The Western Conference has typically been the most competitive one in the NBA, but the trend is changing. The Eastern Conference is being reinforce during this transfer market and many of their teams are dragging the attention towards the next season. Let´s analyze the new signs and the candidates for the top spot in the East.
The Nets were the favorites in this conference last season thanks to the addition by such talented players like James Harden or Blake Griffin, who both joined the Durant-Irving´s duo that formed all together what seemed to be an invincible team. Injuries and irregularity by the ‘Big Three’ ended with the Nets on the second position and then they were knocked out in the Conference Semifinals in a series where the Milwaukee Bucks beat them despite Kevin Durant´s outstanding performance.
The Nets have strengthened themselves with the addition of Patty Mill, who was the standard-bearer for Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and selected in the best team of the tournament. If injuries allow it, the Brooklyn should be a solid candidate for the ring.
New York Knicks:
Yes, you have read it right. One of the most iconic franchises in the NBA returned to the Playoffs last season, a feat that they had not pulled off since the 2012-2013 campaign. Julius Randle was the reason. He ended up disappointing in the Playoffs after a great regular season, but we should not rule out the Knicks for next season.
So far they have strengthened themselves with Kemba Walker or Evan Fournier, who will both add experience to the group along with Derrick Rose. We must also point out the young Obi Toppin, who is standing out at the Summer League and could earn a spot as the sixth-man for next season.
The 2020 runners-up disappointed in the last Playoffs. The franchise from Florida have multiple stars on their roster like Bam Adebayo, the renewed Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo or the young Tyler Herro. Now they have acquired Kyle Lowry, who was the Toronto Raptors main player. Furthermore, they have also added champion P.J. Tucker, a player whose level can´t be measured through stats.
The franchise of Michael Jordan has not been able to return to the Olympus of the NBA after the glorious 90s. They had their chances with the youngest MVP in history, Derrick Rose, but his injuries depleted the team. Now with a leader like Zach LaVine, the Chicago Bulls want to finally resurface and so they have added to their roster players like Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso, apart from rumors on others such as Paul Millsap or DeMarcus Cousins in order to complete the squad.
In order to wrap up, we can´t leave behind franchises like the Philadelphia 76ers or current champions Milwaukee Bucks, as non of them have completed any remarkable sign yet, as they already count on very high level rosters. We will have to pay attention to the new additions to this exciting Eastern Conference.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
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