Once LeBron James announced, "I'm Coming Home," to Cleveland last Friday, the free-agency floodgates opened, with the player moves coming fast and furious.
James was the Pied Piper, the one who set in motion so much change in the NBA that it left some teams with high hopes, some with despair and some thinking they remain on the right course for next season.
James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second stint, obviously made them the big winners in the free-agency marketplace, and it left his old Miami Heat team a loser because it lost the best player on the planet.
So here is a quick look at the teams who are the winners, losers and wild cards during the free-agency period:
James spent his first seven
And just by rejoining the Cavaliers, James has made Cleveland into a championship contender.
The Cavaliers drafted Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft last month. And after James' decision, the Cavaliers signed free-agent small forward
Cleveland already has an All-Star point guard in
The Cavaliers still need some more pieces to win an NBA title, but having James completely changes their outlook.
The signing of former
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 60 games last season for the Lakers. He's an upgrade at power forward over Carlos Boozer, who was just waived by the Bulls via the NBA's one-time amnesty provision.
The return of a healthy
Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and he missed 72 games last season after surgery for a torn cartilage in his right knee.
But if Rose is truly back to being that explosive point guard, and if Gasol gives them the offense they so desperately need, the Bulls have a very good chance of reaching the NBA Finals.
You just can't count this team out.
It also helps that
All of that is a big reason why the Spurs have a chance to win back-to-back titles for the first time.
But the Thunder has always concentrated on developing young players.
So look for guards
They failed to get
Lakers fans haven't been jumping for joy, either, after the team traded for point guard
The Lakers don't even have a coach, though
If there is hope, it is because of rookie forward Julius Randle and the promise of a 2015 first-round draft pick from the Lin deal.
It's impossible for the
But the Heat did rally some by re-signing Dwyane Wade,
That leaves the Heat as the fourth- or fifth-best team in the East, but not the championship favorite it had been the last four seasons.
The Knicks got Anthony back, but that's about it.
The Knicks' Big Three consists of Anthony, new president
Jackson needs better players, Fisher needs coaching experience and Anthony will have to play the best hoops of his life to give the Knicks a chance of reaching the playoffs.
The Wizards got veteran Pierce (to replace
By re-signing point guard