Just as everyone expected, this summer's free agency was crazy. There was plenty of drama, surprising decisions, tears shed, and major hatred developed.
With huge pick ups, such as the New York Knicks capturing Amar'e Stoudemire, the Chicago Bulls pulling in Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver (and potentially Tracy McGrady), and of course the Miami Heat reeling in the "Big Three" LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
It seems as though the East, when compared to the West, won the battle in the free agency debacle, which means, finally, the Eastern Conference may be able to compete in the NBA Finals and be a legit contender against the Los Angeles Lakers.
With still a few free agents left on the market, everything is pretty much all said and done. We now have a good look at what the teams are going to look like this upcoming season.
Of course things could still make a drastic change if Chris Paul is able to be traded to Orlando or New York.
But aside the Chris Paul situation, with half of the Eastern Conference having a whole new look to their team, who will now be considered the new "Beasts of the East?"
6. New York Knicks
First up, we have the New York Knicks. No, they weren't able to acquire any of the "Big Three" in the free agency, but they were able to pull in Amar'e Stoudemire. Although, with Eddy Curry still on the team, and a fairly young, unproven roster, they still aren't much of a deep playoff threat. However, bringing in Stoudemire opens up huge doors for the Knicks, like the possibility of bringing in a Carmelo Anthony in 2011, which also could inspire Chris Paul to ask for a New York trade this season. Such acquisitions would then easily make them tough competitors once again in the East.
5. New Jersey Nets
Next we have the New Jersey Nets. This is another team who had high hopes to capture the "Big Three." Bringing in new head coach Avery Johnson and having a new owner wasn't enough to pull in huge name free agents. They were however able to sign Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, and Johan Petro to team up with Courtney Lee, Brook Lopez, and Devin Harris, raising their hopes in the East this season.
4. Orlando Magic
Then we have the Orlando Magic. Even though they Matt Barnes, they still have a good enough supporting cast to keep them contenders in the East. Having Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and Mickael Pietrus still keeps them at being an Eastern Conference Finals contender.
3. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics still have pretty much the same team they have had since their Championship run back in 2008. With Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo still on the squad, this team still has a lot of fight in them, and want revenge on the Los Angeles Lakers who ended their Cinderella Story in the 2010 NBA Finals. But with Rasheed Wallace retiring, they may have to find another big man to be able to keep the tempo going when Garnett is on the bench.
2. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls got insanely good this summer. Picking up Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver to join the young talented squad of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and possibly even Tracy McGrady has made the Bulls one of the top teams of the East this season. Although they weren't able to capture LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh, I don't think they are complaining with the squad they were able to come up with.
1. Miami Heat
Now we come to the true "Beast of the East". The team the brought in all the drama, tears, and hatred. The team who had $44 million to spend on free agency. The team that made fans in Cleveland burn jerseys and have tons of fans criticize them. I am of course talking about the Miami Heat. Miami was able to capture the "Big Three" with ease. Bringing in LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Mike Miller and Ilgauskas to join Dwyane Wade has made this team an All-Star team.
This team on paper looks like they have the ability to win 70 games if James, Bosh and Wade can co-exist with each other and play as a team just like they did for team USA, winning a gold medal. With a squad like this for the next three to five years, it definitely puts them in the spot to be able to win three to five championships. With a team like this, there is no team besides the Los Angeles Lakers that has the ability to stop them.
The 2010-11 season is going to be an exciting one. Everyone is excited to see how the season will turn out. And beware of the new-look Miami Heat!