For the last several years, teams, players, and fans have all looked forward to one day: July 1, 2010, the start of the biggest free agency bonanza ever.
This upcoming offseason will be bigger than any other year, as many different stars will be eligible to join a new team, which could bolster that team on their way towards an NBA Championship.
The most high-profile team leading up to this free agency has been the New York Knicks, as there has been much speculation on who the Knickerbockers might pick up as they will attempt to win their first NBA title since 1973.
Since the Knicks management has replaced Isiah Thomas for Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni, the Knicks have started to dump players and salaries in order to make cap room for 2010.
In this article, I will name the players that could be pursued by the Knicks in the free agent market, why they will or will not join the Knicks and if they will play their home games at Madison Square Garden next year.
Current team: Atlanta Hawks
Currently one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, Joe Johnson has been a huge part of the Atlanta Hawks the last several seasons, as he has helped lead them to the playoffs for the last two years, and got them into the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.
The reason why Johnson could join the Knicks is that he was a great player under D'Antoni's run-and-gun system in Phoenix, and has already stated that he will become a free agent next year.
Johnson, who will be 29 at the beginning of the free agency, would be a great fit for the Knicks.
However, Johnson won't be the most pursued free agent by the Knicks, which could cause him to go to another team.
Current team: Boston Celtics
One of the best shooting guards of this decade, Ray Allen has been a player who has helped the Celtics get over the hump and get their first NBA title in 22 years. He also has been one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA during his time in the league.
A player such as Ray Allen could help any team, as he has proved himself to be a great leader, and his shooting could definitely help the Knicks.
However, Allen will be 34 during the beginning of July of 2010, and his age will probably cause the Knicks not to pursue him.
Current Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Arguably the best player in the NBA today, LeBron James' contract expires at the end of this season and many people have already stated that they believe The King will be playing as a Knick next season.
LeBron has already stated that he loves New York, but will not tell us if he will stay in Cleveland or if he will become a Knick.
LeBron also is the defending MVP, and there are no questions about LeBron's playing ability if he became a Knick.
With a player such as LeBron James, the Knicks already have him as their number one target this upcoming offseason, and the Knicks would want nothing more to see LeBron win an NBA title in New York.
Current team: Cleveland Cavaliers
One of the greatest centers of all-time, Shaquille O'Neal has been a player who has won four NBA titles and currently has the fifth most points in NBA history. He also is one of the most recognizable faces in the NBA and has helped three separate teams that he played for get to the NBA Finals.
A player such as Shaq could always provide veteran leadership, and he sells everywhere he goes.
However, Shaq is no longer in his prime, and it is unclear if he will join another team or will retire.
Even though he is past his best years, Shaq could always help a team such as the Knicks at the end of his great career and possibly lead them to an NBA title.
Current team: Houston Rockets
One of the better players of this decade, Tracy McGrady will become a free agent after this season, and will look to get onto a team that will try to win an NBA title.
Despite the many different injuries McGrady has picked up over the years, he still is an effective player to have, and he will be a great veteran for any team.
However, McGrady still has had many injuries over the last several seasons and thus, some people think that his career is all but done.
But T-Mac would love to show us wrong, and he could do that by joining the Knicks and helping them win an NBA title.
Current team: Los Angeles Clippers
The 2006-2007 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Camby has been one of the better defensive players during this decade in the NBA, and the Knicks might come after Camby again after he was traded away in 2002.
He has led the NBA in blocked shots three times this decade and his great defensive work could cause the Knicks to sign him as a defensive-player in Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun system.
However, he would slow down the run-and-gun, as he is not as fast as everybody else on the court, which could cause Camby to not sign on with New York.
But who knows. Maybe the Knicks want a big defensive player, and Marcus Camby would be the perfect player in that scenerio.
Current team: Memphis Grizzlies
Rudy Gay has become one of the best emerging forwards in the NBA in recent seasons, and he could be looking to move out of Memphis to the bright lights of New York, where he could become more recognized as a great player.
Over the last several years, he has moved from the Rockets to the Grizzlies, and will become one of the better forwards in the NBA in the near future.
The only real question about Gay will be if he wants to move out of Memphis to play in New York. Either way, he would be a great player under D'Antoni's system.
Current team: Memphis Grizzlies
Allen Iverson has been one of the greatest scorers in the NBA over the last ten seasons, and has started to bounce around several different teams in recent years. He also was the MVP in 2001, and wants to find a team that he could start every game.
During AI's career, he has been on teams that have failed to win a championship, none closer than in 2001 when his 76ers lost to the Lakers in five games.
However, Iverson is clearly at the end of his career and is not the same player as he was several years ago. He will probably not find a place to start anywhere in the NBA after this season, and many consider him to be washed up.
We still have no idea of what AI could still do, but we do know this: he wants to win an NBA Championship during his career and joining the Knicks could get him that NBA title.
Current team: Miami Heat
Over this decade, Jermaine O'Neal has been one of the better centers in the NBA, but since he has left the Indiana Pacers, many have considered his best days to be over.
He has been one of the better defensive centers in the NBA during this decade, and he could always provide a team with some defense and he could become a leader on a team.
However, many consider O'Neal's best years to be behind him and he will probably will play for one more team before retiring.
However, Jermaine O'Neal could help out any team in the NBA, including the Knicks.
Current team: Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade has been one of the best guards in the NBA since he got drafted by the Heat back in 2003. He helped lead the Heat to their first ever NBA title, and is considered to be one of the biggest gems of this upcoming free agency.
He is an extremely talented player who many consider to be among the top five players in the NBA, and has been a huge reason why the Heat continue to succeed.
However, many question if he wants to stay with Miami during this summer, if he will join LeBron on a team (maybe the Knicks) or if he will sign with another team.
However, Dwyane Wade is a player that will help out any team that he may join, and the Knicks could be the team that Dwyane Wade has always wanted to join.
Current team: Milwaukee Bucks
One of the better guards in the NBA since he got drafted by the Bucks in 2000, Michael Redd will become a free agent next summer, and he will be one of the players who won't be pursued as much, since he isn't as good as LeBron or Wade.
However, Redd will provide great shooting to whatever team he may join, and he will be looking to finally join a team that he could win something on.
Redd's only problem is that he gets injured too easily. When healthy, he could be a great player for the Knicks, as he would be perfect for D'Antoni's system.
Current team: Phoenix Suns
One of the best centers in the NBA, Amar'e Stoudemire has become one of the most desired free agents of next summer, and many people believe that he could be playing for the Knicks next year.
Amar'e thrived in D'Antoni's system back when D'Antoni was the head coach in Phoenix, and due to his great skill and knowledge of D'Antoni's system, many people believe that Amar'e will play for the Knicks next year.
If there are any negatives about Amar'e, it has to be if his eye will heal after he injured it last year, but seeing how well he has played this year, that doesn't appear to be an issue at all.
Current team: San Antonio Spurs
One of the better players to ever play in the NBA from outside North America, Manu Ginóbili has been a great player for San Antonio, helping them to three NBA championships during his time, and has established himself as one of the greatest sixth-men of all-time.
Over his career, Ginóbili has helped achieve instant offense whenever he comes off the bench, and has led both the Spurs and the Argentine national team to greatness.
However, Ginóbili's injury problems and his age (32 at the beginning of free agency) will be unappealing to most teams.
But Manu Ginóbili will help out any team that he joins, including the Knicks should they decide to sign him.
Current team: Toronto Raptors
One of the better centers in the NBA, many people believe that Chris Boshcould wind up playing for the Knicks.
Since he has been drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft, Bosh has helped make the Toronto Raptors into a contender, but many people believe that he will leave Toronto.
The only problems with Bosh are his injury history, and his physical strength in the paint. No matter what, Chris Bosh would be a great pickup for the Knicks next summer.
Current team: Utah Jazz
Since joining the Utah Jazz from Cleveland in 2004, Carlos Boozer has established himself as a great power forward in the NBA, and has helped lead the Jazz to the Western Conference Finals in 2007.
Boozer also won a gold medal in Beijing last year, and many people wonder where Boozer will go to, after rumors this offseason had him going not only to New York, but Chicago too.
If there are any negatives about Carlos Boozer it has to be the injuries that he has accumulated over his career, but he be a great pickup for the Knicks next summer.
So now that you have seen my list of the 16 players who the Knicks will probably consider this offseason, the question now for is this: Who will the New York Knicks get in free agency in 2010?