NBA Free Agent Musical Chairs - Too Many Dancers & Not Enough Chairs

John GrayCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2008

There are a ton of players still hoping to get top dollar deals, but there aren't many chairs left.

Some of the impact players remaining are Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, JR Smith, Monta Ellis and Andre Igoudala.

Memphis has money but is, wisely, reluctant to spend on second-tier talent.        The only tool in many teams' belts is to do a sign-and-trade. 

Smart teams will not be sucked into signing them for too much money for too many years as the player agents demand.  The clock is ticking in the favor of teams with each passing minute.  Dumb teams will panic, overpay and be tied down for a few years.

Will Chicago be smart or dumb? They need to trade a guard.  If the Bulls are lucky, they can get a pick or front court help. Signing Gordan and still having Hinrich would be a waste. Cleveland could use either of them to help LeBron. 

Agents are gripping to get the remaining top dollars since their reputations are on the line.  Failure to land a big deal will have rippling consequences in their ability to land new clients.

For some it might be best to take the one year mid-range exception with a desirable team that will play you so that you can get minutes to further showcase your talent, and re-sign with them next year for the big bucks—or stay one year and hope you catch one of the first money trains next year.  

It will be interesting to see who gets a chair and who gets left sitting on the floor.