NBA Free Agency
A look at 2009 NBA free agency, including unrestricted and restricted free agents, as well as players who can exercise options to enter NBA free agency this summer. Below we are quoting Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun:
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NBA FREE AGENCY CLASS OF 2009
PF Carlos Boozer (Utah): Will opt out, forgoing $12.7 million.
SF Shawn Marion (Miami): Prime candidate to be moved prior to Feb. 19 trade deadline.
PF Rasheed Wallace (Detroit): Still a force when he wants to be.
SF Lamar Odom (LA Lakers): If he proves himself in post-season, can cash in on open market.
PG Allen Iverson (Detroit): Little chance he'll be back in Motown.
SG Ron Artest (Houston): Looking for big bucks, meaning he'll be looking for a new home.
PG Mike Bibby (Atlanta): Has one good contract left in career.
SG Wally Szczerbiak (Cleveland): Expiring contract is the envy of many.
SG Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers): No way he'll exercise early termination option in his contract.
PF Jason Maxiell (Detroit): Restricted free agent, but Pistons will match any offer.
PF Paul Millsap (Utah): Restricted free agent in line for huge pay raise.
SG Anthony Parker (Toronto): Expiring contract interests teams.
PG Jason Kidd (Dallas): No longer a max player; he'd look good playing next to Kobe.
PF/C Jermaine O'Neal (Toronto): No way he'll opt out of $23 million.
NBA FREE AGENCY CLASS OF 2010
Again, we're quoting the Toronto Sun here:
SG Paul Pierce (Boston): Played entire career in Beantown; what about a return to Tinseltown, the Truth's hometown?
PG Steve Nash (Phoenix): Days in desert are numbered; it's either a reunion with D'Antoni or a return to Canada to finish career.
SG Manu Ginobili (San Antonio): despite age and ankle woes, he's very much coveted.
SG Joe Johnson (Atlanta): Can flat-out score; face of the Hawks franchise.
PF Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas): Needs Nash more than cash.
SG Ray Allen (Boston): Any veteran who can shoot the lights out is coveted.
C Tyson Chandler (New Orleans): Would be foolish to leave Chris Paul, but the attraction of big bucks makes people do foolish things.
C Yao Ming (Houston): Hard to tell what he'll do, but he'll have options and a lot of suitors.
SG/SF Tracy McGrady (Houston): Seems to have worn out his welcome in Houston.
SG Michael Redd (Milwaukee): Big scorer in small market who should consider a change.
SF Richard Jefferson (Milwaukee): Versatility makes him a valuable piece on any team.
2008 NBA FREE AGENCY | August 2, 2008
The negotiation period of 2008 NBA free agency began on July 1, 2008. And on July 9, teams began signing free agents. See official NBA transactions, the best available NBA free agent rankings, and a full list of still-unsigned NBA free agents.
August 2, 2008 Update: The only team left in NBA free agency with any real salary cap space is the Memphis Grizzlies. Though, rather than targeting top curently-available restricted free agents like Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala or Ben Gordon, the Grizzlies appear to want to hold onto their flexible salary situation and see what they can do next year, in summer of 2009 NBA free agency.
And, the only really good still-unsigned NBA free agents are all restricted, meaning their original teams can match any offer and keep the player. Those players are Josh Smith (Hawks), Andre Iguodala (76ers) and Ben Gordon (Bulls). Smith and Iguodala are very strongly expected to stay with their teams. Gordon isn't quite so certain.
NBA free agency overview as of July 2, 2008
In NBA free agency, players seek new contracts, whether with their current team or another squad elsewhere. They are NBA free agents. Unrestricted free agents can sign with any team that offers them a contract. Restricted free agents can do the same, only the team they had just been a member of has the right to match the contract and keep the player.
With the way the NBA is structured salary rule-wise, the majority of good players in need of a new contract tend to re-sign with their current team rather than go someplace new, because their current team can often sign them to a lot more money without violating league rules.
Often, you hear that a star player is in NBA free agency and may seek a new home, but in reality, the vast majority of teams in the league are at or above the salary cap limit and simply don't have the money available to sign a star. These days, players who want to make $6 million or less per season have plenty of freedom to sign with any team in the league, but players who want to make more than that are usually very restricted and find that only a tiny handful of the league's 30 teams are able to make it happen.
In the summer of 2008, there are a bunch of good restricted free agents, but very few good unrestricted ones. Restricted free agents can sign whatever deal that gets offered to them, but their current team (whoever they played for in 2007-08) can match the offer and retain the player. Some of those players include Josh Smith, Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala and Jose Calderon.
The best unrestricted free agent this summer is Antawn Jamsion. The Wizards hope to keep him.
Another thing to consider is that players can often opt out of their contract and enter NBA free agency. Guys who are set to make a ton of money next season usually don't do that unless they have some sort of understanding that a better deal is waiting for them, usually from their current team. Guys like Gilbert Arenas, Baron Davis and Shawn Marion -- all extremely good players -- can do that, but chances are none, or at most one, will.
InsideHoops.com is your home for complete off-season coverage. We've got every aspect of NBA free agency on lock-down. Coming soon we'll name the teams that have cap room and get more specific about who might go where.
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