There are a couple of major tenets that fans should keep in mind as they watch the free agents being wooed by cash rich teams. The bottom line is that the CBA is designed to make it easy for teams to keep their own free agents. While there may be some player movement, most of the significant moement will be those players staying “home.” Second, players may unexpectedly opt out of the last year of their contracts in favor of longer deals to beat the expected adverse impact of the CBA struggle on players’ money next year.
LeBron James may be the key cog, but all of the teams know that only one team can gain his services and the Cavaliers have the best chance of employing him for the future. The Cavs believe that LeBron is staying according to statements by Brian Shaw who, during coaching interviews, was not given any indication that LeBron was leaving . On the other hand, a #6 Bulls Jersey to be worn by LeBron James appeared briefly on NBA.com today. So who knows? The Knicks, who met LeBron immediately after JayZ left the building alone, were happy about their presentation to LeBron today but who knows. Avery Johnson also indicated that the Nets were very pleased with their presentation which was given first.
Bosh is the key ot this puzzle, I think. He is really enjoying the process as indicated by his recent tweets. Bosh has a chance to play with Chicago, but he would need to give up some money to team with LeBron in either Miami or Chicago unless there was a sign and trade involved. Bosh may end up in Miami, leaving LeBron in the cold of Cleveland.
KNICKS SET UP FOR THE FALL
The Knicks are in grave danger of being left hanging for another season if LeBron decides to play for the Cavs, Heat, Bulls or Nets. The Plan B of signing Joe Johnson and another max-type player is fading after the Hawks decided to offer JJ a max contract. Clearly, David Lee is not waiting for the Knicks to talk. He is scheduling meetings with several teams interested in his services. The first call he received was from Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics. He has meetings scheduled with Chicago, Minnesota, New Jersey and Miami. He also heard from the Jazz who are interested if David Lee wants to be part of a sign and trade.
The San Antonio Spurs just lost, happily I might add, Richard Jefferson who opted out of his last year at 15 million in favor of a longer deal before the new CBA. He wants to play for either the Nets or the Knicks. He may be a consolation prize for the Knicks, but then what would they do with Wilson Chandler?
KNICKS’ PLANS B-ZZ ARE STARTING TO DISAPPEAR
John Salmons (5 years, $39 milllion) and Drew Gooden (5 year, $32 Million) reach agreements with the Bucks. Herb Kohl is having a dynamite off-season of acquisitions. Their draft class includes Darrington Hobson, Larry Sanders and Jerome Jordan (who reportedly has been traded to the Knicks.
Rudy Gay has entered into an agreement to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies
Brendan Haywood is talking to Dallas. Jason Kidd is having dinner with free agent Dirk Nowitzke in New York tonight after flying in from Germany.
One of the most intellectually challenging moves is the offer form David Kahn to Darko Milicic who is projected to be the Minnesota Timberwolves starting center only a few months after he was bench fodder for the lowly 2009-2010 Knicks.
COACHING MOVES SHAPE THE NBA LANDSCAPE
The coaching ranks are filling in with Byron Scott accepting the Cavalier head coaching position and both Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers returning to their Championship mettle squads. Ray Allen and Paul Peirce are free agents but are expected to return to the Celtics for another run or two at the title. Pierce is only talking to the Celtics. It is most likely they will return since Doc Rivers returned which was more likely when Thibideau took the Bulls job.