Op-Ed: Watch the upcoming NBA season

Malachi Parker, Reporter

Ladies and gentlemen, the NBA season is upon us once again. With an active offseason, many teams improved while some teams stayed stagnant.

Many elite players found a new home through trades and free agency this summer.

LeBron James is now a Los Angeles Laker with a young set of teammates to hopefully help him reach his ninth straight NBA Finals.

Reigning champion Golden State Warriors added another deadly piece to their already full arsenal, adding Demarcus Cousins, who is one of the best big men in the game.

Although Cousins is coming off an achilleas injury, if he is able to touch the floor and produce at least half of what he did last year, the rest of the league has their work cut out for them.

That was just in the Western Conference.

In the Eastern Conference, it has now become an open playing field now that LeBron moved out west.

With several teams making strong moves, anybody can come out the east.

The Toronto Raptors traded the face of their franchise, DeMar DeRozan, to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, which in many people’s eyes was an upgrade.

The addition of Kawhi gives the Raptors a polished superstar and championship pedigree to a team that needed it.

The sleeper team that everyone needs to keep an eye on is the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers are a tough defensive-minded team with an All-Star in Victor Oladipo and were one game away from knocking LeBron and the Cavaliers out in the first round. However, the Boston Celtics are the heavy favorites in the east.

The Celtics were also moments away from knocking off LeBron and the Cavaliers and punching their ticket to the NBA Finals. Last season, Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward, went down with a season leg injury five minutes into the season.

Celtics star point guard, Kyrie Irving, also had his season cut short with knee surgery right before the playoffs.

Those injuries gave the younger guys a chance to gain some playoff experience and prove themselves. Boston will return those two All-Stars to the lineup and most likely run the conference on their way to the finals.

All the moves that were made this summer are perfect to renew the Lakers and Celtics rivalry.

Big names in both markets and competitive basketball with a little bit of bad blood between the players.

The last four teams standing when it’s time for the conference finals will be, in the west, the Warriors and the Lakers with the Warriors winning the series in six.

In the east, the conference finals will go through Boston. Celtics and Raptors will meet and the Celtics will win the decisive game seven.

In June, set your calendars for a Boston-Golden State matchup for the Larry O’ Brian trophy, with Golden State winning the series in six games and completing a three-peat and winning their fourth in five years.