As everyone knows (thanks to an insane amount of media coverage), this is the biggest free agent bonanza the NBA has ever seen. The big names include LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Amare, Boozer, Dirk, Pierce and Joe Johnson. Amare just signed with the Knicks (not a bad deal, if he brings others) and Johnson is going to stay with the Hawks for a max deal which is apparently fair market value. But if you're a Hawks fan, you want to find market value, and strangle it to death.
Since everyone else is doing it, here are some arbitrary grades and predictions!
Sure, they got Amare but it's clearly a last-gasp effort to get a blue chip FA before the big 3 spurn the big apple. Amare is a really good player. How he'll play without Nash on a weak team (and on a bum knee with one half of an eyeball) remains to be determined. Unless they ALSO get another really good player, this is a failure of an offseason, considering the tanked last year and traded everything just for the opportunity to get a top 3 guy.
Seriously. 6 years, 120M for a borderline all-star. Did I mention you'll be paying him until he's 35? Stupendous!
Bosh: I think he'll flirt with the idea of creating a super-team in Miami but will eventually end up in Chicago. It makes too much sense: we've needed a low post guy forever, he can play the 4 with Noah at 5 and he'll get his max deal in a major market city. With NY signing Amare, barring a sign and trade to Cleveland (which I don't know how the Cavs would pull off) or a deal to Miami, I see him on the Bulls.
Confidence: Would bet my AC (it's 100 degrees out today)
Wade: This one is tricky. He's throwing everyone for a loop by flirting with Chicago after calling out the organization for being disloyal to former players. Is he distracting us while recruiting the other guys? Is he really considering Chicago? His family does live here and he is in the middle of a divorce... so, it's not crazy. Don't see him in NY but I think he likes Miami too much to leave without going into a sure-fire winning situation. So, either he stays and Miami gets Bosh too (fuck) or he goes to Chicago with Bosh (sure-fucking-fire).
Confidence: Would bet my adopted son, Julio (he's retarded).
LeBron: the crown jewel of this FA class and the least predictable of them all. He's given no indication of where he'll go and has met with all the major prospects: Bulls, Nets, Clips, Heat, Cavs and Knicks. He makes any of those teams an immediate contender. The Cavs will not agree to a sign and trade, so for a guy who's money-conscious, he'd need to make up the cash difference in a major market (which all of these teams have). Honestly, I have no clue what he values, what kind of guy he is or how much he values loyalty versus living in the set of The Book of Eli. There are really only 4 options:
1) He joins a super team with the other guys in Miami.
2) He and Bosh/Wade join the Bulls
3) He and Wade join the Nets/Clips
4) He re-signs in Cleveland and they get Bosh
I think sadly, that 4 is the most probable although that increases the likelihood that the Bulls get Wade, which is nice. I don't see him joining a super team (it dilutes his Kingship) and I don't see him going to Miami (not a good team even with Wade). So he's either going to Chicago (yay) or staying in Cleveland (boo) and if he stays in Cleveland, he might take Bosh with him (boo!!). He's probably going to stay in Cleveland but I hope he moves, just cause it's more exciting.
Team: Clippers (just to be contrarian)
Confidence: Wouldn't bet my sack hair on it
Nobody knows anything and we're all waiting for Thursday anyway, so here's a clip: