All those questions - mostly variations of "how will this work?" - got answered when the Thunder went 40-22 in the final 62 games of the regular season, George got his numbers (nearly 22 points per game) and Westbrook got his again as well (averaging a triple-double).
Hezonja averaged 9.6 points last season, easily the best of his three-year career. Rumors swirled that George will stay with the Thunder after Westbrook flew back to Oklahoma City amid a family vacation in Hawaii to arrange the party.
After signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $12 million deal (a sensible move), the Lakers continued by signing Lance Stephenson, one of James' biggest rivals, to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
Now they're looking at a reality of James and a cast of rogue veterans joining the young core of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram instead of the what-could-have-been of James, Cousins and George joining forces to challenge the Golden State Warriors' reign in the West. After bolting from Cleveland in 2010, he returned in an emotional homecoming four years later, determined to make the Cavs champions.
This is the third time in eight years James has changed teams. The 33-year-old had previously said he wanted to finish his career in OH, and although he's leaving again, Cavs fans are more forgiving after he ended the city's 52-year sport title drought in 2016.
Privately, Thunder executives have said going all the way back to the start of last season that they were prepared to spend heavily this season if they had to.
Saturday night, as free agency opened, the 2016-17 MVP hosted what he dubbed a summer hype house party featuring George and rap legend Nas. But does he have enough time to let a group of unproven players with no postseason experience develop into a title contender?
The Cleveland Plain Dealer and ESPN reported representatives of James and the Philadelphia 76ers had a Sunday session scheduled in Los Angeles.
The next move that was made was agreeing to a two-year deal with Nerlens Noel, per Yahoo!
The Sixers -and their fans- have made no secret of their desire to land James, who would instantly make them National Basketball Association title contenders. George opted out of his $20.7 million salary with Oklahoma City for the 2018-19, making him an unrestricted free agent.
With that in mind, we made a decision to take a look at more affordable alternatives to top-tier free agents.