Top 2014 NBA Free Agents
1. LeBron James
LeBron is a force of nature, and he’s proved that he has the ability to take nearly any team to the top of the NBA. LeBron will be coveted on the free agent market this year, and it’s not entirely clear what move he’s going to make. The Heat star made $19 million last year, which is still below Carmelo’s $21 million and Kobe’s projected $25 million salary next season.
LeBron took a paycut to play with Wade and Bosh, and he might be looking to get a full max deal this summer. There are rumors that he is interested in playing with a younger core than Miami’s aging roster. There are always whispers of a Cavaliers reunion, but the Lakers are also a very realistic possibility if LeBron decides to leave Miami.
2. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh is underutilized and underappreciated, but that doesn’t make him worth any less. He’s Miami’s 2nd best player, and he’s improved his range all the way out to the 3 point line. There are rumors that Bosh is no longer interested in playing 3rd fiddle, and he wants to be recognized as the star player that he is. He could find a home with the Dallas Mavericks, as Bosh grew up in the area and has local ties to the community. Bosh could potentially play with a re-signed Nowitzki and create a formable duo.
3. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo has all but said he’s leaving New York. While the Knicks can offer him the most money, Anthony has stated that his income doesn’t matter, and he’s more concerned about winning. Anthony has been linked to the Lakers, which are known for their quick rebuilds, and also to the Chicago Bulls. Carmelo has made nearly $115 million in his ten year career, but he’s never been to the finals. Could a Derrick Rose – Carmelo pairing or a Bryant – Carmelo pairing change that?
4. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is the least likely of anyone on this list to leave. He’s played in Miami his entire career, where he’s beloved by the fans and the local community. Wade’s health has declined sharply in recent years, and his knee problems have kept him off the court for longer periods of time during the regular season. Even if LeBron and Bosh leave, look for Wade to re-sign on a short term deal. Retirement might be in the works in the next few seasons.
5. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki, like Wade, has played on one team his entire career. But Dirk has been frustrated in recent years, as owner Mark Cuban has refused to give longer term deals to his teammates. Dirk could look to explore his options, and there will be a long list of teams interested in employing him. Nowitzki is likely to stay put, but there’s a chance he gets wooed by an up and coming team.
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