Who's running with King James?

Once LeBron James announced, “I'm Coming Home,” to Cleveland last Friday, the free-agency floodgates opened, with the player moves coming fast and furious.

James was the Pied Piper, the one who set in motion so much change in the NBA that it left some teams with high hopes, some with despair and some thinking they remain on the right course for next season.

James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second stint, obviously made them the big winners in the free-agency marketplace, and it left his old Miami Heat team a loser because it lost the best player on the planet.

So here is a quick look at the teams who are the winners, losers and wild cards during the free-agency period:

WINNERS

Cleveland

James spent his first seven NBA seasons playing for the Cavaliers, before spending the last four years in Miami. The Cavaliers had a woeful 97-215 record without him.

And just by rejoining the Cavaliers, James has made Cleveland into a championship contender.

The Cavaliers drafted Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft last month. And after James' decision, the Cavaliers signed free-agent small forward Mike Miller, who won two NBA championships with James in Miami.

Cleveland already has an All-Star point guard in Kyrie Irving, a quality shooting guard in Dion Waiters and a tough-minded center in Anderson Varejao.

The Cavaliers still need some more pieces to win an NBA title, but having James completely changes their outlook.

Chicago

The signing of former Lakers All-Star Pau Gasol, and getting Creighton forward Doug McDermott in a draft-day trade from Denver should do wonders for the offensively challenged Bulls.

Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 60 games last season for the Lakers. He's an upgrade at power forward over Carlos Boozer, who was just waived by the Bulls via the NBA's one-time amnesty provision.

The return of a healthy Derrick Rose, if he resembles the player who won the 2011 MVP award, will make Chicago a big winner.

Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and he missed 72 games last season after surgery for a torn cartilage in his right knee.

But if Rose is truly back to being that explosive point guard, and if Gasol gives them the offense they so desperately need, the Bulls have a very good chance of reaching the NBA Finals.

San Antonio

You just can't count this team out.

Coach Gregg Popovich, considered the best coach in the NBA, has agreed to a contract extension, and that should be enough to make the 2014 NBA champions contenders again.