The NBA season has only been over for two weeks but the NBA futures were released the day after the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA title.
Those futures were adjusted as soon as word leaked that LeBron James and his teammates Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade would opt out of their contracts and give free agency a try.
Most observers feel that James will return to South Florida next season with a new contract. Because of that, bookmakers like Bovada and sportsbook.com have Miami as the favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2015.
On the latest futures list on topbet and betonline, Miami is the favorite at +325, with San Antonio the defending champions second at +500, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder on +650, the Chicago Bulls are next at +800 and next up is the Los Angeles Clippers at +900.
Although rumors have been rampant, few of the eligible players have moved thus far into the offseason. James, Bosh, Wade and Carmelo Anthony are the biggest names, but none of the four have signed as of yet.
Most teams are trying to wait and see what happens to James and Anthony. Where ever the two end up playing will have a big impact on the rest of the signings during free agency.
There have been a few teams more proactive and not reactive. Those teams did not wait for others to dictate what route to take, they identified the players they wanted and went out and signed them.
Three of those signings are the most important thus far.
Patty Mills resigned with the San Antonio Spurs. Some had thought Mills might cash in on the success he enjoyed during the playoffs. However, the tear in his rotator cuff did not help him any and he opted to sign for three years with the Spurs.
The next interesting signing thus far is Avery Bradley with the Boston Celtics. Bradley signed a four-year deal worth $32 million.
What is surprising is Boston signed Bradley but has No. 1 pick Marcus Smart in the background and Rajon Rondo as the starter. However, Rondo could go via a trade during the offseason.
Some thought $8 million a year was a lot for an average shooter, but he is just 23 and if he improves to become an above-average shooter than he is worth the investment.
Ben Gordon’s signing with the Orlando Magic was important for the Magic yet very surprising. Many cannot understand committing close to $10 million for a player who played all of 19 games last season and has not performed well over the last four or five years.
The team has an option in the second year, so they are only committing $4.5 million if things were to turn sour quick.
His veteran leadership at 31 years of age could help the Magic. If he can become just 70% of the player he once was, then Orlando has signed a great deal, but only time can answer that doubt that many hold.