The NBA's balance of power is likely to remain in the West this season despite the presence of the two-time league champion Miami Heat in the East.
Some NBA players at the launch of the "NBA 2K14" video game on Tuesday night credited Eastern teams like Brooklyn and Indiana for improving while giving the nod to the West for its juggernaut of talent.
Brandon Jennings, who went from Milwaukee to Detroit this summer, noted how tough it is for teams in the West to reach the postseason.
Ryan Hollins of the Los Angeles Clippers cited the Lakers as making some of the most interesting moves this summer even though Howard departed. They waived Metta World Peace, but signed Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman to go with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.