It's almost here. You can feel the excitement in NBA arenas throughout the USA and Canada.
Teams have been preparing for this all season long with some ramping up their efforts recently to best prepare for the upcoming event.
Fans are pumped, NBA executives are planning, and players are preparing. What is it that has the NBA community so charged up?
If you guessed playoffs, you would be wrong. So, so wrong. Never in the history of the Association has the playoffs taken a back seat to the real story line this season in the NBA, free agency.
The draft is nice, but it can be hit-or-miss. The Clippers are the most recent example of what could go wrong even when you have the first pick in the draft.
Free agency is different. You aren't hoping for the best from an unproven player, you are investing in a proven commodity. Franchise's fortunes can shift 180 degrees if they sign the right player. The list this year is fraught with "right" players.
Check out the quality of players available this summer that has G.M.'s frothing at the mouth:
Rudy Gay (restricted)
Dirk Nowitzki (player option)
Paul Pierce (player option)
Kobe Bryant (player option)
Yao Ming (player option)
Luis Scola (restricted)
Pretty impressive group, right? Enough to have G.M.s tripping over themselves to be ready when the bell goes off and the dealing can begin.
As impressive as that list is however, it lacks the creme-de-la-creme, the piece de resistance, the 45-foot three-point shot at the buzzer that swishes through giving your team a one-point victory.
You know what, well who, I mean. Arguably the very best athlete to ever lace up basketball shoes will be available this summer.
"Special in aisle 23, get him while he lasts"
LeBron James, anyone?
Sure, some teams have as much chance as landing the King as Tiger does of landing an endorsement deal with Disney, but fans can dream, can't they?
Matter of fact, dream is all Clipper fans do! With that in mind, let's take a look at each of the 30 teams' chances of landing the most prized free agent player in the history of the game.
I will include the assumed cap space available for those teams with an actual shot at getting James' signature.
Those without cap space will have to get creative to have a shot, so those G.M.'s need to get busy thinking outside the box.
Keep in mind that $16.5M is the magic number as it relates to being able to kick the tires on James. That’s the amount of a maximum contract and the number we will use to rate each teams chances.
The LBJ-Scale of 0 to 16.5 with 16.5 meaning "Where do I sign?" and 0 is "No way, Jose." It's not a scientific rating but should help to better gauge each team's chances. Where does your team stand? Here are all 30 in no particular order.