ESPN-Q&A: Where will top free agents land?

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BINGO!
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NBA free agency tips off tonight at 12:01 a.m. ET. How will it all go down? We asked our experts for their best guesses on where the top 10 free agents will land this summer.

James

Where will LeBron James sign?

Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: Chicago Bulls. Though if playing with Wade and Bosh trumps all, he'll end up in Miami. More likely than 50-50? No.

Kevin Arnovitz, TrueHoop: Chicago Bulls. They are the only team in the field that features youthful assets (Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah) and the cap space required to sign an additional max contract to play alongside James. More likely than 50/50? No.

Larry Coon, : Chicago Bulls. Big city, a team that's clearly his to lead, and a nucleus that can be competitive right away all add up to the biggest free-agency defection since Shaq in 1996 -- but nobody really knows the mind of LeBron. More likely than 50/50? No.

Chad Ford, : Chicago Bulls. They offer the best combination of a huge market and a chance to win now with a young supporting cast. More likely than 50/50? No.

John Hollinger, : Chicago Bulls. I see Chicago and Cleveland as slight favorites, but Miami, New York and New Jersey are very much in the game. More likely than 50-50? No, not even close.

Chris Sheridan,: New York Knicks. He has done some of his best flirting at Madison Square Garden. (I was a witness.) More likely than 50-50? No.

Wade

Where will Dwyane Wade sign?

Abbott: Miami Heat. The only way he's not there is if something crazy happens to unite all the top three free agents somewhere else like Chicago or New Jersey. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Arnovitz: Miami Heat. Miami is Wade's basketball home, and Pat Riley has the capacity to lure one of the premier power forwards on the market. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Coon: Miami Heat. By default you have to assume free agents stay where they are, and Miami is swinging for the fences, giving Wade every reason to stay. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Ford: Miami Heat. Wade loves Miami and believes in Pat Riley. If the Heat can bring in another top-tier free agent, Wade should be a lock to stay. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Hollinger: Miami Heat. No reason to leave that I can see. More likely than 50-50? Yes, more like 90/10.

Sheridan: Miami Heat. He likes the lifestyle there, he has been unofficially recruiting for them, and he's been in on this "three-max" plan all along. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Bosh

Where will Chris Bosh sign?

Abbott: Chicago Bulls. The real answer to this question is "wherever LeBron goes." More likely than 50-50? No.

Arnovitz: Chicago Bulls. They can offer Bosh the max, his natural position alongside a defensive-minded center, and the opportunity to play with a perimeter superstar. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Coon: New York Knicks. Bosh is the hardest call of the bunch -- the Raptors are open to a sign-and-trade, which puts the entire league in play. More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: Miami Heat. Bosh has so many options, but I think it's likely he pairs with either Wade or Bron. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: Not even sure who to make the favorite; I'll say Chicago. More likely than 50-50? Nowhere close to 50-50, obviously.

Sheridan: New York. He wants to go where LeBron is going, so my answer here has to match my LBJ answer above. More likely than 50-50? No.

Johnson

Where will Joe Johnson sign?

Abbott: Los Angeles Clippers. The also-ran of teams with max cap space meets the also-ran of max free agents. More likely than 50-50? No.

Arnovitz: Dallas Mavericks. They are intent on improving and could situate Johnson on the wing with an aggressive sign-and-trade offer. More likely than 50-50? No.

Coon: New York Knicks. If the Knicks strike out on LeBron, a frontcourt-backcourt tandem that includes Quiet Joe makes sense for New York -- but does New York make sense for Joe? More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: Chicago Bulls. They have been high on Johnson all year, and they have a big need at the 2. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: New York Knicks. I think he lands there unless the Knicks get a LeBron-Bosh duo. More likely than 50-50? Probably so.

Sheridan: Chicago Bulls. Aside from LeBron, he is the best option for what they need. More likely than 50-50? No.

Nowitzki

Where will Dirk Nowitzki sign?

Abbott: Dallas Mavericks. If he's angling to sign somewhere else, he has been very quiet about it. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Arnovitz: Dallas Mavericks. No superstar has a more unwavering relationship with his franchise than Nowitzki has with the Mavericks. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Coon: Dallas Mavericks. Dirk has no intention of going anywhere and is opting out in order to lock in more years under the current CBA. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Ford: Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban lost Steve Nash a few years ago in a very similar situation. He won't let it happen again. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Hollinger: Dallas Mavericks. He'd never leave Steiny Mo. More likely than 50-50? Yes, a lot more.

Sheridan: Dallas Mavericks. With a no-trade clause in his contract, because he can get one of those (just like Kobe) now that he is opting out. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Pierce

Where will Paul Pierce sign?

Abbott: Boston Celtics. It's hard to leave a team that has just had three years of very deep playoff runs. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Arnovitz: Boston Celtics. Although Pierce's decision to opt out of the final year of his contract presents the Celtics with a chance to get younger, the Celtics will find a way to keep Pierce in green for a few more years. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Coon: Boston Celtics. Pierce will check out the free-agent market but will return for another run with KG, Rondo and (he hopes) Ray. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Ford: New Jersey Nets. If the Nets strike out with LeBron, Wade and Bosh, they're going to throw a lot of money Pierce's way, and I don't think Boston can or wants to match. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: Boston Celtics. Can't see him leaving and can't see the C's letting him walk. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Sheridan: Los Angeles Clippers. It'll come down to money here, and Donald Sterling will be willing to open his wallet wider than Wyc Grousbeck will. More likely than 50-50? No.

Stoudemire

Where will Amare Stoudemire sign?

Abbott: Phoenix Suns. There's bad blood, but he's not going to find a team that better suits his skills. More likely than 50-50? No.

Arnovitz: Miami Heat. If the troika can't come to terms on a Miami scenario, the Heat could tap Stoudemire as Wade's low-post counterpart. More likely than 50-50? No.

Coon: Miami Heat. He's been talking extension with the Suns this week, but ultimately his heart lies elsewhere -- teaming up with D-Wade makes a lot of sense for everybody. More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: Nets. Pierce and Amare may not be LeBron and Bosh, but they immediately make the Nets relevant and dangerous. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: New Jersey Nets. Phoenix, Miami would be co-favorites in this race. More likely than 50-50? No, way less.

Sheridan: Miami Heat. It'll be him and Wade as the cornerstones, with the rest of the cap money split on second- and third-tier free agents. More likely than 50-50? No.

Boozer

Where will Carlos Boozer sign?

Abbott: New Jersey Nets. The Nets have tons of cap space and need production alongside Brook Lopez, and Boozer fits the bill. More likely than 50-50? No.

Arnovitz: New Jersey Nets. As the third free-agent power forward in line behind Bosh and Stoudemire, Boozer will have to wait for the music to stop to see where he lands. New Jersey might be the team with the open seat. More likely than 50-50? No.

Coon: New Jersey Nets. When Stoudemire and Bosh are off the market, Boozer will land with the remaining team dangling max cap room. More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: New York Knicks. The Knicks have to sign somebody … right? More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: Miami Heat. He's had eyes for the Heat for a long time, and the only thing that could thwart him is if Miami hits the LeBron-Bosh jackpot. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Sheridan: Chicago Bulls. If I am right about Joe Johnson going here, too, Booz can be convinced that a starting five of Rose, JJ, Deng, Boozer and Noah could come out of the East. More likely than 50-50? No.

Lee

Where will David Lee sign?

Abbott: New York Knicks. New York can't lose the closest thing they've had to "the face of the franchise" walk in the same summer they strike out on James. More likely than 50-50? Yes.

Arnovitz: Phoenix Suns. Like Boozer, Lee sits behind the glitzier power forwards in the free-agent pecking order. Could he be a low-cost alternative to a departing Stoudemire in Phoenix? More likely than 50-50? No.

Coon: Toronto Raptors. Knicks may work out a sign-and-trade to bring Bosh to New York and give the Raptors Lee to help make up for the loss. More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: Utah Jazz. If Boozer goes to New York, I can see the Jazz getting Lee back as part of a sign-and-trade. Jerry Sloan would love him. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: New York Knicks. It all depends on whom Knicks can get instead. More likely than 50-50? No.

Sheridan: New Jersey. Derrick Favors is going to be a nice player, but he is not ready to get the Nets to the playoffs next season, as Prokhorov has promised. More likely than 50-50? No.

Gay

Where will Rudy Gay sign?

Abbott: Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are enamored with their starting lineup, but small forward is the issue. More likely than 50-50? No.

Arnovitz: New Jersey Nets. They have some room on the wing, while the Grizzlies drafted a swingman in Xavier Henry. More likely than 50-50? No.

Coon: Los Angeles Clippers. Striking out on LeBron, and with Aminu in the fold, the Clippers will settle for the cheaper option at the 3. More likely than 50-50? No.

Ford: New York Knicks. If the Knicks can't land a star, they try the next best thing and sign a young guy who could be a star someday. More likely than 50-50? No.

Hollinger: Los Angeles Clippers. I think they'll be left holding the bag in late July and will splurge on the last guy left. More likely than 50-50? No, way less.

Sheridan: New Jersey. The Nets are probably the only big cap-space team that can afford to wait a week and see if the Grizzlies will match, and if Memphis does, New Jersey will still emerge in a strong position as the team with the most remaining cap room. More likely than 50-50? No.

I KNOW THIS DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING JUST WANTED TO SHARE IT.

checkdafool10
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did u hav to post the entire article

BINGO!
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^ u dont have to read it all if you dont want to

checkdafool10
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thats not the point if u post the entire article then takes longer for the page to load and thats why ppl won't comment

Icecoldclipper
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KA didn't represent the Clipps to nicely here

tense2
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I know this is tough for most people here, but.......He's being realistic.

rick0314
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Checkdafool10: relax man, i think its an insider article which has to be copied and pasted

mj_shoefanatic
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Joe or Pierce are great 2nd and 3rd options after Lebron IMO.

clipperboy24
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well the more i think about it the more i want JJ over Gay

ClipfanSince88
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^^^ Agreed. I think we'll be overpaying if we get either, but of the two, I like JJ better and think he'll be a better fit with our team.

clipperstown
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guys! i did the ESPN slot machine again! i spun it 22 times, and on the 23rd time, i landed on lebron to clippers! this is no joke! it's meant to be! i wish i could post a picture of it, but idk how

clipperstown
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double post

clipper*joe
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So you mean that it took 23 times to get Lebron? Even after his new number is going to be 6?

Confused

clipperstown
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clipper*joe wrote:
clipperstown wrote:
guys! i did the ESPN slot machine again! i spun it 22 times, and on the 23rd time, i landed on lebron to clippers! this is no joke! it's meant to be! i wish i could post a picture of it, but idk how

So you mean that it took 23 times to get Lebron? Even after his new number is going to be 6?

Confused

YUP! Cause as of right now, his number is still 23. He will be number 6 after he signs. =)

Derty_Bert
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I'm kinda happy with the way the FO has handled this whole FA thing. True we sucked for the last couple of seasons but we didn't intentionally shed cap space and throw away seasons to land a pipe dream superstar. We kept our nucleus of young talent and just need extra pieces. Whereas the teams that don't land Lebron will be screwed, one joke I heard about NY is "Ok they threw away their last two seasons in chances of getting Lebron only to end up with the 05 Suns minus Steve Nash." We should just get a couple of vets with playoff exprience to level our roster out.

clipperstown
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the thing is, teams like miami and chicago and new jersey purposely killed their teams by clearing out all their cap space. we truly sucked, we deserve lebron more than these tankers....

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