Key additions: Kelly Oubre Jr, Ish Smith, Mason Plumlee, James Bouknight
Key losses: Devonte’ Graham, Malik Monk, Cody Zeller, Caleb Martin, Grant Riller
Win Totals Over/Under: 38.5
The Hornets made a splash last season by almost making the playoffs but ultimately lost in a play-in game. LaMelo Ball has taken the league by storm and the rest of the team’s young core will continue to improve alongside him; the problem is that the East has, as a whole, significantly improved, too. As such, the Hornets should occupy a position similar to last year and get into the play-in tournament.
New Orleans Pelicans:
Key additions: Jonas Valanciunas, Devonte Graham
Key losses: Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams
Win Totals Over/Under: 39.5
The Pelicans have struggled mightily since the departure of Anthony Davis. Losing key rotational guards in Bledsoe and Ball, the Pelicans will be hard-pressed to run the fast break as effectively as they have in the past. New Orleans is doing everything it can to keep Zion with them, but it feels like they’re making all the wrong moves. If another disappointing season is in store, expect Zion to be on the move in a short time.
Key additions: Demar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr., Tony Bradley, Troy Brown Jr.
Key losses: Thadeus Young, Tomas Satoransky, Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Theis, Garrett Temple
Win Totals Over/Under: 42.5
The Chicago Bulls have completely revamped their roster. Since taking over in 2020, Arturas Karnisovas has almost completely erased the mistakes of a Gar/Pax front office. This team is stacked with incredible wing defenders, great shooters and some of the highest flyers in the
league. At their best, this Bulls team could contend for home-court advantage in the playoffs. The future is bright in Chicago.
Los Angeles Clippers:
Key additions: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Harry Giles
Key losses: Patrick Beverly, Rajon Rondo
Win Totals Over/Under: 45.5
The Clippers will be without their superstar forward Kawhi Leonard and many people have counted them out as a result. Still, the Clippers were able to reach the Western Conference Finals without Kawhi, behind a rejiggered five-out offense that should also help them generate regular season wins. LA has great wings and continuity, which will enable them to maintain their contender-status.
Key additions: Goran Dragic, Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa
Key losses: Kyle Lowry
Win Totals Over/Under: 35.5
At first glance, the Toronto Raptors would seem to be entering the first year of an extended rebuild. Despite trading franchise legend Kyle Lowry, the Raptors are in a good position to return to the playoffs after last year’s listless, mediocre campaign in Tampa. This team is poised to be a top 10 defense in the league, a common recipe for regular season success. Hopefully Pascal Siakam will bounce back from a disappointing season and the Raptors can make some noise this season.
Key additions: Dennis Schroder, Enes Kanter, Josh Richardson, Al Horford
Key losses: Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, Evan Fournier, Tacko Fall
Win Totals Over/Under: 46.5
The conversation in the East is centered around the Bucks and the Nets, and that's about it. As a result, a promising Celtics team has been lost in the shuffle. Jayson Tatum has shown constant improvement, and Jaylen Brown is really coming into his own as a scorer. With a chip on its shoulder after last year’s disappointing season, Boston has an intriguing combination of talent and motivation. Moreover, with Al Horford back in the fold, the team’s chemistry should be A1 from day one.
Key additions: Delon Wright, Gorgui Deng, Jalen Johnson
Key losses: Kris Dunn, Tony Snell
Win Totals Over/Under: 46.5
Despite a slow start to the season, the Hawks surged late in the year to make the Eastern Conference Finals, showing they can handle the pressure in the biggest moments, even in enemy territory. Buoyed by last year’s run, they’re poised, once again, to win the Southeastern Division. If Trae Young can insert himself in the MVP conversation, Atlanta will finish even higher.