There are two times of the year that we see the landscape of the NFL and NBA change drastically, and those are during the free agency period and near the trade deadline. It's a lot of fun to see the different trades and acquisitions that can take a team to the promise land or send them back to the drawing board. This year is no different. We have seen a few major trades before the NBA trade deadline that have made some teams much more formidable, while other teams have made some questionable moves. Same goes for the NFL, where free agency has led to some teams being considered instant playoff contenders, while others (trying to claim high valued free agents) have been left wondering how they will bounce back. The top acquisitions in my mind are: Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush, and Monta Ellis, which we discussed in the first part of this article, and Peyton Manning and Remon Sessions, which we will discuss here.
Free Agent: Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback to ever play the sport. So to say that the Broncos did a good job recruiting him is an understatement. There are very few people in this league who see the game the same way Peyton Manning does, and there are very few things that Peyton Manning hasn't seen in terms of defense. This acquisition makes the Broncos instant playoff contenders. The Broncos already have a superb defense, which kept them in games all last season. If it wasn't for the defense's ability to stay strong throughout the game, Tebow would have never had his chance to shine. The only thing holding the Broncos back from being playoff contenders the last two years is the below-average play of their quarterbacks. Now that they have one of the greatest and assured first ballot Hall of Famer, they are guaranteed consistent play at the position.
Trade: Remon Sessions Christian Eyenga for Luke Walton – 2012 First Round Pick
This was a great move for the Lakers, considering the age and or speed of their current point guard situation. The Lakers essentially gave up a first-round pick for a player who they know can produce in the NBA and has the potential to be a much better player. And that he has. After just his fourth game as a Laker, he took over the starting roll from Steve Blake. In his seventeen games with the Lakers, he has career highs averages in points, assists, rebounds, and minutes. Not only that but he is averaging almost two rebounds, four assists, and eight points more than either Derek Fisher or Steve Blake did while playing the last two seasons. Is he a Chris Paul, Derrick Williams, or Derrick Rose type point guard? Not at all, but he has the quickness to penetrate, and his shooting has been much better as of late. He might be just what the Lakers needed to get back to make it to the top.