The 10 NBA teams that have made the biggest moves this offseason:
1. MIAMI HEAT - SHAQUILLE O'NEAL
The Heat become instant championship contenders with the 7-foot-1, 340-pound O'Neal in the middle. As an added bonus, Shaq will be playing with something to prove this season. He and Dwyane Wade should be the game's most lethal one-two punch for years to come.
2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS - KOBE BRYANT, LAMAR ODOM, BRIAN GRANT, CARON BUTLER
Just by retaining Bryant, you have to put the Lakers up this high. But make no mistake: The Lakers are no longer the superpower they have been. Losing O'Neal will wreck the franchise for years. And the Lakers will struggle to make the playoffs in the loaded Western Conference.
3. HOUSTON ROCKETS - TRACY MCGRADY
For years, McGrady (above) has looked on at the freedom Bryant had while playing with O'Neal. Finally, he gets to play with a respected big man in Yao Ming. The two of them will be an awesome tandem, and the Rockets are a threat to win the West.
4. DENVER NUGGETS - KENYON MARTIN, MARCUS CAMBY
The Nuggets had to overpay to get Martin ($90 million), but his addition gives Denver one of the best starting fives in the NBA. With a lineup of Andre Miller, Carmelo Anthony, Martin, Nene and Camby, Denver has a team that is capable of winning big.
5. UTAH JAZZ - CARLOS BOOZER,
MEHMET OKUR, CARLOS ARROYO, GORDAN GIRICEK
Many have said for years that free agents would never opt to play in Salt Lake City. But the Jazz solved that problem by stockpiling gobs of cash. Say what you will about Boozer's decision to leave Cleveland, but he always plays hard and he is a blossoming star. He will fit in perfectly in Jerry Sloan's system.
6. DETROIT PISTONS - RASHEED WALLACE,
Wallace was never really a threat to leave, not after the Pistons rolled to the NBA title in June. Detroit has all the pieces returning with which to make a run at a second consecutive title. McDyess is injury-prone, but he's the perfect fit to replace Okur and give the Pistons another high-energy big man off the bench.
7. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - MANU GINOBILI, BRUCE BOWEN, BRENT BARRY
Lost in the Shaq-Kobe hysteria was the Spurs' ultra-important resigning of Ginobili. He has all the makings of a star player, and by keeping him and Bowen, the Spurs remain the team to beat in the Western Conference. Barry can play two positions and he can hurt teams with his dead-eye 3-point shooting when foes collapse on Tim Duncan inside.
8. ORLANDO MAGIC - STEVE FRANCIS, CUTTINO MOBLEY, KELVIN CATO, HEDO TURKOGLU, DWIGHT HOWARD
No team has been busier than the Magic this summer. Orlando knew it had to remake its roster after last season's disaster. The Magic should have an entirely different starting five. Francis and Mobley can push the ball, while Turkoglu is one of the game's most versatile swingmen. Howard is a project offensively, but he will get plenty of points just by running with Francis.
9. PHOENIX SUNS - STEVE NASH
It was quite a coup for the Suns to get Nash (above), a player they originally drafted in 1996. But they had to dramatically overpay, giving the 30-year-old Nash $65 million over six years. Not even free-spending Mark Cuban was willing to match that for a player who might be wearing down already.
10. INDIANA PACERS - STEPHEN JACKSON
The Pacers were desperate to add scoring, and they did just that by trading Al Harrington to Atlanta for Jackson. But how will he mesh with Ron Artest and Reggie Miller? Jackson has sparred with teammates and coaches in the past, and his shot selection is often questionable. And Indiana eventually might regret giving away Harrington.
--JOHN DENTON, Florida Today