There are plenty of teams paving way for the free agency boom in the next two years. The Pistons happen to be one of them.
With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh heading up the class, the Pistons would like to sign not one, but two stars.
In November, the Pistons traded for All-Star Allen Iverson, a $21 million expiring contract, a move that solidified the Pistons’ intentions for the upcoming years. However, the Pistons did manage to lock up Richard Hamilton until 2013.
If you ask me, there’s no way the Pistons can snag up LeBron James.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, James expressed a possibility of a contract extension following the 2008-2009 season—the ultimate buzz-kill for many teams around the league.
If he chooses to depart from the Cavs, New Jersey, because of his friendship with Jay Z, part owner of the Nets, or New York, a franchise which has made a handful of deals to clear way for a max offer to the Ohio native, are prime destinations for the star.
Nevertheless, the Pistons aren’t all out of luck.
Earlier this week, Carlos Boozer, power forward of the Utah Jazz, announced that he would opt out of the final season of his contract. He has not made it publicly known if he intends to stay in Utah, though.
If the Pistons have any desire to offer him any of the $38 million in cap space, freed from Iverson and Rasheed Wallace’s expiring contracts, it would be a nice addition to the team.
If Boozer were to sign with the Pistons—still leaving around $20 Million in cap space—a lineup of Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson, and Arron Afflalo could attract another star to Auburn Hills.
Possible candidates include Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Tracy McGrady, or Joe Johnson.
If the Pistons are able to reel in at least one of these maximum contract players, many would consider it a successful offseason.
Anybody who doubts Joe Dumars is just foolish. The man is a genius.
The signing of Boozer could put the Pistons atop the Eastern Conference—a position they haven’t been in for a few years now.
While I’ve only mentioned the domino effect with Boozer aboard, he would also give the Pistons a threatening post presence—something the team has lacked since Bob Lanier was in a Piston uniform.
The next two years should be intriguing. Teams will continue to prepare their finances to offer the all stars the most they can, while other teams will try to win with what they currently have.
The amount each team in the market offers could be a lesser number than today’s maximum contract, resulting from the economic anguish—which may or may not continue into the next two years.
Until then, we have an exciting year ahead of us in the NBA with the Celtics, Cavaliers, Magic, and Pistons fighting in the Eastern Conference and the Lakers, Hornets, Rockets, and Blazers battling it out in the Western Conference.
Another six more months of basketball is left—a heck of a lot of time for players to change or make up their minds concerning their future.
Either way, I hope Boozer finds his way to Michigan. We sure need him.
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