NBA gains a lot of traction with big trades and free agent list
Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter changing addresses was just the tip of the iceberg for the NBA. NBA commissioner David Stern has to be doing back flips over the increased television ratings and all the buzz his league as received the last few months.
The buzz got even greater during the draft. The lack of big names seems to have piqued everyone's interest. Everyone, fans and media alike have been drawn to the NBA in recent months.
Things are about to get hotter this summer. With Lamar Odom, Allen Iverson, Hedo Turoglu, Ron Artest, Jason Kidd all available, there could be a lot more movements. Kobe Bryant (yes, that Kobe Bryant) could also become a free agent. He has a player option worth $23 million for next season he can excercise.
Kidd reportedly will meet with the Knicks on Wednesday. The Knicks only have the midlevel exception of $5.5 million to offer.
Utah's Carlos Boozer also has a player option worth $12.6 he could pick up next season. He has until 5 p.m. today (Tuesday, June 30) to excercise the option.
Boozer, one of the league's elite power forwards, has reportedly agonized over the decision. If he decides not to excercise the option, several teams could be involved in the bidding. But only a few teams have the cap space to meet what should be an expensive demand.
The Pistons and Grizzlies are two teams that will have cap space, but it's doubtful the Pistons will drop $13 to $15 million per season in his lap. The Grizzlies certainly won't take that kind of leap. There are other free agents who will make this summer interesting. Atlanta's Mike Bibby is available. So is Charlie Villanueva and Indiana's Marquis Daniels.
Add to that players in the final year of their deals, including LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire (can opt out after 2009-2010), Steve Nash ($13.125 million team option for this seaso), Dwayne Wade, Kenyon Martin (player option) and Tracy McGrady and you have what should be an explosive off season.
Things can't get much better for the NBA.