Heat, Bobcats Have East’s Most Stable Rosters

The Heat finished with the league’s best record and won their second straight title last season, while the Bobcats and Magic were the two worst teams in the league. Yet somehow, those three clubs and the Wizards are the only ones in the Eastern Conference to bring back 10 or more players from last season.

Miami kept 12 of the 15 players it carried at the end of the regular season and in the postseason as it made its run to the championship. There was no reason to mess with a winning formula, and aside from the amnesty waiving of Mike Miller, Juwan Howard‘s transition from player to assistant coach, and the team’s decision to cut Jarvis Varnado last week, everyone’s back to try for a three-peat.

The Bobcats made a splash in free agency, signing Al Jefferson, but they elected to bring back 11 players from the roster that went 21-61 last season, re-signing Josh McRoberts, Gerald Henderson and Jannero Pargo while failing to make any offseason trades. The Magic largely stood pat, too, though one of the 10 players they kept from the end of last season isn’t really around anymore. The team has told Turkoglu to stay home while they attempt to trade him, and it’s clear he won’t put on a Magic uniform again, even though he remains on the roster.

The Bucks were the Eastern Conference’s least-stable team, gutting the squad that finished with a losing record but slipped into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Every other Eastern team had about the same level of stability, keeping between seven and nine players.

Here’s the complete list of players who remain on the Eastern Conference teams with which they finished last season. We’ll follow with the Western Conference soon:

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