Pre-Kevin Durant Signing Eastern Conference Rankings

Almost every “source” still thinks Durant leans towards OKC. Things have been surprisingly quiet on the source end of whether Durant has eliminated teams, or who’s in the top 2 or 3. Still, only 2 Eastern conference teams remain in the mix-Boston and Miami, and only Boston, in my eyes, has an actual chance. So from there forward, and still without D Wade signing, let’s start breaking down who’s made the best moves this offseason to put them on the top of the East.

1. CAVALIERS

Shit don’t change, even with Delly and Mozgov getting their money. Still expecting them to pick up a lowkey free agent this offseason to back up Kyrie at point guard now, maybe a Jason Terry type. Unless for some reason, Lebron doesn’t re-sign or Kyrie Irving dies, then the Cavs are the favorites to make it back to the Finals, for Lebron’s 7th straight year.

2. CELTICS

I don’t think I’m alone in starting to realize that the Celtics are absolute trash at drafting, but are becoming the gawds of trading and free agency. Don’t forget they only made the greatest trade of all time to get the original Big 3, and then another great one to take the Brooklyn Nets franchise a couple years ago.

Now this year, they’ve gotten a big piece in Al Horford, and are probably in the top 3 to land Durant. I think we’ll see a different Jae Crowder this season, one that can give them something offensively. Losing Evan Turner definitely doesn’t help, but who knows, maybe Jaylen Brown will be good? Even with Durant, Celtics stay at 2.

3. PISTONS

Got berated on Twitter by Millsaps for glorifying the Pistons, but they’ve got as good of a starting 5 as anyone in this second tier of East teams. Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris, Drummond, Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris. Those are all extremely solid players, that despite getting swept, played the Cavs well in the first round this year. Add in their top pick Henry Ellenson to add some scoring, and the Pistons are a team you shouldn’t bet against next year…

4. BUCKS

Go ahead and criticize the Thon pick, just like everyone criticized the Giannis pick, a guy who’s on his way to becoming a superstar. Starting 5 of Giannis, MCW, Jabari, Khris Middleton, and Greg Monroe? Are you kidding me? Then John Henson off the bench, along with Thon, Grievis, Delly, Malcolm Brogdon. Tough matchup for any lineup in the league.

5-8 ABSOLUTE TOSSUP

I want to say the Heat are at the top of this list, but they’re about to let the best player in the history of their franchise walk. The Bulls? They’re rumored with almost every free agent, including Wade, but they never close the deal. Wizards? Just gave a guy that can’t stay healthy $130 million. Knicks? Unless they expand the games to 60 minutes, there’s not enough shots to go around. So who the hell knows in this bottom half. One thing’s certain: none of them are beating the Cavs.

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