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John Salmons going to test free agent market, rather than wait to be traded at deadline

May 4, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

Rather than just being a boost for the stretch run and the playoffs, John Salmons may be brought in to be a boost for a team for the entire next season.

Last year, he came to the Bulls near the trading deadline and helped them into the playoffs then take the Boston Celtics seven games. This year the Bulls traded him to the Bucks, who he helped take to the playoffs and push the Hawks to seven games (and if Andrew Bogut had been healthy….).

Salmons can opt out of his deal and told the Associated Press he’s probably going to test the free agent market.

Salmons has a player option for next season, or he can opt out of his contract to become a free agent. Salmons acknowledged that opting out was “a pretty good option” but wasn’t by any means ruling out a return, noting that the Bucks could contend with Bogut healthy.

“To have him back next year, who knows? We could become a real threat to teams in the East,” Salmons said. “We’ve got to see what happens.”

Salmons is wisely thinking that he doesn’t want to have to negotiate a new contract under the coming Collective Bargaining Agreement, he wants one now that will be grandfathered into that deal for a few years. Smart.

That deal may well be with the Bucks — he is a perfect fit with Brandon Jennings, giving them a good two-guard combo to balance Bogut inside. The Bucks will make an offer. But predicting now where Salmons will be playing next playoffs is a fool’s errand. Wherever he lands, however, it will be a fun first round series.  

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