LeBron did it. He went home after signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It isn't often the best player on the planet in any given sport is a free agent and I can't think of any time a player in his prime has returned to his original team. This was very exciting. I really believed he would go back to Miami but for me this is the best scenario for everyone. No matter the reason he left four years ago, and whatever pain it caused to the fans and owner, he has gone back and all is right again. Not that going to Miami was wrong. He went there to win and he did. Only three teams in history have gone to four straight finals and the Heat brought home two championships in those four years. That is a win in anyone's book or should be. Miami fans should be happy for what LeBron did for their team which is pretty unprecedented.
Cleveland is actually in a pretty good spot to compete. Even with Chris Bosh returning Miami is no better than the fourth best team in the Eastern Conference leaving Cleveland to compete with Indiana and whatever other team takes a step up for a trip to the Finals. They have stud point guard Kyrie Irving, possible superstar Andrew Wiggins at the two, power forward Tristan Thompson and center Anderson Varejao as starters to go along with LeBron. This is a solid starting five and with LeBron everyone of them should be better. Varejao may be showing some signs of his age but there is no reason to believe he won't be solid in the middle. The bench can use some help but with their cap situation that isn't a surprise. As it was in Miami, Cleveland will have to look for veterans who don't mind taking less money to play with LeBron. The rumor that Cleveland will make a deal for Kevin Love is strong but I don't think they can get him with out giving up Wiggins. Is that a bad thing? Probably not. I think this is a very good team with Love or with Wiggins.
I am surprised Bosh went back to Miami. That said he will now be the number one option and will get an extra year at the max which is all good for him. We'll now see how good he really is. Has he just been deferring so much to LeBron or is he just not the player that signed with Miami four years ago. My guess it is somewhere in between. While he'll be a solid player he just isn't that banger down low anymore. Miami has picked up a good supporting cast (Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger) and depth so this team will be just fine. I think if they'd upgraded at point guard this team could have really helped itself but still I think they win 50 games next season.
Carmelo Anthony returned to New York. While the money made sense I'm not sure this team truly competes for some time. I know the idea is to make a big splash in free agency after the upcoming season but I just don't know how big a draw there is to play with Anthony. He is a great scorer but I don't see players rushing to play with him. We'll see how it plays out.
I get that Houston wants cap flexibility moving forward but not matching the Dallas Mavericks' offer to Chandler Parsons confuses me. He is replaced by Trevor Ariza who is capable but not as good an all-around player. For a team who seems to want to compete for a championship soon I don't see how this helps. Hopefully there is a plan and we'll what they have in mind.
I've been saying for a couple of years the Trail Blazers' big issue is depth. They helped themselves some with the additions of center Chris Kaman and point guard Steve Blake. Neither move puts them over the top but maybe it gets them to a seventh game in the second round of the playoffs. A scoring wing would be a nice addition but I don't see them making any more moves this summer.
Los Angeles was the big loser in all this. They got squat, nothing. No one wanted to go there and they lost Pau Gasol. Kobe Bryant has to be wondering how it has gone so wrong.....Oklahoma City is another team who seems to have, while not gotten worse, definitely didn't get better which is something that can be just as bad sometimes.....Even though Dallas had to give up Jose Calderon they definitely improved themselves as Tyson Chandler returned via trade and they picked up Chandler Parsons.....Atlanta did little in free agency. A team who had been rumored to make big runs at free agents was never rumored to be in the market for any of the second tier players much less those at the top.....San Antonio hasn't made any major moves but resigned their own free agents which makes them a contender again next year.