Yao is healthy or at least healthier, and guess who he wants to run alongside him? Yep. CB4. Chris Bosh is one of the biggest names in the most talented free agent class in NBA history. You've got him, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson, and some other guy whose name I forget.
For the past few years, it seems that all basketball fans have been hearing about is the summer of 2010. During this time, teams have made trades for the sake of salary cap space, rumors have circled about a possible free agency summit and the term expiring contract is now used in sports conversations all around the country. While it is fun to speculate where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will play next year based on the team’s cap room or location, these guys want to win championships. Here is a look at teams that should be in the running for some of the marquee players this offseason and what kind of talent they have to offer.
MIAMI HEAT: With it looking more likely each day that Dwyane Wade will stay in Miami, the Heat are emerging as a serious free agency contender. However, besides playing with Wade, the weather and the lack of state income tax there isn’t much to build on. Sure Wade and the possibility of Chris Bosh and another big star sounds like a force to be reckoned with but Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley are the only players of note under contract for next season. The possibilities are great, but the team would lack the depth needed for a championship.
CHICAGO BULLS: Having players such as Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah already place makes the Bulls a very tempting destination. However, it will come with its share of challenges. Whoever decides to come to Chicago will end up being in Michael Jordan’s shadow during their tenure and that is pressure some players can’t handle. It wouldn’t be surprising if a big name such as Amar’e Stoudemire signs with the team and makes them a favorite in the East.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS:The Clippers have the makings of a very interesting option. With talent such as Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Baron Davis and Chris Kaman, the team has some solid pieces. However, they will always be the second show in town and the Western Conference is so deep a playoff berth is far from a guarantee. While this has the makings of a team that players would want to be on, they have had a hard time attracting free agents. The Clippers are similar to the NFL’s Oakland Raiders in a few ways. Other than the fact both teams have crazy owners, they also have to drastically overpay for players to put on the uniform. While NBA fans would love to see constant battles between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, it is much more likely that the Clippers will pay max money for Rudy Gay.
NEW JERSEY NETS: The Nets have lots of things working in their favor. They have young talent in Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors, are working on building an arena in Brooklyn and have an owner who is willing to spend whatever it takes to win. Due to his relationship with Jay-Z this has long been rumored as James’ eventual destination. Even though this helps, James is going to look at the roster and see what fits best for him. While they might not get James, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Nets managed to get a big name free agent such as Carlos Boozer .
NEW YORK KNICKS:It has all come down to this. For the past few years, Knicks fans have kept faith in their franchise just for this one summer. They have been through the Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury era, the massive contracts given out Eddie Curry, Jared Jeffries, Jerome James and more all for the chance to possibly land LeBron James. It is still hard for me to believe that somebody working for the team didn’t tell Jerome James to switch his number to 23 for the sake of jersey sales. This would have easily been the best selling jersey in the league.
However, when it is all said and done, the Knicks don’t have the talent to lure James to join them. With David Lee a free agent, is he really going to want to join a team where the two best players under contract are Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari? While the city is great and marketing opportunities are endless, free food from world renowned chefs and talks with Spike Lee aren’t going to make a player join the team. With the current state of the roster, James would be entering a rebuilding stage which is not what he needs when the pressure of the world is on him to win a championship. While basketball would love to see a relevant team in New York, it could be hard when it is much more likely they will end up having to overpay for players to put on the once proud uniform.
Whenever I see Kenny Lofton, for whatever reason I'm always reminded of Willie Mays Hayes. Recently I caught up with the former MLB star at a charity event for Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.
We talked about Kenny's time in Cleveland and LeBron James, we talked Jordan and Kobe, and we also talked about my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, one of seemingly only a few teams Kenny never played for. The dude played for something like 11 teams in 13 seasons.