Even though the Miami Heat made the highlight deal that has dominated sporting headlines for the past few weeks, other teams in the NBA have made some major moves to improve their standings in the contention for the NBA Championship this season.
Lucky for all you NBA fanatics out there, I have brought in a guest opinion, Renaldo Eugene, to help break down the massive number of player movements going on this off-season and to decide which player pickups are going to make a big impact on this year's champion.
Easily the highlight of this off-season, the Miami Heat resigning Dwyane Wade and picking up LeBron James and Chris Bosh has taken ESPN by storm.
Putting together a dynamic shooting guard like Wade, an offensive monster of a small forward in James, and a beastly power forward like Bosh almost exactly imitates the Celtics' move to pick up Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to help out Paul Pierce in their quest to win a title back in he 07-08 season.
Of course, the Celtics went from a 24-58 season to a 66-16 title season by picking up these two players. The Heat went 47-35 last year, so the upcoming season looks very promising with this outstanding gathering of superstars playing for them.
The only major player that the back-to-back champs lost is Jordan Farmar, who put in some good minutes as a point guard off the bench.
They more than made up for that loss by resigning Derek Fisher, the starting point guard, and also pulling in Theo Ratliff from the Bobcats, Matt Barnes from the Magic, and Steve Blake from the Clippers.
They were also able to pick up two very good draft picks in Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter. If they can get past the Big Three in Boston and the Big Three Sequel in Miami, this should be a third straight championship season for the LA Lakers.
Due to Dwight Howard's unfocused play and their overall lack of firepower, the Magic were knocked out by the Boston Celtics during the Eastern Conference Finals this past season.
So, to remedy that problem, they not only made a great decision in resigning outstanding backup point guard J.J. Redick, but they also signed Quentin Richardson from the Heat and Chris Duhon from the Knicks.
They also made a very smart draft pick in snatching up athletic big man Stanley Robinson from the UConn Huskies.
The Magic seem to have learned from the playoffs this year and have finally decided to make a positive change that will actually move them closer to a title.
The Chicago Bulls had a decent season last year, which ended in the first round of the playoffs with a 4-1 series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With the major signing of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver from the Utah Jazz, they have definitely entered their name into the short list of teams who could make a pretty big impact in the playoffs this year.
They also picked up Ronnie Brewer from the Grizzlies and Kurt Thomas from the Bucks. The one person they shouldn't have let go is Kirk Hinrich, who went to the Wizards via trade.
Either way, they definitely have made the most of this off-season despite not landing the Big Three that signed in Miami.
The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up perimeter threat Daequan Cook from the Miami Heat along with many other decent players.
Last season was probably their best season since becoming the Thunder. They are definitely taking steps in the right direction, building up their weaknesses while retaining star power in Kevin Durant.
They may not be in contention for the title this year, but if they play their cards right during this upcoming off-season, they may find themselves in contention for the 2011-2012 NBA Championship.
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