As the NBA Playoffs are starting to dwindle down and the months of June and July are looming, talks have begun to focus on free agency for this summer in the NBA.
As this is probably the most highly anticipated free agency ever, there are a ton of dazzling stars available.
But who are the most important people this summer?
We know all the players that have made this summer so important: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Dirk, etc. However, where do they rank as far as people this summer go?
Get ready to see the most important people this summer, whether it be players, coaches, owners, GMs, or even some pop culture individuals who could effect the shaping of this year's free agency.
After Kentucky's loss in the Final Four and the Cavaliers' loss to the Celtics in the NBA Playoffs, rumors have circulated around John Calipari that he may return to the NBA to coach LeBron, or any other NBA team.
While Calipari has denied such changes, he still lands a spot on this list.
If he did decide to come to the NBA, a slew of NBA stars would want to play for him and his impressive dribble-drive offense; of those stars, players like LeBron and Wade would be highly interested in joining him.
Rumors were that a number of teams have reached out to Calipari, including the Bulls and the Nets, which just so happen to be teams that have a great chance to land some big name players this summer.
He says he's coming back to Lexington, but many won't believe it until next season starts. If it wasn't for him denying interest in the NBA, he'd be higher in this list.
Mark Cuban is probably the posterboy for all NBA owners, and with him being involved this summer, there's no doubt it will be interesting.
It is evident that Cuban is interested in LeBron, but who isn't? The only thing is, Cuban could find a way to get him. He's already been fined for his part in talking about LeBron, but I doubt we see him staying quiet.
On the court however, Dirk Nowitzki announced that he would opt out of his deal and hit free agency this summer. With that, anything could happen in Dallas.
Rumor has it Dirk is just looking for another deal and will return to the Mavericks, but honestly, if he gets offered more money from another team, how could he turn it down?
On the other hand, he may be wanting to restructure his deal so that he can make room for another superstar in Dallas, whether it be LeBron, Wade, etc.
Many expect LeBron to be the vocal point of this summer, but it could all begin with Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki and their first couple of decisions.
Recently, the famous Jay-Z has got in on the 2010 Free Agency a little here and there.
As a big New Yorker and an avid basketball fan, Jay-Z has tried to talk a couple of superstars into either coming to the Knicks or his favorite team, the New Jersey Nets.
Sure, players, GMs, and owners can play a big part in other players' decisions in where they might go, but now, music stars as well?
I have to say, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
Jay-Z probably will help lure some stars in, but I don't know if he can help out the awful Nets as of right now.
Definitely listen for this guy this summer.
Everyone is aware of the New Jersey Nets terrible 2010 season, but it looks like someone is interested in them and has faith that they can be a big player in the NBA soon...
That someone is Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who is the new owner of the Nets.
Unfortunately, he lost the battle for John Wall in the NBA Lottery, but now he hopes to reel in a big name free agent or two. There's no doubt he has the money to spend, but can he convince stars to come to New Jersey?
This could be a make-it or break-it summer for the Nets; it is clear they need someone to save basketball, and if one of the many big names likes the look of the Nets and where they're headed in the future, that player could be the one.
Sure, they would love LeBron, but if they fail to get him, what happens from there?
There's no telling what this Russian has up his sleeves (besides the wad of cash), but Mikhail Prokhorov is easily a big player in this year's free agency.
Not long ago, Chris Bosh gave the Raptors a list of four teams he was interested in playing for next season: the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat.
Of those teams, he has the chance to tag-team with a couple of NBA superstars: Derrick Rose in Chicago, Kobe in LA, and possibly Dwayne Wade in Miami.
Also add to that list LeBron James, as he has a chance to sign with the all the teams, excluding the Lakers.
He has also made it known that before he makes a decision, he wants to wait and see where LeBron ends up.
With that in mind, during free agency, the Knicks is the only team that has the cap space to sign both stars; however, there is the sign-and-trade, but that's a different story.
Will Bosh and LeBron be together in 2010? Or, who will he be with?
Chris Bosh is not only a playmaker on the basketball court, but in this year's free agency as well.
John Wall is one of those players that you see once in a lifetime, and if everything turns out right, he will end up in Washington D.C. with the Wizards as the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Word on the street is that LeBron James would love to play with either Wall or Chicago's Derrick Rose, neither bad choices.
Chicago has the money to give to LeBron, so the Rose and LeBron duo is possible, but what about Wall?
Is it possible that the Wizards could execute a sign-and-trade that could bring LeBron to the nation's capital?
It's a long shot, but not out of the question, and with John Wall, anything can happen.
Wall could talk the Wizards front office into pursuing LeBron a little more, and Wall could also convince LeBron to come to D.C. He could ultimately be the big difference maker if Washington wants LeBron.
Could you imagine John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatche, and LeBron James on the same team?
Scary. 'Nuff said.
Dwayne Wade has claimed he will still be in a Heat uniform come next season, but really, can we believe him?
We probably can, but nevertheless, he could still play a huge part in this year's free agency.
If he does indeed return to Miami, expect him to try to recruit other big name guys like LeBron or Bosh.
Wade could help the Heat return to their days of when they won a championship over the Mavericks. If he can't lure in some big names, don't expect much from the Heat.
Just be ready for Flash himself.
New York Knicks fans have been waiting on this moment for years; they even went out and got the all-successful GM Donnie Walsh, and he has made all the right moves to this point in the 2010 Free Agency.
However, can he seal the deal and complete the project he has started and rebuild the Knicks?
If the Knicks fail to get LeBron James, many will consider this whole process a failure, and they probably will not adapt to a Plan B like Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh.
Walsh needs to keep the people of New York happy not only for the sake of the Knicks, but for the sake of the NBA. New York City and Madison Square Garden are the main spots for basketball in the world, and it the Knicks continue to fail, don't expect basketball to be that big of a sport...At least not compared to the likes of football and baseball.
In that case he's probably the most important guy right?
I'm probably overreacting, but it is true. Donnie Walsh needs to reel in LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
The Knicks have been waiting all this time and it's finally here. No time to play around and fail at getting the king.
Phil Jackson has become the hot commodity over the past couple of weeks as rumors have leaked that he may return to Chicago to team up with LeBron. Better yet, he may go wherever LeBron goes.
With that being said, Jackson has to be an important asset this summer, yet his season hasn't even ended yet!
But shortly after those rumors surfaced, he denied the Bulls, but changed the talks to New Jersey, as he said he was intrigued by the Nets.
There's no doubt Phil is the best coach in the game and he has had the chance to coach some of the best players ever. But really? New Jersey?
That's where he wants to team up with LeBron?
Well, I guess everyone is up for challenges, and if he does indeed go to the Nets, Phil Jackson will definitely be challenged.
Anyone with the number of rings the Zen Master has deserves to be high on this list and if he wants to take the challenge in New Jersey, so be it.
No matter where he decides to go, Phil Jackson will play a role in this year's free agency.
This shouldn't really be a surprise unless you've been in hibernation for the past five years or so, but nonetheless, LeBron James is by far the most important person this summer.
With that being said, he could simply turn around a franchise in distress that has been underachieving for the past couple of years (hint, hint the Knicks and Nets).
With LeBron's level of play and ability to bring in a good crowd to an arena, no matter if it is at home or on the road, he is just money waiting to happen for a certain GM and owner.
However, he will cost a pretty penny for a team. There's no telling how much money the King could get once he signs a long-term deal this summer.
There are many teams looking at this guy to help them win a championship in the near future.
Who will that team be?
Time will tell, as we are just a month away from the start of July and the beginning of free agency talks.
While LeBron James is still on the market, the summer of 2010 should be very memorable in all NBA fans' minds.
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