Moreover, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors would fill one spot.
The Warriors did away with tradition by making the first ever reversible championship rings - just one of many pieces of outrageous, specialised jewelry crafted to celebrate last year's triumph.
Stephen Curry led all scorers with 32 points to go along with nine assists and eight rebounds, while Kevin Durant was his normal offensive force with 27 points. With this in mind, the Warriors wanted to try and do the same thing they tried to a year ago, adding Jonas Jerebko, a 6'10 forward with a good outside shot, hitting threes at a career high 41.4% last season in Utah. But the Celtics' struggles didn't dampen the mood inside TD Garden for the return to regular-season action for Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Now that both stars are healthy, players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are a year older and LeBron James is out of the East, Boston could cruise past 59 wins.
What was billed as a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview - and a rematch of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinals showdown past year - went south in the second quarter for the 76ers on Tuesday.
The Thunder know that they have to stay aggressive this season. The Warriors will win many, many games this season, I'm just not sure how many of them will be because of DeMarcus Cousins. They won in 2015 and were the best team in history record-wise in 2016. So Golden State should win a third straight title, but not without a much tougher fight than the last couple of seasons. However, team officials insist Durant getting the final call was not a recruiting tactic, but simply a decision to rotate the players.
The 76ers will be a major contender in the East, but it could be hard for them to avoid losing fewer than 30 games. He picked against them in the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks - and the Philadelphia 76ers, even when they were up 3-1 in the series.
The Boston Celtics had a "family dinner" at owner Wyc Grousbeck's house on Sunday prior to the start of the season.
The Thunder's game notes listed Westbrook as "OUT" on Tuesday, but those notes - released before teams go through shootaround the day of the game - are fluid.