Kim Klement l USA TODAY Sports

There is no denying that the Eastern Conference got more competitive this offseason. From Monta Ellis going to Indiana, Greg Monroe transferring to Milwaukee, the Heat coming back healthy, to stars like Carmelo Anthony and Paul George returning to full health. The East will be much more exciting to watch this year which bodes well for the NBA. Some of the teams that we usually see in the playoff picture may fall out while other up and coming teams take the next step. For an early fearless forecast, here are the top 10 Eastern Conference teams for next season.

10. Orlando Magic

The Magic has certainly struggled since the departure of Dwight Howard. However, those losing seasons put the team in position to acquire young assets and some of those are starting to pan out for Orlando. Budding stars Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic could be ready to take the next step to stardom while role players like Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris, and rookie Mario Hezonja will be serviceable in helping them win games. Expect the Magic to hover around 38 wins.

Click “Next” to see the Ninth Best Eastern Conference Team!

Elise Amendola l Associated Press

9. Boston Celtics

The Celtics made it into the playoffs as the 8th seed last season but were swept by the Cavaliers. They are a young team with good depth and assets. As the conference has gotten stronger they should not be as successful as last season due to their lack of star power. On the bright side, their young players could develop quickly and Boston could still surprise us, but expect them to be around where the Magic are with 38 wins.

Click “Next” to see the Eighth Best Eastern Conference Team!

Geoff Burke l USA TODAY Sports

8. Washington Wizards

The Wizards made the playoffs last season as the 5th seed so this year will be a step backwards and the main reason for that is “The Truth”. Not only am I talking about them losing Paul Pierce but the conference is just more talented than last season. If Bradley Beal and Otto Porter take huge steps in their progression, the Wizards could move up on this list. But for now, they should win about 40 games and get knocked out in the first round. Sorry John Wall.

Click “Next” to see the Seventh Best Eastern Conference Team!

Dave Sandford l Getty Images

7. Toronto Raptors

Toronto is a team similar to Washington. Their success was partially due to how bad the East was last year. Bringing in Cory Joseph and Demarre Carroll will definitely help them but they still lack star power. Toronto is a solid all around team with good, but not great, players in Demar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, and Jonas Valanciunas. They could make some noise in the playoffs but shouldn’t pose a real threat. They should only be winning around 44 games.

Click “Next” to see the Sixth Best Eastern Conference Team!

David Sherman l Getty Images

6. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were the 6th seed last year and gave the Bulls a run for their money in the playoffs. Milwaukee is a young and talented team who will be very scary in a couple of years or so. They signed Greg Monroe in the offseason to solidify their lineup and if players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, and Kris Middleton scathe their potential, they will eventually be the Bucks team that could win close to 50 games and become a contender.

Click “Next” to see the Fifth Best Eastern Conference Team!

Brian Spurlock l USA TODAY Sports

5. Indiana Pacers

Indiana suffered a tough campaign last season despite being at the top of the East a couple of years ago. That will all change this year as Paul George is coming back from an injury tarnished campaign and Monta Ellis will be running along with him. There is a bit of uncertainty on who will man the middle for this team, but anytime you have stars like Ellis and George, you’re bound to be a threat. The Pacers should win around 50 games and be a dangerous team come playoff time.

Click “Next” to see the Fourth Best Eastern Conference Team!

Scott Cunningham l Getty Images

4. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks had a tremendous regular season last year. They finished with 60 wins and had a great winning streak. Once playoff time hit, they played bad. Advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in a weak conference was a slight accomplishment but being swept by the undermanned Cavs was the opposite. They lost Demarre Carroll via free agency but swung trades for big man Tiago Splitter and sharp shooter Tim Hardaway Jr. They should suffer a bit on the wing this year but will have an extra big to protect the rim. Winning around 53 games, the hawks will look to redeem themselves in the playoffs next season.

Click “Next” to see the Fourth Best Eastern Conference Team!

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

3. Miami Heat

The Heat suffered badly last season from injuries. Not only that but they were stripped of the luxury that is LeBron James. This year, the Heat will be a very good team when healthy. A starting unit composed of Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside is no joke. If Miami can stay healthy into the postseason, they could become serious contenders. Expect them to be winning around 55 games in the regular season slotting them as the 3rd seed.

Click “Next” to see the Second Best Eastern Conference Team!

Nathaniel S. Butler l Getty Images

2. Chicago Bulls

No team has suffered more from LeBron James other than the Chicago Bulls. It seems that every year he knocks them out of the playoffs. Now that Thibs is out of the equation there will be some growing pains for sure. But if Derrick Rose returns to his old MVP form and their defense plays as well as they have in the past, they will be contenders. Jimmy Butler is a young star and Pau Gasol still has something left in the tank. The Bulls should be the second best team in the East winning 58 games.

Click “Next” to see the Best Eastern Conference Team!

David Richard l USA TODAY Sports

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

As if this wasn’t obvious, the Cavs are the favorites to win the NBA title next year and if they can stay healthy, they will have a great chance to do so. Adding in a little more depth to their bench and gaining experience during last year’s playoff run will help tremendously. Barring any unforeseen events, Cleveland will again win the East and we should only be worrying about them losing to a Western Conference powerhouse such as San Antonio, Oklahoma City, or Golden State. Cleveland should win around 63 games in the regular season and be in a position to put an end to the title drought.