3. Brooklyn Nets — Spencer Dinwiddie and Taurean Prince
Next up is perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers’ biggest challenge to repeating as NBA Champions: the Brooklyn Nets. That challenge will only exist, though, if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving truly can co-exist and make it to the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference.
The Nets certainly have the depth to make a run. Spencer Dinwiddie excelled in a larger role last season and as the sixth man off the bench he should be able to help the bench maintain and extend leads with Kyrie and KD off the court.
In fact, I like Dinwiddie as a sleeper Sixth Man of the Year pick. Harrell and Schroder may offset each other’s production, allowing someone such as Dinwiddie to have better overall numbers and snag the award.
His best bench running mate is Taurean Prince, who is not the biggest name in the NBA but is absolutely a solid rotation player for the Nets.
Prince averaged 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 29 minutes per game last season. He started 61 of the 64 games he played last year but will be reserved for a bench role with Kevin Durant healthy.
The Nets have a really good scoring punch off the bench. However, Dinwiddie is a negative on the defensive side of the court while Prince is an average NBA defender that should be just fine coming off the bench.