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. 5, Hornets
Last season's record: 33-49: Finish: 11th in the East.
Key additions: In June, drafted PF-C Frank Kaminsky, who was taken ninth overall. Traded with the Portland Trail Blazers for SF Nic Batum and acquired C Spencer Hawes, PF-C Tyler Hansbrough and PG Jeremy Lin in free agency.
The skinny: This went from being a defense-first, playoff team two seasons ago to one that struggled with PG-SG Lance Stephenson, who was a disastrous pickup in free agency. Stephenson is no longer there, and the Hornets have realized to succeed in today's NBA they have to be more offensively capable. A lot of that will rest on how good Kaminsky turns out to be with his stretch shooting. Batum is an elite defender with three-point range. They unloaded Noah Vonleh to get him from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Projected finish: No. 8. It's going to be competitive to get the final playoff spot in the East because the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are going to be viable, too. But the Hornets already are good defensively under coach Steve Clifford and now have a better ability to score.