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. 8, Pistons
Last season's record: 32-50. Finish: 12th in East.
Key additions: Drafted SF Stanley Johnson, taken eighth overall in June. In free agency, landed C Aron Baynes, SF Reggie Bullock and SF Danny Granger. PF Ersan Ilyasova was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee, PG Steve Blake in a trade with Brooklyn and SF-PF Marcus Morris came in a trade with Phoenix.
The skinny: Throw away last season because this version of the Pistons has been retooled better to reflect coach Stan Van Gundy's image. He has an elite big man in C Andre Drummond who he wants to surround with shooters much like he did with Dwight Howard during his tenure with the Orlando Magic. The Pistons weren't a good shooting team and should at least be more fluid offensively now that PF Greg Monroe has left. Baynes, who has a career average of 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds, was given a three-year contract for $19 million.
Projected finish: Ninth. They're on the cusp of being a playoff team again but a lot will hinge on whether or not PG Reggie Jackson can live up to his $80 million deal. There are a lot of pieces here but how they fit isn't a sure thing. Baynes is a risk, Bullock is unproven and Granger is probably in the final stages of his career after knee injuries short-circuited his career.
RELATED: One on one: Favorite moves in the Eastern Conference
The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2.
Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:
April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis.
June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.
July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets.
July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.
July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.
July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS:
The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed.
Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer.
According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS: