Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/13/13
With the biggest talent of the 2013 offseason already distributed around the NBA, teams start to take their shape for next season. Many teams underwent drastic changes, on their effort to dethrone the defending champions for 2012 and 2013, the Miami Heat. This next season will find the NBA looking nothing like it did last year. Let’s see which teams, as of now, can post a threat to LeBron James and Co. This Miami Heat challengers article comes from Ron Leyba in his debut at The Sports Bank. San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder Both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs remained almost inactive after the playoffs finished. The Spurs were relieved to hear Manu Ginobili will be back next season. The young talent they have in their team, in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green will combine with the Big Three of Tony Parker, Ginobili and Tim Duncan to go for a potential last run for the championship next season. On the other hand, the Thunder lost a significant member of their team, their sixth man Kevin Martin. Although Martin wasn’t as productive as James Harden, he surely was a valuable player for Oklahoma City. Still, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the team, the Thunder are surely are one of the favorites, along with the Miami Heat, for the NBA title next season. Brooklyn Nets The blockbuster deal that brought Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce alongside Jason Terry to Brooklyn, also signaled the formation of one of the most dangerous starting fives in the NBA. The Nets now possess the star power, the young talent and the veteran experience needed to make it to the NBA Finals. As of now, they look like the second best team in the East, trailing only the Miami Heat. Los Angeles Clippers If the arrival of Head Coach Doc Rivers wasn’t enough to put the Clippers in the favorite position, the team’s movements to tweak the roster helped even more. Lob City now looks more complete than ever. The momentum coming off Chris Paul’s re-signing with the team will work as just another motivation for the team. Although a few more moves from LA should be expected, they definitely rank amongst the best teams in the Western Conference and one of the few that can beat the Miami Heat. Houston Rockets The presence of Dwight Howard himself could have earned the spot in this list for the Rockets. If you add James Harden, Chandler Parsons and whoever else the Rockets plan to bring to Houston, the Rockets instantly become one of the most powerful teams in the NBA. Not only they are amongst the top teams in the West, but if they make it to the NBA Finals, they will have an advantage over the Miami Heat, who lacks size, assuming Miami makes it to the finals for the fourth consecutive time. Ron Leyba is the content manager of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com – premier source of fantasy basketball updates, rankings and rumors. For more fantasy basketball news, follow @NBAFantasyInfo on Twitter or Like on Facebook. The post Miami Heat: five biggest challengers appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Trump praises NASCAR owners for stance on anthem protests

Top takeaways from Sunday’s Week 3 NFL action

Odell Beckham pretends to pee like a dog after scoring TD

Jerry Jones explains why he opposes national anthem protests

Bears cornerback pulls a Leon Lett after blocked field goal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jadeveon Clowney does the Gronk spike after defensive touchdown

LeGarrette Blount tramples Giants defenders on first-down run

WATCH: Whitney Mercilus sacks Tom Brady, Jadeveon Clowney recovers for TD

Aldon Smith reaches plea deal in DUI case, avoids jail time

WATCH: Duke Johnson scores on brilliant 19-yard run

He's back! Jamaal Charles scores first Broncos TD

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker