NBA Rumors: 10 Things You Shouldn't Believe About the 2010 Free Agents
The NBA Finals are over the NBA Hot Stove is now heating up. The 2010 free agent class is the most sought after, biggest-dollar class in the history of the NBA. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others will have the NBA phones ringing and analysts buzzing about where some of the league's biggest stars will play this fall.
There are already a litany of rumors out there regarding the future of this year's free agent class. But which ones can we trust and which are a little more out there and thus more untrustworthy. It's the latter we look at here with the 10 rumors you shouldn't believe.
D-Wade & LeBron
The sexy rumor since this year's All-Star Break was the idea of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade suiting up together to create an unstoppable duo. The problem is, the idea that will not come to fruition.
Both are stars in their own right and both want to be the central focal point of their teams. Both want to maximize their earning potential and that would not happen if they are sharing the floor, the media and one city.
Chris Bosh Won't Be the Man
Chris Bosh recently told the sports world that he wants and/or expects to be THE guy on his next team. The problem with that notion is in today's NBA, power forwards are rarely THE guy anymore.
Today's NBA is run through athletic, flexible guards and forwards who can score in many ways like Wade, LeBron, Paul Pierce, etc. Bosh wants to be the guy, however, teams look at him as the complimentary big man piece to put alongside their leading scorer like with Wade or Derrick Rose.
Ray Allen Gets Shown the Money
Maybe you want to use his hot and cold performance in the NBA Finals against him (and you wouldn't be so wrong in doing so), but Allen will not get the big money final deal he is looking for.
That is why Allen is already increasing the chatter about his desire to return to Boston. The money simply will not be there anywhere else. Already reports are talking about the mid-level exception for Allen which is more true to form than the idea that Allen will get a three or four-year deal pushing closer to $10 million annually.
The Nets Will Be Major Players
The Nets finally have a new coach (Avery Johnson) and a billionaire owner ready and willing to spend on his team. The problem is that the Nets simply are not that attractive of a destination for a big money free agent, especially considering the Knicks have even more financially flexibility and offer a greater atmosphere.
The Nets are currently sojourning through Newark as they wait in limbo for their move to Brooklyn to truly be complete. Right now, they don't have the leverage or the muscle to land the kind of star they desire.
The Knicks Will Sign Two Max Contract Players
This is the summer the Knicks have set themselves up for over the last two to three years. This was the year they were going to sign two superstars and propel their franchise back to significance and relevancy.
The problem is that it likely will not happen. Going back to the first slide and considering the other options out there for the league's biggest free agents, it seems more and more unlikely the Knicks will land two star players who want the offense run through them.
LeBron James is obviously the Knicks' main focus and whether it is Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, will either have the ability to take a backseat to another bigger star? The Knicks may ultimately get their one big target, but chances are they will spend the rest of their money on a secondary or lesser free agent.
Mike Miller recently came out and said he hopes his next team will be a winner. He's even gone as far as to say he would like to play with LeBron James on his next team. Miller may get that wish but it may not be in too significant of a role.
Miller's production has decreased over the last two seasons despite steady average of minutes per game. The now 30-year-old Miller still has time left o hook on with a winner, but what he offers may not be enough to convince teams to bring him on as a member of their regular rotation alongside a star player like LeBron or Dwyane Wade.
Amar'e Stoudemire Is Second Tier Free Agent
Amar'e Stoudemire appears to be taking a back seat to the other big name free agents in this year's class. However, he shouldn't. Much of the attention regarding free agent big men is going towards Bosh. Yet, Stoudemire and his 23.1 points and 8.9 rebounds need not be overlooked.
Stoudemire, who missed much of the 2008-2009 season with an eye injury, has otherwise shown durability and strength in the other three seasons over the last four years. Stoudemire will command a near max contract of his own if not a max contract.
It just won't happen. For the Cavs to sign-and-trade LeBron means they are openly accepting the fact that they can't retain their superstar beyond financial means. The financial and public relations hit would be enormous for the Cavs who, through a sign-and-trade, would state that they have reached a complete impasse with a player who has little interest in staying.
Joe Johnson Will Get Paid His Rate
Unlikely. Joe Johnson also enters the free agent pool this summer and though he isn't has highly touted as LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Is he a max contract player? Unlikely. But this is the NBA and someone always overpays. That could lead to the end of his tenure in Atlanta. One team (the Knicks?) could get punchy for a free agent acquisition and give Johnson more than he deserves.
Paul Pierce Will Opt Out
Paul Pierce has the choice to opt out of the final years of his contract which will pay him $21.5 million in 2010-2011. Pierce has until the end of the month to decide, but it likely will not get that far.
The Celtics will likely undergo significant changes in the near future, but Pierce is the homegrown guy they can't afford to risk losing. The Celtics are marketing and billing him as the guy for this generation of Celtics, reinforced by the team's title in 2008. The Celtics will have to act quickly, but they will get a deal done.