The 2019-20 NBA season doesn't begin until October, but the craziness of the recent free agency and trade transactions already have fans fired up for the new campaign.
The flurry of surprising offseason moves that have seen many superstar players change teams has resulted in an evening of the playing field. There's no longer a Golden State Warriors-like super team. There are seven to 10 teams with a legit chance to win the NBA Finals next season, which should create one of the most unpredictable and exciting years of basketball in recent memory.
The Eastern Conference will be competitive, but it also could be top-heavy.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the league's best record in the regular season a year ago, are the favorites to win the conference at -120. They are followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (+175), who signed former All-Star Al Horford and re-signed Tobias Harris amid a wild summer for the franchise. The next team on oddsmakers' list in the East is the Boston Celtics at +700. The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Horford this summer, but they signed Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Vincent Poirier and added two first-round picks (Romeo Langford and Grant Williams) to the mix.
Here's where the C's stand in the latest Eastern Conference odds from Caesars Palace.
After the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, there's a huge gap in the odds. Las Vegas isn't optimistic about any other teams realistically competing for the conference title, and it's hard to blame the oddsmakers. Many of the third- and fourth-tier teams in the East should provide plenty of exciting action, most notably the Atlanta Hawks, but these clubs are still a few steps away from being legit contenders in the conference.
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