Thursday, July 1, 2010

After 2 years of anticipation, July 1, 2010 is finally here

By Sean Mackey

Here we are....July 1st 2010. Hopefully by this time next week, all the free agent deals will be worked out and these ridiculous rumors can finally end.

LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer remain the most coveted free agents this offseason and from what everyone is saying....most of them will probably remain with their current teams.

Every one of these free agents can sign a 6 year max deal with their current team and rack up an additional $30 million they wouldn't be able to obtain if they signed elsewhere. Most athletes are going to take $30 million over a championship ring any day and wouldn't anybody? 30 million is a lot of money. However, when 50% or more of your income is from endorsements like LeBron's is, a better chance at a title might be more of an incentive than the extra $30 mill.

According to ESPN analyst Ric Bucher, Cleveland is now the favorite to land LeBron & Atlanta is the favorite to land Joe Johnson. Next to Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson is the best shooter in this free agency and while I don't think he's worth the max, he's going to get it. He'd also be stupid to pass it up because this will be his last big money deal in his career.

If LeBron James stays in Cleveland, this whole fiasco was a waste of time. Granted, it would make him look like a good guy if he came back to his home town, but the Larry King interview, the WWW rumors, the condo hunting in agency will have been a complete sham and will make LeBron look like the biggest attention whore in all of sports.

Last night the Bulls were at Chris Bosh's doorstep at 12:01 a.m. While it's widely believed that a deal is already in place to send CB4 to Miami, the Bulls still might have a chance.

We need two free agents that are going to at least help the team get to the conference finals. Who they will be is a complete toss up. The Bulls need LeBron. They are also the only other team that I think has a real shot at landing him. Let's break down the teams vying for James services and their current assets.

Chicago: Rose, Noah, Gibson, Deng, J. Johnson (cap space to almost sign 2 max free agents)

Miami: Wade (he'll re-sign no doubt), Beasley, Chalmers, Joel Anthony (cap space to sign almost 3 free agents if players take a pay cut and Beasley, Chalmers & Anthony are traded)

New York: Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari (cap space to sign 2 max free agents)

New Jersey: Brook Lopez, Devon Harris, Derrick Favors (space to almost sign 2 max free agents)

L.A. Clippers: Chris Kaman, Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin (cap space to sign one max free agent)

Cleveland: Varejao, Mo Williams, Jamison (Cap space to sign one max free agent)

New York has nothing. LeBron won't go to the Clippers because they're the Clippers. He's not going to go to Miami because he wants to be top dog. This leaves Cleveland, Chicago & New Jersey as his top suitors.

Where will LeBron go? Check our twitter feed for updates throughout today. This things gonna get crazy.