Now that free agency has nearly come to an end and all of the major free agents (with the exception of Detroit Pistons’ restricted free agent big man Greg Monroe and Phoenix Suns’ restricted free agent point guard Eric Bledsoe), the debate can begin about which team had the best offseason.
However, this year, there was a unanimous number one – the Cleveland Cavaliers, who brought back the game’s best player, forward LeBron James, after he spent four years (and won two championships) with the Miami Heat. Several teams like the Chicago Bulls (they added Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotić, Aaron Brooks and Doug McDermott) and Dallas Mavericks (they added Tyson Chandler, Jameer Nelson and Chandler Parsons)
Ben Golliver of our partner, Sports Illustrated believes it is the Spurs that had the league’s (second) best offseason.
And I don’t think it’s that close. The best way to approach this question is: Whose championship hopes were bolstered the most by the dismantling of the Heat? The logical answer would seem to be the defending champions, who posted a league-best 62 wins during the regular season, thrashed through the playoffs with a 16-7 record, and belted Miami in five games in the Finals…
…Spurs reserves Boris Diaw and/or Patty Mills deciding to take the money and run in free agency. None of those three things happened, leaving San Antonio sitting pretty. The combination of a wide open East and a Spurs rotation that will return intact perfectly sets the table for the possibility of the first back-to-back titles of the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan era.
The Spurs also selected UCLA Bruins’ forward Kyle Anderson with the 30th-overall pick in the first round of last month’s draft. He is a versatile athlete that many consider to be a perfect fit for the Spurs.
They will enter the 2014 season as the favorites, according to many (although the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently listed as the favorite).