There's a lot of teams eyeing the brass ring(s) in this year's Free Agency Bonanza; and a few teams and executives hoping to not lose their brass(es).
I believe the Knicks have a two tiered strategy.
Plan A - sign two major FA in 2010.
Plan B - sign one major FA in 2010 / reload and sign another major FA in 2011
I think the Knicks will sign at least one major FA this year (Bosh and/or Wade). Nuggets faithful better hope the Knicks sign two major FA this year. If they don't, the Knicks Plan B will mean going after Melo... hard.
I believe the Cavs will re-sign LeBron to a 3 year contract. You may even see them try to do a sign & trade to bring in someone; especially if they win the title & Shaq retires.
They won't acquire anyone this offseason. But don't be surprised if LeBron's signing of a 3year contract is only to allow him to leave and join the Lakers when Kobe retires... in 3 years.
You heard it here first... unless of course you've heard it somewhere else first.
Beware of the Blazers. All that young talent and they currently have the lowest payroll in the NBA. They tried to make big waves in last year's FA shopping. They're my darkhorse team for pulling off something grand.
I think Pat Riley just jerk'd himself out of re-signing DWade. Florida is a "to-go-to" place for NBA players (great weather, no state income tax) but DWade isn't going to resign and then who else would want to go Miami to join that mess... someone who truly cares just about money and could care less about winning... just the kind of player you want on your team. Sadly, that pretty much describes Boozer.
They may sign a big name but I'm not sure of it. They may panic and overpay to bring in someone like Boozer, Amare or J.Johnson. I don't think they're the difference makers the Bulls hope they are. The Bulls would then be kind of like the Nuggets are today: some good to very good players but crippled with the cap, have bad contracts they can't get rid of (Hinrich, Deng) and will be stuck as a middle tier team that can't get the pieces to compliment their young talent (Rose, Noah).
Chicago's ownership & FO also haven't proven their comitted to winning (hello, Stan are you reading this???). They went cheap when hey hired Del Negro and now everyone should be surprised that it didn't work out?
I think for the difference making FA, they'd have to look long and hard at whether the Bulls are an up & comer or just another cast of clowns. If you're DWade (yes I know it's his hometown) LeBron or Bosh, would you really want to go play for that mess. At least in New York there's a method in their madness and have respected & proven coaches (D'antoni) and executives (Walsh).
They should have traded Bosh this last year when they could have traded him on their terms and would have gotten more for him. Now they are stuck getting whatever they can get from the team Bosh dictates they trade him to... or he signs with a different team that has cap space and Toronto gets nothing.
I think they'll ultimately lose Kaman in a deal to cut cap space but won't be successful in trying to acquire the player they think will be their difference maker.
I don't think the owner financially is ready to put on his big boy pants and play with the real teams. I think they're at risk of losing Gay and getting little if anything back for him. Which is too bad, that team is real close to being a very good team.
Whoever signs Boozer, Amare or J.Johnson
Unless they are the 2nd FA player a team signs. If NY or Chicago signs DWade & Boozer or Bosh & J.Johnson then it's a good signing.
If a team only signs one of them then it's a bad signing because neither of those 3 are the "alpha player" you want or need for the max or near-max money you'd be paying them. Kind of like KMart getting all that money, he's not the lead. If you don't have the lead player then you're in trouble.
The exception to this is if a JJohnson, Amare or Boozer are acquired by a team that already has an alpha player, like the Nuggets with Melo or OKC with Durant or NO with Paul. Then it's an excellent move because JJ Amare or Boozer would become the top tier complimentary player; taking on less stress of expectation while making the alpha player better.
Where do the Nuggets fall?
Sadly I fear in neither Winners nor Losers. I don't think they're going to jump into the fray so I don't think they can be graded. That is something I hope I'm wrong on.
What's your thoughts. Jump in with your 2 cents