Every summer the 29 NBA teams that don’t win the championship look for ways to improve their roster. One of the more effective (and sometimes expensive) ways of doing so is by acquiring players via free agency! For some teams free agency can be the next best thing to having the #1 pick in the draft lottery. Some teams have been able to make small but difference making changes to their roster with such moves (ex: the Boston Celtics acquiring James Posey before their championship run and win in 2008), while others make a significant splash that tips the championship odds in their favor (The Lakers acquiring Shaquille O’Neal in 1996 via free agency, even though it didn’t pay off championship dividends till 4 years later in 2000)
The summer of 2010 looks to be one of the biggest & most important free agent markets in years with some of the biggest and most talented players known today available! Each team looking to improve their roster with championship dreams will seek one or more of the following free agents this summer, to help complete their goal. Here is a look at the top 5 NBA free agents most teams will be fighting bank account to bank account over! Make no mistake about it, these top 5 guys are difference makers who will upgrade almost any team they land on (depending on what level of talent their joining) to possible title contender. So without further delay, let’s take a look at Supreme’s starting five!
5. Dirk Nowitzki – This 7ft. Marksmen from the outside is a former league MVP (2007) who is playoff tested and All-star approved. A tough cover for most big men & so agile and versatile for his size, it will be hard to imagine Mavericks owner Mark Cuban letting Dirk go without a fight! 2010 season stats: 25 pts., 7.7 rebounds, 42% 3pt. %
4. Amare Stoudemaire – This undersized but athletic and tough forward plays out of position at center in the big men flooded western conference, and still manages 23 pts and almost 9 rebounds a night! Few big men can match his talented gifts of power and quickness and he’s shined against the best of them (from Nowitzki listed here, to Tim Duncan etc.) Look for Phoenix to try and resign him, but dues to management issues (GM Steve Kerr, and ownership to be exact) with Amare earlier in the season and the fact that they looked to trade him before the trading deadline back in February, I think Stoudemaire will be looking for a new residence come July 1st. 2010 season stats: 23.1 pts., 8.9 rebounds, 55% FG %.
3. Chris Bosh – Arguably the most skillful big man in the game today (behind Tim Duncan & Pau Gasol of course), who can drive to the rim, post in the paint, and has a reliable mid range jump shot! Bosh has already narrowed his wish list of teams to play for down to five: The Toronto Raptors, The NY Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat & LA Lakers. 2010 season stats: 24 pts., 10.8 rebounds, 51% FG %.
2. Dwayne Wade – D. Wade the man who former teammate Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed “Flash” because of his lightening quickness and agility, will not be leaving Miami without newly resigned GM/President Pat Riley putting up a fight for him! Last time Riley was faced with a long and possibly difficult summer to upgrade his roster, he brought in Shaq from LA in 2004 (and they won the title 2 years later in 06). Look for Riley to try and work his magic again this summer. One thing is certain, there is no questioning Wade’s heart, passion and ability to put a team on his back and give them his all. 2010 season stats; 26.6 pts., 6.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds.
And the #1 top NBA free agent of 2010 is (as if there was any real surprise here on this)
1. Lebron James – King James! There has been great speculation about Cleveland’s chosen one and where he will end up by the start of the 2010-2011 season! No one will be more sought after, chased, pursued and wooed than Lebron this summer for sure. His mere presence on any team can possibly double the market value of your franchise (just ask the Cavaliers). His accolades on the court are pretty well documented in his short but productive 7 year career (countless all-star appearances, 1 Finals appearance, 1 Olympic gold medal, 2 MVP awards, etc.) One thing is certain Lebron prides himself on being a winner and a passionate competitor, so wherever he lands (or if he decides to stay in Cleveland) they will have to be an organization that has made a serious commitment towards winning and accepting nothing less than that as success! 2010 season stats: 29.7 pts., 8.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds.
So you’ve seen my list for the top 5 NBA free agents for 2010. Reports have just recently been released on ESPN’s “Sportscenter” & “Pardon the Interruption” shows that free agents such as Lebron, Wade, Atlanta Hawks Joe Johnson & Chris Bosh, all plan to sit down for a (free agent summit) and discuss where they all want to go and what they plan to do before July 1st! So there could be a great chance that 2 or more of the free agents this year could wind up in the same uniform together. Other notable free agent players this summer include Memphis Grizzlies SG Rudy Gay and Utah Jazz PF Carlos Boozer! It should be a very interesting and exciting summer of 2010 indeed, stay tuned.