Everyone is waiting for July 1, 2010.
This could be the biggest "if day"— if there was such a day— in NBA history.
LeBron James could go anywhere from Chicago to New York. Then, as ESPN says, there are the "other" people— Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, and Chris Bosh—who have the player options to go where they please.
Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, David Lee, and Shaquille O'Neal are all unrestricted free agents.
Hard to believe, isn't it?
Obviously, James' availability draws the major hype in this whole situation. But honestly, the other players are more "important" to talk about. I put important in quotation marks because of all the crazy LeBron fans out there.
Do you guys really believe James is going to go somewhere else?
Lebron is smartly taking advantage of the situation by creating more hype than there really needs to be. No one should speculate where James will go until July 1, because no one really knows what he will do.
After all, he said he would enter the dunk contest, but all I saw was the diminutive Nate Robinson winning yet another uneventful competition.
Now, on to the "other" people.
Dwayne Wade will most likely stay in Miami. The organization will do all they can to please Wade, whether it means bringing in a big name like Stoudemire or Boozer, or simply paying him more money. So let's not get our hopes up about Wade just yet.
Dirk Nowitzki is also likely to stay in Dallas, unless he can play alongside a dominant big man, or someone like James in Chicago. But I don't think that will happen. Nowitzki is doing the same thing as James, making hype to get more money, but hey, who isn't doing that?
Chris Bosh could come to Los Angeles (Lakers), or go to a team like Chicago, New York, or even Miami to play alongside Wade. But he is one of the true question marks of this offseason.
Amare Stoudemire asking, "Hey everybody, should I go somewhere else?" on Twitter is not a good way to start your offseason. His best chance outside of Phoenix is to go wherever James or Wade ends up. But if Stoudemire is smart, he will stay with the Suns. When someone like Steve Nash is laying out the table cloth and serving you food, it would be foolish to leave for a little more money.
Carlos Boozer is a good fit for any team. Out of this free agent crop, he is most likely to sign somewhere else. He'll find the right team that can please his needs, if you will. Because Boozer is not as expensive as the other big-name free agents, he will be a target on many team's radars.
Joe Johnson/Ray Allen : I put these two players together because they are both shooters, and guards who can play off the ball.
Now taking this into consideration, every team will want one or the other. Personally, as a Lakers fan, I really want one of the two, merely because they can make open shots. And that is what the Lakers need in order to repeat once more.
But once again, Johnson and Allen could go anywhere where a team wants them and be successful. If I would expect Johnson to sign with Chicago, especially is James goes there, because he would fit in quite well with the King.
David Lee is another player every team wants. He can rebound, defend, shoot the mid-range jumper, and can post-up anyone in the game today. Lee is probably going to wait until the very last minute to make a decision. He knows New York is a possible crowning court for King James. Lee would be smart to stay in New York for now.
Lastly, there's Shaquille O'Neal .
Everyone knows that Shaq's golden days are way behind him. It was a miracle he played as well as he did in Cleveland this year.
Now considering that James may be on the move, O'Neal has nowhere to go. No particular team wants a run-down center, and we all know that.
For O'Neal to continue his career at this point, the big man must be willing to take a huge pay cut. And he will have to come off the bench as a backup center. If he is willing to do this, multiple teams would be interested just for his name.
Everyone on your seat belt. Come July 1, "It's gonna be a bumpy ride!"