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Favorites in NBA's East?

Less than a week into the NBA's official free agency, nearly all of the big names have made their decisions. And while the Western Conference saw little movement, the East saw some deals that will certainly shake things up.

LeBron James, in case you hadn't heard, left the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat, though, kept Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and added Luol Deng in the process. The Chicago Bulls picked up Pau Gasol and brought over Montenegro-born Nikola Mirotic from Spain to team with a (presumably) healthy Derrick Rose. And the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday saw Lance Stephenson go to the new-look Charlotte Hornets. (Also, let's not forget about Carmelo Anthony staying with the New York Knicks and Jason Kidd leaving the Brooklyn Nets to coach the Milwaukee Bucks.) Naturally, there are a lot of questions ...

  • Which team will win the NBA's Eastern Conference in 2014-15?

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  • Which team outside the Bulls and Cavaliers has the best shot at winning the East?

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  • Which of these non-playoff teams from 2013-14 will fare the best in 2014-15?

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  • What do you make of Lance Stephenson leaving the Pacers for the Hornets and a three-year, $27 million contract?

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  • Which of these was the best signing for the team?

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  • How will Derrick Rose fare this season?

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  • Which team will Andrew Wiggins be with at the start of the 2014-15 season?

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  • If you were the Cavaliers' general manager, would you trade Andrew Wiggins as part of a deal to get Kevin Love?

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  • How many championships will LeBron James win in Cleveland?

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  • Will Carmelo Anthony ever play in an NBA Finals?

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Homecomings for former players can be bittersweet, and for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, their return to Boston was no exception. Pierce and Garnett brought a championship to a franchise that seemed to have lost its way, and the Celtics showed their appreciation for the two stars with separate tribute videos on Sunday night. For his part, Paul Pierce seemed touched:

"This was the toughest game I've ever had to play," Pierce said after the game. "Tougher than any championship, tougher than any Game 7." Normally we'd doubt a statement like that regarding a game against a 15-31 team, but in this case, we get it.

Celtics' tribute to Pierce and Garnett

Who will be remembered as the better player?

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  • Should the Celtics retire Paul Pierce's number when his career is over?

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  • Should the Celtics retire Kevin Garnett's number when his career is over?

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They say that nothing ever ends well -- otherwise it wouldn't end at all. Ray Allen knows how that feels -- after signing with the Heat last offseason, he became persona non grata to former Big Three stalwarts Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Now that Garnett and Pierce are out of Boston as well, however, Allen's new teammates are pointing out what they feel is a bit of hypocrisy. LeBron James in particular thinks the ex-Celtics owe Allen an apology for their comments. We're sure all of these grown men can handle a little disrespect, but does LeBron have a point?

Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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Knicks or Nets in New York?

The Knicks have been the kings of basketball in New York for years, but the Nets' move to Brooklyn has players on both sides gearing up for a battle for succession. Paul Pierce thinks New York will eventually be a Nets town, while Knicks point guard Raymond Felton says Pierce is just trying to fuel a rivalry. A revamped Nets team could prove to be up to the challenge of dislodging the Knicks, but it's not like the original New York team has been standing pat this offseason.

Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said that the Nets wil ''never take over the city.'' Which team will be more popular in New York in ten years' time?

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  • Which team will have the better record this season?

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  • Which team is a more attractive target for free agents?

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  • Who will be a bigger asset to the Nets this season?

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  • What kind of NBA coach will Jason Kidd be?

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The Brooklyn Nets enter Year 2 of their return to New York with a new, win-now look after the big offseason trade to get Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It did not take long for both the Nets and the Knicks to lay claim to the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers. Re-signed J.R. Smith insists that the Knicks have not lost any ground to the Nets. New Net Pierce says his hate for the Knicks "has grown a little" and that he's ready to have his new team take over his new city. Let the fireworks begin!


Better lineup?

The Nets added Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to their starting lineup, while the Knicks' starters should be the same as last season.

SportsNation

Which team will have the better starting lineup in 2013-14?

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Battle for New York?

Last year, New York and Brooklyn tied the season series with two wins each, but the Knicks won the Atlantic Division by five games over the Nets.

SportsNation

The Knicks and Nets play four times in 2013-14. How will the series go?

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One more title?

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett teamed up to win a title with the Boston Celtics in the 2007-08 season, the only championship for both.

SportsNation

Will Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett win an NBA title with the Nets?

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