Eastern Conference Won the Summer

For several years, the Western Conference has had the depth, talent reservoir, championship pedigree and experienced players, and has been the better conference in the NBA’s two tiered system. The West has won the last two NBA Finals, three out of the last five championships, six out of the last ten with only the Boston Celtics (2008) and the Miami Heat (2012, 13) breaking up the Western Conference’s annual championship parades.

But these things are cyclical as players move around, draft choices mature and become stars, teams fall out of contention due to injury and a host of other reasons. This off-season the Eastern Conference closed the gap on the Western Conference, pulling in a nice free agent haul. Every Eastern Conference playoff team except the Chicago Bulls added something; they didn’t get worse. While out West, several playoff teams were decimated as stars fled.

Non-playoff teams in the East collected free agent talent, teams like the Pistons, the Pacers and Orlando. In the West, lottery teams like the Lakers and Kings also improved their personnel. However, the Western Conference had 4 teams that didn’t add any new personnel: Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets and Rockets. While in the East, only the Bulls and 76ers didn’t add any new free agents, an indictment on the Bulls. No organization wants to be compared to the 76ers in any fashion.

Here are the new additions that teams added per free agency (excluding trades):

Nets: Shane Larkin, Thomas Robinson, Wayne Ellington

Celtics: Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerekbo

Knicks: Kyle O’Quinn, Robin Lopez, Aaron Afflalo, Derrick Williams

Raptors: DeMarre Carroll, Bismack Biymobo, Corey Joseph, Luis Scola

Wizards: Gary Neal, Alan Anderson

Hawks: Justin Holiday, Walter Tavares

Heat: Gerald Green, Amare Stoudemire

Charlotte: Jeremy Lin

Orlando: C.J. Watson, Jason Smith

Cleveland: Mo Williams

Pistons: Aron Baynes

Bucks: Greg Monroe

Pacers: Monta Ellis, Lavoy Allen, Jordan Hill

* * * * * * * * *

Lakers: Lou Williams, Brandon Bass

Clippers: Wes Johnson, Paul Pierce

Sacramento: Rajon Rondo, Marco Bellinelli, Caron Butler, Kosta Koufas

Phoenix: Sonny Weems, Tyson Chandler, Mizra Teletovic, Ronnie Price

Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge, David West

Mavericks: Deron Williams, Zaza Pachulia, Wes Matthews, Jeremy Evans

Memphis: Brandon Wright

Pelicans: Alonzo Gee, Luke Babbitt

Blazers: Ed Davis, Al-Faroq Aminu

Timberwolves: Nemanja Bjelica

Utah: Joe Ingles, Raul Neto


photo via somosbasketball.com