1 Bold Prediction for Top 20 NBA Stars Heading into 2016-17

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2016

1 Bold Prediction for Top 20 NBA Stars Heading into 2016-17

0 of 20

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Adventurous hoops heads live by a code when forecasting the 2016-17 NBA season: Why be regular, safe or conservative when you can be bold?

    We're applying that credo, which is totally real and not at all made-up, to our projections for the league's top 20 superstars, who were selected based on where they stand relative to other household names entering next year. 

    Rather than hawking typical-run-of-the-mill-because-duh predictions, we're living on the edge. These basketball prophecies err on the side of ambition, not convention. They also seek to strike that balance between realism and aggression.

    Because we're not predicting infinity three-point makes for Stephen Curry or 50 points per game for Russell Westbrook; We're going big without going crazy.

20. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

1 of 20

    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Prediction: Makes fewer threes than Rajon Rondo

    Jimmy Butler's relationship with three-pointers is complicated. He is shooting 32.8 percent from long range for his career but has reached that threshold just twice. At the same time, he has converted 37.8 percent or more of his long balls, amid respectable volume, during two of the last four seasons. 

    Rajon Rondo's three-point touch, meanwhile, is on the rise. His outside accuracy has improved in every season since 2009-10, and he's hit a greater percentage of his threes (33.2) than Butler (32.1) since 2013-14.

    The difference in volume matters here. Butler has launched almost 300 more triples than Rondo during that time. But the two were within 35 attempts of one another last season, and Rondo's three-point marksmanship (36.5) outstripped Butler's (31.2) by more than five percentage points. 

    Butler, for his part, will be used off the ball more in 2016-17. That's the only way the Chicago Bulls can survive with him, Rondo and Dwyane Wade in the same rotation. But Butler fared worse as a spot-up shooter last year, and defenses will gladly forfeit long-distance bunnies to Rondo in favor of chasing him off the three-point line.

    There's a legit chance that Butler, barring a shooter's turnaround, struggles to keep up with Rondo's volume. 

19. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

2 of 20

    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    Prediction: Hits 300 or more three-pointers

    Curry is the only player to ever put down at least 300 treys in a single season. But he's about to get some company.

    It's important we note this company is inevitable. Klay Thompson splashed in 276 three-pointers last season, and we can't rule out Kevin Durant hitting 300 three-balls without ever dribbling now that he's a member of the Golden State Warriors. (If it makes Curry feel better, last season's record-setting 402 triples is totally safe...for now.)

    Damian Lillard belongs in the conversation as well, albeit as a dark horse.

    His 229 made three-pointers in 2015-16 were a personal best, and he has never improved by more than 33 makes between seasons, but he chucks threes more than anyone not named Klay, Stephen or James Harden. His 610 long-range attempts last year ranked fourth in the league and were the 13th most of all time.

    Those looks are in no danger of disappearing. Lillard is still the focal point of the Portland Trail Blazers offense and may get up more shots as a standstill shooter when the team uses Evan Turner as its de facto point guard. That's how it worked for Isaiah Thomas in Boston, anyway. IT2 averaged more field-goal attempts per 36 minutes with Turner on the floor than without him, according to NBAWowy.com.

    Efficiency, not volume, will be Lillard's greatest obstacle. He'll need to clear 39 percent shooting from the outside to get 300 threebies, something he hasn't done since 2013-14. With the Blazers' mix of drivers and secondary facilitators, though, we're betting he gets there.

18. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

3 of 20

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Prediction: Named to All-NBA First or Second Team

    Four sophomores over the last 20 years have earned All-NBA First or Second Team selections: Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin, LeBron James and Wade. The last second-year player to get in as a center was David Robinson in 1991. 

    This is the kind of company Karl-Anthony Towns appears set to join.

    Towns isn't just working off a Rookie of the Year award; he's coming off one of the best debut seasons in NBA history. Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal are the only other newbies who cleared 18 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 54 percent or better from the floor.

    Towns is more unique, in that he has three-point range.

    To that end, he joined Anthony Davis last season as the lone two players to sink 30 or more three-pointers, in addition to averaging at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. So he wrapped his inaugural crusade playing like an All-Star.

    Securing All-NBA First or Second Team honors will still be tricky. DeMarcus Cousins isn't going anywhere, Andre Drummond and Hassan Whiteside may keep exploding, and Davis could spend more time at center than power forward.

    But Towns is already a star and, thus, has a real opportunity to be recognized as such at the end of next season.

17. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

4 of 20

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Prediction: Averages more points per game than DeMar DeRozan

    DeMar DeRozan has ended each of the last four seasons as the Toronto Raptors' leading scorer (Rudy Gay, who would have led the team in 2012-13, was traded midway through that campaign). It would seem foolish to predict otherwise after he signed a five-year, $139 million deal. But contract-year Kyle Lowry stands to be that good.

    Lowry eclipsed 20 points per game for the first time in his career last season. If his three-point accuracy holds (38.8 percent on 6.9 attempts per 36 minutes), he should hover right around that same area during 2016-17. 

    As last year wore on, head coach Dwane Casey started modeling his rotations based off specific matchups. DeRozan played more of a point swingman role, jump-starting pick-and-rolls and setting up his teammates off drives, in an effort to cover up his shoddy three-point shooting. We should see more of him on-ball and Lowry spotting up if the tides don't suddenly change.

    Toronto's collection of wings also threatens to eat into DeRozan's playing time. Lineups that feature some combination of DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Norman Powell and Terrence Ross will become more commonplace if he doesn't establish himself as a defensive plus.

    Lowry faces no such predicament, which, in the end, should entrench him as the Raptors' leading scorer.

16. Al Horford, Boston Celtics

5 of 20

    Brian Babineau/Getty Images

    Prediction: Gets recognized as NBA's best two-way center

    This is not a joke. To the contrary, Al Horford may have already played like the NBA's best two-way center last season.

    Of 10 pivots to finish with a defensive box plus/minus of 2.6 or better, Horford was the only to notch an offensive box plus/minus better than one. Likewise, he was the lone big to add at least 75 points on the offensive end and save 125 points on the defensive side, according to NBAMath.com.

    Playing for the Celtics will bolster Horford's two-way standing. They recruited him with the hope of winning a prized two-way focal point, as Jae Crowder explained, per MassLive.com's Tom Westerholm:

    He's a perfect fit. That's what we were telling him. He had Washington and some other teams looking at him, but we beat them four times this year. You don't want to go there. We play through our bigs, and a lot of teams don't play through their bigs — they post them up and give them the ball. Our bigs, like he did in Atlanta, he makes the play. We were explaining our basketball terminology to him, and how ours will fit right in with (his) game. It's going to mesh. Most guys have to blend in and fit in, but it's going to be automatically just there.

    Other 5s will post gaudier per-game lines, and either of Cousins or Towns can easily make a case for this unofficial honor. But, for now, no center in the NBA impacts the game from as many different angles as Horford—a shooter, scorer, passer, rebounder, rim-protector and defensive grinder all rolled into one.

15. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

6 of 20

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Prediction: Scores 450 or more points in the post

    Some context here: Seven of the league's teams failed to tally 450 post-up points last season. If Cousins clears that bar, he could end up scoring more with his back to the basket than one-third of the NBA's organizations.

    Breaking that barrier will be difficult if he's inclined to chuck another 200-plus threes, as he did last season. Even then, it's not out of the question. He was still on track to collect a league-leading 439 points in the post if he appeared during all 82 games. 

    Besides, Cousins won't be firing away that frequently from deep anymore.

    The Sacramento Kings will play a more controlled offensive style under head coach Dave Joerger that seeks to feature Cousins on the block. And that, in turn, guarantees the physically overpowering 26-year-old will put most of the Association's rival back-to-the-basket practices to utter shame. 

14. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

7 of 20

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Prediction: Plays in more games than Kevin Love and LeBron James

    Call this a gut feeling.

    Kyrie Irving has made 75 appearances during a single regular season just once. Last year, due in large part to his recovery from the fractured kneecap he suffered during the 2015 Finals, he cobbled together 53 cameos, the second-lowest total of his career. 

    Next season, it seems, will be different.

    Irving looked healthy during the playoffs, finishing second on the Cleveland Cavaliers in total minutes played and points per game, trailing only James in both categories. Spending a portion of the summer with Team USA should help ensure he's in game shape by training camp, diminishing the likelihood of an injury suffered from going too hard, too soon.

    This isn't to hope nor suggest that James and Kevin Love will be greeted by the injury imp. But James, at 31, won't be chasing perfect attendance as long as Cleveland has the East on lock, and the Cavaliers don't have as much depth at point guard after bidding farewell to Matthew Dellavedova.

    The stage is set for Irving, the youngest member of Cleveland's primary foundation, to be commended for his availability.

13. John Wall, Washington Wizards

8 of 20

    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Prediction: Joins 20-point, 10-assist, two-steal club

    If there was a superlative for "Player You Most Likely Thought Would Average 20 Points and 10 Assists per Game by Now but Hasn't," it would go to John Wall.

    Though he has cleared 10 assists per contest twice, he's yet to hit the 20-point milestone. He came pretty darn close last season, collecting 19.9 points per game, but the feat continues to elude him. Adding two steals to the equation makes things interesting. Wall will have to set a new career high in the swiping department, but he came oh-so-close to getting there last season as well, averaging 1.9.

    The real challenge lies with his scoring. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter won't suddenly command fewer shot opportunities, and a full season playing beside Markieff Morris could drive down Wall's field-goal attempts.

    Still, his drive-heavy offensive arsenal and defensive hustle should leave him within striking distance of this per-game unicorn—which has only ever been captured by Michael Adams, Kevin Johnson, Chris Paul, Isiah Thomas and Westbrook.

12. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks

9 of 20

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Prediction: Atlanta deals him by the trade deadline

    The Atlanta Hawks tried shipping out Paul Millsap in order to pair Horford with Dwight Howard, according to ESPN.com's Zach Lowe, but talks fell apart once the former joined the Celtics.

    For now.

    There is no obvious need for Atlanta to move Millsap. He fits alongside Howard and won't need to log substantial time at small forward as the direct result of an inexplicable logjam. But he will be a free agent next summer and cannot realistically factor into the team's long-term future.

    Atlanta shopped Horford around last season's trade deadline for that same reason, and he only just turned 30. Millsap will be 32 when he hits the open market, and the front office may not want to shell out a near-max deal that takes him through his 36th birthday. 

    Losing him for nothing shouldn't be an option if that's the case. The Hawks let Horford walk without receiving compensation; They cannot make the same mistake with Millsap.

    Even as a potential rental for someone else, he can net picks and prospects that help them hit reset on a core with no hope of challenging the Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy.

11. Paul George, Indiana Pacers

10 of 20

    Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

    Prediction: Joins the 2,000-point club

    Looking at the Indiana Pacers roster, it shouldn't be easy for Paul George to pump in more points than he did last season. Monta Ellis, Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young all prefer to operate on-ball, and there won't be as much space for drives and attacks off screens if Myles Turner doesn't develop into a league-average shooter.

    George's topsy-turvy efficiency doesn't help matters—his three-point success rate hasn't ducked below 36 percent since he was a rookiebut he's shooting under 42 percent from the floor overall since 2012-13.

    Plus, amassing 2,000 points is ridiculously hard. Only 11 active players have done it following the retirements of Kobe Bryant, Duncan and Amar'e Stoudemire; George himself has never flirted with the possibility. It took him 81 appearances and 2,819 minutes of court time—10th-most in the league—to reach 1,874 points.

    And yet, George is still getting better.

    The Pacers won't stop featuring him just because of an uneven roster. He enjoyed team-high usage last season, and it wasn't remotely close. The number of shots necessary to eye the 2,000-point club will be available; George just needs to make enough of them.

10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

11 of 20

    Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

    Prediction: Makes at least 100 three-pointers

    Penciling in Blake Griffin for more made three-pointers than he's buried his entire career (42) is a dual-prediction, because we're banking on him remaining healthy enough to cross the century mark. 

    It appeared Griffin might frequent the space behind the three-point line not too long ago—his total volume from that distance rose in three consecutive seasons before falling over the past two years. His per-36-minute three-point splits have stayed intact for the most part, but he's missed 62 regular-season outings since 2014-15.

    Those absences are not conducive to a stark shift in shot selection. Some of the Clippers' best lineups last season, though, came while Griffin was on the shelf. They surrounded DeAndre Jordan and Paul with shooters, ran pick-and-rolls to no end and stretched defenses beyond function. 

    This, naturally, paved the way for the "Clippers are better off without Blake Griffin" crowd to balloon, even though the on-off production said otherwise. Yes, Hollywood's Griffin-less cast was on to something, but it makes more sense to pull him past the three-point line than trade him.

    Griffin has increased his shot attempts between 16 feet and the three-point arc in every season since entering the NBA, and his accuracy rate from that distance has surpassed 37 percent during four of the last five years. That's good enough to justify a boatload more three-point looks—especially with the league's power forward position becoming a hotbed for long-range snipers.

9. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

12 of 20

    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Prediction: Wins Defensive Player of the Year in a landslide

    Draymond Green's flirtations with the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award should turn into a satisfactory result at the end of next season. That hardly sounds bold on the surface. Green has not only finished second behind Kawhi Leonard in each of the last two ballots, but he actually received more first-place votes than anyone else in 2015.

    Hence the anticipated landslide. 

    Green ranked first in total points saved on the defensive end last season, according to NBAMath.com, and should be more determined than ever given the current circumstances. His offensive role will be marginalized with the Warriors' addition of Durant—taking over defensively is Green's best way of standing out. He will still see ample time at center, solidifying his status as the NBA's most versatile defender, and can take more credit for Golden State's points-preventing success now that Andrew Bogut isn't in the mix.

    Howard (2011) and Ben Wallace (2002) are the only players to win Defensive Player of the Year honors by scoring 95 percent or more of all their possible points. Expect Green to put forth a performance next season worthy of joining their company.

8. James Harden, Houston Rockets

13 of 20

    Bill Baptist/Getty Images

    Prediction: Sets career high in assists per game

    Harden has boosted his assist numbers like clockwork since entering the NBA. We're not speaking in rough estimates, either. His per-game averages have improved from one campaign to the next every year without fail.

    Topping last season's 7.5 assists per outing should be too rich of an endeavor. Harden, despite his high usage, is a score-first shooting guard. His role as a primary distributor over the past few years was borne from necessity, not a natural progression. There will come a time when the Houston Rockets deploy a floor general who alleviates his playmaking burden.

    Just not anytime soon.

    Patrick Beverley is more defensive pest than consistent facilitator; Eric Gordon must remain healthy for an entire season before his combo-guard status is reinstated; Pablo Prigioni is 39; and Gary Payton II doesn't figure to contribute much for a playoff hopeful. 

    That leaves Harden to yet again play point shooting guard, this time under a head coach (Mike D'Antoni) who will look for him to initiate more pick-and-rolls in similar minutes.

    Pegging the bearded wonder as a 25-point, eight-assist man feels like a semi-safe bet.

7. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

14 of 20

    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    Prediction: Finishes in top three of MVP voting

    This shouldn't be bold. Paul is a perennial MVP candidate on paper.

    Finishing in the top three of total votes should be a regular occurrence for him. But it's not.

    Paul has placed in the top three just twice, during 2008 and 2012, repeatedly falling victim to the candidacies of Bryant, Durant and James. And while it shouldn't be easier for him to make more noise at the age of 31, it just might be.

    Golden State's band of superhumans will cancel out each other, which helps a great deal. James is forever underappreciated, which also helps.

    Mostly, though, Paul is entering a contract year (early termination option). This could be his last chance to prove the Clippers' infrastructure stacks up against the dynastic cores in Cleveland, Oakland and San Antonio.

    Don't rule out Paul collecting 20 points per game for the first time since 2008-09 as he pursues a 50/40/90 shooting benchmark and separates himself from whatever MVP case is made by Griffin. Heck, if not for the storyline boon Westbrook is bound to receive, Paul would be a reasonable top-two choice.

6. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

15 of 20

    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Prediction: Breaks NBA's PER record

    What happened the last time, in 2014-15, when the New Orleans Pelicans put a half-decent, semi-healthy supporting cast around Davis? He posted the 12th-highest player efficiency rating in league history (30.8) and the absolute highest of any player under the age of 23. 

    Surpassing Wilt Chamberlain's 54-year-old mark of 31.8 won't be easy. Davis went absolutely bananas during 2014-15, outpacing Chamberlain for a good chunk of the season, and still fell one point short by the end of the year. 

    But to say this record is out of reach implies that Davis peaked age 21. And there's nothing to suggest he has plateaued. He casually ascends to PERs north of 25—last season, in what was deemed an off year, he still hit 25.

    If Davis stays healthy, there is no ceiling for his potential. He is more familiar with head coach Alvin Gentry's system, has acquainted himself with three-point shooting and can realistically be someone who leads the Association in points, rebounds and blocks in the same season. 

    So while Chamberlain's PER record is a pipe dream for most, it's no more than a bold ambition for a 23-year-old Davis.

5. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

16 of 20

    J Pat Carter/Getty Images

    Prediction: Wins MVP award

    If the San Antonio Spurs come close to rivaling last season's 67-win finish, it's because Leonard takes ownership of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.

    Most of this is about Leonard being Leonard. He has become the face of the San Antonio organization and, as CBS Sports' Zach Harper wrote ahead of last year's MVP finish, morphed into an all-around dominant player:

    The galvanizing player for the Spurs all season has been Kawhi Leonard. Whatever the Spurs have needed him to add over his career, he's managed to do. He needed a jump shot; he developed a jump shot. They needed him to become a better attacker off the dribble; he became a better attacker off the dribble. They needed him to become a playmaker; he became a playmaker. They needed him to become an elite 3-point shooter; he became an elite 3-point shooter. Most of all, the Spurs needed Leonard to become one of the best players in the world and he's done that.

    No one in NBA history has ever matched Leonard's 2015-16 assist (13), steal (2.8) and block (2.3) percentages while swishing 100 three-pointers. He sits alone, a 25-year-old with two Defensive Player of the Year nods and an NBA Finals MVP, championing unprecedented two-way versatility.

    And on top of that, the MVP field is begging for someone new to commandeer momentum. Curry and Durant will bilk votes from one another. James is still subject to voter fatigue and has two other stars by his side. The Oklahoma City Thunder won't be good enough for Westbrook to get the requisite dap. Same goes for the Pelicans and Davis, Harden and the Rockets, etc.

    All of which should make for a hyper-competitive MVP charge—one that Leonard, last year's runner-up to Curry, is more than capable of leading.

4. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

17 of 20

    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Prediction: Finishes first in points and assists per game

    In the 745 minutes Westbrook spent without Durant on the floor last season, according to NBAWowy.com, he averaged 29.7 points and 11 assists per 36 minutes. Both marks would have ranked second among all qualifying players. 

    Go back to the 2014-15 season next, when Durant appeared in just 27 games. Over the Thunder's final 28 contests, none of which featured Durant, Westbrook averaged 31.3 points and 9.9 assists per game. Those numbers would have ranked first and third, respectively, for the entire season.

    Now imagine a version of Westbrook that won't be playing with Durant (or Serge Ibaka) all year... 

    This doesn't even seem bold on some levelWestbrook already showed he can win a scoring title in 2014-15 and eclipsed 10 assists per game last year. Another scoring title feels like a lock, and two of his greatest dime-dropping rivals will be impeded by a supporting cast that isn't conducive to assist-chasing (Rondo) and healthy, high-usage Griffin (Paul).

    No one, for the record, has led the Association in both points and assists per game during the three-point era, and just two players have done it at all: Oscar Robertson during 1967-68 and Tiny Archibald in 1972-73.

    Forced into life on his own, without a true superstar running mate beside him, Westbrook has an opportunity to do something special.

3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

18 of 20

    Noah Graham/Getty Images

    Prediction: Leads Golden State in scoring

    It's crazy that we can peddle "Kevin Durant paces his own team in points per game" as a bold prediction. Four scoring titles later, forecasting a league-lording average shouldn't feel the least bit intrepid.

    Alas, such is life on a Warriors roster with three top-10 players. Durant is not guaranteed to play a certain type of role, let alone be allotted a specific number of shots. He could cede touches to Curry, Green or Thompson on any given night. He could forfeit status and shots to Curry all season.

    Then again, Durant, at 6'9" going on 7'1", scores in ways even Curry cannot. And while there is only one ball to share, there are plenty of shot opportunities to go around—particularly for someone who can dabble as an off-ball threat—as SI.com's Rob Mahoney pointed out:

    Barnes, Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa are all gone from the Bay. Those three accounted for more than 21 field goal attempts per game between them—a few more than Durant averaged for the Thunder last season. Considering that David West (who fired up fewer than six shots a game for the Spurs last season) is Golden State’s only other shot-taking addition of note, the underlying math seems to be reasonably cooperative. 

    Toss in the easiest, most wide-open shots of his career, and Durant, one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history, won't want for buckets. His scoring average from last season (28.2) might not even drop. And if it does, that dip won't be drastic enough to disqualify him from leading-scorer duty.

2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

19 of 20

    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Prediction: Leads Cavaliers in total points, assists, steals and blocks

    No, this isn't as impressive as James' NBA Finals takeover, when he became the first person to "lead all players in all five" major stat categories for an entire playoff series, per ESPN Stats & Info.

    But it's still pretty damn phenomenal.

    James has led his team in total regular-season points, assists, steals and blocks twice before, back during 2008-09 and 2009-10. Though he shouldn't be due for another encore entering his 14th year, he has no choice.

    He was always going to lead Cleveland in points, assists and steals. The blocks burden is the byproduct of Timofey Mozgov, last year's leading shot-swatter, leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Tristan Thompson is in play to supplant Mozgov, but he racked up just two more blocks than James through six additional appearances. Unless Channing Frye or Love suddenly learns how to send shots back in volume, it looks like James will top his squad in all four categories for the third time of his career.

    Michael Jordan did the same only once (1987-88). Just saying.

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

20 of 20

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Prediction: Records a 50/50/90 shooting slash

    Curry became just the ninth member of the NBA's 50/40/90 club last season, shooting 50.4 percent overall, 45.4 percent from deep and 90.8 percent from the foul line. We have every reason to believe he'll jack up those numbers this year.

    Whatever you might think about the Warriors, it doesn't change the fact they're going to be really good. There is only so much defenses can do to slow the combination of Curry, Durant, Green and Thompson, even as they endure a slight learning curve.

    Everyone will enjoy a substantial uptick in wide-open shot opportunities, including Curry. And that's scary. Nearly 53 percent of his total attempts went uncontested in 2015-16, and he drilled 48.3 percent of his open-space threes.

    Reaching a 50 percent success rate from beyond the arc while maintaining his previous efficiency inside the three-point line and from the charity stripe shouldn't be a problem for the reigning MVP. If he gets there, he will be just the second-ever member of the 50/50/90 club, which is currently headlined by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. Go figure.

    Except Kerr hit those benchmarks on 482 total attempts. Curry will nearly double that volume from three-point range alone. So really, when you think about it, the actualization of this prediction would, once again, put him on a plane all his own.

    Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com unless otherwise cited.

    Dan Favale covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @danfavale.