LeBron. LeBron. LeBron.
NY? NJ? Cleveland?
Enough. Enough. Enough. We get it. LeBron James is a free agent come 2010.
Guess what? He ain't goin' nowhere.
He's staying in Cleveland. They have a great team now that they have a point guard who can create his own shot. Mo Williams is LeBron's Scotty Pippen, and the inevitable deep run in the next two playoffs will be all it takes to keep 'ol Bron-Bron around.
The guy doesn't need the New York market to sell products. He's already doing it. The guy's international. The biggest U.S. market isn't going to give him a boost, and more importantly it isn't going to give him a bigger shot at winning.
So let's move on to the guys that might move around by 2010 and where they might go.
NEXT PAGE PLEASE.
On this page I play player agent. Here are the impact free agents for 2009 and the possibilities for their destinations. On the next page I have the 2010 guys. The page after I play GM, and have a few teams' possible rosters come 2010.
Allen Iverson - You'd better believe he's out of Motown. Joe Dumars wanted AI for his contract's expiration date and nothing else. That trade had little to do with Iverson and Billups, and all to do with Stuckey and the free agent market. Where he'll end up? Doesn't Philly need a two guard? Ah heck, he'll probably play for the Clippers.
Rasheed Wallace - Out. I really see this guy ending up in either San Antonio or Boston. They like adding experienced pieces to the puzzle, and Sheed doesn't ask for much. He just wants to help out on D, shoot the three, and chastise a ref or two.
Ron Artest - Time will tell. There's no knowing whether he's going to flip out and WWF somebody with a folding chair sometime throughout the rest of the season. Even if he behaves, the guy might just up and decide to leave because someone ate his egg salad sandwich out of the locker room fridge. I say either Houston or the Wizards. Washington needs some edge, don't you think?
Kobe Bryant - I think he's getting bored with whatever team it is he's on right now. I see him taking the challenge of rebuilding oh let's say... Sacramento. There we go.
Lamar Odom - Now here's a tricky one. This guy is a backup on the Lakers, but a starter on most other teams in the league. It's a question as to whether or not he likes being the leader of LA's second squad. My guess is that if they win the title, he stays. If they don't, he goes somewhere like New Jersey.
Shawn Marion - It doesn't seem that the Heat are planning on giving him much attention. They're focused on Wade and Beasley. So Marion is going to be a free agent, and a big one this year. He can guard any position and drain it from any spot on the floor. I have a feeling though, that he's going to want to get paid. This is a guy the Pistons could go after if they don't make a trade by the deadline. The Cavs could make a run at him too. As could any number of teams trying to get into the playoff caliber level.
Jason Kidd - I really see him staying in Dallas. They don't have anyone else to play the point and only Cuban is going to pay him what he wants.
Jermaine O'Neal - Wait. Didn't I say "impact" free agents? Moving on.
Carlos Boozer - He tells the Jazz he's just opting out so they can create a fresh contract. Where have we heard that before? Nah. He stays.
Stephon Marbury - Ohhhhh boy. Well, Boston wants him. That's where he'll probably end up. Although that Rondo guy looks pretty good. Let's say, if not Boston, then the Pacers.
That concludes 2009's impact free agents. Let's move on to 2010.
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Here we are with 2010's impact free agents. Afterwards on our next page I have a few teams I played GM for.
LeBron James - Staying in Cleveland
Tracy McGrady - Who else is going to pay an aging, injury-prone scorer big bucks other than his own team? Besides, the guy seems to want to finish what he started there. They're not bad anyhow. It's a good move to stay with Yao.
Yao Ming - See above. (Expect remove "scorer" and replace it with "big man", and remove "Yao" and replace it with "Tracy")
Shaquille O'Neal - Donesies. The big guy finally hangs 'em up. Thanks for the memories. You changed the game entirely. Very very few players can claim such a thing.
Tyson Chandler - There has been talk of Chandler being packaged for Amar’e Stoudemire this year. If that doesn't go down I see him sticking around. The Hornets need someone else that can create their own shot and D up, not a different center. They'll be looking to keep the nucleus intact while adding a defensive swing guard. Perhaps that Marion guy from page two.
Richard Jefferson - Another guy that could end up with Chris Paul and co. No way he's sticking around in -where is he now? Milwaukee? How did that happen?
Chris Bosh - When's the last time a big free agent didn't leave Toronto? This guy's headed for Detroit or New York. With LeBron out of the running, those two teams are turning their attentions to Bosh and Wade. Oh yeah, he's gonna get paaaaaid.
Manu Ginobili - Yeah, no.
Amar’e Stoudemire - He's leaving Phoenix. He's not happy, and neither are they. Some trade is going to have to come under way either by the trade deadline or in the offseason. Whichever team gets him is going to want a long term deal worked out and so is he. Much like Bosh I see him as a Knick or Piston. Those teams are on the prowl. Both of those teams have expiring contracts to offer the Suns, which seems to be Kerr's prerogative. Although there will be other teams with something to offer.
Steve Nash - That team by 2010 will not have a single player left from the D'Antoni era. Steve Kerr is going to get let go long before he gets things where he wants them, and the desert is going to be just that for basketball for years to come. It's quite a sad affair to see a revolutionary offense get dismantled this way. Although they never won, they were great for the game and for us the fans. There is one place Mr. Nash wants to play and one place only. It's in New York with D'Antoni at whatever price Walsh wants, or it's retirement.
Dwyane Wade - Ain't goin' nowhere. No way do they let this guy go. They've got a plan. They're retooling around him and that nice kid out of Kansas State. Look for the Heat to add someone in the middle to eat up rebounds like a Marcus Camby. They are going to contend in '09-10, and that will be all it takes for Wade.
That concludes our free agents by 2010. Next up, some teams I built.
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Let's face it, as fans we all want to play GM. So that's what I'm about to do here. I want to take a look at a couple of teams and see how they could end up by 2010. You should play along. Take a team or two and make up a starting five for them come 2010, then write those starting fives down on a comment to this article.
DON'T HAVE A BLEACHER REPORT ACCOUNT? Get one! Join now. It takes two minutes. Then come right back to this article and comment. Start out by commenting on others' articles then work your way up to writing your own articles. It's a great forum for "the rest of us." By which I mean fans, and not regular sports writers. Take advantage of this one of a kind medium. You won't regret it.
I digress back to the topic at hand.
Mr. Dumars seems set on retooling. Only Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton have contracts beyond 2010. Giving away Chauncey Billups was obviously a move at the upcoming free agent markets of the next two offseasons.
Starting Five Come 2010:
Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince, Bosh, Maxiell
New York Knicks
Mr. D'Antoni and Mr. Walsh have a plan and are working it perfectly so far. This team of raggamuffins is far outperforming the team of talented guards that last guy put together. Whatever his name was. They'll go after speed and get it.
Starting Five Come 2010:
Nash, Richardson, Gallinari, Harrington, Stoudemire
New Orleans Hornets
Mr. Paul needs some help from a swingman. That team would be hell to face with a guy who can play defense on three positions. Like a Richard Jefferson or a Raja Bell. Let's say they get both. Peja's getting old anyway.
Starting Five Come 2010:
Paul, Bell, Jefferson, West, Chandler
San Antonio Spurs
I'm telling you, they are going to add Rasheed Wallace. I can already see it happening. They'll also get someone like a Trenton Hassell to replace the then retired Bowen and or Finley. Hassell will of course just magically become awesome as everyone does when they play in San Antonio.
Starting Five Come 2010:
Parker, Ginobili (okay, yes he'll come off the bench, but whatever, he's like a starter to them), Hassell, Duncan, Wallace
You know what? I'm done. I'm getting tired of looking at my computer screen. Man, playing GM at a desk is hard. I'm going to go back to playing GM at a bar. There I can drink and shout instead of read and write. I think I'm much better at drinking and shouting anyway.
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