Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NBA Free Agency 2010 Is Almost Finally Here

ALERT: Spoiler review below.  I did try to keep my bias' aside and think about what are the best fits but some of that was bound to get thrown to the wayside. 

The most talked about free agency period in sports is almost upon us.  Will it live up to to all the hype and salary dumps some teams have made for a slim shot at a superstar?    We know the so-called summit occurred this past weekend and this may likely shape the foreseeable future of the NBA.  I find it interesting how quiet David Stern has been through all this.  You know he has his hands in it somehow behind the scenes.

David Lee - a hustler and good player but, in the end, a stat-sheet filler on a horrible team with a great offensive scheme.  He is a good player as your third option but not a cornerstone piece.  Houston would be a good fit after they traded Carl Landry last year.  New Jersey is another option, especially as they just cleared more cap space (look for Rudy Gay to end up there, also).    

Dirk - ho hum.  There is no way Cuban lets him leave town.  He just wants the guaranteed extension, to see a little extra TLC, and be a part of the legendary 2010 NBA Free Agent Class.  He stays and misses his chance to determine his destiny for a championship.  The only other option would be the Nets, but it seems he prefers Jason Kidd over Devin Harris.  That could be an option, though.

Carlos Boozer - wouldn't it be comedy to see Cleveland as an option for Boozer after the infamous handshake deal?  Maybe Gilbert goes through all the motions and then rips up a contract at the last minute all on a webcam for Cleveland fans to have some form of pleasure this summer!  I think he ends up in Miami with his buddy, D-Wade, as he wanted all along.  Utah, you actually messed up for once and should have traded him last year.

Joe Johnson - he chased money before and has no problem leaving a team.  Otherwise, why would he have left Phoenix for the Hawks?  He reunites with D'Antoni, only to fill the box score, put seats in MSG, and get knocked out of the playoffs in the second round every year.  That is the ceiling for that system without defense.  Some players are OK with that, as long as the checks are coming in.

Amar'e Stoudemire - similar situation to Johnson.  You have to think he is sick of being the center of all trade talk over the last two years.  Sure, Phoenix just had a good run but what makes you think they can even match that next year?  Nash and J-Rich are only going to decline.  The financial situation there is an absolute mess.  Why not bolt for the exact opposite and go to NYC to play for your old coach? 

Chris Bosh - it sounds like he will pretty much follow Lebron, which is exactly what he should do if he wants to win.  That means he looks at the Nets, Bulls, Heat, and Knicks.  One thing that I am surprised has not come up is the potential of a pick and roll with D-Rose.  Go back and watch clips of him running this with Brad Miller.  Yes, Brad Miller.  The slowest, most awkward player in the league.  Just imagine what he could do with Chris Bosh.  Chris, imagine someone other than Calderon feeding you the rock.  Devin Harris and Mario Chalmers cannot run the pick and roll anywhere near as well as Rose.  You play like a superstar but have been buried in the NBA Toronto market.  Chicago elevates your brand awareness on and off the court.

D-Wade - done deal to stay in Miami, in my mind.  He can continue throwing stones at why other cities aren't good but everyone knows that was just to convince free agents to join him.  If nobody joins him, he could join forces with Boozer in New Jersey.  It sounds like players have a lot of respect for the new 6'8" Russian owner.   

A few side notes here.  Are the Bulls really that disloyal to their players?  Jordan wanted to be an owner so there was never any hope for life after his career with them.  Pippen was brought back as a player-coach to end his career.  Then, they have Paxson, BJ Armstrong, Stacey King, Kendall Gill, Bill Cartwright, Bill Wennington and even Pete Myers all have had post-NBA careers with the Bulls.  How is that anything but loyalty Mr. D(bag)-Wade?  

Also, what about your kids?  You think your recent divorce would have you thinking about Chicago as an option to be closer to your children.  The fact is you are saving face to avoid that media mess and know most real Bulls fans understand you are a horrible fit for this team and you are not wanted here.  I know you can fly your kids to see you whenever you want but that isn't the same as living near them majority of the year.  If Wade ever wins another championship we better not see him on the podium holding his kids (a la Kobe), or I will throw whatever is in my hands at the screen.

LBJ - much has been said and this could go on for infinity with different theories.  I still think Cleveland is the front-runner.  The incumbent always is.  Anything else represents change.  I like change but most people don't.  It has been said, the only people who like change are babies with wet diapers.  If I were Gilbert, I would meet Lebron at a Famous Dave's and walk in with an autographed photo of the "The Shot" by Ehlo.  I would say, "you know we love you as a part of our family" and walk out.  Keep it home and simple.

The Bulls should begin explain the young nucleus, building another dynasty, etc.  Then, pull up
Be Like Mike" and show the recent list for Forbes Richest Athletes.  Yes, the Chicago Bulls and Reinsdorf were part of building the $1B Jordan empire.  That's not to take away from MJ, Nike, and the parties who mainly drove the success but not other organization has the experience of dealing with that.  The Chicago Bulls know how to build a dynasty and develop a global icon.  Imagine what they could do in today's global economy.  Look at the Hawks.  Two years ago 95% of the city couldn't tell you a player on that team and they certainly weren't mentioned on ESPN, ever.  Now, they are all heroes. 

Lebron, if you make the jump to Chicago, I will have to change my opinion and find a way to like you.  I will also kick all my idiot friends for not agreeing to split season tickets.  I couldn't do it alone because last time I did it led to the colossal, Ben Wallace flop season.  My guess is it won't take long to get over past issues.  After all, if you want a revolution the only solution, evolve, you gotta evolve.  Let's change together.  Make us all witnesses that championships are the most important thing to you, not winning 60 regular season games, dancing on the court, and early playoff exits.

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