SHAUN LIVINGSTON PG Clippers
Big April points to Jason Kidd-like numbers down the road.
KIRK HINRICH PG Bulls (right)
Improved stroke will mean more points.
RASHAD MCCANTS SG Timberwolves
Opportunities will abound for this gifted rookie scorer.
JOSH SMITH SF Hawks
Lots of talent; look for a big pop in his ppg (9.7 in '04-05) and rpg (6.2).
The last seven MVP awards have gone to big men ( Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and twice to Tim Duncan) or little men ( Steve Nash, Allen Iverson). One of these five will become the first MVP on the wing since Michael Jordan in 1998.
KOBE BRYANT, Lakers: Not only will he enjoy a huge year, but questions about his corrosive influence will fade as Lamar Odom thrives alongside him.
TRACY MCGRADY, Rockets: He has the supporting cast to make this his finest all-around season, and he'll garner extra support if Houston becomes the Spurs' top challenger in the West.
DWYANE WADE, Heat: Spectacular much of the time and steady the rest, he'll earn votes if Miami has the league's best record.
LEBRON JAMES, Cavaliers: Cleveland could be the NBA's most improved team, driven by James's multiple talents.