You know what I'm sick of? I'm sick of people constantly saying that LeBron James and Chris Bosh are joining the Knicks next year. 2010 will be an epic class of free agents. I'll list the superstars and make a prediction with reasons if they are going or staying.
LeBron James - Everybody is anticipating this year because of LeBron James. He's an incredible player, no doubt. And we have all heard those reports saying that he wants out of Cleveland. But you know what: LeBron has never himself said that he does.
Why he would stay: He's happy in Cleveland with a contending team, a beautiful house, girlfriend, kids, and everybody in the city loves him. And the fact that he was born in Ohio would help.
Who wants to play in New York anyway. When was the last time they made the playoffs?
Why he would leave: LeBron is the type of player who wants to win. And if the Cavs are failing to give him enough of a supporting cast, then why would he want to stay? I'm not saying that he's going to fall for a big market like NY, but if his team gives him no help, LeBron could choose a different destination.
Kobe Bryant - Many people haven't realized what an even better offseason this would be if Kobe opted out of his contract. Kobe is right up there with LeBron and has remained on the Lakers for his whole career so far. Maybe it's time for a change.
Why he would stay - Kobe's winning championships, lives in a great lively city with a huge contract and a big market with a top notch supporting cast. He's happy and there's not much of a reason for him to leave.
Why he would leave - Maybe Kobe thinks that it's time to try and help another franchise win a championship. Maybe he wants to prove that he can do it on his own.
Dwayne Wade - This guy is one of the best in the game and any team would offer him a max contract if they could afford it. He seems to like it in Miami, but would he consider moving cities?
Why he would stay - Miami is a beautiful city with beautiful weather. He has won a championship with the Heat and seems happy here. He has already signed an extension in the past with the Heat and hasn't shown any indications that he is unhappy.
Why he would leave - Wade has many reasons to leave. The Heat haven't been contending ever since they won the championship and Wade had Shaq to support him. Maybe he's getting sick of playing Miami and wants to go to a team that will support him.
Prediction - Stay
Chris Bosh- Bosh is in the cream of the crop of power forwards in the league; but he has raised a lot of questions about his toughness and ability to lead a team.
He likes it in Toronto, but expects to get a maximum contract. Everybody seems to think that Bosh wants out of T.O, but no one knows how much he actually loves the city.
Why he would stay - Bosh loves the city and GM Bryan Colangelo is doing what it takes to win. With a solid supporting cast and great fans, Bosh is happy in Toronto.
Why he would leave - Bosh could be sick of the Raptors underachieving and go to a contending team. I don't think that he's going to play alongside James or Wade because he wants to be the franchise player. But a contending team is a possibility.
Amare Stoudemire - When was the last time that Amare was healthy for a full season? I can't remember. Point being, this guy's value isn't going to be nearly as high as the superstars listed above.
Why he would stay - Amare would stay if he truly thinks that Phoenix can become a contender again and they have a legit shot at the title. He hasn't requested for a trade yet, so he can't be that unhappy.
Why he would leave - Stoudemire hasn't been far into the playoffs with Phoenix, and it doesn't look like they are headed in a direction that will make them contenders.
Stoudemire will want to play for a contending team, and make his efforts worth while. If he can get his head straight, he could make a huge difference on a playoff team.
Prediction - Leave
Dirk Nowitzki- Not many people realize this, but Dirk could opt out of his contract and join the class of epic free agents. He is one of the most complete big men in the game, and any team would want him.
Why he would stay - Dirk and the Mavs have had their good seasons, and this year they have the talent to be the NBA champs. With Dirk happy, and the Mavs winning, why would he want to change teams?
Why he would leave - The Mavs haven't had much success in the playoffs, always seeming to "choke" and finish short of the finals. Dirk will want to be on a team that he has confidence can win a championship, and if the Mavs can't show him that this year, then it could be bye bye Dirk.
Prediction - Stay
Joe Johnson- Johnson is a great player and an underrated one at that. He is a dynamic scorer that sparks the Hawks offense and is a key piece of their puzzle.
Why he would stay - Johnson and the Hawks seem to be headed in the right direction. He seems happy in Atlanta and the Hawks are moving up in the East.
Why he would leave - A championship is something that every NBA player wants. If Johnson thinks that he can't obtain a championship with the Hawks (possible if they have a bad season), then he would be on his way out.
Prediction - Stay
Tracy McGrady- T-Mac has been plagued by injuries his whole career. There is no way that he deserves a max contract any more, but if he is healthy, then he could be an effective scorer for many teams.
With all of his injuries though, how many teams is he appealing to?
Why he would stay - T-Mac doesn't have a problem with Houston. He likes the city, they have a great team, and when healthy can be considered contenders.
Why he would leave - There is a strong possibility that the Rockets want to part with T-Mac and will not offer him a contract, or at least not a satisfying one by his standards. If T-Mac doesn't get an offer he "deserves," he could part ways with the Rockets.
Prediction - Leave
Now, these are just some predictions; it does not necessarily mean that it is going to happen, because many things could occur this season changing the players minds.
For this, we will just have to wait and see.
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