Follow the shooters and passers.
Strong backcourt mergers have become something of a fad in the NBA now that shooting has muscled all the glamor out of low-post scoring. Big men are still viewed as championship cornerstones, but teams value players who can push the pace and add offensive possessions to the box score just as much, if not more.
That begins in the backcourt.
Point guards are widely heralded as the most important players on their team, treasured for their playmaking and penchant for breaking down defenses. It's not by chance that the league is crawling with talented floor generals. Elite point men have become so common because they're a necessity.
Their backcourt mates are often just as important. More and more shooting guards are becoming situational dime-droppers, secondary playmakers who can run the offense and create for themselves when the rock is in their hands. Most of them tend to shoot too. A lot. And some of them score just as much.
The Association hosts a vast number of intimidating backcourts, pairings that sear opposing defenses—some of which transcend their already elite peers.
*Note: ESPN.com's depth charts were consulted, but starting backcourt projections were ultimately made at the writer's discretion (a.k.a. me).