NBA

NBA Free Agent Update: Amare, Joe Johnson, Shaq, LeBron and More

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To me, the New York Knicks have made the biggest splash in this year's free agency...so far. So what if they don't get Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, or Joe Johnson? Three-fourths of those guys aren't even on a team yet. The Knicks actually got a superstar. His name is Amare Stoudemire. You probably remember him as a power forward for the Phoenix Suns. The deal will be worth $99.74 for a span of five years.

Stoudemire is going to be the easy starter at power forward. No sweat there. How will this impact other free agents? I guess we'll move to that later. However, the Knicks can't go back to their stupid ways with contracts. Those big fat signings of Zach Randolph, Eddy Curry, and all of that was just simply terrible. However, a five-year $100M deal for Amare sounds just about right. Why? Think about the eye injury he had that could have ended his career? Think about the injuries and all of that. Could there be an age factor? Maybe. Five years seems just about right. Stoudemire, however, is back with Mike D'Antoni with his run-and-gun system, which suits him nicely and boosts up his statline.

But the Knicks still have a lot more cap room in them to bring in one, maybe even two, more guys. Now, according to several sources, the Knicks may bolt for San Antonio Spurs' point guard Tony Parker and Denver Nuggets' small forward Carmelo Anthony. But according to a source at ESPN.com, the Denver Nuggets say they will not trade to trade Anthony.

"There is no way we are trading Carmelo Anthony," the official for the Nuggets told ESPN. "We're 100 percent certain of that."

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But think about it. They have Amare. This could change things as Anthony could be interested and Stoudemire will give the selling pitch. However, for Tony Parker, it is a totally different story. I see the Knicks doing something with Danilo Gallanari and Eddy Curry, with his big fat contract, and send them to the Spurs for Tony Parker. With that, they could also bring another person, but he probably won't be that much of a difference. With the signing of Stoudemire, the Knicks could probably re-sign David Lee and put him as the starting center. But still, there are a lot of holes to fill. I think they will bring in Parker, but definitely not Anthony. What if the Knicks could bring in LeBron James? Maybe Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh come together in Miami or Chicago and James can go to NY. Could be a fit, maybe. But I think all the Knicks will have is Stoudemire and Parker. Maybe a signing of Allen Iverson? Probably not.

The Knicks are going to work very well with Stoudemire. If Parker comes in as well, I wouldn't be surprised seeing New York finally making the playoffs.

According to several reports, Atlanta Hawks' shooting guard Joe Johnson has agreed to a deal that was worth $119M. This contract will go on for six years. Johnson is much like Rudy Gay, as they both received big money from their teams. They knew if they didn't re-sign, they wouldn't get that kind of money from another team, possibly losing out on more than $30M.

But there's a lot of holes in this deal. Sure, the Hawks have a good supporting cast and everything and I believe strongly that they will be title contenders for the next few years. But let's get this straight: The Hawks were not very smart on this deal. They overpaid Johnson way too much and with that kind of money, it seemed like he was a bigger superstar than LeBron James and all of them. Could this impact free agency? Not a whole lot, but it was still a weird offer by Atlanata.

Also, think about the age factor. Johnson is nearing 30 as he is 28 right now. He has already passed 25,000 career minutes. According to John Hollinger, his database says that a lot of players compare to him at that age. These players are Michael Finley, Vince Carter, Allan Houston, Glenn Robinson, Richard Hamilton, Jalen Rose, Steve Smith, Jamal Mashburn, Jerry Stackhouse, and Glen Rice. Surprisingly, all of those guys haven't made the All-Star team once after turning the age of 30. Yes, the big 3-0. With this, Johnson will be being paid as a big-shot superstar until 33. And by the time he is 30, he would be gassed out.

You could make up 119 million reasons why this isn't even a good deal. Johnson will be making $30M more than any superstar in the league, no matter what happens in this free agency. It is easily not a smart move. But we still don't know what is going to happen. Let the game play out when we hit late-October. And that is a long way from now. It's only been a few days since the signing and we are already saying this is a bad deal without Johnson playing. You never know: Maybe Joe Johnson could do the unexpected coming into the 2010-11 season.

Despite Shaquille O'Neal's age, he can still ball. Nearing 40 years old, I still see the guy playing. And as of right now, according to several sources, the man is gaining interest from teams. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks all have interest in the center. The future Hall-of-Famer told several sources that he'd like to play for at least two or even three more seasons in the NBA.

According to Fanhouse.com, Shaq is receiving a possible two-year contract that could be worth at mid-level. The contract offer seems to be from the Hawks and O'Neal looks like he is seriously considering the offer. However, according to Shaq's agent in Perry Rogers, the Diesel has never received such an offer, let alone any deal from the Hawks.

"We have had no offers from the Hawks,'' Rogers said.

Sources close to Shaq say that he would like to play for the three teams mentioned. It would be nice seeing him with the Big Three, which is now aging. Bringing in Shaq could bolt Ray Allen to stay. With Rasheed Wallace announcing his retirement from the league as he did some great service, the C's could use a center. Glen Davis is a hybrid for power forward and center. Kendrick Perkins could be questionable and is out for the next six months. Bringing in Shaq would be nice, and he would be a great replacement. He has much respect to the franchise and Doc Rivers, so I like the fit here.

O'Neal has a close relationship to Hawks' coach Larry Drew. O'Neal was actually teamed up with Drew back in their times with the Los Angeles Lakers when O'Neal was the team's star and Drew was the assistant coach. The Hawks could use Shaq as a mentor to Al Horford.

Shaq could also be wanted in Dallas to play for the Mavericks. He has a good bond with Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki over there. Actually, when Shaq was playing with the Suns, the Mavs were reported to have interest in him and trade for him at the deadline. The rumors died down, though, and Shaq stayed with Phoenix. However, O'Neal is now a free agent and could bolt to the Mavs. I like the idea. He would easily become the starting center for the team. No doubt about it.

But, however, if LeBron James stays in Cleveland, this could make Shaq return to the Cavs. There's a lot of scenarios for Shaq. Here's one thing: he's not retiring. So we still got a couple more seasons to enjoy the Diesel!

Here are some quick things for today.

1. The Nets were waiting on LeBron James' answer during Fourth of July. Nothing has happened. But we'll see an answer soon. Also, Joe Dumars is not interested in the New Jersey Nets as the the team was targeting the Detroit Pistons' General Manager. The Nets are also reported to probably deal Kris Humphries, if needed.

2. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Daniel Orton struggled in his first summer league game and was later ejected. He only played 13 minutes.

"I didn't have a great start at all," Orton said afterward. "I really didn't get started. I couldn't get anything going for myself."

The Magic have also signed point guard Chris Duhon. The deal is a reported four-year contract worth $15M. Duhon averaged over seven points and five assists last year with the New York Knicks.

3. Allen Iverson is one of my favorite players in the NBA, ever. Possibly my most favored. He has went through a lot the past season and wants to return to the NBA. Here is what he wrote on his Twitter page:

I want to return to the NBA next season, and help any team that wants me, in any capacity that they feel that I can help. I'm disappointed, and I owe my fans more than what they have seen of me the last couple seasons. However, now that my family is healthy and rock solid, I can concentrate fully on doing what I do best! At the camp, I will help teach kids some of what it takes to be successful in life. On and off the basketball court.

I wish all the luck to you A.I.

4. The Celtics have officially signed their second-round draft pick in Semih Edren. It will be a one-year deal.

"It was a dream for me to come in here, but I had to wait the two years because it was my contract, and we have only buyout for this year," Erden told the Boston Herald through his agent Tolga Tugsavul. "So I will use my option to come in here. I'm very happy to be coming here to be part of the team."

Here is what Danny Ainge says about Edren and his role with the team.

"A lot of it is going to depend on what big guys we sign and how he plays in training camp," said Ainge. "Semih is a young player with some experience, but he's going to have to just earn an opportunity to get in uniform. And there may be opportunities with Kendrick Perkins' injury and so forth. But I don't know what our roster's going to be yet."

5. The Utah Jazz really want power forward Carlos Boozer to return to the team.

"We absolutely want him back," team's Vice President, Walt Perrin told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We just are going to have to wait and see what happens to some of the other guys on the free agent market. Then we'll be able to go from there"

6. The Miami Heat are talking to several teams like the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks for sign-and-trade or just trade deals. They look to involve Jermaine O'Neal and/or Michael Beasley. The players that are possible coming to Miami are Brendan Haywood, Jose Juan Barea, Carlos Boozer, and Kyle Korver.

7. Things are getting weird in Toronto with the Raptors and Chris Bosh.

"Things have to make sense for all sides," Bryan Colangelo told the Globe and Mail. "Things have to make sense for the player. Things have to make sense for the two teams involved. That's the part that ultimately has to be decided. He [Bosh] might decide on a franchise and we participate, we may not. That's kind of where things are."

8. The Nuggets look to give Carmelo Anthony a $65M offer. Here is more from the Denver Post:

Anthony doesn't have a timetable as he prepares for his wedding Saturday and waits to see how the Nuggets bolster their beleaguered frontcourt. While this is where Melo stands today, nothing is definite until he signs the contract, and he will naturally keep an eye on free-agent signings this month to see how all the teams make moves.

9. The Cavaliers are reported to have interest in Mike Miller, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Free agent Mike Miller was planning on coming to Akron this week to work out with LeBron James, Chris Paul. Will be Cavs FA target if LJ re-signs.

10. The Suns are reported to probably trade LeAndro Barbosa to the Cavaliers for Delonte West and Jamario Moon. The Suns could also probably bring in Rasheed Wallace, if he doesn't retire.

11. It seemed that Derrick Rose rather would have Joe Johnson than LeBron James on the Chicago Bulls. Here are some tweets from Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer:

LeBron really likes Rose and Joakim Noah. But there's lack if shooters on roster. Also it doesn't sound like he's exactly being welcomed by Rose.

Didn't say Rose was anti-LeBron. But the word is preference was Joe Johnson. They have same agent. That is what multiple people tell me.

This is NBA Daily for today. Thanks for reading!