It seems like the anticipation has been gnawing at everyone for a year. Well actually, it kind of has. We all want to know where LeBron James is going to play in 2010. Many teams and their respective fans are sitting on pins and needles as they eagerly await the results of their sales pitches, campaigns, songs, rallies, billboards, meetings, offerings of cute furry animals to unspeakable deities – just to land LBJ. Thankfully, we’re almost there. ESPN will cover his one-hour special as he will announce to the anxiously waiting millions for his decision. In the meantime, while we all wait, the world (at least the part involved in NBA free agency) is not standing still…
Two down, ONE to go
Dwyane Wade AND Chris Bosh have both agreed to play for the Miami Heat in 2010. The details of their contracts remain pending on James’ decision, as they are both willing to take “less” money in order for the Heat to accommodate LBJ and fill up the rest of its roster. As of now, it’s really to early to project how these two will do in fantasy next season. We, like the rest of the known Universe, will have to see if LeBron will join them; and consequently form a twisted pretzel of stat line reduction between the three of them. Just click “instant replay” on what happened to Kevin Garnett’s stats when he joined Boston to form its Big Three. To be fair, they (he) did manage to win an NBA title. Unfortunately, the Heat’s situation is not as close to Boston model as we’d like to imagine – at least not yet. The role-playing slots still need to be filled, but in a market where there are more willing wallets than there is a supply of unsigned high-grade talent, the Heat might not be able to financially make it all fit.
Assuming they are “it,” I can see them working well as a duo and causing problems versus some opponents. Miami will likely fill up its roster with some players Wade is familiar with. Sadly, a Wade-Bosh tandem alone might not be enough to take on an older and more seasoned Bryant-Gasol juggernaut.
Since indications point to James still be undecided at this hour, this announcement is more a form of a quiet “Red Carpet” being laid out for kingly feet to tread. A carpet, not much unlike a yellow brick road, leading home or an NBA Championship – whichever his highness’ heart so desires most. The question left answered is “If you build it, will HE come?”
On a fantasy level I’m now psyched, more than ever, to own Andrea Bargnani (who I just love in fantasy) in the GMTR Keeper League! It’s all systems go for him to make a big splash in fantasy this season! The TOs will sting a bit, but I have him now penciled in as a third-round fantasy pick. I do expect the Raptors to make further moves, so this ranking is probably going to be a temporary one. For now, I’m going to enjoy it for what it’s worth and while it lasts.
Bulls get Boozer
They’ve wanted a low-post scorer for a long time now. Very long, actually. And so with a five-year, $80 million deal; the Bulls get their wish. This makes a stronger case for Chicago to attract LeBron, as they now arguably have the most balanced core of talented players to support him.
Immediately following its announcement, Wade and Bosh were quick to send out their congratulatory tweets for Boozer.
Congts 2 1 of the greatest human beings I know “C Booz”. Chicago just won w/ U..
Congrats to my fellow gold medalist Carlos Boozer! Very happy for you and your family.
Boozer’s signing extinguishes Taj Gibson’s hopes for fantasy improvement this year. His high conversion rate from close to medium range gives us some hope to see Derrick Rose see some improvement in the assist category. I don’t see any real threat to Joakim Noah’s production. It’s actually a good thing. It allows Noah greater freedom to do what he does best, the “dirty work.” Since Boozer has not ever been known for his defense, expect him to be more of just another chunky body in the lane while, again, Noah will get things done.
When this broke I quickly messaged Nels (our resident Bulls fan) to get a comment about Boozer’s signing with his team. I got an enigmatic reply:
It’s time to get Boozed up.
Now I don’t know whether that was a positive or a negative reaction. People drink for different reasons. Unless of course you’re an alcoholic drunkard and at which case you don’t need a reason. Not that I’m saying Nels has a problem or anything… oh never mind! We’ll have to wait for his (lengthier) response later on.
On the other side of this coin, we turn our attention to the Utah Jazz, the team Boozer left behind. The Paul Millsap stock has risen considerably on our fantasy index. I need to have a pow-wow with the guys and discuss where we should project him to be drafted. Regardless, it would be somewhat oxymoronic – or just plain moronic, really – to peg Paul as a sleeper. He’ll be on everyone’s draft radar. The true challenge will be to not grab him too soon.
Ray Allen signs two-year deal with Celtics
From a fan’s perspective, Patrick will best be able to share how warm and fuzzy this makes him feel that his team will likely have another shot at the title (or two – but I doubt it).
From a fantasy perspective – Yawn! The Celtics, with the exception of Rajon Rondo of course, have become boring, mid-round, fantasy mainstays for some time now and Allen’s return does nothing to improve that status quo.
Kevin Durant signs extension with Thunder
That officially makes Durant the poster boy for fantasy stability at the moment. Expect more of last season, except that his numbers will just get better, juicier, and fantasy-yummier. Nels will be cranking out a team preview for the Thunder some time soon, so I will leave it to him to give you the full low down and breakdown of what to expect from KD and company in 2010.
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