NBA Free Agency Fever: Catch It or Trade It
While the San Antonio Spurs continue to celebrate their fifth NBA championship, all the other teams are already starting to plan their challenge to them in 2014-2015.
The title holders have Patty Mills and Boris Diaw as key unrestricted free agents, and Tim Duncan has a player option. The Spurs, who preach happy family all the time, expect everyone back.
The same cannot be said for the floundering New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Carmelo Anthony is opting out of his contract in New York, and Kevin Love has warned Minnesota that he'll do the same next year. The Knicks are in big trouble; they have no cap space to replace Anthony. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are already exploring ways to trade Love, with the Celtics and Warriors currently leading the way.
The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets are the early leaders for Anthony, but if players like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade opt out of their Miami Heat contracts, he could hook up with one or both of them to create another 'Big Three.' Chris Bosh could also be in the mix, so the next few days could raise eyebrows, especially with the draft coming up on Thursday.
This would be a good time for Sir Charles to weigh in on the speculation and put it into perspective:
Speaking of the draft, that's seen serious reassessment with the injury to possible top pick Joel Embiid.
The hard luck and poorly run Cleveland Cavaliers have the first selection for the second straight season and now may trade it instead of blowing another No 1 decision like they did last season.
The Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons can all turn their fortunes around after strings bad seasons, but with Embiid possibly down for the year -- seriously thinning the draft's potential 'franchise' plyaers -- that turnaround may take at least another season for at least one of this sorry bunch.