How Some Of The Previous Marquee Free Agents Have Fared With Their New Teams

How Some Of The Previous Marquee Free Agents Have Fared With Their New Teams

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  1. With the additions of free agents Chris Bosh and LeBron James, there will be a new “big three” in the Eastern Conference in the upcoming 2010-2011 season in Miami. The question is will the Heat have enough pieces to win the championship? Here is a list of past free agents who switched teams by choice or via trade, and how they fared with their new teams.

    Shaquille O’Neal: 1996

    After losing to the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals, Shaquille decided to jump from Orlando to Los Angeles. The Lakers would also pull off a draft day trade with the Charlotte Hornets that landed them Kobe Bryant as well. Even with the additions of the O’Neal and Bryant, the duo did not bring about immediate success and it would not be until 2000 before the team would capture their first title in twelve seasons.

    Karl Malone & Gary Payton 2003:

    With the Lakers one year removed from their last title in 2002, the additions of all-stars Karl Malone and Gary Payton were supposed to be the additions the Lakers needed in order to return to the Finals. However, despite a roster full of future Hall-Of Farmers, the Lakers would fall to the Pistons in the 2004 Finals.


    Shaquille O’Neal 2004:

    The Lakers were fresh off a 4-1 loss in the Finals at the hands of the Detroit Pistons when management decided it was time for a change. The Lakers would trade away Shaquille O’Neal to the Miami Heat where he would be joined with DeWayne Wade. The combination of “Flash” and “Superman” would lead the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2005 but they would fall in seven games to the Pistons despite having home-court advantage. The Heat would redeem themselves the in the 2005-2006 season where they would win it all defeating the Mavericks 4-2 in the Finals after losing the first two games.

    Kevin Garnett & Ray Allen 2007:

    The Celtics were coming off the 2006-2007 season having only won a meager 24 games. However, things looked up for Celtics when they made deals for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Pierce, giving the Celtics one of the formidable trios in the league. The Celtics would finish the 2007-2008 season with 66 victories and despite a difficult playoff run that included two seven-game series, the Celtics would cap off their season with a 131-92 route of the Lakers to win the franchise’s first title in over two decades.

    With Bosh, James and Wade in the lineup, the Heat have definitely increased their chances of making a run at the title. However, with Dwight Howard and company in Orlando along with the Celtics re-signing their key players, Miami may not be the team in the East to beat. It will be interesting to see if these acquisitions will bring a title back to South Beach.


    Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper


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