Now that some time has passed on one of the wackiest free agencies in league history-remember the LeBron James silent treatment, the DeAndre Jordan bait and switch, and the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes-bettors now have a clearer look at the upcoming NBA season. James is chasing a title in Cleveland, San Antonio is retooled for yet another run, Golden State has all the talent in the world to repeat, while the Los Angeles Clippers got deeper and Oklahoma City simply got healthy.
The free agency period saw a bit of movement with certain teams becoming contenders and others striking out. Let's take a closer look at the current status of the NBA and figure out how a wild summer will impact the futures odds.
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Cleveland Cavaliers : Title odds: +275: If not for a series of devastating injuries, Cleveland may have won a title last season. Golden State fans may not want to hear that, but James took the series to six games while playing with a bunch of spare parts and duct tape. The Cavaliers added a key piece in Mo Williams during the free agency period, but their biggest victory was simply re-signing the players already on the roster. A healthy Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, along with James, who is still the most dominant player in the NBA, probably means a sixth straight NBA Finals trip for "The King".
San Antonio Spurs : Title odds: +300: The Spurs may have been the biggest winner of the summer by signing marquee free agent Aldridge to play alongside Tim Duncan and emerging superstar Kawhi Leonard. The addition is almost unfair to the rest of the league and is a call back to San Antonio's first title with David Robinson and Duncan pulling a "Twin Towers" and dominating the paint. The 2015-16 season will be an intriguing one as Gregg Popovich and company once again do the opposite of what's trending in the league by going "big" instead of continuing the small-ball, space-and-shoot style they helped create over the last decade.
Golden State : Title Odds: +500: Golden State did not do anything major during the offseason, but the organization was able to re-sign a key piece in Draymond Green with a five-year contract. Bringing back the same group that won a championship makes a tougher-than-ever Western Conference even more interesting than in years past. The top four teams in the west (including Oklahoma City) are absolute juggernauts, and the upcoming season may be nothing but an arms race to see who can build a better record heading into the post season.
Los Angeles Clippers : Title odds +1000: The Clippers probably feel like huge free agency winners by simply keeping their roster intact. The club re-signed/stole away DeAndre Jordan from the Dallas Mavericks and addressed its biggest issue from last season-lack of depth beyond the starting five. The team signed Paul Pierce, who was spectacular for Washington during the postseason, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Smith, and at +1000 the club might have the best futures odds on the board.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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