NBA Free Agency Round-up: 1st July - LeBron James signs with Lakers; KD, PG13 & CP3 re-sign with former teams
The opening day of the free agency window was as action-packed as any in the league's recent past. Many deals, formally agreed upon during the past season, were concluded within 24 hours of the commencement of the free agency window.
Most of the marquee free agents whose futures were speculated upon were snapped up by teams quickly enough that they look premeditated. The likes of LeBron James, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul all signed deals in order to put themselves in position to contend for the title next season - all in the Western Conference.
Other teams made moves to either preserve their long-term stability or to strengthen their roster on fronts that were weaknesses. The Los Angeles Lakers were also able to fulfil some questions of fit, picking up some good backups on sneakily good deals. The following is a wrap-up of all the movement in the league.
#1 LeBron James signs a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Lakers
Pretty much like 2010, this decision has caused a seismic shift in the balance of the league. Having made it to 8 straight NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference, LeBron James has finally set his heart upon Hollywood, where he believes his kids are best-served. Coming to Los Angeles was a huge, career-altering path for The King, although the Lakers move is the one most people tipped him to make following the Cavaliers' abject surrender to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
In LA, James faces the challenge of grooming young, talented players for the first time during his storied NBA career. At the same time, the likes of Ingram, Ball and Kuzma are no slouches, and could very well be the kind of pieces he loves playing around. Ingram and Ball are capable ball-handlers who can allow him to rest on offense, unlike the high-octane usage rates he had with Cleveland this past season.