If you are anything like me, you are bored by the continuous talk of free agency. Let's take a look at what REALLY matters: the 2010 NBA Season.
These predictions are bold, but are going to happen. Trust me. And here we go...
Ok, I had to do one about free agency.
There is no doubt in my mind that Dwyane Wade stays in Miami. He will be joined by Chris Bosh and possibly another good sidekick. He loves it in Miami, he won a championship in Miami, and he will get paid in Miami.
Lebron James will go to Chicago, because he wants to win a championship. He's got the dough, and now he wants the ring. James has heard enough of the talk about how he isn't any good, and will not ever be as good as Kobe. So, he'll go where he can win: Chicago. Another max free agent and James will join Derrick Rose and the Bulls in the Windy City.
Bogut was incredible in the second half of last season. Unfortunately, a terrible injury late in the season ended his best season yet in his career. I only see improvement for this young man out of Utah, and that means becoming the best center in the league.
Sorry Dwight Howard, but Bogut is the kryptonite to your reign as the most dominant center in the NBA.
So many teams (such as the Knicks) have traded huge contracts and all of their best players to prepare for free agency. Well, not everyone can have Lebron James, and there's only one Amar'e Stoudemire. For the teams that completely lose out and get none of the top free agents that they planned on having, this upcoming season will be a long and painful one.
Expect for there to be many teams like this that come up empty on top free agents and then an awful season from these teams. The Knicks and others could be worse than the Nets (who went 12-70 last season.)
The Knicks fans might not be able to see a good team this year, but they will have THOSE to watch.
In this picture, Allen Iverson and Shaquille O'Neal battle for the NBA Championship in 2001. They were considered veterans at the time. That's how long these guys have been around.
They both have MVP awards, and Shaq has a handful of championship bling while A.I. has none. Still, both have had great careers and are going to be considered for the Hall of Fame. It's time for these two greats to hang 'em up. Hopefully they have a great retirement and don't throw away all that money (Antoine Walker).
Also, I think Tracy McGrady will retire. He has had WAY too many injuries to make it through this season. He won't go out as gracefully as Iverson or O'Neal, but he will be remembered as a great player nonetheless.
Three NBA players have some big shoes to fill (and in O'Neal's case, VERY big shoes, size 23 big.)
This guy is good. Sooo good.
John Wall is going to win the Rookie of the Year award in a landslide vote. Just like Derrick Rose two years ago and Tyreke Evans last year, both point guards coached by John Calipari, John Wall will win this award by playing at an All-Star level.
This might be my boldest prediction yet. Kevin Durant, not Lebron James, 2010 NBA Most Valuable Player.
If Lebron leaves the Cavaliers like most people are assuming, he will have another max contract free agent by his side. That means, he will have someone else cutting into his stats, a problem he never had in Cleveland.
Durant has improved in every statistical category since his rookie year in 2007: Points, Assists, Rebounds, Steals, Blocks, and Field Goal Percentage. He didn't miss a single game last season as he led the young Thunder team to the first playoff birth in team history. Oh, and by the way, he also led the NBA in scoring in his third season, and became the youngest player in the history of the league to do so.
I'm not saying he will keep up his rate of improvement (although he may average 35 points per game and double digit rebounds.) But if he can even get a little bit better than last season, there is no reason why he cannot outperform every other player in the league.
What are your bold predictions? Leave a comment below.