If you've ever played fantasy sports then you know the exciting, almost giddy feeling that comes with drafting a team of your own creation, enlisting multiple superstars to your cause.
Your imagination tries to fathom the utter dominator your sqaud could unleash, if that team-of-titans could be set loose on a basketball court.
Now, NBA owners like James Dolan and Jerry Reinsdorf get to live that dream starting July 1st at Midnight EST.
But what if you could fell the rush of free agency too? Picture the free agent landscape like a chessboard. Minor guys, like Amir Johnson, are pawns and LeBron James is the King. (No pun intended...ok maybe a little)
Where would you move the pieces?
Here is my take on possible free agent destinations.
I'll start with the biggest domino of all: LeBron James. The bottom line is wherever he goes affects where any and all other free agents suit up next season.
I have LeBron donning the orange and blue. Here's Why:
First off, they have 33.5 million in cap space. Thats enough enough to get James and another marquee free agent. Or two. Rumor has it James may take a paycut to get another superstar on his team.
Secondly, despite his loyalty to his home-state of Ohio, LeBron won't be able to resist playing on the biggest stage at MSG. This bigger market will do wonders for his off the court profits. (MSG stock, perhaps?)
Lastly, they have a proven, veteran coach. Which is more than most of LeBron's other suitors can say.
Did I mention Eddy Curry's contract is up next season?
These reasons provide sufficient reasoning to move the LeBron piece on my chessboard to the New York Knicks.
Wade has said he wants to stay in Miami.
Pat Riley wants him in Miami.
So he's going to the Bulls. (kidding everyone)
Dwayne Wade stays in Miami and Pat Riley gets him some better teammates to work with.
Now, the consensus among analysts is that Bosh follows LeBron to whatever far-off land he journeys to.
A wise man once said: "Not so fast, my friend!"
The fact of the matter is the Knicks have other free agent plans. So where does that leave Bosh?
Bosh has said his top priority is playing his natural power forward position. That hurts Miami's chances of landing Bosh, who currently have a young and developing Michael Beasley in the starting role.
This leads me to believe Bosh ends up in Chicago, probably with another big-name free agent.
It's obvious Joe Johnson is not talented enough to be the number-one guy on a championship team.
However, should he be paired with another dynamic player, a championship could be coming Johnson's way.
At this point if you hadn't guessed yet, I have Joe Johnson suiting up for the New York Knicks.
Why you ask? Simple.
Johnson has said he would like to reunite with his former coach, Mike D'Antoni. He also would be a fool to pass up the chance to play with LeBron James.
This pick was easy. Somewhere, Spike Lee is reading this and smiling.
After the grandiose plan of landing Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, AND Chrs Bosh falls through, the Heat will need a plan B.
Plan B just so happens to be named Amar'e Stoudemire.
Miami has the money, and there is some bad blood between Stoudemire and the Phoenix management.
D-Wade and Amar'e would be one explosive combo.
A lot of superstar free agents will most likely change teams this summer.
Others, will realize that packing their bags is not in their best interest.
Exhibit A: Dirk Nowitzki
Mark Cuban let Steve Nash get away. He doesn't make the same mistake again.
The main reasons Dirk opted out of his contract were to get a longer deal and a no-trade clause. Mark Cuban will be willing to oblige in order to keep his German sensation in a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
Don't forget about the other guys now. Here are some quick predictions.
Paul Pierce: Celtics
Rudy Gay: Nets
David Lee: Jazz
Ray Allen: Celtics
Carlos Boozer: Nets
J.J. Reddick: Bulls