Post-free agency, the NBA Eastern Conference is a two-team race

With the dust settled on the 2019 NBA offseason, two true contenders remain in the NBA's Eastern Conference: Last year's #1 seed, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the team widely considered to have the most talent in their starting five, the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Bucks had the NBA's best record (and the MVP) in 2018-19, but the perpetually young Philadelphia 76ers were considered to be one of the betting favorites to make it to the NBA Finals. As it turns out, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors had a lot to do with that, ousting both teams en route to the title. With Kawhi back home in southern California, however, and the Boston Celtics seemingly back into asset-hoarding mode, the Eastern Conference is shaping up to be a two-team race between the Bucks and 76ers.

There are dark horses--the Brooklyn Nets could get Kevin Durant back late in the season and upset the apple cart in the playoffs--but for the most part, all eyes will be on the early betting favorite (the Bucks) and the team in most statistical projections to be one of the top two or three teams in the NBA (the Sixers).

Photo: Getty Images

Video: ESPN

Milwaukee Bucks v Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee Bucks v Philadelphia 76ers