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5. San Antonio Spurs: (Projected Bench- Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Kyle Anderson, Jonathon Simmons , Dewayne Dedmon
Mills and Ginobili are two amazing players, but they are getting old so it is limiting their playing time. Anderson and Simmons should have their minutes increased. Dedmon was a great pick up in free agency, and David Lee was a big pick-up to. Gregg Popovich has a lot of work to do, however he always seems to get the job done.
4. Boston Celtics: (Projected Bench- Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jonas Jerebko, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk)
The bench for the Celtics is very versatile. Jerebko and Olynyk can both play more than one position, and are good defenders and can spread out the defense and shoot. Tyler Zeller is smart and rugged. Marcus Smart would be a starter on several teams in the NBA, and his play style has become a hallmark of Brad Stevens’ Celtics. Jaylen Brown should be able to make his mark on this team as a rookie this year. The Celtics are one of the deepest depth teams in the NBA, and their bench will most likely carry them through the year.
3. Toronto Raptors: (Projected Bench- Cory Joseph, Norman Powell, Terrence Ross, Jared Sullinger, Lucas Nogueira)
Toronto’s bench was dominant last season. They should be as good this year as they were last year. Even with the loss of Bismack Biyombo, they still have one of the best benches in the NBA. I believe both Joseph and Powell could both be contenders for the Sixth Man of the Year award. The only downside to this bench is the center position. Will Nogueira finally earn coach Dwane Casey’s trust, or will rookie Jakob Poeltl become a regular in the rotation?
2. Golden State Warriors: (Projected Bench- Shaun Livingston, Ian Clark, Andre Iguodala, David West, Anderson Varejao)
Having for-sure players like Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala will get just about any bench all the way to the top 5 benches in the NBA, especially when you see just how well they fit into Steve Kerr’s system and how well they accept their respective rolls on the team. Anderson Varejao and Ian Clark are huge questions for the Warriors, but the cheap addition of David West is a fantastic move since he can be such an asset. His passing with the other players on the team will be one big problem for opponents.
1. Utah Jazz: (Projected Bench- Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Joe Johnson, Trey Lyles, Boris Diaw)
The Jazz were able to add three big key veterans this offseason. The biggest question they have is the return of Dante Exum, who missed last season with a torn ACL. How will he be able to perform after his injury? Will his defense be as good as it was at the end of his rookie campaign? Alec Burks is a magician around the rim, Joe Johnson provides both an outside shooting threat and versatility, and Trey Lyles developed beautifully on both ends of the floor during his rookie season. But the best player and key to the bench of the Jazz will be Boris Diaw. If he is ready to do whatever Gregg Popovich wanted him to do in San Antonio, then this will be the best bench in the NBA.