​Heading into the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Eastern Conference is more wide open then it's ever been now that ​LeBron James is in the Western Conference with Los Angeles. Well, if you bring that up with Cleveland Cavaliers big man ​Tristan Thompson, according to him you still have to go through them:

Yes, you're the four-time Eastern Conference champs, Tristan. However, there's a guy named LeBron James (who is the best player in the sport) who isn't on your roster anymore. So yeah, you're not the team to beat in the East this year.

It could be a case of Thompson not wanting to realize that the guy who has carried this average team on his back to the NBA Finals year after year isn't coming back to save you. 

Whether he wants to believe it or not, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are the clear favorites, with the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers just behind them in the pecking order. Cleveland might squeak into the playoffs, but it's going to take a lot for them not to be at the bottom of the league.