Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Free Agency

The time is (basically) finally here. After years of speculation, the 2010 class of free agents will be able to meet and talk with teams in 40ish hours. I find it intriguing that for the last two years all the talk was with LeBron James going to the New York Knicks and now, they aren't even thought of as one of the top three and sometimes four options for him. Nothing significant has changed with their situation in the last few months, nor has it changed with the Nets or the Heat, but all of a sudden those teams - along with the Cavs - are at the forefront of his options according to sources aplenty. The Bulls, on the other hand, made a big move in dumping Kirk Hinrich to the Wiz to clear up some more cap space and put them in the two-max capability with the Knicks.

In the past few days, sources have said it's a done deal that LeBron and Bosh go to the Heat, that LeBron and Bosh go to the Bulls, that Bosh goes to the heat, that Johnson goes to the Bulls and that Johnson goes to the Knicks. Clearly these all can't be true unless sharing players becomes the new sharing arenas. First Bosh said he is a centerpiece, not a side dish; and makes his own decisions...but then got on Mike & Mike and said everyone is waiting for LeBron to make first move.

I doubt everyone has their mind made up at this point. I'm sure a they have their top three to five choices, like you and I had when we applied to college, but are they in specific order? I'm not sure about that. Is each guy's time too valuable for them to waste it visiting several teams they have no interest in whatsoever - or will they be like girls at the bar who let guys they know they're not going home with buy them drinks just to feel pretty?

Whether LeBron James comes to the World's Most Famous Arena, wins one 'ship and usurps an aging (but still better than 90% of shortstops in the league) Jeter as NYC's favorite athlete, is yet to be determined. I have total faith in Donnie Walsh and the guys he's put in place to pitch the Knicks to the Association's top FAs that he'll put together a club that will win 50 games next year. As a faithful fan of the orange and blue, I don't need to win a 'ship next year, making the playoffs would be fine for me and hoards of other Knicks fans.

However it plays out, the power structure in the NBA will take a dramatic shift in 2010-11 and this will be the most exciting summer in quite some time for the game of roundball. With the USA out of the World Cup and baseball hitting it's middle of the season doldrums, the NBA will be on the front pages of many dailies and the lead item on nightly news across the country over the next few weeks.

Buckle up, we're in for a wild ride.

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