After a courtship that seemed like weeks instead of days, and a rotation of meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers (TWICE), Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, Lamarcus Aldridge ultimately decided to take his talents to San Antonio and join the Spurs
This was a franchise that should’ve been filled with question marks.. All of a sudden, San Antonio has reloaded and pushed themselves back as one of the odds-on favorites in the Western Conference.
It’s amazing to think that a few days ago, there were serious concerns Tim Duncan would retire, the Spurs could have lost Kawhi Leonard and other pieces like Danny Green to restricted free agency, effectively placing the Spurs in somewhat of a rebuild mode. Instead, they done what the Lakers did for many years and reloaded, bringing in arguably the biggest free agency get in the 2015 free agent class.
The Western Conference is not going anywhere fast in 2015. Obviously the defending champion Golden State Warriors have the same cast of characters in place who will be defending their title this fall. The Houston Rockets are right in the mix and were able to retain many of their pieces (Patrick Beverley for one) and, with the continued growth of MVP runner-up James Harden, will still be a team to deal with.
And how can we forget about the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are virtually in “all-in” mode next season with the possibility of losing Kevin Durant in free agency next summer? After a season that was wasted with key injuries from their mainstay superstars Kevin Durant, who missed 55 games with foot issues, and Russell Westbrook, who missed 15 contests himself, not to mention their defensive stalwart Serge Ibaka (18 games), OKC still won 45 games and narrowly missed the playoffs by a single game (tiebreaker to the New Orleans Pelicans). With the core back for another season, its expected the Oklahoma City Thunder will vault back into the championship conversation.
Yes, the 2015-16 NBA season should be more than interesting.