NBA Free Agency: If LeBron James Rejoins the Cleveland Cavaliers...
The more we in the media project that LeBron James is signing with 29 other NBA teams, the more it appears that he'll end up right back in Quicken Loans Arena this fall.
So if James decides he doesn't want to leave home and wants to get $30 million more than he'd get anywhere else, how will that affect the rest of the free agent market.
We'll take a crack at where the rest of the big names land from there.
Bosh Lands In Houston
I think the Houston Rockets have made the most attractive offer to Bosh.
He won't have to play center with Yao Ming the man in the five hole and there's a playoff team around him that becomes a conference dynamo with him on the floor.
Toronto and Houston work out the sign-and-trade that sends Luis Scola and Shane Battier to Toronto for Bosh.
Wade Re-Ups in Miami
Dwyane Wade is discouraged by the news of James and Bosh getting away, but he's convinced by Pat Riley that the Heat still have some rabbits up their sleeve.
Oh, and then there's the matter of the $30 million more he gets in the max contract with the home team.
Boozer Signs With Miami
Riley wasn't lying.
It's not the huge signing that he was hoping to make, but getting Boozer to Miami is enough to convince Wade that there's hope for a title.
Boozer has ties to the area, as his infant son is being treated for sickle cell anemia in Miami. It's a situation very similar to Derek Fisher. Being with the Heat allows him to be close to his boy and still play hoops.
Stoudemire Signs With Bulls
Having struck out with James, Bosh, and Wade, the Bulls and Knicks both offer Stoudemire a max contract.
Stoudemire chooses Chicago because they have more pieces in place to make a run.
Joe Johnson Signs With Knicks
Johnson becomes the all-or-nothing signing for New York.
They convince the shooter that they will find ways to make up the $30 million he's leaving on the table with Atlanta.
David Lee Re-Ups With New York
Mike D'Antoni's system fits him perfectly.
Though he appears to be out the door to chase bigger money, the Knicks are able to coax Lee to stay put with a near-max offer.
Knicks fans are whiny about the signings, but relieved they didn't get caught with nothing in the free agent frenzy.
Rudy Gay Re-Ups With Memphis
The Grizzlies surprisingly weren't kidding about their intentions of re-signing Gay.
He heard offers from eight other teams, but in the end, the rising star took the max contract offer from Memphis.
Richard Jefferson Signs With Miami
Hah. Jefferson gets the last laugh.
We were all cackling when Jefferson left $15 million on the table by opting out with the Spurs Wednesday.
Jefferson is able to take advantage of the Heat's losses to swing a three-year, $50 million deal with the Heat.
Paul Pierce Signs With the Mavericks
The Mavs were dying to make a splash in the free agent market. Pierce was their last option and Mark Cuban jumped at it.
Pierce wants a change of scenery, but he doesn't want to leave the C's high and dry. So the two teams work out a deal where the Mavs get Pierce and take on Rasheed Wallace's cap hit for the next two years.
The Celtics get Erick Dampier and Caron Butler in the deal, not exactly chump change.
Dirk Re-Signs in Dallas
The no-brainer of the free agent scene. It was just a matter of July 8 coming before the ink could dry.
So, the biggest losers here are the Nets. Consider this new owner Mikhail Prokhorov's rude welcome to the league. You can't buy everything you want in the NBA.
The uncertainty of the Brooklyn deal and the idea of playing in Newark ends up being the team's downfall.
They rebound to sign a number of mid-level free agents that make them better heading into 2010 then they were to start 2009. But it's far from landing the big fish.
What about the Clippers? Well, they're not losers because they still have plenty of their roster filled with rising stars. Plus, Donald Sterling gets to keep all that salary money in his wallet.