Some teams changed their roster a lot through the off-season with one example being the Raptors trading their franchise player DeMar DeRozan away for Kawhi Leonard. Other teams made huge additions through free agency with the Lakers landing LeBron and the Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins in order to try and make it three championship wins in a row. With the NBA season already getting underway, here are predictions for the upcoming NBA season.

Lakers make the playoffs with bottom four seed

The Lakers have been a bad team for the past few years, and it looks like that's about to change with their strong young core and the off-season additions of LeBron and others.

LeBron improves their team a ton and the steps forward that Ingram and Kuzma are taking also helps. LeBron was their biggest addition, but the Lakers also added Rondo, McGee and Beasley which improves the Lakers depth a ton. If one of their starters were to go down with an injury, they would be just fine as they have a strong bench that is deep and has versatility. With LeBron now in the fold, the Lakers will make the playoffs but will have to settle to playing on the road as they will make the playoffs with a bottom four seed of fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth. Even with the addition of LeBron, the Lakers are still not on the same level as the Warriors and Rockets and could have a tough time to find themselves ahead of the Timberwolves, Jazz and a few other teams in the standings.

Raptors finish third in the east but reach finals

Last season, the Raptors finished a franchise-best 59-23 and finished first in the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history.

For the past four years, the Raptors have been one of the top teams in the East, but they always found themselves to be ousted from the playoffs by LeBron when he was on the Cavs. With Masai Ujiri and the Raptors front office tired of finishing with the same result, they started by firing Dwane Casey who won Coach of the Year which was a move that did not go well with fans. Months later, they traded DeRozan who was the franchise leader in multiple stat categories for Leonard which came with a big risk as he's only under contract for one more season and has stated publicly that he wants to play in Los Angeles when he becomes a free agent.

The Raptors are still a great team, but they won't finish first in the Eastern Conference as they will finish third behind the Celtics and 76ers. The Celtics will have Irving, Hayward and Horford playing alongside each other for a whole season unless one of them gets injured and they also have a very deep bench. The 76ers have a fantastic starting core of Embiid, Simmons, Redick and Covington which is just as good or better than the starting core of the Raptors or Celtics.

Even though they won't finish first in the Eastern Conference when the regular season ends, they will find themselves playing in the finals as the Raptors have players with much more playoff experience than the Celtics and 76ers. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have experience playing in the finals in 2014 where they won it all with the Spurs and Kawhi is also one of the most clutch players when it comes to the playoffs. The Raptors also have a much older and experienced roster than the Celtics and 76ers have.

Trae Young wins Rookie of the year

The Rookie of the Year award last year came with huge debates as some people thought that Ben Simmons shouldn't be considered a rookie even though he sat out his draft year with a foot injury. This year won't come with that scrutiny as no rookies sat out the whole season last year. Most experts are tabbing Luka Doncic and Collin Sexton as favorites to win the Rookie of the Year, but none of Doncic or Sexton will win the award as Trae Young, the person who was traded for Doncic [VIDEO] will win Rookie of the Year. Playing for the Oklahoma Sooners last year, Young was the leader in many stat categories including points (848), points per game (27.4), assists (271), assists per game (8.7) and other stat categories. Young has had his shot compared by some to Steph Curry's who's the best 3-point shooter in the world right now. On a weak rebuilding Hawks team, Young will be given many chances to shoot the ball and be the playmaker which will ultimately get him the Rookie of the Year award.

Anthony Davis wins MVP

The unique thing about basketball when it comes to the most valuable player is that there are so many players who are worthy of the award, unlike other sports where there are only a few players worthy of winning MVP. Westbrook won MVP in 2016 where the Thunder were basically a one-man team with Westbrook leading the way which can be shown by Westbrook averaging a triple-double throughout the whole season. LeBron had a fantastic season last year when he carried the Cavs on his back and got them to the finals, but he fell short of the MVP award to James Harden who really only had Chris Paul able to help him. With Cousins now gone, Davis will be relied on heavily by the Pelicans to produce at the highest level he can in order to hopefully squeeze into a playoff spot. What we've seen from previous seasons, Davis is more than capable of doing that. Davis won't have much help as all the Pelicans basically have other than him his Holliday and potentially Randle if he can stay healthy. As Davis is a high caliber player with not too much help around him, he will be relied on heavily which will get him the MVP award.

Cavs don't make playoffs

With LeBron now gone, the Cavaliers have gotten a lot weaker. They now have to rely on Kevin Love and rookie Collin Sexton to carry the team as far as they can as they don't have much else other than them two. Love is a good player but isn't someone to build a team around, and Sexton has a lot to prove even though he has been praised by many. With teams like the Bulls and Pistons getting better, the Cavs chances of making the playoff are slim as they are now regarded as one of the weaker teams in the Eastern Conference.

Bulls make the playoffs

With LeBron out of the East, the Eastern conference is a lot weaker than it was last season which gives more teams hope of making the playoffs. The Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Wizards are all locks to make the playoffs which leave four playoff spots open in the East. The Bucks will most likely occupy one of those remaining four spots, but one team that will find themselves playing deeper into April will be the Bulls. The Bulls had a great off-season by signing hometown boy Jabari Parker which gives them a boost in scoring as long as he can stay on the court. The Bulls also added Wendell Carter Jr via the draft who has done great in the pre-season which got him a spot on the starting five. The Bulls also have Markkanen who's rehabbing from injury but had a fantastic rookie season and is expected to be a big part of the Bulls future. LaVine will also be available for the whole season as long as he doesn't re-injure himself. The Bulls also have Dunn and Portis who will also be contributors on the court for the Bulls. As long as everyone can stay healthy, the Bulls can find themselves playing in the playoffs.

LaVar keeps quiet

LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, is well known for his outlandish remarks and being the CEO of Big Baller Brand. He's a very popular figure in the sports media and basketball world, and he's even got himself in the national spotlight last year when he got into an argument with President Trump. While Lonzo was in college playing for UCLA, LaVar said some of the ridiculous things like his son was better than Steph Curry and that he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one. In Lonzo's rookie year, LaVar overshadowed the spotlight on his son by having a chaotic postgame interview with Stephen A Smith after Lonzo's debut and telling Jeff Goodman of ESPN that no one wants to play for Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

In Lonzo's second year in the NBA, don't expect LaVar to be in the spotlight as much. LaVar's current focus is his JBA league as it just finished its first season which didn't go as he hoped due to low attendance numbers. LaVar is currently abroad with players in his JBA league as they are playing a bunch of games against professional teams in Europe and other parts of the world and won't be returning home until the middle of December. He's also focused on getting his other two sons to the NBA as his ultimate goal is to have all three of his kids playing on the Lakers. With lots of other things being a bigger focus for LaVar than Lonzo's career, LaVar will be relatively out of the spotlight when it comes to Lonzo.

Spurs miss the playoffs

The Spurs have made it to the playoffs for 21 straight seasons, but the streak will come to an end this year as the Spurs will fail to reach the playoffs. The Spurs are a completely different team than they were during the glory days where they won six championships during that span with the most recent one being in 2014. Tim Duncan is now retired, Manu Ginobili announced his retirement during the off-season, Tony Parker signed with the Hornets and Kawhi Leonard is now a Raptor.

The new face of the franchise is DeMar DeRozan who they acquired as part of the deal for Leonard. DeRozan is a fantastic player on offense, but when it comes to defense, he's a whole different story. The Spurs have also been plagued with injuries leading up to the season as Dejounte Murray, who was projected to breakout, tore his ACL which ruled him out for the year. Derrick White, who was supposed to replace Murray in the starting lineup also got injured during the pre-season and is out for at least two weeks. With the Spurs having to rely on DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to carry the team in a deep Western Conference, the AT&T Center will be empty during the playoffs for the first time in 21 years.