5 Players to Benefit from New Teams This Season
Change is inevitable in the NBA, and often times a new team can give a player a much-needed change of scenery. Amid the carousel of offseason transactions, several players have landed opportunities for a fresh start. Here is a look at five players who will benefit from playing for a new team. Who do you think will thrive the most by changing uniforms? Let us know below in the comments.
Pau Gasol: Chicago Bulls
For many years, Pau Gasol was a staple in the postseason. But with the championship days in the past, Gasol was on a Los Angeles Lakers team that fell quickly in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. When he entered free agency this offseason, though, he had his pick of contenders. Ultimately, he chose to sign with the Chicago Bulls and is quickly back in the playoff mix. Gasol will create a dynamic frontcourt duo with Joakim Noah and will enhance the Bulls’ offense with Derrick Rose back on the floor. One of the biggest benefits Gasol will experience is playing under Tom Thibodeau, one of the brightest coaches in the NBA. With a strong lineup (especially in the Eastern Conference), Gasol won’t be packing up early again this season.
Evan Turner: Boston Celtics
Being drafted second overall carries high expectations. Evan Turner is looking to live up to them on a new team in his fifth season. After playing his first three-and-a-half seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Turner was traded to the Indiana Pacers in February. He didn’t make much noise coming off the bench for the playoff-bound team, and his production dropped from 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 34.9 minutes as a starter to 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 21.1 minutes as a reserve. This season, the swingman has a chance to bounce back with the Celtics, an organization that is rebuilding its team just as he is rebuilding his career. Turner will be pushed to carve out minutes for himself on a log-jammed roster, forcing him to play at a high level. If he can, he will fit in with Brad Stevens’ system and this could be a turnaround season.
Jameer Nelson: Dallas Mavericks
Jameer Nelson saw it all in Orlando, from an NBA Finals run to the bottom of the standings. By the end of his run with the Magic, he was preparing for the Draft Lottery instead of the playoffs. Now entering his 11th season, the point guard is back on a contending team with the Dallas Mavericks. Nelson no longer has to be the veteran go-to on a young squad. He looks to improve his game by playing with proven veterans, including star Dirk Nowitzki. Nelson will give the Mavericks an experienced guard who is hungry to get back to the title hunt again.
Kendall Marshall: Milwaukee Bucks
Let’s give this another try. It was only two years ago that Kendall Marshall was the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Following a disappointing rookie season with the Phoenix Suns, in which the point guard averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 assists, he was traded to the Washington Wizards in a package deal. Days later he was waived and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last December. Marshall saw minutes (29.0) on a shorthanded team and posted 8.0 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. Nonetheless, the Lakers waived him during Summer League last month. The Milwaukee Bucks quickly claimed him, giving him another new start in his third season. The Bucks may not be a title contender, but establishing his place in the league will be a win for Marshall.
Kris Humphries: Washington Wizards
Kris Humphries is excited to get out and run. Upon joining the Washington Wizards in a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics, he told Basketball Insiders he is looking forward to playing in an up tempo system led by John Wall. Last season was a stopover for Humphries, who landed in Boston as part of the Celtics’ megatrade with the Brooklyn Nets. Now he has the chance to be a solid contributor off the Wizards’ bench as a veteran on an emerging squad. Humphries has proven he can be double-double player. While his minutes may not allow for those numbers this season, he can make an impact on the glass and the scoreboard as the Wizards look to continue their momentum from last season.
New Team After Just One Year
Shane Larkin is another player with a new home next season. After spending his rookie year with the Dallas Mavericks, the former first round pick was traded to the New York Knicks this summer. Basketball Insiders caught up with Larkin as he participated on the Knicks Summer League squad in Las Vegas.