 campaign begins, however, all eyes will be on the former Rookie of the Year during his attempt to prove just that.
Andrei Kirilenko opted out of the final year of his contract that was scheduled to pay him $10 million next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He believed that his game and production would command a more lucrative deal this summer as a free agent.
The open market, however, ultimately disagreed with that assumption.
As a result, Kirilenko signed a taxpayer's mid-level exception reportedly worth $3.2 million for the 2013-14 season, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press, to join the Brooklyn Nets.
The 32-year-old forward will now head to Brooklyn looking to prove executives around the league wrong for declining to invest more in his ability.
After averaging 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Timberwolves in 2012-13, it seems Kirilenko would have plenty left to contribute. In order to prove as much, though, he will need to replicate that production as a member of the Nets.
Back in January, Josh Smith told Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he felt like he was a max-contract player.
He didn't end up receiving that type of offer this summer, but Smith's deal with the Detroit Pistons brought him very close.
On a four-year, $54 million contract, Smith has now become the financial centerpiece of the Pistons' rebuild. He will also be asked to play alongside Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond while assuming more of a small forward role.
Though he can certainly defend the small forward position when focused, Smith has been inconsistent at times playing farther away from the basket offensively. He has shot 28.3 percent from three-point range for his career, while also attempting as many as 201 threes during the 2012-13 campaign.
When he is locked in, however, Smith is as gifted athletically as any player in this league. He's also consistently averaged at least 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds during each of the last three seasons.
The Pistons will need every bit of that consistency and focus from Smith in order to prove that he was worth the long-term financial commitment they made to him.
After missing all of the 2012-13 campaign as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Andrew Bynum entered free agency in search of a fresh start.
He found that new opportunity by coming to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The All-Star center, who averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with the Los Angeles Lakers as recently as two seasons ago, was only able to secure $6 million guaranteed as part of his new deal, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer.
With an incentive-laden contract that could pay Bynum up to $24 million over the next two years, he will need to play his way back to the elite status he earned with the Lakers. Before he can accomplish as much, though, Bynum must first prove he's healthy enough to stay on the floor.
At his introductory press conference in Cleveland, Bynum told reporters there is no doubt in his mind he is capable of playing a full season. He also declared the Cavs to be a playoff team moving forward.
In order to accomplish those goals, Bynum will have a long list of doubters to prove wrong in 2013-14.
There is no player in the NBA with more to prove in 2013-14 than Dwight Howard.
After turning down an offer to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard accepted a max contract to join the Houston Rockets.
The opportunity will serve as a new beginning for Howard, who will play for his third team in three years, but also provide one last chance to secure his place among the league's elite.
Howard will need to not only prove that his injury issues are behind him, but that he is also a superstar capable of blending his talents with James Harden in pursuit of a championship.
He must also consistently embrace his new opportunity in Houston, instead of looking elsewhere around the league for greener pastures. If he is able to remain focused on the task at hand, Howard's ability should help lead his team deep into the postseason on an annual basis.
If not, though, those around the league who believe Howard's game is on a steady decline could be proved correct by the time 2013-14 concludes.