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Today marks the first day of the 2016-17 NBA season and it would not be a temporada without some novella like storylines. Will the Cav’s repeat? How will Durant’s move to Golden State shakeout? Will Russell Westbrook be able to keep OKC relevant? While these headlines may be dominating the blogs there are also some other stories percolating. Some ballplayers are flying above and below the radar, but they all may be game-changers this season. These are six ballplayers you need to know.

1. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

The player with the highest profile on this list. Melo reached new heights both on and off the court over the past year. On the court he captured a historic third gold medal for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Off the court he has become a leading voice and influencer for social justice in communities of color. With a specific focus of improving police-community relations. Yet, the big question is will he obtain that elusive NBA championship with the New York Knicks? The window is closing, but a revamped roster including new additions like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, along with young studs Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangómez provide hope that this newest iteration can make the Knicks contenders once again.

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