So what teams in the Eastern Conference did the most to improve for the 2015-16 season? The availability of cap space and the status of retaining one's own free agents factors into what teams are able to do. The countdown starts with teams that did the least to enhance its roster -- and depending on the team that could be a good thing.
No. 10, Pacers
Last season's record: 38-44. Finish: Ninth in East.
Key additions: Drafted C Myles Turner, taken No. 11 overall in June, and PF Rakeem Christmas at 36th. In free agency, reeled in PG Monta Ellis and C Jordan Hill and SF Chase Budinger via trade with Minnesota.
The skinny: Getting rid of C Roy Hibbert (trade to the Lakers) was addition by subtraction as the Pacers saw it, and getting a more mobile, fluid big man in Turner fits with the direction they're heading. But their two biggest open-market signings, Ellis and Hill, appear to be atypical for a small-market franchise that's all about image. Ellis has been on good behavior since leaving Golden State but still can be surly. After a great start in Dallas in which he probably was deserving of going to the All-Star Game, he struggled late. Hill is another matter. He was arrested last week for reckless driving, 107 mph in a 65-mph zone. Not that big of a deal since he wasn't intoxicated but it's not the first impression that Hill wants to make since he has just a one-year deal. Hill had a felony domestic violence charge dropped when he pleaded no-contest and opted for counseling in 2012 with the Lakers. SF Paul George's ability to be the All-Star he was before he broke his leg last summer has a lot to do with whether or not they can return to the postseason.
Projected finish: 10th. A player such as George can be more than enough to override shortcomings and Ellis provides the scoring punch this roster has lacked. They may be a better team than last season, but because the conference has gotten better the guess here is the Pacers are missing another piece or two. They're trying to transition from being a slow, half-court team. They'll have better scoring but not necessarily shoot better in terms of accuracy.