Can Danny: The Myth of 2010
While everyone is clamoring about the free agent market of 2010, I think it could turn out to be much ado about (next to) nothing. In fact, half of the big movement could be done by the end of this summer.
The Toronto Raptors realize that now is there best chance to get something for Chris Bosh since the odds are 80/20 that he's leaving (if they're even that good). Since nobody is likely to offer much in return for Chris if he doesn’t agree to an extension before the deal, it means that Bosh might be off the market very soon. If he goes to someplace like Miami, that would likely take Dwyane Wade off of the books as well as he’d sign an extension to team with Bosh for the beginning of the next decade.
Still, there are a lot of names out there, right?There are now but look at who's out there and who might sign extensions this summer.
Portland's front office loves their team chemistry and will likely make a concerted effort to extend LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy's contracts before the start of 2009-10. I'd be stunned if Mark Cuban didn't offer Dirk Nowitzki whatever he wanted to stay in Dallas. Paul Pierce has talked about retiring in green and being a lifelong Celtic so I'd be kind of surprised if he left.
But even if he and Dirk did go somewhere else, they are veterans who are on the wrong side of 30 and starting to decline. No, they won't be washed up but I don't teams like Detroit, New Jersey, and New York blew up their squads so they could maybe get one or two years of contending before the guys they signed to huge deals aren't really worth their bloated paychecks. A number of the big names are like this: Ray Allen, Shaq, Steve Nash, and Manu Ginobili. Even a guy like Joe Johnson will be 29 and probably will start to decline in the middle of his next contract.
That leaves the grand prize LeBron James. Second place is the NBA's equivalent to a set of steak knives; Amar’e Stoudemire – an uber-talented headcase with major injury history. I really can’t believe that many teams are going to be lining up to give him 20 million a year. If a GM ends up in third place? "Third prize is you're fired!" because after Amar'e's gone, the remaining free agents are either restricted (like Rajon Rondo, Ty Thomas, Luis Scola, Rudy Gay) or second or third echelon guys like Josh Howard and John Salmons.
So while there are a lot of names to discuss in 2010, it’s not as if teams like New York, New Jersey, or Detroit will be able to completely revamp their team and build a contender for the next decade with the players available. It’s far more likely that one team like New York will land a couple of these top free agents and the rest of the league will be stuck overpaying for veterans who are on their last legs