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Celtics are new East favorites as LeBron James to sign with Los Angeles Lakers

Boston is now the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that changes the landscape of the NBA, LeBron James will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent.

James has long been a thorn in the side of the Boston Celtics, eliminating them from the playoffs several times, including in three of the last four seasons.

Boston will now be in the pre-season favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

An already exciting season just got that much more interesting for Boston. James’s presence in Los Angeles has great potential to merge his own dominance of the Celtics with the storied LA-Boson rivalry that’s long been stuff of NBA lore.

By the end of free agency, that rivalry may get even more interesting.

Now that the Lakers have landed James, they’ll continue to battle for attention in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes alongside Boston and Philadelphia.

Updated: 8:47 PM, Eastern time.