As free agency all but dries up after a summer of unprecedented spending, we can start looking ahead to the 2016-17 season. And what better way to start than to begin analyzing the best and worst starting lineups in the league?

While there are still plenty of starting positions to be won or lost by opening night, our writers have collaborated on the five-man unit we believe will make up each team's starting lineup, and by way of a composite score, have come up with the following rankings for the best -- or worst, however you choose to look at it -- starting lineups in the NBA.

30. Philadelphia 76ers

PROJECTED LINEUP: Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor

This likely won't be Philadelphia's starting lineup for the entire season, but no matter how many changes they make the Sixers will indeed be the Sixers for yet another season. In other words, not very good.

They will compete, Ben Simmons should be a stud, and the addition of Gerald Henderson provides a veteran, calming presence. Sergio Rodriguez, who may or may not hold off Jerryd Bayless for the starting spot, is another solid veteran player as the 30-year-old had a productive career overseas. In the end, Simmons and Jahlil Okafor will go through several growing pains and this will be another transitional year for the Sixers.

29. Brooklyn Nets

PROJECTED LINEUP: Jeremy Lin, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Luis Scola, Brook Lopez

Everyone wants a sequel to Linsanity, and Lin is a better all-around player than he was when he broke out in 2012 with the Knicks. The problem is that he doesn't have a killer pick-and-roll partner, nor does he have a bunch of dead-eye shooters on the perimeter. Two of our panelists ranked the Nets dead last, and none had them better than 28th.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

PROJECTED LINEUP: D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Luol Deng, Julius Randle, Timofey Mozgov

We think D'Angelo Russell will be given the keys but are we sure that's a good thing? Best-case scenario for Luke Walton is Brandon Ingram is so good right away that they move Julius Randle to the bench. Also, they have to hope the corpse of Timofey Mozgov didn't make the journey from Cleveland and they actually signed that living guy from 2014-15. There is talent here, though it likely won't lead to winning many actual NBA games for a while.

The Lakers do have a promising, if pretty small, young backcourt. USATSI

27. Sacramento Kings

PROJECTED LINEUP: Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Rudy Gay, Willie Cauley-Stein, DeMarcus Cousins

It was surprising that Sacramento promoted Collison rather than signing another point guard, and it's weird that Gay is still on the roster after all the trade rumors. It feels like the Kings should be trying to make another move or two, as Cousins is once again going to be dealing with double-teams and watching teammates miss open jumpers. New coach Dave Joerger has a lot of stuff to figure out here.

26. Phoenix Suns

PROJECTED LINEUP: Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Jared Dudley, Alex Len, Tyson Chandler

The problem here is we're not entirely sure the Suns are done with this double point guard lineup with Knight and Bledsoe. You'd love to see one of them moved to the bench and Devin Booker starting. We're also not sure about the Alex Len-Tyson Chandler pairing inside. Ultimately, is Knight truly an impact player at the most dominant position in the league? Is Bledsoe ever going to be healthy? Can we just get a full-time youth movement so at least we have a lot of fun here?

This lineup, like the Suns, is pretty uninspiring.

25. Orlando Magic

PROJECTED LINEUP: Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Vucevic

Frank Vogel says he'll use Gordon like he used Paul George, and this seems risky. If it works (and Payton's jump shot improves), then this ranking could be far too low. If it doesn't, then the front office might need to make a move or two to balance the roster. Could Vucevic's days in Orlando be numbered?

24. New Orleans Pelicans

PROJECTED LINEUP: Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Solomon Hill, Anthony Davis, Omer Asik

With Alvin Gentry taking over and Anthony Davis being a burgeoning superstar, the Pelicans were supposed to be noticeably improved last year. Yet injuries happened and New Orleans hasn't done much to change their core pieces.

Davis, of course, is still there and will have to shoulder a heavy burden once again, but other than him, the Pelicans' starters remain pretty meh. Jrue Holiday back in the starting lineup should be solid, and new signing Solomon Hill brings some good things, but believing in Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik can only get you so far.

23. Milwaukee Bucks

PROJECTED LINEUP: Matthew Dellavedova, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe

Offensively (minus Delly, of course), this unit showed some real promise over the back half of the season. Defensively, they were a nightmare, especially in transition. The roles on this lineup are also a mess. Antetokounmpo is point-center-forward, Dellavedova is most often a set-up or spot-up player, Middleton fills the gaps, and Parker is... some sort of weird combination of skills and abilities, while Monroe provides no rim protection. This is a really talented group, but we have to see it make sense on both ends of the floor before that talent earns a higher ranking.

22. Denver Nuggets

PROJECTED LINEUP: Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic

There is a very strong possibility that this is not the starting unit by January 1st, with the team looking to unload Faried. Much of their limitations are based simply on inexperience, with Mudiay, Harris and Jokic all under 24. They have the capacity to make big individual, and hopefully collective, jumps next season, and if they move Faried, it's possible that adding Wilson Chandler to the starting unit could drastically alter how the unit functions with his size and scoring ability.

21. Miami Heat

PROJECTED LINEUP: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside

The idea of this lineup sounds a lot better than the application of this lineup. It's hard to give them high marks because we don't know the status of Chris Bosh and how much he'll be able to play, if at all.

The Heat need the connection between Dragic and Whiteside that Wade and Whiteside had. They need the $50 million they gave to Tyler Johnson to not look foolish (or they replace him with Dion Waiters -- yes, Dion Waiters is the safety valve here!). And they need Justise Winslow to be able to shoot from the outside if Whiteside and Dragic are going to have any space to operate. This lineup should defend, though. That's the good news.

This is going to look weird with no Dwyane Wade. USATSI

20. Charlotte Hornets

PROJECTED LINEUP: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams, Roy Hibbert

The presumption of Roy Hibbert starting here is questionable, but you can replace him with Cody Zeller with really no net less. I'm surprised our panel docked them this much after a run to the sixth seed last year and returning Most-Improved-Player-Candidate Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum who had such a phenomenal year, do-it-all stretch-four Marvin Williams, and getting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's defense and athleticism back from injury.

The Hornets have been very much defined by extremes the past three years. When their starters are good, they're great. When they're bad, they're a non-factor in the league.

19. Indiana Pacers

PROJECTED LINEUP: Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner

The Pacers made some significant changes in the offseason, getting rid of Frank Vogel and George Hill and replacing them with Nate McMillian and Jeff Teague. It is unclear if those substitutions will actually lead to an improvement but the Pacers do have a superstar in Paul George, who will be returning for his second full season back from that awful broken leg. Couple that with the expected growth of Myles Turner, and the Pacers should be fine in the East. They're a middle-of-the-road team that could possibly make some noise in the playoffs like they did last season, pushing second-seeded Toronto to seven games.

18. Oklahoma City Thunder

PROJECTED LINEUP: Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Andre Roberson, Ersan Ilyasova, Steven Adams

This is still a lineup that features Westbrook, Roberson and Adams, but much of this roster was built around Kevin Durant. We've seen how teams load up on Westbrook without Durant (when KD was injured and the small amount of time he spent on the bench), and with Ilyasova's penchant for drifting in the offense, Roberson's offensive non-factor, and Oladipo's shooting struggles, there's a lot to be worried about here without the safety net of Durant. There's talent, for sure, but outside of Westbrook, it's talent that was built to help Kevin Durant, not carry the load without him.

17. Washington Wizards

PROJECTED LINEUP: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat

This was the Wizards' lineup with the third most minutes last season and it was pretty good (plus-5.6 per 100 possessions). They played very fast at over 100 possessions while also managing to keep up defensively, allowing just 101.6 points per 100 possessions. That kind of production will make them much higher than 17th during the season, but we've yet to see Bradley Beal make it one full season without having a stress reaction. It'll be interesting to see the game plan Scott Brooks has for this team. Can he unlock the talent in a way Randy Wittman was never able to?

16. Houston Rockets

PROJECTED LINEUP: Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela

If this group buys into what Mike D'Antoni is preaching, they will feature a top-five offense in efficiency. But Beverley has shown limitations and had injury issues, and Ariza's play on both ends fell off a cliff last year. Capela is promising, but still very young, and Anderson's defense has become more and more of an issue. Let me put it this way. Take Harden off that lineup and you're looking at a bottom-20 unit. Houston's strength comes in the rest of their roster and their lineup versatility around Harden.

15. Chicago Bulls

PROJECTED LINEUP: Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez

This is the most divisive starting lineup we had - it was ranked as high as ninth and as low as 27th. There is obviously talent here, but it's unclear how Rondo, Wade and Butler will play together. Critics think Rondo and Wade will take the ball out of Butler's hands and slow down the offense. Chicago is banking on basketball IQ and coach Fred Hoiberg's creativity trumping what looks like a poor fit.

14. New York Knicks

PROJECTED LINEUP: Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah

This is perhaps the starting lineup that is the biggest question mark in the league. If Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stay healthy, the Knicks have one of the better starting lineups in the East. That is, of course, if Rose and Noah can at least approximate a level of play somewhat similar to when they were All-Stars, which is a big if.

Melo will be Melo and should be an All-Star for the 10th time. Courtney Lee with his versatility should be a nice fit. Porzingis is another wild card, though. If he has a sophomore slump, he would be the weakest link. However, if he continues to grow and develop, then the Knicks should fare decently well in the East, even if Rose and Noah suffer setbacks.

13. Dallas Mavericks

PROJECTED LINEUP: Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Drik Nowitzki, Andrew Bogut

Yet again, the Mavs have made some changes to their starting lineup. Dallas did make some significant upgrades with the addition of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut. Defensively, they should be better, mainly due to Bogut's presence, and Barnes gives the Mavs another offensive weapon to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. Another season in Rick Carlisle's system should also help Wesley Matthews and bringing back Deron Williams makes sense. Dallas should be better than it was last season, but how much better is up in the air.

12. Minnesota Timberwolves

PROJECTED LINEUP: Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Karl-Anthony Towns

Votes ranging between 9-17 for the very young Wolves --that's how much we believe in Karl-Anthony Towns and the coaching of Tom Thibodeau. Towns will turn 21 this season. Wiggins and LaVine will turn 22. Even with their potential, it's asking a lot to assume they'll be in the top half of the league, but that's what Thibodeau will demand and Towns is that good.

With Rubio, Wiggins, Dieng and Towns, this lineup should be very good defensively by season's end. With LaVine, Wiggins and Towns, there will be a lot of firepower being directed by Rubio -- unless he's moved, of course. At some point we may see a more modern look with Nemanja Bjelica as the stretch-4, but Thibodeau has a lot of molding to do, regardless.

Back to back No. 1 overall draft picks isn't a bad place to start your team. USATSI

11. Portland Trail Blazers

PROJECTED LINEUP: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, Mason Plumlee

Al-Farouq Aminu and Mason Plumee should continue to be steady players, and adding Evan Turner, despite the criticisms of his $70 million deal, should actually benefit Portland as his playmaking and defense can give Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum more freedom. But Turner likely won't help the Blazers make a leap in the standings. That is all on Lillard and McCollum, who make up one of the best backcourts in the league. Portland should be a middle-of-the-road team in the West again.

10. Atlanta Hawks

PROJECTED LINEUP: Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard

Remember when Jeff Teague, Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Millsap and Al Horford shared a Player of the Month award, and when four of the five made the All-Star team? It's weird that this was only two seasons ago, and it's unfair to expect the new group to work together like that. Atlanta has the potential to have one of the best lineups in the league, but only if Schröder lives up to this promotion as Teague's replacement and everyone adjusts to having a totally different type of center in Howard.

9. Detroit Pistons

PROJECTED LINEUP: Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond

This was the Pistons' second-most used lineup last season and it was only together for 25 games. But it showed a vast improvement in shot making from the Pistons' starting lineup prior to the Tobias Harris trade. Both were about the same effectiveness overall but this lineup didn't have a ton of time to gel.

Now they'll have an entire training camp and preseason together. The defense should improve and their effective field goal percentage should be above last year's 52.8 percent. Stan Van Gundy trusts every single player in this lineup to do what he asks of them and that will go a long way. They just have to hit shots. Simple as that.

8. Memphis Grizzlies

PROJECTED LINEUP: Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

There's a lot to debate about whether this will be the starting unit under David Fizdale after JaMychal Green's under-the-radar emergence last year. It features several top-of-their-position players, but they all come with injury concerns. If Parsons isn't hitting shots, the offense will stumble. If Allen's unable to be on the court due to how the defense guards him (or doesn't guard him), the defense could suffer. There are holes, but this unit still offers a lot in power, skill and precision. And don't underestimate the continuity, with Parsons being the only new addition.

7. Boston Celtics

PROJECTED LINEUP: Isiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford

Jae Crowder is uber confident in Boston's potential this season and he has every right to feel that way, especially after the Celtics signed Horford. Horford gives the Celtics an All-Star presence to pair with Isaiah Thomas and those two should be a nice one-two punch offensively, especially in the East. The Celtics also have one of the best defenders in the league in Avery Bradley (First Team All-Defense last season) and Amir Johnson is a quality rim protector. They definitely have one of the best starting units in the league.

6. Toronto Raptors

PROJECTED LINEUP: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, Jonas Valanciunas

This specific group didn't play much last year, as Carroll missed most of the regular season because of injuries and Patterson wound up coming off the bench behind Luis Scola. Toronto could decide to keep Patterson in that role and start Jared Sullinger, but starting him would be the best way to maximize spacing and defensive versatility. If Carroll stays healthy and Valanciunas assumes a bigger offensive role, watch out.

5. Utah Jazz

PROJECTED LINEUP: George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert

One vote for this being the fourth best starting lineup in basketball and three votes for sixth places them firmly at No. 5 on the rankings. The Jazz traded for George Hill and moved Raul Neto to the bench. This lineup with Neto last season was the eighth most effective lineup in basketball of units that played at least 300 minutes together.

The Jazz are hoping for something similar to what the Indiana Pacers went through when they traded for Hill back in 2011. Pretty quickly, they became one of the most dominant lineups in the NBA with great length and versatility. The Jazz sport a better big-man tandem and a more reliable shooting guard than Lance Stephenson. This will be a top five lineup in basketball if it can remain healthy.

Assuming health, it's hard to imagine the Jazz missing the playoffs this season. USATSI

4. San Antonio Spurs

PROJECTED LINEUP: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol

Of course San Antonio replaced Tim Duncan with another future Hall of Famer. Gasol isn't the dominant force he once was in the post, but he might have the most fun of his career playing in the Spurs' system. While you can expect them to be worse defensively without Duncan, the offense should remain incredible.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

PROJECTED LINEUP: Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

This has been, statistically, one of the best starting units in the league by any measure (plus/minus, offensive efficiency, etc.) the past three seasons. There isn't a weak spot in this lineup, featuring a top-five point guard, a top-five power forward, a top-five center, and a top-five spot-up shooter. You can plug any small forward you want into this unit and it will thrive. For all the criticism and bad vibes about the Clippers and their supposedly closing window, this lineup has been outrageously good through the years.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

PROJECTED LINEUP: Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson

We're just assuming the champs will work things out with Smith, who is still a free agent. Should he return, Cleveland will bring back the most balanced and star-studded lineup outside of the Bay Area. Regardless of all the wrangling about Love's role over the last two years, any team with him next to James and Irving is going to be extremely difficult to stop. Thompson and Smith have already shown that they complement the Big 3 perfectly.

1. Golden State Warriors

PROJECTED LINEUP: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia

Was there any doubt about this ranking? This was arguably the best starting lineup in the NBA a year ago, only rivaled by the Oklahoma City Thunder's starting unit. And what did they do? They took Kevin Durant from that Thunder lineup to replace Harrison Barnes. Then when it looked like they would be desperate for a big man, Zaza Pachulia took a small deal to join them.

Maybe the Warriors take a few weeks to get acclimated to each other but ultimately, this should be the best starting lineup in all of basketball. It has everything you need and then some. That's good enough for No. 1 in our books with all four votes on the panel giving them the top spot.