What the max players are likely to do
LeBron James: As we covered yesterday, control is the name of the game for LeBron. He will earn the maximum money possible regardless of where he lands, so money and earning potential are not an issue. His endorsement money is the maximum possible in his sport and while smaller "local market" centric things may fall LeBron's way because of location, LeBron's money will be roughly the same regardless of where he signs. Winning a championship is on the list, and LeBron is starting to understand he'll be defined by the rings he wins and that's becoming increasingly more important in his world, but having control over his destiny is important. He has it in Cleveland. He may not get it in New York and he may not want it in L.A. with the Clippers.
Dwyane Wade: Wade wants to win in Miami. Wade loves Miami and has really found a home there. If Wade could build the perfect scenario its winning another championship in Miami. Ultimately, he is Miami's player to lose and with a mountain of cap space, there is little doubt Miami is going to add someone to help Wade out making him the least likely to leave of the bunch. Like LeBron, Wade will get all the money possible from Miami and Wade has some of the top endorsement deals in the sport. Chicago will play the home town card, New York will play the spotlight card and The Clippers will play the Hollywood card – but at the end of the day Miami is where Wade wants to be. Unless the HEAT screw it up, it's a question of whether anyone else on this list wants to join the party in South Beach.
Chris Bosh: Bosh is a different story. Winning is important to Bosh, but he's not living and dying by the box score. Getting paid matters, but Bosh knows he's going to be paid top dollar wherever he lands. The one thing everyone overlooks about Bosh is that he's content and happy in Toronto. Bosh is a businessman and all of this is a business for him. He's not romantic about it; in fact he's pretty cold and calculating. He's the top dog in a major market. He's a multi-time All-Star. He's making mountains of cash and he has a team that will do backflips to make him happy. To get Bosh to give that up, you are going to have to make him a pitch about how none of the things he has in Toronto change and his world gets better. Playing second banana to anyone's sundae may not be as appealing as fans want to believe. Bosh has what he wants in Toronto and he's at peace with that. Would a few more wins and a chance for a ring be pleasant for Chris, absolutely, but those are not the things that keep Chris up at night and those are not going to be the things that convince Chris to give up the pretty decent situation he has in Toronto.
Joe Johnson: The Fifth Year. Joe wants to win a title and Joe wants to be an All-Star. Joe wants to be a Max Contract player, but above all else, Joe Johnson wants a fifth year. The Atlanta Hawks would give Joe Johnson a max level extension today for three more years. They might be persuaded to add a fourth year that has some kind of incentive based guarantee. The Hawks won't go five years. That's where the Knicks and Bulls come into play. The team that offers the fifth year is likely going to get Joe Johnson and the Hawks will be upset to lose him, but the upside is for Joe to get that fifth year he's going to be signed and traded, which means the Hawks get something back in exchange for their best player. Joe will likely be the player in this bunch that leaves a winning team for a non-winning situation and it will be about money. It's possible the Hawks have some success in the post-season and get intoxicated with the possibilities – see Orlando Magic – and spend to keep Johnson. The likely scenario is that Johnson is leaving Atlanta and he'll do it because someone offers him that fifth year.
Amar'e Stoudemire: Amar'e says winning a championship matters most. Everyone says that when they are asking for more money, mainly because teams want people dedicated to winning, not dedicated to money. Stoudemire's stance has been the same since training camp – MAX money in Phoenix or he goes shopping. Sources close to the situation have said if he is taking a dollar under the MAX he's heading to Miami. That's likely why Miami didn't get silly in giving away solid assets like Michael Beasley at the trade deadline, because they know they can get Amar'e in July if Phoenix doesn't pay him. The biggest telegraphed pitch in free agency is Stoudemire to Miami. Amar'e wants to win and he knows he may have to play second banana to another player to get there and he's fine with that. Like Johnson, Amar'e is one of the more likely players on this list to move and he may be the answer to Miami's Dwyane Wade problem too.
There are more than 140 players that will be eligible for some level of free agency in July and with a nasty labor dispute coming don't be surprised to see players chasing dollars and long-term security more than any other goal, even the guys on this list.
By: Steve Kyler
Aahh, I see. No wonder Joe Johnson turned down that 4-year, $60 million dollar offer from the Hawks; he wants an extra year. Is an extra year really worth turning down an offer like that, though?
yeah i didnt know that either. i was wondering why hewould do that with how good the hawks are. and the knicks willprobably give him that contract and then when he is 33 they will be wishing they didnt give him that fith year
Just like the Raptors did with Turkoglu. They probably regret it already.
I still believe that he will be an allstar with the3n Jazz! h I f he leaves just another -player!
I've never seen a star player on a team that wins 48+ games every year so adamant about going to another team. I'm sure David Lee would be willing to switch spots with Boozer if he was given the opportunity.
has the D-Will, &$#%#&@! boozer has the stoc`kton to malone &$#%#&@!. If boozer leaves he does not care about winninbg! I hate Boozeer
news flash, no one wants to live in Utah. And David Lee would be dumb to switch spots with Boozer because the Knicks are going to improve drastically next year with some sort of signings and there is nothing better than being a winner in NYC. You guys really think Deron Williams on the Knicks wouldn't be considered a top 5 player in the NBA? Upper echelon players not named Lebron need NY because it will make them Legends, and Lebron needs NY because of his ego. Get ready for a disappointing summer for NY haters.
I live in Utah and love every second of this mountain living.
did you forget aqbout our olympics! Utah has the best &$#%#&@!!. I can fly off this olympic &$#%#&@!!
you don't like UTAH well &$#%#&@! you are weird!
actually thats not a news flash bk. ive lived there and talked to many nba players that have come through there. they dont mind living in utah. not sure why you would think that. keep talking about how peopel would like to live in ny but players arent flocking to come there. players like playing for winners which is why the top free agents more then likely wont come there unless its just for the money. okc is the best spot ever but you see durant wants and extension there. not sure how much you travel but people can find something to do and have fun just about anywhere. especially millionaires. ill take a quote from amare and lebron" you can live anywhere because after the game you can take a private jet to anywhere you wanna go" another one from a couple nba players" alot of theses place like los angeles and new yorks are great places to live and party but once you have a family you want to live some place nice and quiet and safe for youre kids away from the big cities"
And thats not including sundance up in park city where all the nba/hollywood/music stars come for a week and a half