LAST SEASON: 49-33, lost to Chicago Bulls 4-3 in first round.
STARTING FIVE: G Deron Williams (18.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists), G Joe Johnson (16.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists), F Paul Pierce (18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists), F Kevin Garnett (14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists), C Brook Lopez (19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks).
KEY ADDITIONS: Pierce (trade, Celtics), Garnett (trade, Celtics), G Jason Terry (trade, Celtics), F Andrei Kirilenko (free agent, Timberwolves), G/F Alan Anderson (free agent, Raptors), G Shaun Livingston (free agent, Cavaliers).
KEY LOSSES: F Gerald Wallace (trade, Celtics), F Kris Humphries (trade, Celtics), G MarShon Brooks (trade, Celtics), G/F Keith Bogans (trade, Celtics), G C.J. Watson (free agent, Pacers).
COACH: Jason Kidd, first season.
EYES ON: Kidd. He won an NBA title and two Olympic gold medals during a decorated 19-year playing career but has no experience as a coach, going from the court to the bench shortly after retiring last spring. How well he handles the transition is the biggest question facing a team that has All-Stars at every position.
OUTLOOK: A massive summer spending spree, with an $80 million luxury tax bill to follow, has the Nets well stocked for a run at a title. It probably has to come this year because of the ages of Pierce and Garnett.
NEW YORK KNICKS
LAST SEASON: 54-28, lost to Indiana Pacers 4-2 in second round.
STARTING FIVE: G Raymond Felton (13.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists), G Iman Shumpert (6.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists), F Carmelo Anthony (28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists), F Andrea Bargnani (12.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists), C Tyson Chandler (10.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.4 blocks).
KEY ADDITIONS: Bargnani (trade, Raptors), F Metta World Peace (free agent, Lakers), G Beno Udrih (free agent, Magic), G Tim Hardaway Jr. (draft, No. 24).
KEY LOSSES: G Jason Kidd (retired), F Steve Novak (trade, Raptors), F Chris Copeland (free agent, Pacers).
COACH: Mike Woodson, third season with Knicks, eighth season overall, 278-320.
EYES ON: Bargnani. If the Knicks get the player who averaged 21.4 points three seasons ago, he'll be a major boost to their offense. But the former No. 1 pick scored 12.7 per game during a dismal, injury-shortened, 2012-13 season in Toronto, and the Knicks will need more than that.
OUTLOOK: Won a division title and a playoff series for the first time in ages last season, but building on that will be tough with a few other East teams looking stronger. Might not be a good time for a step back, though, with Anthony able to become a free agent next summer.
LAST SEASON: 41-40, lost to New York Knicks 4-2 in first round.
STARTING FIVE: G Avery Bradley (9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists), G Jordan Crawford (9.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists), C Jared Sullinger (6.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 assists), F Jeff Green (12.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists), F Brandon Bass (8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 blocks).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Kelly Olynyk (draft, No. 13), F Kris Humphries (trade, Nets), F Gerald Wallace (trade, Nets), G Keith Bogans (trade, Nets).
KEY LOSSES: Coach Doc Rivers (trade, Clippers), F Paul Pierce (trade, Nets), F Kevin Garnett (trade, Nets), G Jason Terry (trade, Nets), C Chris Wilcox (free agent).
COACH: Brad Stevens, first season.
EYES ON: Stevens. The Celtics gave him a six-year deal to leave Butler hoping he can grow along with the team. Rajon Rondo, Boston's best player, won't be ready for a while after surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his season after 38 games. Without him, Bradley, an outstanding defender, could fill the point guard role. The development of two first-round draft picks, Sullinger last year and Olynyk this year, is crucial to the future of the rebuilding Celtics.
OUTLOOK: Making the playoffs would be surprising. Last year, the Celtics didn't get out of the first round even with Pierce and Garnett. They also lost Rivers, who led them to the 2008 championship and the 2010 finals but left for the Los Angeles Clippers after last season. With a new coach and only seven players from last year's team, patience will be required, probably for several seasons.
LAST SEASON: 34-48, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Kyle Lowry (11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists), G DeMar DeRozan (18.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists), F Rudy Gay (18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists), F Amir Johnson (10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists), C Jonas Valanciunas (8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Tyler Hansbrough (free agent, Pacers), F Steve Novak (trade, Knicks), G D.J. Augustin (free agent, Pacers), F Austin Daye (free agent, Grizzlies).
KEY LOSSES: F Andrea Bargnani (trade, Knicks), G Alan Anderson (free agent, Nets).
COACH: Dwane Casey, third season with Raptors, fifth season overall, 110-160.
EYES ON: DeRozan. Coming off his best NBA season and having had the opportunity to train with the U.S. national team, the Raptors need him to continue showing the growth he did last season.
OUTLOOK: The Eastern Conference is top-heavy, so there are playoff spots available at the bottom. The Raptors might just be good enough to grab one of them.
LAST SEASON: 34-48, missed playoffs.
STARTING FIVE: G Michael Carter-Williams (rookie), G James Anderson (4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists), F Evan Turner (13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists), F Thaddeus Young (14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists), C Spencer Hawes (11.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists).
KEY ADDITIONS: Carter-Williams (draft, No. 11), F Nerlens Noel (draft, No. 6).
KEY LOSSES: G Jrue Holiday (trade, Pelicans), G Nick Young (free agent, Lakers), G Dorrell Wright (free agent, Trail Blazers).
COACH: Brett Brown, first season with 76ers, first season overall
EYES ON: Noel. He had a March 12 operation to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The 6-foot-10 post player expects to return to the court perhaps by midseason, a long road back likely to involve countless hours of rehabilitation. With the Sixers starting a rebuilding process, Noel might not play at all this season.
OUTLOOK: Grim. The Sixers waved the white flag on this season to start the rebuilding process and hope a season stacked with losses will net them two lottery picks in 2014. The Sixers are counting on those two picks, along with Noel and Williams, to form the nucleus of an Eastern Conference contender several seasons down the road.
-- ASSOCIATED PRESS