The Morning Tip - David Aldridge (NBA.com)
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Trade deadline moves set the stage for an epic offseason
But it's not just LBJ, of course. Chicago could throw in for native son Dwyane Wade, just as Dallas could move heaven and earth to get Lincoln High School alum Chris Bosh. Rumors are prevalent that the Knicks have already decided on the Hawks' Joe Johnson as their No. 2 and hope to add James or Bosh as their top gun. Or, Wade could convince James or Bosh to come play with him in Miami, a scenario just as plausible as his leaving Miami...
Always active by nature, the GMs of the Mavericks and Blazers, respectively, will have the hammer this summer -- desirable players and owners willing to put $3 million into just about any deal -- to use on the many teams that won't be able to sign LeBron, Wade, et.al, but will still have to do something with all that cap room to appease angry fans...
It is also just as likely that James and Wade and Bosh and Johnson stay right where they are, and that would cause just as much seismic angst as if they left.
In inverse order of power:
4) Donnie Nelson and Kevin Pritchard
...Would it thus shock me to see, say, Chris Bosh wind up in Dallas and Jose Calderon wind up in Portland -- and, maybe, Steve Nash wind up in Toronto? No, it would not
3) David Lee
As the New York Times' Howard Beck details here, there is no way the Knicks can hold onto Lee if their plan is to sign two max-level free agents; New York will have to renounce its rights to all of its free agents -- including Lee -- in order to have enough cap room to sign two max players. That means Lee will be unrestricted this summer, and would likely be among the most coveted free agents after the Big Five: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Amare and Johnson.
Top O' the World, Ma!
11) Toronto (31-24)
Keeping the hot streak going despite Bosh's sprained ankle. Bargnani made a couple of huge defensive plays to preserve Saturday's come-from-behind win over Washington
By the Numbers
18 -- Consecutive games in which Toronto has scored 100 or more points, a franchise record. The Raptors' league record for games with at least one 3-pointer stands at 915.
Aldridge's got alot of good, logical analytical thoughts.
I'm feelin' ...
5) Dollar for dollar, Toronto's Jarrett Jack might be the best free-agent pickup this season. Four years, $20 million is pretty good value for a guy shooting 48 from the floor (and 41 from 3-point range), averaging 10 and five.