View Poll Results: Which Pair or Single Free Agent Will NY Land?

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  • LeBron James

    1 7.69%
  • Dywane Wade

    0 0%
  • Chris Bosh

    1 7.69%
  • Amare Stoudemire

    1 7.69%
  • Bosh and Wade

    1 7.69%
  • Bosh and James

    3 23.08%
  • Amare and James

    4 30.77%
  • Amare and Wade

    0 0%
  • Wade and James

    1 7.69%
  • Other

    1 7.69%
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Thread: Exclusive: ESPN Writers Poll : Summer of 2010

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    Default Exclusive: ESPN Writers Poll : Summer of 2010

    ESPN EXCLUSIVE REPORT
    ESPN's 52 writers predict where the four biggest prizes of 2010 will land. The list includes Lebron, Wade, Bosh, and Amar'e.

    Since the NY Knicks are players in all 4 free agents summers, writers predicted NY as the top spot for Amar'e and Bosh, a far 2nd for LeBron, and a mere 3rd for Wade.

    Here are all 4 free agent Forecasts

    LeBron James

    <cite>Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images</cite>New York fans are hoping LeBron will be playing for the Knicks instead of against them in 2010-11.
    <!-- end wide photo -->For the greatest free-agent class in NBA history, the magic number is 10, because according to our forecast, at least 10 teams will have significant cap space in the summer of 2010.
    And it appears there will be at least 10 big names on the open market as unrestricted free agents: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], along with aging but still potent names like [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. And that's not to mention [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], each of whom has the option of joining the 2010 class, as do potential restricted free agents [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. And last but not least, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] still could choose to hit free agency in 2010.
    So is it merely a coincidence that so many teams have hoarded cap space, and that other teams are trying to create space to join the party? You do the math.
    Of course, the giant game of musical chairs that appears to be looming has already created quite a frenzy, as fans, journalists and the teams themselves try to imagine all the ways it could play out.
    And that's where our Summer Forecast comes in. We asked our panel of 52 NBA noggins just where they thought LBJ, D-Wade, CB4 and Amare/STAT/Sun Tzu would end up a year from now. Our answers are found below (LeBron) and here: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] | [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] | [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].



    Cleveland (38 votes)

    Clevelanders can't exhale yet, but perhaps they can take some comfort in our forecast, as 73.1 percent of our panel members now see LeBron staying in Ohio. That's a switch from [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], when less than half the panel saw King James wearing the wine and gold past 2010.
    Certainly the Cavaliers have tried hard -- since drafting LeBron in 2003, really -- to make sure he's felt at home in his home state. The recent acquisitions of Shaquille O'Neal, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], and the big contract given to [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], are clear signals that Cleveland has continued in its win-now-and-make-LeBron-very-happy mode, likely eschewing hopes of adding a big name in 2010. And since the Cavs are building off a 66-win season, the immediate future seems bright indeed.
    But with teams like Boston, Orlando and the Lakers also vying for the brass ring -- and the odds are against any single team, even one as stacked as Cleveland -- LeBron is still more than likely to exit the building in great frustration once again, coming up short of a title for the seventh straight season. The question is whether he'll keep walking.
    As we've heard (and reported) ad nauseam, the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] have been clearing cap space furiously, and naturally have their sights set on King James, who is known to love the city and wants "global icon" status. And as noted above, New York is hardly the only team projected to have cap space in 2010.
    But the Cavs caught a break, it appears, at least in terms of their LeBron retention plan, when the league crunched the numbers and projected a drop in revenues and the salary cap for the coming year. That means, as things currently stand, the Knicks could not sign both LBJ and a friend like Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade to max contracts. Presumably that would dampen LeBron's interest in making the leap to the Big Apple.
    And let's not forget, the Cavs can sign James for tens of millions more than any other team can. Even for a guy as wealthy as LeBron, money talks. Unless it doesn't.
    <hr>

    New York (8 votes)

    Despite the cards Cleveland holds, some still see New York as King James' destiny. And they might have a leg to stand on, thanks to LeBron himself, as he has become the master of the mixed message. That was heard again most recently in his interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, in which he avoided the opportunity to express loyalty to Cleveland and pointedly said his heart was in his hometown of Akron:
    "My loyalty is to Akron. I'm looking forward to this upcoming season, but I'm looking forward to the summer of 2010, too, to see what may happen. No matter what happens that summer, I'm still here. I've got a nice big house here that I'm always coming back to. I love this city and I'll always give back to this city no matter what my profession, if it takes me somewhere else."
    So if that leaves the door open for an exit to another team, how could Knicks president Donnie Walsh pull off his miracle play?
    First, he'll try to move [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] to create enough cap space for LeBron and another free agent to leap directly to New York; that's been Plan A since Walsh arrived. Short of that -- and moving those two contracts will be exceedingly difficult -- he'll try to work out a sign-and-trade, perhaps involving [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], to bring in a second star such as Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire as a teammate for LeBron. And no matter what, he'll tell LeBron all about the potential cap room the Knicks will have in 2011, at which time Walsh will be able to round out what could become a championship roster.
    The other cards in Walsh's deck are pretty obvious as he makes his pitch to LeBron: Come to so-called Basketball Mecca and we'll build championship teams around you in the World's Greatest Arena, paving the way to greater glory, riches and Global Icon status. And oh, by the way, you'll be playing for Mike D'Antoni, the guy who won about 60 games a year in Phoenix, who helped mastermind the success of your Olympic gold medal-winning team and who will set you free in the open court to run up and down in the up-tempo offense you've always dreamed of.
    Right now the obvious problem for New York is that the roster has massive holes, to say the least. But Walsh can point out two other things to LeBron: The Cavs roster will have its own serious issues going forward, and the Knicks have ways to improve dramatically.
    LeBron has stated that his goal is to win multiple championships, la Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. And at the moment, the Cavs are much better positioned to win a title than the Knicks are. But if Walsh can somehow persuade LeBron that the Knicks will put him in good position to win rings, then the New York move -- and the most celebrated free-agent move in sports history -- can't be counted out.
    That said, right now our panel is keeping it real, as only 15.4 percent see LeBron making the leap to New York in 2010.
    <hr>While there are many wild-card options in play (the Clippers, anyone?), only three were mentioned by our panel:


    Miami (3 votes)
    A trio of panelists expects LeBron to land in Miami and play alongside Dwyane Wade, forming an unprecedented dynamic duo of All-World wing players. As farfetched as this might sound, it appears to meet some of the criteria James might have for his next contract: The Heat would be instant title contenders, LeBron would have his pal D-Wade as a teammate, and he's said to love the city.
    But would LeBron want to invade Wade's turf and join a franchise in which the pecking order would be unclear? Hard to say.


    New Jersey (2 votes)
    Another couple of voters expect LeBron to join his buddy Jay-Z and the Nets as they try to make their way to Brooklyn. While this option seemed like a live one a year ago, the well-reported bumps in the road for the Nets franchise and its proposed move to NYC have probably chilled James' interest in signing up for the ride.


    Boston (1 vote)
    And one hunch has King James in Celtic green, which is theoretically possible: Boston could give LeBron a max contract if Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo walked (or were renounced by the Celtics). In that case, though, LeBron might be wondering if "anything is possible," even if [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] is still around.
    Royce Webb is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Dwyane Wade
    <cite>Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images</cite>The Miami Heat franchise and its fans would be devastated if D-Wade were to skip town next summer.
    <!-- end wide photo -->The [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] saga is coming to resemble that of [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].
    Like LeBron, Wade went early in the 2003 draft, joined a losing team and turned it around in a hurry with MVP-level play. Like LeBron, Wade signed a shorter-than-expected, four-year extension that began in 2007 with a 2010 opt-out. And like LeBron, Wade has rebuffed all efforts by his current team to agree on a new extension this summer.
    And according to our panel, that's not where the similarities stop:


    Miami (35 votes)

    Just as the majority of our panel expects James to stay in Cleveland, 67.3 percent of our voters see Wade remaining with his current team, the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].
    Although Wade has expressed some frustration about the Heat's shifting fortunes and methodical rebuilding process since their shocking, scintillating title win in 2006, he also has said repeatedly that he sees a long-term future for himself in Miami -- while occasionally also leaving the door open for his departure.
    So why would a third of our panel see Wade walking? Well, right now the Miami roster needs a lot of work, and Wade's potential sidekick, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], has some [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] to overcome. If Heat honcho Pat Riley is unable to create a contending team or convince Wade that he can bring in the kind of talent that his star guard expects, Flash might find the grass greener elsewhere.
    But he won't find more greenbacks -- Miami can offer him millions more than any other team next summer. And as [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] recently documented, the Heat also are very well-positioned to make the NBA's biggest moves in 2010.
    All in all, it likely adds up to a nervous season followed by a big sigh of relief along South Beach.
    <hr>

    Chicago (8 votes)

    The Bron-Wade parallels take a twist when looking at the hometown hero factor.
    Although LeBron gets to play near his home city of Akron, D-Wade is about 1,200 miles from home. Meanwhile, the Bulls have been canny in creating 2010 cap space, opening the door for Wade to make a hero's return, somewhat like MJ in 1995. And in [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], Chicago could finally provide Wade with the kind of dynamic young point guard he has never had before.
    But although everyone has speculated on his future, Wade himself hasn't said much about going back home, and anyone who has survived a Chicago winter has a clue why. Also, as many folks could tell you, going home isn't always as comfortable as keeping your distance.
    And don't overlook this fact: The Bulls can't pay Wade nearly as much as Miami can.
    All in all, only 15.3 percent of our panelists see Wade blowing off Miami and returning to the Windy City.
    <hr>

    New York (6 votes)

    The LeBron parallels resume with the forecast by six panelists who think Wade will end up in New York, either alongside LBJ (one vote) or without him (five votes).
    Although the Knicks might be focused on James, Job No. 1 in New York is to clear cap space, and Wade, while three years older than LeBron, would be a heck of a consolation prize.
    As covered in describing the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], New York can't be counted out, for many of the same reasons.
    Also receiving votes: New Jersey (2), Houston (1)
    Royce Webb is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Chris Bosh

    <cite>Ron Turenne/Getty Images</cite>Will Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade be teammates in Miami next season? A dozen voters think so.
    <!-- end wide photo -->Although most of our experts expect [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] to stay right where they are, the book on Bosh reads a little differently. He has not openly expressed a desire to leave Toronto in recent months, but he also hasn't done much to make anyone think he wants to stay. That said, the degree to which our panel of 52 NBA observers seems sure that he's leaving is surprising, as only three see CB4 staying north of the border.


    New York (19 votes)

    The Big Apple appears to be our best guess as the default destination for any free agent seeking a new place to land, as about one-third of our panelists see Bosh heading to New York.
    Of the 19 who put Bosh with the Knicks, only a half-dozen saw him heading there in a tandem with James (four votes for LeBron and Bosh joining forces in New York) or Wade (two votes), his 2003 draftmates and U.S. Olympic teammates. The other 13 saw him taking the Knicks' bucks without James or Wade, presumably after they had decided to eschew New York. The reasoning there is fairly clear: Right now, the Knicks are not in a position to offer a max contract to two stars.
    <hr>

    Miami (12 votes)

    The Heat can retain Wade and offer Bosh the max in 2010, which makes them potent players in this saga. Of the dozen panelists who expect Bosh to join the Heat, nine see him playing alongside Wade, while three see Wade leaving and Bosh taking his place as Miami's resident star.
    <hr>

    Chicago (4 votes)

    The Bulls often have been mentioned as a potential preferred destination for Bosh, and they will have both the cap space and the motivation, given their long-standing need for a scoring big man. Certainly Chicago appears to be putting together the kind of roster that could attract a marquee free agent, although it has had trouble sealing the deal in recent years.
    <hr>

    Dallas (3 votes)

    If Bosh wants to return to his home state of Texas, the Mavs might be the best-positioned team to receive him with open arms and a roster ready to contend. Many players consider Mark Cuban the most player-friendly owner in the game and Dallas a desirable destination. But if it doesn't work out with the Mavs, don't count out San Antonio and Houston, although those teams already have big investments in star post players.
    <hr>

    Toronto (3 votes)

    Most star players don't leave, so the fact that only 5.8 percent of our panelists expect Bosh to stay in Toronto is telling, in one of two ways: Either our collective wisdom is seriously off-kilter, or we are correctly reading Bosh's signals that he's outta there.
    Raptors fans had to be heartened by the enthusiasm Bosh showed when Toronto honcho Bryan Colangelo made his big moves this summer, particularly the acquisition of Hedo Turkoglu, and hopes are high for the kind of Orlando-like success that could convince Bosh that his fortunes lie in Toronto. And speaking of fortunes, let's not forget that the Raptors can offer Bosh much more than other teams can.
    That said, reports from behind the scenes have led many to believe that Bosh wants to leave and, in particular, that he wants to join up with James if possible. And Bosh's public stance hasn't inspired much confidence in his desire to wear Raptors red beyond this coming season, either, as he has expressed little passion about staying and has eschewed any attempts to get his autograph on a contract extension.
    This much we know: A lot can happen between now and next summer to influence Bosh and the rest of the potential 2010 free agents. But our best guess right now is that Bosh is heading south. Sorry, Canada.
    Also receiving votes: Detroit (2), Houston (2), Los Angeles Lakers (2), San Antonio (2), Los Angeles Clippers (1), New Jersey (1), Phoenix (1)
    Royce Webb is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=OffseasonPredictions09-BoshFuture
    Amar'e Stoudemire

    <cite>AP Photo/Matt York</cite>Amare Stoudemire has been the subject of offseason trade rumors. Will he be a Sun for much longer?
    <!-- end wide photo -->No 2010 free agent has more questions surrounding him than [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]:
    How's the eye, after his surgery for a detached retina?
    How's the knee, since his successful recovery from microfracture surgery?
    Do the Suns want to keep him, or will they be happy to see him go and pocket the savings?
    Can he have a bounce-back year now that [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] are gone?
    Will he be worth a max contract?
    How do you spell his name, and exactly what is his nickname these days?
    Here's how our panel sees the Stoudemire situation playing out:


    New York (13 votes)

    Once again, as with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], New York appears to be the default destination for free agents, as a quarter of our panelists see Amare landing in the Big Apple and reuniting with Mike D'Antoni.
    <hr>

    Phoenix (10 votes)

    It's hard for most of our panelists to see the somewhat rocky marriage of Stoudemire and the Suns lasting past next summer. As has been documented, Amare has been shopped by the Suns, who have appeared on the verge of moving him several times, in part because of financial pressures and in part because they are unsure about keeping him as a core member of the team yet are reluctant to lose him for nothing in return.
    Meanwhile, Stoudemire has discussed his desire for another max contract and has mentioned several other cities he wouldn't mind playing in, fueling the feeling that he is headed out of town.
    Then again, he has expressed a wish to stay in Phoenix, where he has established roots in the community and has been a star on a successful team, and he recently did his part to shoot down a potential trade to Golden State.
    We really don't know how all this will go, because as Phoenix president [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has said, no decisions will be made until the Suns can see how healthy Stoudemire will be.
    <hr>

    Golden State (5 votes)

    In some ways, Stoudemire seems a great fit for Don Nelson's go-go offense. Indeed, the Warriors recently tried to acquire Amare. On the other hand, Stoudemire said he didn't want to go to Golden State, and the continued turmoil in that franchise isn't going to help the Warriors change his mind.
    <hr>

    Miami (4 votes)

    Will Amare take Miami's money? The Heat can offer him the max next summer, and three of our panelists see him teaming up with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], while one voter sees him joining the Heat with Wade departing.
    Also receiving votes: Chicago (3), Detroit (3), Los Angeles Clippers (3), Cleveland (2), Dallas (2), New Jersey (2), Portland (2), Atlanta (1), Orlando (1), San Antonio (1)
    Royce Webb is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=OffseasonPredictions09-AmareFuture

    So Knicks Online Answer the Poll and Express your Thoughts!

  2. #2
    Superstar Giants89FLY's Avatar
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    I would love James and Amare! But how can you go wrong with any of these guys? All of them will obviously make the knicks a much better team... Gotta keep the fingers crossed...

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    Veteran JayJ44's Avatar
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    I like how ESPN acts as if these panelists know anything more about the situation than anyone in this forum. Fact is, there guess is as good as any of ours. I think it's more likely that Lebron comes to the Knicks than him staying. I mean, the Cavs are built to win now (not very well, I might add). The Knicks are built to win later. A young core of Gallo, Wilson Chandler, Jordan Hill, Toney Douglas, and possibly David Lee and Nate Robinson is far better than anything the Cavs can offer past this season. Shaq is old, Ilgaulskus is old. Who will they have? Mo Williams? He's overrated. Besides the possibility of playing with 2 superstars here, if we're able to trade JJ and Curry. The best chance of winning multiple titles is here with the Knicks. The smartest thing to do for his career is to come to New York.

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    Honestly the pair of LeBron and Amare is crazy. Think about this line up. If we do get Sessions.

    Pg. Sessions
    Sg. LeBron
    Sf. Gallo
    Pf. Amare
    C. Darko... atleast for now...who know's who we will have by then

    Just the speed, athleticism, scoring ability, knowledge of the game, decision-making, this squad would definitely be team to reckon with. Also with a solid bench. That's a playoff squad.

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    Member dan1608's Avatar
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    Well, its still likely that LeBron will stay in Cleveland and everything he says is vague. Stoudemire functions perfectly under D' Antoni's offense (as we've seen in Phoenix) and can play good defense.

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    I was surprised by the amount of votes for Bosh coming to New York, but if I was in his position I wouldn't want to stay in Toronto, either. He can't win a championship there, let alone make it into the playoffs.

    But what indications has Bosh given that he will come to New York?

    Nonetheless, I would be thrilled if he did. LeBron has previously said he would love to be on a team with Bosh, complementing him on his "basketball IQ". The team that acquires Bosh in 2010 will have a better chance of catching LeBron's interest (if the team as enough cap space to sign them both). New York is one of the few teams with that much cap space thanks to management of Donnie Walsh.

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