The word: Hard to spin coming in second place in LeBron James sweepstakes, but duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons seems destined to rule the Eastern Conference.
Key additions: Rookie shooting guard Zhaire Smith, small forward Wilson Chandler.
Key subtractions: Power forward Ersan Ilyasova, shooting guard Marco Belinelli.
3. Houston Rockets
The word: Losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute will cost the Rockets defense and toughness. Don’t think the possible addition of Carmelo Anthony will help make up for the absence.
Key additions: None.
Key subtractions: Forwards Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Boute.
2. Boston Celtics
The word: Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return to the lineup after season-ending injuries. Eastern Conference finalists are possibly only threat to Warriors three-peat.
Key additions: Rookie center Robert Williams.
Key subtraction: None.
1. Golden State Warriors
The word: Teeth gnashing over center DeMarcus Cousins acquisition was silly. They were already heavily favored to win another title. Adding a center coming off an Achilles injury is doomsday?
Key addition: Cousins, forward Jonas Jerebko.
Key subtraction: Center JaVale McGee, center Zaza Pachulia