A Guide To The 2014 Drafts
By Andrew Liberatore
As the NBA Free Agency period begins to wrap up, it wasn’t short of drama. Lets take a look back at some of the biggest signings of the offseason thus far and where some of those teams stand right now.
In possibly the biggest sports story of the year, LeBron James is heading back to his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers on a two-year deal worth about $42 million. After going to four straight NBA Finals and winning two of them with the Miami Heat, LeBron has announced in a letter to Sports Illustrated, “I’m coming home.” This changes the landscape of the Eastern Conference as the Cavs now look to be one of the favorites after adding the best player on the planet and with two All Stars, Kyrie Irving and the newly acquired Kevin Love.
After flirting with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony has decided to stay put in New York on a groundbreaking five-year deal worth $124 million. The Knicks did their job, inking their star player as they try to get back into the picture in the Eastern Conference and make the Playoffs after missing it last season. Knicks President, Phil Jackson has been busy this offseason. He also traded Center Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks for two draft picks and Point Guard Jose Calderon, a position where the Knicks struggled mightily last season.
Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh
After losing the best player in the world, the Miami Heat found a way to make some noise in free agency by keeping All-Star Forward Chris Bosh and signing him to an incredible five-year deal worth $118 million. The Heat also kept their other main piece Dwayne Wade by signing him to a two-year contract worth $31 million. By keeping 2/3 of their Big Three, and also with the addition of Luol Deng, Miami should definitely stay more than relevant in the Eastern Conference.
New York Giants
The Giants are coming off of a season where they struggled as much as anyone in the league at times last year. They made a couple of pretty good offseason acquisitions on both offense and defense. On offense they signed running back Rashad Jennings to a four-year $14 million contract, who’s expected to come in and start right away. They also drafted Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU to give Eli Manning another weapon to work with. On the defensive side of the ball the Giants made two really nice signings by bringing in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, from the Broncos to five-year $39 million contract and Walter Thurmond from the Seahawks to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million. The Giants will be a better football team in 2014, but as always they will have a hard time competing in the always tough NFC East.
New York Jets
The Jets will start the 2014 season after shocking a lot of people with an 8-8 record last year. The Jets needed to go out and get a lot of help on offense this offseason and they did their part. They signed former Broncos Wide Receiver Eric Decker to a five-year contract worth about $36 million and former Titans running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million. The Jets also drafted tight end Jace Amaro from Texas Tech. The Jets really didn’t touch the defensive side of the ball too much, nor did they need too. They drafted Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to help with their secondary that struggled last year and to help take a little pressure off of one of the league’s best defensive lines. The Jets should be a better team in 2014, but Geno Smith has to take the next step for them to seriously contend with New England in the AFC East.