10 Players With Most To Prove for 2014-2015 NBA Season

10 Players With The Most To Prove This Season

NBA Superstars Embrace
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The legacy of an NBA player is determined and measured by the accolades, accomplishments and records they set during their career. With plenty of former MVP Award Winners, All Stars, and future Hall-of-Famers scattered across the league, the best basketball players look towards each season to continue to build upon their legacies. Now, we reveal the 10 players putting their legacies on the line the most this upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

10. Lamarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers

Lamarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
Getty Images Sport - Chris Covatta

10. Lamarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers

Lamarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
Getty Images Sport - Chris Covatta

Lamarcus Aldridge enters this upcoming season in the prime of his career, which just so happens to be a contract year. While Aldridge has been vocal about staying in Portland, he also is expecting a massive payday. While both should happen, Aldridge must continue to lead the Trailblazers through a challenging Western Conference, and attempt to make it deeper into the playoffs.

9. Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers

Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
Getty Images Sport - Tyler Kaufman

9. Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers

2014 NBA All-Star Game
Getty Images Sport - Tyler Kaufman

One of the best statistical players in the NBA, Kevin Love can no longer use the lack of star teammates as a reason for not making the playoffs. Soon, Love will receive the opportunity to play alongside Lebron James as part of the newly constructed and formidable Cleveland Cavaliers. While his numbers will almost surely decrease, Love has the chance to be as efficient and effective as ever playing with James and young star Kyrie Irving.

8. Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat

Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
Getty Images Sport - Chris Trotman

8. Dwyane Wade - Miami Heat

Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
Getty Images Sport - Chris Trotman

Things will definitely look different in South Beach this upcoming season. The Lebron effect is in full swing, as Dwyane Wade assumes the top responsibility with the Miami Heat again. Lebron James is gone, but Wade remains, and in need of a career-boosting season. Relegated to only 54 games last season, Wade must prove to be effective and durable for a majority of this season. Anything less, and James’ decision to leave looks that much better.

7. Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images Sport - David Sherman

7. Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images Sport - David Sherman

Eighteen years into a historic career, Kobe Bryant doesn’t have much left to prove. Then again, with a hefty salary and plenty of doubt sinking in about his future, Bryant still has everything to prove when it comes to his legacy. Bryant, desperately in need of a bounce-back season, will begin his comeback as the main attraction in Los Angeles—a familiar role for him. Rest assured, Kobe is determined to prove the doubters wrong this season.

6. Dwight Howard - Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
Getty Images Sport - Cameron Browne

6. Dwight Howard - Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
Getty Images Sport - Cameron Browne

Years removed from his lone NBA Finals appearance, Dwight Howard has tread water, finding himself incapable of being in a good enough situation to win a championship. Currently, Howard finds himself as part of a dynamic-duo. Unfortunately that’s all the Houston Rockets seem to be at the moment. If Howard is ever going to win a title, he needs to make the players around him better, and more importantly have good players around him to do that.

5. Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
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5. Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Getty Images Sport - Noah Graham

Currently, Chris Paul is in the prime of his career, and also in the second year of his huge contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul must be able to play with the tenacity and effort that comes with being the league’s best point guard, and if he is able to, he will contend for the league MVP again. Carrying that level of play into the playoffs will be essential for the Clippers in order to take the next step as a title contender.

4. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Getty Images Sport - Nathaniel S. Butler

4. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Getty Images Sport - Nathaniel S. Butler

Carmelo Anthony re-signed for a boatload of money this offseason, leaving no doubt that he is a major part of the New York Knicks' long-term plan to bring a championship to the city. Presently in his prime, Anthony has the support of the Knicks and its fan-base, but will only sustain that following through winning. While the Knicks are not expected to compete for a championship this season, expectations are high for Anthony, and he knows this.

3. Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers

Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Getty Images Sport -Ty Wright

3. Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers

Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Getty Images Sport - Ty Wright

With two NBA Championships under his belt, Lebron James is fully entrenched within solidifying his legacy. James now finds himself returning home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. As a member of the Cavaliers, Lebron is overdue in his proclamation of winning a ring for his hometown, and now must complete his legacy by winning at least two more championships with the roster that the Cleveland Cavaliers organization has built around him.

2. Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Getty Images Sport - Gary Dineen

2. Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Getty Images Sport - Gary Dineen

Speaking of MVPs, Derrick Rose is back again. This time, Rose is looking at a Chicago Bulls team with depth and size to help ease him back into the role of team leader. Rose has been outstanding with Team USA thus far, but once the NBA season starts, all eyes will be on how Rose holds up over the grueling NBA schedule. If healthy, Rose could be a top MVP candidate again, and regain his following at the very top of the NBA.

1. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Getty Images Sport - Richard Rowe

1. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Getty Images Sport - Richard Rowe

All eyes will be on Kevin Durant this upcoming season. Last season, Durant produced the best numbers of his career, taking home the league’s MVP Award in the process. Thanks largely in part to Durant’s unbelievable season, and the enigmatic style of play of Russell Westbrook, the spotlight has never shined as bright as it is does now on the Oklahoma City Thunder. With most of the burden falling on Durant, this season must be his best year yet.

Zach Fetaru is a Los Angeles Lakers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @fanforlife1988 ”like him” on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

 

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