i just released this blog entry, its on our website.
Now, i realize the 2009-2010 season hasn't begun, but its never too early to look one summer ahead. So we will take a look at the 2010 off-season.
First, we will look at the top players who could opt for free agency in 2010.
1. LeBron James(Cavs)- King James holds a Player Option, and is almost certain to opt out, and become an UFA, now it depends, on who will sign him to that Max Long Term deal he is looking for. Obviously the Cavs will be in the run, but so will other teams, namely, New York, Houston and New Jersey, all of which should have enough to offer LeBron a max deal.
2. Kobe Bryant(Lakers)- Like James, Bryant holds a Player Option, but is unlikely to opt for Free Agency, as he has been working on a 3-year extension all summer long with his Lakers, and i feel certain he will get the deal done soon.
3. Dwyane Wade(Heat)- D-Wade holds a Player Option, and will likely opt out, if the Heat don't show much improvement this year. So, he as James, will command a max long term deal, some teams that will be interested, other than Miami, are Houston, New York, Chicago and New Jersey, all of which would love to have Wade in there uniform come 2010 season.
4. Chris Bosh(Raptors)- Bosh holds a Player Option, and will likely opt out, and either in my opinion, join the Rockets, or stay put in Toronto with a new max long term deal.
5. Dirk Nowitzki(Mavericks)- Dirk holds a Early Termination Option, although he can opt for Free Agency, i doubt he goes far unsigned, as i see him staying in Dallas.
6. Yao Ming(Rockets)- Another that holds a Early Termination Option, Yao, i see staying in Houston, and not opting out, as he will be coming off a foot surgery that took Cavs Zydrunas Illgauskas nearly 2-years to be fully recovered.
7. Amare Stoudamire(Suns)- Amare also holds a Early Termination Option, and is likely to opt out for free agency. I see 3 likely destinations, Phoenix, to stay with recently extended Steve Nash, New York to reunite with Mike D'Antoni, and then theres Toronto, where he could team with Hedo Turkoglu, and reunite with former boss Bryan Colangelo, Toronto only is an option if Bosh leaves, which isn't certain.
8. Paul Pierce(Celtics)- Even though Pierce has a Early Termination Option, the Celtics will want to extend him soon, and i expect him to get a deal with Boston, even if he does opt for free agency.
9. Tyson Chandler(Bobcats)- Recently acquired, Tyson Chandler, also holds a Early Termination Option, and likely opts for free agency and gets a big money deal.
10. Richard Jefferson(Spurs)- Jefferson holds a Early Termination Option, but i doubt he opts out, as it'll be hard pressed to see any team give Jefferson $15 million, which is what he is due in 2010-2011.
Now the top UFA's scheduled for 2010:
1. Joe Johnson(Hawks)- Joe Johnson, a scheduled UFA, is unlikely to leave Atlanta, the Hawks just re-signed Mike Bibby, Zaza Pachulia and Marvin Williams this off-season, and are likely to extend Johnson, either this summer or in the early stages of the 2010 free agent period.
2. Carlos Boozer(Jazz)- Boozer, a UFA, is expected to first be traded from Utah, after the Jazz retained Paul Millsap, and where ever he lands, he isn't likely to receive a big money deal, if he can't stay healthy a full season, so i dont expect him to get a long term big money deal, he is seeking.
3. Manu Ginobili(Spurs)- Ginobili, has been injured quite much lately, and its unlikely he will get what he might want in free agency, thus its more likely he remains in San Antonio.
4. Ray Allen(Celtics)- Even though Allen, a UFA, hasn't played up to par in the past few years, he will still in my opinion get a nice deal, and likely remaining in Boston, with Garnett and Pierce.
5. Shaquille O'Neal(Cavs)- O'Neal, recently traded to Cleveland, likely stays in Cleveland if, LeBron James stays as well. But of course this could be Shaq's last go around, in 2009, thus maybe he retires, and calls it a career, one in which he has been one, if not the most dominant big man to play this sport.
6. Tracy McGrady(Rockets)- Tracy, hasn't been fully healthy, in a few years, and as a scheduled UFA, he is unlikely to get the $23m he makes in 2009-2010, thus meaning, he might have to settle for significantly less if he wishes to be on a contender.
7. Mike Miller(Wizards)- Acquired in a draft trade, Mike Miller, a UFA in 2010, is one of the best shooters, in the game today, and i see him getting a nice 2-3 year deal, maybe staying in Washington, depending on his season.
8. Travis Outlaw(Blazers)- Even though he is talented, i don't see the Blazers bringing him back.
9. Marcus Camby(Clippers)- Camby, shouldnt expect as much as he makes now, in the open market, but he could be a significant bench player for a contending team, at a modest, but not cheap price.
10. Al Harrington(Knicks)- I like Harrington, he has come back, since his trade to New York, and could see a nice longer deal than most expect, and if so, good for him, he has earned it, with his hard play.
1. LaMarcus Aldridge(Blazers)- I see Aldridge staying put in Portland, it makes sense, they didn't get Millsap, so re-signing LaMarcus is a must.
2. Rudy Gay(Grizzlies)- Same as Aldridge, Rudy Gay stays in Memphis, and they'd be stupid not to re-sign him, Gay has so much upside, and is showing it.
3. Rajon Rondo(Celtics)- This is tricky, he seems to have an attitude problem at times, but Rondo is talented, so he will get his long term deal, from someone, whether its boston or someone else, i dont know.
4. Luis Scola(Rockets)- Luis Scola, has surprised alot of people, and as a RFA, the Rockets will be stupid if they don't retain him, and with Landry and Hayes as potential FA's, they'll need Scola back.
5. Randy Foye(Wizards)- I see Foye staying put in Washington, you don't trade a high 1st rd pick, and not keep one of the main parts of that deal.
6. Tyrus Thomas(Bulls)- Thomas has been mentoined in potential trades, so its uncertain where he lands in 2010.
7. Ronnie Brewer(Jazz)- Brewer is a nice versatile guard, and i expect him to stay in Utah.
8. Kyle Lowry(Rockets)- Another RFA for the Rockets, and he should stay put, especially if the rockets do trade Aaron Brooks, which i don't see happening, but anything is possible.
9. Jordan Farmar(Lakers)- He could stay in LA, but if not another team will sign him, and he could be a nice rotational player for a team.
10. Thabo Sefalosha(Thunder)- Likely stays in OKC.
Now we take a look at the team who should have money come 2010 off-season, theres only about 9-12 teams who could have significant cap room.
New Jersey Nets- should have between $25-$27 million in cap room, when FA starts.
New York Knicks- could have $24 million in cap room, but that doesn't factor in the potential deals of Nate Robinson and David Lee.
Miami Heat- after likely picking up the options on Michael Beasley, Daequan Cook and Mario Chalmers, they should have around $22 million for cap space.
Minnesota Timberwolves- should be about $16-$18 million under the cap, now it depends on whether they pick up Ryan Gomes option.
Chicago Bulls- Id they decide to dump/non-tender Tyrus Thomas, they can see $13-$15m in cap space for 2010.
Oklahoma City Thunder- should have between $14-$15m in cap space.
Houston Rockets- will be $12-$14 million under, if they don't pick up the options on Carl Landry and Chuck Hayes. But could get as much as $17m more, if Yao opts out.
LA Clippers- should be $10-$11m under.
Sacramento Kings- should be $9-$10 million under.