The first week of the NBA free agency has been frantic to say the least. With LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, it signaled a major shift in the balance of power. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only power move as the defending dynasty the Golden State Warriors also strengthen their numbers. Let’s take a quick look at all the winners and losers so far in the free agency race.
Los Angeles Lakers: Showtime is back in LA. With the addition of LeBron, the Lakers are instantly back in the championship picture. It’s not a signal to championship aspirations, but more of a cultural shift back relevance. Expect more moves for President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Most thought the Thunder traded for Paul George just to rent him one year ago, oh were they wrong. The second biggest free agent this year wasted no time in re-signing with OKC and at least for the moment, has given small-markets hope.
Golden State Warriors: The rich get richer up in the bay area. Sometimes, the best move to take a major player off the board. That’s exactly what the Warriors did by signing Boogie Cousins to a one year $5 million dollar deal. It’s a low risk, high rewards situation that now gives the Warriors something no other team in the league has, five all-stars.
New Orleans Pelicans: Losing DeMarcus Cousins is not the issue, they played better without him — it was losing Rajon Rondo. Rondo became a focal point for the offense in New Orleans and their on-court engine. Don’t be surprised if the Pelicans are not as good come playoff time.
Houston Rockets: The Rockets were one win away from the NBA Finals with two attempts. Resigning Chris Paul to a make deal may come back to haunt them long term. Losing Trevor Arias will definitely impact them short term as he was their best wing defender. The Rockets will not be as good as last year as a result and adding Michael Carter-Williams is not the solution.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Hard days are ahead for the land. With a roster full of bad contracts, there is no relief in sight, for the Cavaliers. The only asset the team has is Kevin Love and that may not fetch you much on the open market. The Cav’s owner Dan Gilbert got his wish, the team has returned to him and is no longer controlled by the king.