It’s here, it’s finally arrived!
One of the most coveted free agencies is finally official as of Tuesday. Essentially, the big prizes of this free agency come from the great 2003 Draft which includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
Some players have already agreed to deals although they can’t be made official until July 10th. Marcin Gortat agreed to a 5 year $60 million deal with Washington and Kyle Lowry agreed to a 4 year $48 million deal with Toronto. Assuming these deals stay in place, that’s two big names who have stayed put.
While it is an exciting time to have the best player on the planet, an arguable top 10 player in the league, and other multiple all stars, you shouldn’t expect too much especially from the Heat trio.
Many people have predicted that LeBron James will leave Miami after their “disappointing” ending to the season, and to some the disappointing two rings in four years. All of this is just nonsense. Why would he hurt his reputation even more by bailing on another team? Money is also the motivation as Miami can offer a max deal worth $127.19 million over five years while the most any other team can offer is $94.46 million over four years.
The Big 3 is going to remain intact. There is no way Wade will play for anyone other than Miami during his career. He as well as Chris Bosh will have to take a pay cut to stay and attract some other free agents, but the the bottom line is Miami will remain the best team in the East as long as the Big 3 is there.
Perhaps the biggest drama of this free agency is surrounding Carmelo Anthony. He does have a pretty good chance of leaving with the number of options out there. Chicago can offer one of the best defenses in the league with anchors Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler. The big key is Derrick Rose who could return healthy and dominate of remain injured for the rest of his career. With a healthy Rose, Carmelo would almost be crazy to not go. Other teams in the race are Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles Lakers, and of course the New York Knicks.
I think it will come down between Chicago and New York, but ultimately money talks. Carmelo remains a Knick and trusts new GM Phil Jackson to turn things around. Whether or not Phil can make things happen to help Carmelo remains to be seen, but simply put, money is the biggest factor.
Dirk Nowitzki is in line to get his last NBA contract and there is no doubt that he will re-sign with the Mavericks. In order to help make the Mavs a contender in Dirk’s last years, I think the Mavs will sign Luol Deng as well to give them another scorer.
Another power forward who is on the market is Pau Gasol who I think will sign with Oklahoma City. Gasol could play center or power forward whenever they needed him to. After Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka, the roster is thin so Gasol would be a much needed addition.
The last big name I think will move is Paul Pierce, who is on his last legs but is still a very good player. The Clippers have lacked a small forward during the Chris Paul era, and Pierce, who is from Los Angeles, would be smart to sign there and contend for another ring.
Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe, Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, Lance Stephenson, Trevor Ariza, and Isaiah Thomas will all return to their teams due to no shake up at the top of the free agency list and the fact that their teams just can’t lose them.
This free agent class is one of the biggest in recent memory, but I think it will be a complete flop with Pau Gasol and Luol Deng as the biggest players on the move.