2010 NBA Free Agency: Where the Best Players Should Sign
Everyone and their mother have been creating their own lists of where each NBA free agent will go.
While I'm not a conformist, I didn't agree with very many other people's lists, and I wasn't about to leave my list of destinations as a comment on everyone else's articles.
So without any further ado, here is my list of where the best 2010 free agents in the NBA should sign, and why.
Out of all the current free agents, Wade seems to have the greatest loyalty to his current team, the Miami Heat, and there are even talks of Wade helping the recruiting effort for another player to supplement him.
With the moves the Heat made on draft day, they gave themselves arguably the most cap room in the NBA.
Wade will get his max contract, and there will still be room for one (and maybe two) more big-name players to be added.
Wade has his allegiances in Miami, and he won't want to miss out on being a part of the team that may make the biggest splash this offseason.
If I were a free agent, the weather in the city that I was about to call home would play a large factor in my decision.
I don't know if Amar'e feels the same way, but if he's not going to stay in Phoenix, the only other place that can provide the same kind of heat (no pun intended) is Miami.
As far as tactics go, the Heat will need a big man to play with Wade. While Chris Bosh may be the Heat's first option, Bosh has said that he doesn't want to be anybody's sidekick; rather, he wants to be the team leader.
I don't think Bosh will want to play alongside Wade, and for that, Miami will go after Stoudemire.
Plus, Amar'e and Wade signing with Miami seemed like the most likely thing to happen from the get-go.
As I just mentioned in the slide before, Bosh doesn't want to be anybody's sidekick. In Chicago, he can get his wish.
Sure, the Bulls have Derrick Rose, but I don't think Rose is of the caliber of a LeBron or D-Wade, where Bosh would be overshadowed. Rather, Bosh would be an excellent supplement to the great-passing Rose.
The Bulls already have Joakim Noah solidified as their center, so Bosh wouldn't have to play center, as he has previously stated he doesn't want to do.
Even after giving Bosh a max contract, the Bulls would still have room to sign another guard, having traded Kirk Hinrich on draft day to free some cap room too.
Destination: New York
For LeBron James, it's all about winning and legacy. Clearly it's not as much about money, since he will lose the ability to re-sign for $600,000 more with Cleveland when he fails to sign his player option before July 1.
In New York, LeBron will obviously build a legacy. NY is the greatest city in the world and the Knicks play in one of the most historic arenas in the world in Madison Square Garden.
The media coverage will be amplified, but it will only catapult LBJ into the next atmosphere of athletic fame. He will truly be an A-list celebrity in NYC.
The questionable aspect about NY, is will he be able to win? Where LeBron signs will affect where every other free agent may go.
I think wherever James goes, another big-time player will sign with that team as well, to flank James and give him a little less pressure.
With that, I think that after LeBron signs in NY, a David Lee, Dirk Nowitzki or Joe Johnson will follow.
Any of these three players will give LeBron a better teammate than he ever had in Cleveland.
Though he may not win a Championship immediately in NY, they will only be able to get better in the years following, as having LeBron on the team will give the Knicks a serious recruiting advantage, in addition to the advantage the city innately gives to the Knicks.
Why Not Cleveland?
If LeBron was going to re-sign in Cleveland, he would have done so already, to avoid torturing the city of Cleveland by making them sit idly and wait for the King to make his decision.
Since he is making them wait, I think that means he's as good as gone.
The problem with Cleveland is, they just haven't translated into a championship-caliber team. The management has given LeBron all sorts of players to play with, but it hasn't translated to postseason success. And the city has had a losing atmosphere for years now.
It's just not the best place for LBJ and his stardom, even if Ohio is his home.
Why Not Chicago?
This guy named Michael Jordan played, and won six NBA Championships and five MVPs, in Chicago. If LeBron is ever to build a legacy as one of the greatest ever, Chicago is not the place to do it.
In Chicago, he will forever be compared to MJ...an unfair comparison, some would say, since Michael Jordan is perhaps the best ever to play this game.
Why Not Miami?
I know I said that where LeBron signs will dictate where everyone else signs, but I think D-Wade will sign with Miami regardless.
For Miami, it tactically makes more sense for them to go after a big man to play with Wade, rather than LeBron. Both Wade and LeBron like the ball in their hands, especially late in the game.
Personally, I don't think they would play great together, and with Wade in Miami, LeBron should go elsewhere.
Why Not New Jersey?
It's New Jersey. New Jersey is NOT New York; it's not the same place.
Even though the Nets are eventually moving to Brooklyn, it's not for at least another three years.
Even though Jay-Z is part owner of the Nets, I think he too knows that as far as LBJ's legacy goes, it just won't be built with the Nets.
Why Not Los Angeles (Clippers)?
Two words: Donald Sterling.
The Rest of The Free Agents
As requested, here's the rest of my predictions for the destinations of the free agents. Keep in mind, these predictions are made assuming that my initial predictions are correct. So, if I'm wrong with my first predictions, these are going to be very wrong too!
Joe Johnson to Miami: He'll be the third max contract/big contract for Miami.
Dirk Nowitzki to Dallas: All signs point to him staying with Dallas
Rudy Gay to Los Angeles (Clippers): He'll get a max contract from LA; they need a young and exciting player like Gay to fill seats.
David Lee to New York: Speculation says he may return to NY, and if LeBron signs with the Knicks, he'll be the player added. I think Lee is very underrated, plus Knicks fans like him. If a young guard can emerge for the Knicks, LeBron plus Lee scoring off pick and rolls will be a winning combo.
Carlos Boozer to New Jersey: He can get a lot of money from the Nets; he's sort of the odd man out and he has to sign somewhere, plus the Nets need to sign someone. The Nets are that team; Boozer's that guy.
Raymond Felton to Dallas: He's not quite a max contract guy, but he still deserves some good money. Dallas has some money to give, and they need a guard to play with Dirk while they wait for Dominique Jones to prove he can play in the NBA.