<
>
Get ESPN+

Clippers' new bench makes them most improved team of the offseason

Doc Rivers and the Clippers had a busy offseason. Will L.A.'s moves pay off? Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Even for someone whose job it is to track and evaluate the most minute of transactions in the NBA, the summer is a dizzying time.

Through Tuesday, counting news both official and more-or-less official, 103 players find themselves on a different roster than the one with which they ended last season. Another 99 will go out to a training camp in hopes of making a team but otherwise have no previous NBA experience. There also are a handful of others who once played in the league -- and hope to do so again.

Given this avalanche of new faces and new places, you'd think the league's landscape would be wholly altered from what it looked like just a month ago. That's not really the case. Star players largely dictate the standings, and if they stay put, the standings don't change that much. There always is some shift, of course -- young teams moving up the ladder, other teams run into injuries, statistical regression or just plain bad luck. Sometimes a coaching change can shake things up, for better or worse.

In the end, an NBA general manager can only put together the best on-paper roster he can and manage the long-term strategy of his franchise.