The beginning free agent period is a matter of days. In recent days we've talked about the big, max contract players and where they could sign. But there are also dozens of other free agents looking for new homes or the ability to re-up with their current teams.
We are 48 hours away from a the barn doors opening and the money being dished out. Chances are the big free agents (LeBron, Bosh, Wade) will not sign in the opening days of the free agency period, but there many will. Which 10 players will sign first?
The Lakers point guard is a free agent, but his free agency should not last long. Fisher has shown enough to re-up with the Lakers rather quickly or another team will jump in to sign a veteran point guard with championship experience. Perhaps the Lakers will be willing to with Shannon Brown as the future, but Fisher's ability to bring cohesiveness to the team should make this a quick signing.
Carlos Boozer may wait for the max contract guys to sign, but Boozer has always looked for the money and that is unlikely to change this summer. Boozer doesn't have the weight behind like Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire, but plenty of teams are looking for help at the four position.
Teams with cap space and good, young talent (Wizards? Clippers?) could be the first to dive into the Boozer sweepstakes.
Camby always seems to be a free agent, but now the 36-year-old big man is likely in pursuit of his final contract. No need to wait there. Camby's numbers have slipped in recent years, but he is still a strong option in the short term because of his defense and rebounding. The longer he waits, given his age, the more likely his offers will decline in value.
The Pacers are in need of point guard help, but so are many other teams out there. Watson averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 assists, but may not be in consideration for a starting job. With other point guards on the market like Chris Duhon, Shannon Brown and Carlos Arroyo, Watson may be best served by getting a good deal early.
David Lee may be one of the most underrated free agents on the market this summer. Lee, who averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, is one of the few on the market who averaged a double-double last season.
The teams with the most freed up space looking for power forwards will go after Bosh and Stoudemire first. Lee is not yet at that max contract level, but he is sure to get somewhat overpaid by a team that can't go the full distance for a max contract player.
Eddie House was a pivotal piece to the Celtics title-winning team in 2008. Now, House is a journeyman forward with a limited but welcoming skill set. He can shoot and he can play defense. That will find a home on some roster, but House isn't exactly a big commodity and is best served by taking a good value deal early in the process.
Nate Robinson's strong playoff performance has increased his stock heading into his free agent period. Robinson is best served by taking advantage of that in the short term.
The likely exit of Ray Allen in Boston could entice the Celtics to resign Robinson for bench depth. If not, Robinson is better off immediately taking advantage of his raised stock after toiling in mediocrity and sour opinions through the majority of his career. Whether with the Celtics or somewhere else, Robinson should quickly come off the market.
Korver is another specialty player that shouldn't last long on the market. Korver does not offer much except for his (at times) lethal shot from long range. Teams looking for instant offense off the bench should jump on Korver who isn't really in a position to wait given the amount of money that will fly around the league this summer.
Haslem continues to perform as a productive power forward who should have suitors from teams with less to spend this offseason. Haslem, who averaged 9.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season, could be out in Miami depending on how the Heat allocate its money this offseason. that could be enough to persuade Haslem to sign early.
Why will Kurt Thomas sign quickly? Because that's what Kurt Thomas does. The 37-year-old Thomas is a definitely journeyman and looking for his last contract. That is the perfect formula for signing quickly as long as he doesn't retire.