The Suns have done a lot of roster shuffling this season to reach more or less the same point. Phoenix was widely expected when 2014/15 began to fall somewhere near the final playoff berth in the Western Conference, just as the team did last year, and that’s right where the Suns are, three games out of eighth place. They nonetheless have a league-high seven players who weren’t around for opening night, thanks in large measure to six trades, including three on deadline day. The likes of Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas have given way to Brandon Knight and Brandan Wright, but the Suns are more or less right where they started.
A pair of new coaches who also run the basketball operations for their teams have been active as well. Stan Van Gundy and Flip Saunders have brought six new players apiece to their respective rosters since the beginning of the season, though neither the Pistons nor the Timberwolves are playoff-bound. The same is true of the Sixers, who have just as many new faces, to no one’s surprise. By contrast, the Heat, whose most significant move was either acquiring Dragic from the Suns or signing Hassan Whiteside midseason, are in position to make the postseason with six players who weren’t around on opening night.
They’re competing for a playoff spot with the Pacers, who clearly haven’t panicked with Paul George out. Indiana picked up A.J. Price earlier this season via the hardship exception, letting him go when some of the team’s other injured players returned. Aside from that, the Pacers have stood pat in the face of a trying season. The Magic haven’t touched their roster all year, instead seemingly placing the blame for their continued struggles on Jacque Vaughn, whom they fired as coach. The Bulls and Raptors have high hopes for deep playoff runs, but neither team has anyone it didn’t have when the season began.
Here’s a look at how each team stacks up in terms of additions since the beginning of the season, categorized by the volume of new players. Those on 10-day contracts have an asterisk by their names.
- Suns (Earl Barron, Reggie Bullock, Danny Granger, Brandon Knight, *-A.J. Price, Marcus Thornton, Brandan Wright)
- 76ers (Furkan Aldemir, Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington, Glenn Robinson III, Thomas Robinson, Ish Smith)
- Heat, (Michael Beasley, Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Henry Walker, Hassan Whiteside)
- Pistons, (Reggie Jackson, John Lucas III, Quincy Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Anthony Tolliver, Shawne Williams)
- Celtics (Jae Crowder, Gigi Datome, Jonas Jerebko, Shavlik Randolph, Isaiah Thomas)
- Jazz (Jack Cooley, Bryce Cotton, Grant Jerrett, Chris Johnson, Elijah Millsap)
- Knicks (Lou Amundson, Langston Galloway, *-Ricky Ledo, Alexey Shved, Lance Thomas)
- Mavericks (J.J. Barea, Bernard James, Dwight Powell, Rajon Rondo, Amar’e Stoudemire)
- Thunder (D.J. Augustin, Enes Kanter, Steve Novak, Kyle Singler, Dion Waiters)
- Timberwolves (Lorenzo Brown, Kevin Garnett, Justin Hamilton, *-Sean Kilpatrick, Adreian Payne)
- Cavaliers (Timofey Mozgov, Kendrick Perkins, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith)
- Rockets (Corey Brewer, K.J. McDaniels, Pablo Prigioni, Josh Smith)
- Pelicans (Norris Cole, Dante Cunningham, Toney Douglas, Quincy Pondexter)
- Bucks (Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Miles Plumlee)
- Clippers (Jordan Hamilton, Dahntay Jones, Austin Rivers)
- Grizzlies (JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Russ Smith)
- Nets (*-Earl Clark, Darius Morris, Thaddeus Young)
- Nuggets (Will Barton, Joffrey Lauvergne, Jameer Nelson)
- Hornets (Mo Williams, Troy Daniels)
- Kings (Andre Miller, *-David Wear)
- Lakers (Tarik Black, *-Jabari Brown)
- Trail Blazers (Arron Afflalo, Alonzo Gee)
- Wizards (*-Will Bynum, Ramon Sessions)