According to Woodson, only Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton are sure bets to crack the starting lineup, leaving the shooting guard and power forward positions open for competition.
At the 2, J.R. Smith will play starter minutes, but the reigning Sixth Man of the Year will probably continue to provide an offensive spark off the bench like he did in 2012.
Smith as the first man off the pine leaves Iman Shumpert as the most likely starter at shooting guard, which seemed to be the trend when everyone was healthy down the stretch of last season.
Andrea Bargnani is the projected starter at power forward. Of course, Amar'e Stoudemire is a candidate for the job -- as is Kenyon Martin -- but it makes the most sense to keep Stoudemire and Martin as reserves with Bargnani drawing the start.
Bargnani is obviously the most offensively talented of the three. Then factor in that Stoudemire and Anthony don't have the best of chemistry while on the court together.
Martin could be an option -- for his defensive and rebounding presence -- but it makes sense to rotate him without Metta World Peace or Shumpert on the floor.
The incredibly deep bench is to blame for the uncertainty within the starting lineup. Is there a better problem to have starting a season? Personally, I think that all of the talk surrounding Iman Shumpert and him not starting is meant to light a fire under the third year guard. He's clearly the most versatile player on the team and will be the starting shooting guard.
I also like that Woodson is leaving the door open here. If Metta World-Peace plays his way into the starting lineup in the pre-season then Carmelo Anthony can move to the 4. Lots of options by being vague.