Poll: Which Team Will Win The East?

It was a wild trade-deadline week across the NBA, but most of the major win-now additions were made by Eastern Conference clubs. The Sixers, Bucks, and Raptors all completed significant trades at the deadline, while Western Conference contenders like the Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets, Jazz, and Spurs didn’t make a single move.

The result? A four-team group of East contenders looks even more dangerous than it did a week ago, creating the potential for a tantalizing pair of matchups in the Eastern Conference Semifinals this spring.

The Bucks were already the conference’s No. 1 team heading into this week and they added Nikola Mirotic without sacrificing a rotation player or a first-round pick. A sharpshooting power forward who can spread the floor and hold his own on the glass, Mirotic should fit right into Mike Budenholzer‘s system, which has allowed Brook Lopez to thrive this season.

The No. 2 team in the East, the Raptors, responded to Milwaukee’s move by making a deal for former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. While Gasol is 34 and may not be as dynamic a player as he once was, Toronto won’t ask him to do as much as Memphis did, and he figures to be an upgrade on Jonas Valanciunas, given his shooting and passing ability. The Raptors gave up some depth pieces in Delon Wright and C.J. Miles, but neither of those players was likely to be a difference maker in a playoff series.

The Sixers, meanwhile, made the splashiest move of any of the East’s top contenders, acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers in a trade that involved six players and multiple first-round picks. Harris had been enjoying the best year of his career in Los Angeles, and his shooting ability (.496/.434/.877) should be a great fit for a Sixers lineup that has struggled to spread the floor, despite J.J. Redick‘s best efforts. Philadelphia also acquired James Ennis and Jonathon Simmons in minor deals, adding depth on the wing.

As for the Celtics, their deadline was quiet, but they were the Eastern Conference favorites coming into the season and remain confident that they have the pieces necessary to make a run to the Finals. Boston has gone 25-10 since getting off to a slow 10-10 start, and has won 10 of its last 12 games as the team starts to get comfortable with its rotation.

What do you think? Which of these four teams do you believe will come out of the East this spring? Or do you think there’s a dark horse out there capable of making an unlikely run to the Finals?

Vote below in our poll, then head to the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

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18 thoughts on “Poll: Which Team Will Win The East?

  1. acarneglia

    I’m worried about Toronto’s depth. I think Milwaukee will win the East over Toronto in the ECF

    • thelastonetodie

      I like Toronto’s depth 1-10 better than almost any team in the nba. Where they have lost is 10-14… with gasol they are just that much better.

      • Nebraska Tim

        Are they better than they were with JV/Wright though?

        If they get another rotation player via the buyout market, maybe.

        The Bucks have been really, really good, and they just got better.

        I think it will come down to the Bucks vs the Raptors for winning the Eastern Conference, but the Bucks are already ahead, hold the tie-breaker, and both teams have fairly easy schedules. It will be tough for the Raptors to make up ground.

        • Nebraska Tim

          Sorry, I meant to say that I think home court advantage could be a major factor – ergo why “winning” in the regular season is so important.

          I’m not impressed with the Sixers or Celtics this year, though obviously it only takes 4 wins in the playoffs, and both of those teams have played very well in bursts.

        • bdpecore

          By adding Mirotic, the Bucks can put BroLo on the bench during crunch time which will likely force Toronto to do the same with Gasol. That gives Milwaukee a significant advantage if Bud decides to go that route.

          • bdpecore

            Also replacing Lopez with Mirotic still leaves the Bucks with an extremely long lineup with Bledsoe, Brogdon, Middleton, Mirotic and Giannis.

    • SocraticGadfly

      I voted Bucks because Giannis is the one single best player, and with shortened playoff rotations, that’s key.

      Boston still has best record in East since 10-10 start and most experience, so they’re my No. 2.

      Philly and Toronto still have adjustments to do with their trades.

  2. Philly. I don’t know how they’ll overcome some of their challenges, but 30 games from the opening bell, I’ll take talent above all else.

  3. davidmp2

    Bucks have the best player in the East and maybe the best coach. I’ll take the Bucks.

  4. myaccount

    Sixers. Most overall talent and with the addition of Tobias Harris, Simmons will never have to shoot from further out than 5 feet ever again.

  5. x%sure

    Because of Gasol I will likely be rooting for the Raps. It would have been perfect if they landed Conley too but Wallace likes Conley so much. Also, the Raps and Bucks may have a one-year windows due to free agency, though the Bucks could replenish more easily if necessary. They are on AD’s shortlist after all!

    This window factor could lead to a winning effort. So, Raps.

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