Let's think about this for a second. Jimmy Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Paul George was traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder. What do these deals have in common? They both involve star players moving from the Eastern Conference to the west.

On the Trifecta ESPN 1000 radio station, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that only one of the top-14 players in the NBA is still in the eastern conference, referring to Lebron James. Now that the west is overloaded with star power, it might be time to start thinking about restructuring the playoff format.

It's time for top 16 teams period

Think about it like this.

If James were to leave the Cavaliers next season, then all of the top-14 players in the league would be in one conference. He has been linked to the Lakers this offseason as a possible destination, so let's just assume that he goes there.

The Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, Clippers, Jazz, Thunder, Grizzlies, and Trail Blazers are all competitive teams right now. The Timberwolves, and Pelicans have loaded up and are up and coming. The Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game last year, and have a young team developing. Then, you would have the Lakers. That is 12 teams right there that could be playoff contenders record wise.

On the other side, the Celtics, Cavaliers, Raptors, and Wizards were the only teams that had records that were four or more games better than .500. You can be mediocre and make the playoffs in the eastern conference because of the new tradition that teams want to pair as many superstar players together as possible.

If we want to make the playoffs close to relevant, then it might be time to just get rid of the conferences and divisions, and let the teams battle.

Rid the league of loopholes

James is probably the most excited person going into this season though. He will have a clear cut path to make the finals because all the superteams that are being made are out west. If Paul Millsap signs with the Suns, and Gordon Hayward stays with the Jazz, those are two less players that James [VIDEO] would have to go through in the playoffs. The east will be so watered down that a potential 36-40 win team could make it. Markelle Fultz looks like a genius right now by declaring the 76ers will make the playoffs.

In a league that already accepts half its teams into the playoffs, it should mean that the best teams are in. The system is broken when a team that has a .500 record gets into the playoffs, and another team that is above .500 does not. Isn't the whole point of the playoffs to let the best teams duke it out after the regular season?