Top 3: Veterans who will have a big influence on the NBA during 2016-17

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The NBA world is nearly always looking for the next great superstar and with the NBA draft, attention is always turning to the future.

Who is the next MJ? The next Kobe? The next LeBron?

However, these players don't stay young, effervescent starlets forever. Eventually, they enter the winter of their careers with, hopefully, a ton of accolades and titles behind them.

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The aforementioned three have 14 titles and 10 MVP awards between them, in case you were wondering.

So what veterans are expected to have the biggest influence on the NBA next season? Below are three men with plenty of tread left on their well-worn tyres that have the ability to pay it forward.

Dirk Nowitzki

At 38-years-old, the Dallas Mavericks forward is probably the best producing veteran in the league right now, especially in the wake of Tim Duncan's retirement.

Although he is not averaging the 24.6 points and 8.9 rebounds he did when he won the MVP award back in 2007, dropping 18.3 points a night is still very respectable by anyone's standards.

The big German has been a pillar of the Mavericks ever since he arrived via a trade on draft night from the Milwaukee Bucks (which, also included Steve Nash in one of the best Draft night moves ever) and he is likely to retire in Texas.

With Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut joining from the Golden State Warriors, two starting pieces of the record-setting 73-win side of last season, Nowitzki is now tasked with leading the most talented Mavs roster since their title win in 2011.

Kevin Garnett

KG is legitimately one of the greatest power forwards the sport has ever seen. Now at 40-years-old, his glorious career appears to be in its dying embers.

Speculation continues to suggest the Minnesota Timberwolves legend might have played his last NBA game, but the 2004 MVP has one year remaining on his Wolves deal worth $8 million.

Garnett spent 12 years in Minnesota before heading to the Boston Celtics to win his one and only NBA title. After six years in the famous Green, the 15-time All-Star played for a couple of years in Brooklyn before making his way back to Minnesota.

In his MVP season, KG had averages of 24.2 points a night, in addition to 2.2 blocks and 13.9 rebounds from 39.4 minutes on the floor.

Last year, he had 3.2 points, 0.3 blocks and 3.9 rebounds from 14.6 minutes. Clearly, unlike Nowitzki, the 2003 All-Star game MVP can no longer contribute like he once did, but his value comes in shaping Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns.

The unanimous ROTY looks like he could be a generation-defining talent, and any information he can absorb from one of the game's greatest big men will only make him better.

Luol Deng

The face of British basketball is the youngest player on this list at 31-years-old, but he has a keen role to play in not only the restoration of the L.A. Lakers' good name, but the development of their latest prized asset, 19-year-old Brandon Ingram.

Deng himself doesn't hold the same accolades as aforementioned two on this list, but as a two-time All-Star, the small forward is well-respected around the league.

He has career averages of 15.5 points a night and 6.2 rebounds, the latter of which is a good return for a man at the three spot.

The Sudan-born star's introduction to the Miami Heat side after the All-Star break helped catapult them into the playoff picture and for a Lakers side painfully bereft of established talent, Deng must be considered, quite possibly, their best capture of the summer.

Interpret that anyway you like, but with Ingram - who has been likened to a young Kevin Durant - now breathing down his neck for minutes, Deng is the perfect kind of hard-working, industrious influence to help mould the promising youngster, whilst significantly contributing more than the likes of Nick Young or Metta World Peace have in recent years.

Tim Duncan
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Luol Deng
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

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