29Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford
The Atlanta Hawks have a couple of very valuable assets with Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap on the team but Al Horford is clearly the most untouchable player. Atlanta improved from 38 wins to 60 wins last season with the biggest difference being the return of Horford following injury. With
his superb defense and an underrated offensive game, Horford is one of the best centers in the NBA and the Hawks will do everything in their power to re-sign him next summer when he enters free agency. Horford gives you consistency and a presence that’s very hard to find, making him the most important player in Atlanta.
Boston Celtics – Marcus Smart
At just 21 years old, the future is bright for point guard Marcus Smart as the Boston Celtics view him as their most important building block. Smart is entering his second season after a lackluster rookie year and is expected to see a bigger role on the team. While guards Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley may be better than him at the moment, Boston values Smart more due to his potential and young age. When trading Rajon Rondo last season, the faith was in the hands of Smart to become the primary ball handler to lead their offense as the rebuilding team looks to make progress.