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What's new in the East?

Published by Axel on 22nd September - 23:53 (CET)
Rose and Chicago, KD and Westbrook, Pat Riley and Wade, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ;)
A lot of breakups this summer. Let's go through the roster changes in the east!

Mind you that there's still time left for the remaining free agents to get signed.
ATLANTA HAWKS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversLamar Patterson (SG)12th Taurean Prince (F), 21st DeAndre Bembry (SF)
Free AgencyAl Horford (PF)Dwight Howard (C), Jarrett Jack (PG), Matt Costello (PF), Malcolm Delaney (PG), Ryan Kelly (PF)
TradesJeff Teague (PG)12th pick (Taurean Prince)
Atlanta Hawks lost starting point guard Jeff Teague and starting center Al Horford this summer.
Dennis Schröder will take over the starting duties at point and NBA veteran Jarrett Jack has been brought in as a backup. It probably means that Kirk Hinrich's NBA career is be over. Captain, we salute you!

The Hawks managed to bring Dwight Howard home to fill in for Al Horford. Even though Howard's days as an MVP candidate is long gone the hope is that he will thrive in his home environment and rejuvenate his career to some extent.

Posible starters: Dennis Schröder, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore, Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard

BOSTON CELTICS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversJohn Holland (SG)3rd Jaylen Brown (SF), 45th Demetrius Jackson (PG), 51st Ben Bentil (PF)
Free AgencyJared Sullinger (PF), Evan Turner (SF)Al Horford (PF), Gerald Green (SG), Marcus Georges-Hunt (SG)
Boston Celtics has been in need suitable big man for a long time. Kelly Olynyk wasn't the answer and David Lee wasn't healthy... Perhaps Al Horford will be.

They selected Jaylen Brown with the 3rd pick and adding veteran presence like Horford and Green to a young, talented core in development is the right move.

They have a great coach and this team looks even better than the one from last year. Boston Celtics should be a top 3 team in the East.

Posible starters: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford

BROOKLYN NETS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversJarrett Jack (PG)20th Caris LeVert (SG), 42nd Isaiah Whitehead (PG)
Free AgencyMarkel Brown (G), Wayne Ellington (SG), Shane Larkin (PG), Sergey Karasev (G), Willie Reed (PF), Donald Sloan (G)Jeremy Lin (PG), Luis Scola (PF), Randy Foye (G), Trevor Booker (PF), Anthony Bennett (PF), Thomas Robinson (PF), Henry Sims (PF), Greivis Vasquez (G), Joe Harris (SG), Yogi Ferrell (PG), Beau Beech (G), Justin Hamilton (C), Egidijus Mockevicius (C)
TradesThaddeus Young (PF)20th overall draft pick
Not that they had anything to rebuild from, but the Brooklyn Nets are rebuilding. Besides Brook Lopez, Chris McCullough and Bojan Bogdanovic they pretty much dumped their whole team. This should be fun...

They brought in a few serviceable replacements in Luis Scola and Jeremy Lin, the latter who will take on full time starting duties again for the first time since his stint in Houston. Linsanity 2.0?!

I'm not sure if it's possible for the Nets to perform worse than they did during the previous season, but I am sure that they will suck.

Posible starters: Jeremy Lin, Randy Foye, Bojan Bogdanovic, Trevor Booker, Brook Lopez

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
OUTIN
Free AgencyAl Jefferson (C), Courtney Lee (SG), Jeremy Lin (PG), Troy Daniels (SG)Roy Hibbert (C), Marco Belinelli (SG), Brian Roberts (SG), Ramon Sessions (G), Christian Wood (PF), Perry Ellis (PF), Rasheed Sulaimon (SG), Mike Tobey (C), Andrew Andrews (G), Treveon Graham (SG)
The Hornets let Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lin and Troy Daniels walk in free agency.
They will be replacing their nowadays useless big man Al Jefferson with another nowadays useless big man in Roy Hibbert. Other than that they added a lot of shooters and a ton of rookies.

It's hard imagining that Charlotte will be much better than the previous season. They will have to fight hard to get a playoff spot.

Posible starters: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller

CHICAGO BULLS
OUTIN
Draft / Waivers14th Denzel Valentine (SG), 48th Paul Zipser (SG)
Free AgencyJoakim Noah (C), Paul Gasol (C), Aaron Brooks (G), E'Twaun Moore (G), Rajon Rondo (PG), Dwyane Wade (SG), Isaiah Canaan (G)
TradesDerrick Rose (PG), Mike Dunleavy (SF), Justin Holiday (SG), Cameron Bairstow (PF)Robin Lopez (C), Jerian Grant (G), Spencer Dinwiddie (PG)
Chicago took a big decision this summer when they chose to part ways with Derrick Rose to rebuild around Jimmy Butler instead. "Younger and more athlethic" were the words. Following that up by signing 30-year-old Rajon Rondo and 34-year-old Dwyane Wade seems... odd.

What it actually meant was probably that Bulls hope to land a big time free agent in 2017/2018 and just want to sign short term contracts and sell some tickets in the meantime.

Bringing in Robin Lopez at center over a crippled Noah and an aging Gasol while replacing Rose with Rondo could actually be a step up defensively but the Bulls still lost 2 of their 3 best scorers, their 2 best rebounders, their best shot blocker, 7 of their top 8 assisting players and 4 of 5 of their best shooters from three (3P%). The remaining 3-point shooters on the roster will be relied on heavily.

Is the spacing enough in this 3-ball era? Memphis proved a few years ago that you still can go far in other ways, but it takes relentless effort and a good system.
Bulls could be up for some real trouble, but if things work out between "the three alphas" they should have a shot at making the playoffs this time.

Posible starters: Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversDahntay Jones (SF)54th Kay Felder (PG)
Free AgencyTimofey Mozgov (C), Matthew Dellavedova (PG)Chris Andersen (C), Cory Jefferson (PF), Eric Moreland (PF), Markel Brown (G), DeAndre Liggins (SG), Kay Felder (PG)
TradesSasha Kaun (C)Mike Dunleavy (SF)
The defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers lost Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Dellavedova during the summer. J.R. Smith hasn't resigned either. Those guys played a big role in the championship run the Cavs just had and their replacements are Mike Dunleavy, who looks nothing like his former self after the injury he sustained to his back last year, The Birdman and a bunch of nobodies.

But they are the champions. Kevin Love is expected to play a bigger role this season, Kyrie Irving is getting better, Mo Williams will likely resign and LeBron James says that he's very motivated by the super team in the west. We all know what a motivated LeBron can accomplish.

Cleveland Cavaliers are clearly still the team to beat in the east.

Posible starters: Kyrie Irvin, Iman Shumpert, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson

DETROIT PISTONS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversJoel Anthony (C)18th Henry Ellenson (F), 49th Michael Gbinije (G)
Free AgencyAnthony Tolliver (PF), Ish Smith (PG), Boban Marjanovic (C), Jon Leuer (PF), Ray McCallum (PG), Trey Freeman (G)
TradesSpencer Dinwiddie (PG), Jodie Meeks (SG)
Detroit Pistons didn't lose many assets this summer and still managed to add Ish Smith and a giant to the roster. Steve Blake hasn't resigned, but that seems irrelevant in year 2016.

Detroit already had a very good thing going and we're really ballin' towards the end of the season.
If their new addition can bring the usual "Ish Smith effect" they should be even better.

Pistons barely made it to the 8th seed the previous season, but don't get too surprised if they end up fighting for a top 4 seed when May comes around.

Posible starters: Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond

INDIANA PACERS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversShayne Whittington (PF)50th Georges Niang
Free AgencyJordan Hill (PF), Solomon Hill (SF), Ty Lawson (PG), Ian Mahinmi (C)Thaddeus Young (PF), Kevin Seraphin (C), Aaron Brooks (G), Al Jefferson (C), Jeremy Evans (PF), Julyan Stone (SG), Nick Zeisloft (SG), Alex Poythress (PF)
TradesGeorge Hill (PG)Jeff Teague (PG)
Indiana Pacers are kind of half rebuilding as they got rid of Ian Mahinmi, Ty Lawson and all of the Hills.
They didn't get that much better or worse at the point guard position as they replaced George Hill and Ty Lawson with Jeff Teague and Aaron Brooks.

Same goes for the 4 where Thaddeus Young will replace Jordan Hill. As Ian Mahinmi left in free agency Myles Turner will probably be their starting 5 with Al Jefferson as a backup.

This team will go as far as Paul George will take them. Good thing is that he looks like he's in great form.

Posible starters: Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner

MIAMI HEAT
OUTIN
Free AgencyDwyane Wade (SG), Loul Deng (F), Amar'e Stoudemire (PF), Joe Johnson (SG), Gerald Green (SG)Beno Udrih (PG), Dion Waiters (SG), Wayne Ellington (SG), Derrick Williams (SF), James Johnson (F), Luke Babbitt (SF), Willie Reed (PF), Stefan Jankovic (PF), Okario White (PF), Rodney McGruder (SG)
Pat Riley made sure that no superstar free agent will think about Miami for the next few years when saying fuck you and good bye to Dwyane Wade. In the long run it might have been the right move and the warm weather and income taxes over there will save the bastards in free agency anyways.

In the short run however, oboy... Miami lost not only Wade, but also Deng, Johnson, Stoudemire, Green and most likely Bosh as well. They are to be replaced by a large number of sub par players.

If Chris Bosh plays for the Heat this year they might be able to compete for a playoff spot, if he doesn't... Whiteside, Dragic, I wish you good luck!

Posible starters: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, Josh McRoberts, Hassan Whiteside

MILWAUKEE BUCKS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversDamien Inglis (F), Johnny O'Bryant (PF)10th Thon Maker (PF), 36th Malcolm Brogdon (SG)
Free AgencyO.J. Mayo (SG), Jerryd Bayless (G), Greivis Vasquez (G)Mirza Teletovic (PF), Matthew Dellavedova (PG), Orlando Johnson (PG), Jason Terry (SG), Xavier Henry (SF), J.J. O'Brien (SF)
Milwaukee lost Jerryd Bayless to the 76ers and O.J. Mayo to drugs. That's not a lot of damage and they added Mirza Teletovic to backup Parker, Matthew Dellavedova to start at point and Thon Maker, who will now be the oldest player on the team.

"The Greek Freak" flourished as the ball handler during the latter part of the previous season and Jason Kidd spoke openly about how he will try to help out in the transition of becoming a point forward or whatever you' d like to call it for the upcoming season. Magic Antetokounmpo incoming.

Many of us thought that the Bucks would perform much better last season. We were just a bit early, Milwaukee should at least perform better than they did last season.

Posible starters: Matthew Dellavedova, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Greg Monroe

NEW YORK KNICKS
OUTIN
Free AgencyArron Afflalo (SG), Langston Galloway (G), Kevin Seraphin (PF), Derrick Williams (F), Cleanthony Early (SF)Joakim Noah (C), Brandon Jennings (PG), Courtney Lee (SG), Ron Baker (PG), Chasson Randle (PG), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (SF), Maurice Ndour (PF), Willy Hernangomez (C), Marshall Plumlee (C), J.P. Tokoto (SF)
TradesRobin Lopez (C), Jose Calderon (PG), Jerian Grant (G)Derrick Rose (PG), Justin Holiday (SG)
New York Knicks needed to do something drastic so Phil Jackson smoked some of that shit he always talks about, started to reminisce about his glory days with the Bulls, made a few phone calls and poof - New York Bulls was born.

Replacing Calderon, Afflalo, Galloway and Grant with Rose, Jennings, Lee and Holiday should have made them stronger in the back court. Jennings was a great signing and hopefully Rose keeps improving like he did in the second half of last season.

Replacing Lopez, Seraphin and Williams with Joakim Noah and a bunch of rookies however.. that might not have been the smartest move as Noah's best days are behind him. He should still be a lot better than he recently was with the Bulls. Paired up with Kristaps Porziņģis who will be moved to the 4 they should have a solid front court.

Noah and Rose carries their problems with them but if they're healthy New York has a talented lineup. Mind you that it's a very big if.

Posible starters: Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah

ORLANDO MAGIC
OUTIN
Draft / Waivers41th Stephen Zimmerman (C)
Free AgencyBrandon Jennings (PG), Dewayne Dedmon (C), Jason Smith (PF), Andrew Nicholson (PF)Jeff Green (F), DJ Augustin (PG), Bismack Biyombo (C), Nick Johnson (PG), Kevin Murphy (SG), Cliff Alexander (PF), Arinze Onuaku (C), Damjan Rudez (F)
TradesVictor Oladipo (G), Ersan Ilyasova (F), Devyn Marble (SG), Shabazz Napier (PG)Serge Ibaka (PF), Jodie Meeks (SG), C.J. Wilcox (SG)
Orlando Magic sent Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma in exchange for Serge Ibaka. I'm not a GM but that move sure seems "crackish" (thanks Gil) to me.

Among others they also lost Brandon Jennings, Jason Smith and Dewayne Dedmon.
Losing both Oladipo and Jennings suddenly makes their back court look pretty thin.
That's something Serge Ibaka cannot change.

With a lot of young talent the Magic looked like they had a bright future, but this summer set them back a few steps. You shouldn't expect much from Orlando this year.

Posible starters: Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournie, Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Vucevic

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversCarl Landry (PF)1st Ben Simmons (F), 24th Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (SG)
Free AgencyIsh Smith (PG), Isaiah Canaan (G), Christian Wood (PF)Bayless, Hendersen, Rodriguez and a thousand rookies
TradesKendall Marshall (PG)
The worse team in the NBA just brought in 8 rookies, hopefully that will solve it!

No. I'm not wasting any more time on this team.

TORONTO RAPTORS
OUTIN
Draft / Waivers9th Jakob Pöltl (C), 27th Pascal Siakam (PF)
Free AgencyLuis Scola (PF), Bismack Biyombo (C), James Johnson (F), Jason Thompson (PF)Jared Sullinger (PF), Fred VanVleet (PG), Drew Crawford (SG), Brady Heslip (SG), E.J. EJ Singler (SF), Jarrod Uthoff (PF), Yanick Moreira (C)
With Scola, Biyombo, Johnson and Thompson gone in free agency Toronto lost large parts of their front court. That probably means that Patrick Patterson will start at power forward with the newly signed Jared Sullinger as a backup. They also signed a lot rookie big men to fill the void of the players they lost.
It might make them marginally worse on paper, but their starting lineup is remotely the same.

The Raptors will be good, definitely one of the top team in the east.

Posible starters: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, Jonas Valanciunas

WASHINGTON WIZARDS
OUTIN
Draft / WaiversDrew Gooden (PF)
Free AgencyAlan Anderson (SG), J.J. Hickson (PF), Jared Dudley (F), Ramon Sessions (G), Nenê (PF), Garrett Temple (G)Trey Burke (PG), Ian Mahinmi (C), Jason Smith (PF), Andrew Nicholson (PF), Johnny O'Bryant (PF), Casper Ware (PG)
The Wizards didn't tamper much with their starting lineup but they have a completely new bench as they got rid of Dudley, Anderson, Hickson, Sessions, Nenê, Gooden and Temple.
Trey Burke was a good signing, as was Ian Mahinmi if his back is healthy.

Wizards went 41 - 41 last season, only good enough for a 10th seed. With one more year under their belt they should end up better this season.

Posible starters: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat

The Eastern Conference has become much more competitive recently. When the 2015 - 2016 regular season ended there were four teams seeded 3rd - 6th with the same record and they were all just 7 games ahead of the 10th seeded Wizards.

Looking at the rosters there seems to be a lot equally matched teams this season as well, lets just hope that LeBron finally gets a real conference finals matchup.

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