Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Some big names, fewer big spenders in free agency

Some big names, fewer big spenders in free agency

Free agency opens in the NBA on Wednesday and few headline-stealing moves are expected. The blockbuster trades were last week, and the real free agent bonanza is next year.
Financial difficulties, combined with the potential of one of the best free agent classes ever in 2010, will have most teams keeping their wallets closed this summer. More than a dozen have already lined themselves up to be contenders when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire can all become available, and may not want to waste precious salary cap space now.
Back in February, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he wouldn't want to be a free agent this summer. On Tuesday, he wondered if players might find it best to sign a short-term deal and try again in 2010, when there are more suitors.
"How many players will sign one year deals to be able to take advantage of the huge amount of cap room next year?" he wrote on his Twitter page.
For those who do want to buy now, there is some talent worth considering.
Teams seeking a point guard could choose among Jason Kidd, Mike Bibby and Andre Miller. Those needing a good swingman can envision Ron Artest, Hedo Turkoglu, Trevor Ariza or Shawn Marion.
Allen Iverson or Ben Gordon could provide instant offense for some team. Paul Millsap or David Lee would look nice as a young, hardworking power forward in someone's frontcourt.
The Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder have the most money to spend, but apparently have different strategies. The Pistons, who freed up millions when they dealt Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets for Iverson and his expiring contract, are expected to pursue Gordon and perhaps Charlie Villanueva. The Milwaukee Bucks let Villanueva become a free agent, and he could also draw interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Thunder don't seem as eager to throw their money around, knowing a better bet could be slowly building around a young core featuring Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.
Both NBA finalists face free agency decisions. The Los Angeles Lakers will try to keep their championship core intact by retaining Lamar Odom and Ariza, while the Orlando Magic appear likely to lose Turkoglu after trading for Vince Carter last week.
The Houston Rockets must determine how much they value Artest, the last man standing among their big three after injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.
"We have 11 guaranteed contracts now and obviously have free agents we need to decide on, Ron and Von (Wafer)," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said last week. "Obviously, we've got two big players who've got some injuries. We'll learn more over time and as it unfolds, we'll have to react."
Teams can begin negotiating with free agents after midnight (0400 GMT), but can't sign them until July 8, after the salary cap for next season has been set. It's expected to decrease from this year's $58.7 million, making it even harder to predict which teams will be spenders.
"Right now I have no sense of the market in the whole league," New York Knicks president of operations Donnie Walsh said.
Players are about to find out _ and may not like the answers.
___
AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan in Houston and Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-08-05 19:07 GMT+08:00