Lost amid the turmoil and apparent reconciliation for DeMarcus Cousins, George Karl and the Kings front office was the overhaul of the team’s roster. Nine of the team’s 15 players to start the season weren’t on the roster at the end of 2014/15, a level of turnover that only the Trail Blazers can match in the Western Conference and no team can match in the East. New front office chief Vlade Divac used the draft, trades and free agency this summer to change 60% of his roster this summer, clearly putting his stamp on the team.
Still, the Trail Blazers would have eclipsed them had Tim Frazier not beaten Phil Pressey in their preseason battle for the third point guard job. The departure of LaMarcus Aldridge touched off an exodus of all seven of Portland’s free agents, and by the time Aldridge left, GM Neil Olshey was already active in trades, sending out Nicolas Batum and Steve Blake for four of his team’s nine newcomers.
Meanwhile, as the focus in Oklahoma City turned to Kevin Durant and his 2016 free agency, the Thunder were quiet on the 2015 market, adding only a pair of draft picks, including draft-and-stash signee Josh Huestis. Like the Bulls, the only other team in the NBA this year to have only two new players this season, the Thunder did change coaches, replacing Scott Brooks with Billy Donovan.
See the newcomers in the Western Conference and how the teams stack up in terms of roster turnover:
Kings (9) — Quincy Acy, James Anderson, Marco Belinelli, Caron Butler, Willie Cauley-Stein, Seth Curry, Duje Dukan, Kosta Koufos, Rajon Rondo.
Trail Blazers (9) — Cliff Alexander, Al-Farouq Aminu, Pat Connaughton, Ed Davis, Maurice Harkless, Gerald Henderson, Luis Montero, Mason Plumlee, Noah Vonleh.
Clippers (8) — Cole Aldrich, Branden Dawson, Wesley Johnson, Luc Mbah a Moute, Paul Pierce, Pablo Prigioni, Josh Smith, Lance Stephenson.
Lakers (8) — Brandon Bass, Anthony Brown, Roy Hibbert, Marcelo Huertas, Larry Nance Jr., D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams, Metta World Peace.
Mavericks (8) — Justin Anderson, Jeremy Evans, John Jenkins, Wesley Matthews, JaVale McGee, Salah Mejri, Zaza Pachulia, Deron Williams.
Suns (7) — Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Cory Jefferson, Jon Leuer, Ronnie Price, Mirza Teletovic, Sonny Weems.
Spurs (6) — LaMarcus Aldridge, Rasual Butler, Boban Marjanovic, Ray McCallum, Jonathon Simmons, David West.
Timberwolves (6) — Nemanja Bjelica, Tyus Jones, Andre Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Damjan Rudez, Karl-Anthony Towns.
Jazz (4) — Trey Lyles, Raul Neto, Tibor Pleiss, Jeff Withey.
Pelicans (4) — Alonzo Gee, Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Ish Smith.
Rockets (4) — Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Ty Lawson, Marcus Thornton.
Grizzlies (3) — Matt Barnes, Jarell Martin, Brandan Wright.
Nuggets (3) — Nikola Jokic, Mike Miller, Emmanuel Mudiay.
Warriors (3) — Ian Clark, Kevon Looney, Jason Thompson.
Thunder (2) — Josh Huestis, Cameron Payne.