Odds are out, teams are assembled (with the exception of a few still looming as free agents ) and last season has already become a thing of the past.
As our minds and thoughts shift to the upcoming 2010-11 NBA season, fans can't help but ponder about which team will out-duel the league and ultimately be crowned as NBA champions.
While that incomparable moment is certainly far away from taking place, organizations are already gaining edges on others, according to Linesmaker.com , which has the Miami Heat at 9-5 odds of winning it all next season.
So the question remains, who will win the NBA championship next season?
Miami Heat- 9-5 Odds- 55.5% chances of winning the NBA championship
But when LeBron James decided to join the two in Miami , the Heat's chances of winning landed them above the two-time defending champions, giving the MIA a ridiculous 55.5 percent of grabbing the title.
Will the Heat be able to surge through the regular season and into the NBA Finals with ease, or will the team run into major problems regarding to their supporting cast?
Los Angeles Lakers- 3-1 Odds- 33.3% chances of winning the NBA championship
Back-to-back championships, arguably the league's best player, a proven team, and the Lakers are still not on top of the rankings.
Regardless of the matter, LA heads into the upcoming season with just as much star power as the Heat, eh maybe not just as much, but pretty close.
Bryant, 31, will be even more determined this season to not only make a three-peat, but to tie the legendary Michael Jordan with six NBA Finals rings.
When comparing the Lakers to the Heat, one could tell that Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are a much better backcourt than Bosh and whoever the Heat decide to place at the five spot (Big Z? Joel Anthony?).
While James will be tough to maintain, Ron Artest, known as one of the best defensive stoppers in the game, will get the assignment of "slowing down" The King, and newly signed Steve Blake is a sure-fire upgrade from Derek Fisher.
Bryant will go head to head with D-Wade, and this battle could instantly turn into the ultimate rivalry.
Orlando Magic- 8-1 Odds- 12.5% chances of winning the NBA championship
After a disappointing postseason run, Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic will look to recapture the Eastern Conference, just like they did two seasons ago.
With Vince Carter hopefully "settled in" and the first season jitterbugs officially out of his system, the Magic have a good chance to make a splash this year.
Orlando led the league in 3PM, 3PA, and lowest opponents FG% last season, proving that they can knock down the trey ball consistently and defend their basket efficiently.
But with the Miami Heat in their division and conference, will the Magic be able to catapult themselves above the newly-formed trio?
Boston Celtics- 10-1 Odds- 10.0% chances of winning the NBA championship
After falling short during Game Seven of the 2009-10 NBA Finals, the ever-so-aging Boston Celtics will seek to rebound during the upcoming season.
Many believe that KG will have a resurgence type of season, and with Rajon Rondo continuing to emerge as a top point guard in the league, the Celtics can remain optimistic this offseason.
Oklahoma City Thunder- 12-1 Odds- 8.3% chances of winning the NBA championship
The Thunder gave LA a run for their money during the first round of last year's playoffs when they took the defending champions to an unexpected Game Six.
During that round, the Thunder's young roster proved that they not only have the talent to battle against one of the top teams in the league, but the heart and determination to do so as well.
Oklahoma City led the league in blocks per game and ranked third in rebounds per game during the 2009-10 regular season.
Being the youngest squad in all of the NBA, can Kevin Durant and company rise up to the challenge, outplay the competition, and simply overpower the wild wild West this season?
Dallas Mavericks- 15-1 Odds- 6.67% chances of winning the NBA championship
Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler...the Mavericks have undoubtedly one of the most amped up rosters in the NBA.
After ending last season with the fourth-best record overall, Dallas didn't seem to surprise fans very much when they made an early first round exit to the aging San Antonio Spurs.
The Mavericks enter each and every season with a stacked roster, big names, and high expectations.
But for some reason the team can just never make it there...will this upcoming season be another disappointing repeat?
Denver Nuggets- 20-1 Odds- 5.0% chances of winning the NBA championship
Much like the Mavericks, the Nuggets roster consists of high-profile names with superb talent and skills.
Even though losing in the first round of the playoffs could be pointed to the fact that head-coach George Karl was not around, organizations simply can never win championships when excuses suffocate the air.
With the team's core still intact, Denver has much to look forward to during next season. The only question will be if they have enough heart and willingness to make it all the way.
Portland Trail Blazers- 20-1 Odds- 5.0% chances of winning the NBA championship
Luck has definitely not been on Portland's side during the last few years. With center Greg Oden continuously hurt and the entire team's encounter with the "injury bug" last season, you can't blame the Blazers for not living up to expectations yet.
This season could be different.
With Oden healthy and Marcus Camby dominating the center position, Brandon Roy, Andre Miller, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicholas Batum spreading the floor, and newly-signed Wesley Matthews adding fuel to the fire off the bench, the Blazers are destined to be the surprise team of the year.
If all goes well and the roster can prevent major injuries from occurring (which is impossible), the Portland Trail Blazers will have much more than a 5.0 percent chance of winning the NBA championship, the only concern will be if that is possible (confusing, huh?).
Chicago Bulls- 20-1 Odds- 5.0% chances of winning the NBA championship
Even though Chicago lost out on the LeBron James sweepstakes, the Bulls are the team to beat in the East, behind Miami, that is.
Adding Carlos Boozer (career 10.2 RPG) to a team that led the league in rebounds per game last season certainly won't hurt.
And signing Kyle Korver (career 41.0 percent three-point shooter) and possibly J.J. Redick (career 39.2 percent three-point shooter) to a team that ranked second to dead last in 3PM last season is a definite upgrade.
Toss in the fact that Chicago still has young and upcoming point guard Derrick Rose, center Joakim Noah, small forward Luol Deng, and power forward Taj Gibson, and this Chicago team is officially in the hunt for an NBA championship.
But only time will tell.