Predicting Who Will Actually Hit the Open Market in 2014 Free Agency

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Predicting Who Will Actually Hit the Open Market in 2014 Free Agency
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's 2014 free-agent class could be one of the most star-studded in recent memory. Or, it could be an epic dud.

How's that for a prediction?

Both extreme scenarios are still in play because we can't be sure how the first domino, more commonly known as LeBron James, is going to fall.

He has an early-termination option in his contract—something teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also possess. There's a good chance he'll exercise that option in order to lock in as much long-term money as possible. But figuring out whether he'll stay in Miami (and how much or how little it'll cost the Heat to keep him) is tough to forecast.

If Miami goes on to win a third consecutive title, Wade's health holds up and the Big 3 agree to re-sign with the Heat at a discount, it could send a few ripples through the rest of the market. If things go awry and they split up, the entire NBA landscape could change in a much more profound way.

We know for certain that a bevy of unrestricted free agents like Kyle Lowry, Lance Stephenson and Luol Deng will be available. But guys like Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Tim Duncan all have player options at the end of the year. Who knows what'll happen with them?

Now that we've gone past the trade deadline, it's worth looking ahead at the league's next big flurry of player movement. Hopefully, that'll help clarify which players will test the market and which ones are most likely to stay put.

Let's straighten this mess out as best we can.

*All salary information courtesy of ShamSports.com

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