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Free Agency signals a changing in the NBA Elite

06/30/2010

The 2003 NBA draft will go down as one of the best drafts in history. It had star power, player potential and franchise players.

The marquee draft prospects were a high school player who exploits had been watched since he was in the eighth grade and arrival was so anticipated that he garnered the nickname “King”. A college freshman with poise and maturity for his age had not ever been seen, who led his team to their first NCAA championship and a collegiate junior who had went from sitting out his freshman year because of grade to being one of the top three players in country.

So when Lebron James went first overall, Carmelo Anthony third and Dwayne Wade fifth in the draft,  it was all a perfect fit for the NBA.

“King” James would be giving the reins to a struggling franchise in Cleveland and be the leader of the new school. Anthony would go into a good setup for him in Denver, where he would lead his team into the playoffs in his first season. Wade would also help his team into the playoffs after a  slow start and eventually lead the team to an NBA championship.

As rookies, they knew one valuable lesson that needs addressing, rookies don’t make a lot of money on their first NBA contract.

Fast forward to the present. Free Agency is among the NBA just hours away from the midnight deadline before NBA teams are allowed to talk to free agents. Guess who are the marquee names that everyone wants to make their team better and to make them rich individually — James and Wade.  Anthony falls into this category because the collective bargaining agreement. If he opts out, he could be a restricted free agent and sign with his current team or opt out for next season. His current team, the Denver Nuggets, are ready to give Anthony a contract or trade him if he doesn’t accept. They don’t want to be in a situation where he leaves and they don’t get anything.

With all the expectation surrounding this, don’t expect much out of the ordinary. A lot of players will stay put. Amare Stoudamire will more than likely be a Sun next year. The same goes for Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce, who opted out of the lats years of their contract. Next years collective bargaining agreement will be worse than this years so players want their money while it’s there.

Miami has the most money to spend, so expect Wade to be signed initially right after the deadline. The Heat will then turn to him to help recruit another player — Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer — to play with him in South Beach. Whoever they take, expect the other to go to play where James goes.

To make a long story short as everyone has speculated, whatever James does will dictate how the others move. Most of the other players will stay put but expect few changes of teams.

James, Wade and Anthony will continue to be trend setters in their own right and set a presidence  for players to follow as they make decisions on their future. Money talks and every thing else runs a marathon so let “shoe me the money” marathon begin.

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