By Sean Toomer –
NBA free agency began on July 1st. In less than a week the entire paradigm of NBA hierarchy has shifted. In an effort to build superstar rosters, many teams have been more willing to make bold moves and trades. Here is a quick recap of the most surprising moves over the past week. Here is a brief list of the most dramatic moves.
• Lebron James signs 4-years, $154 million with LA Lakers
• Kevin Durant re-signs 2-years, $61.5 million with GS Warriors
• Paul George re-signs 4-years, $137 million with OKC Thunder
• Chris Paul re-signs 4-year, $160 million with HOU Rockets
• DeMarcus Cousins signs 1-year, $5.3 million with GS Warriors
• Trevor Ariza signs 1-year, $15 million with PHX Suns
• DeAndre Jordan signs 1-year, $24 million with DAL Mavericks
• Nikola Jokic signs 5-years, $148 million with DEN Nuggets
• Tyreke Evans signs 1-year, $12 million with IND Pacers
• Julius Randle signs 2-years, $18 million with NO Pelicans
After so many free agent moves, it is clear that the Western Conference holds a sizable talent advantage over the Eastern Conference, as the saying goes, “The rich, get richer.” With so much talent leaving the East, the whispers of changing the NBA playoff format to the top 16 teams records-wise continue to grow. Many felt that the Western Conference finals between the GS Warriors and the HOU Rockets were the true championship series, and it seemed to come true, with the GS Warriors sweeping the CLE Cavaliers 4-0.
The impact of superstar players changing teams cannot be understated. Since Lebron signed with the LA Lakers, the season tickets sales have skyrocketed and his jersey is currently sold out. Owners have become so desperate to keep their superstar players that they will even pay the luxury tax to keep them, see Paul George and the OKC Thunder. The Ownership group is willing to pay an additional $300 million in luxury taxes in order to stay competitive in the Western Conference.
Although most of the talent is top heavy, the NBA (West) is more competitive than ever. What do you think of the roster moves? Will Lebron and the Lakers make the playoffs? Will GS Warriors repeat as champs? Let me know your opinion in the comments.