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ProBasketballTalk's top 25 free agents tracker

Jul 12, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

Free agency is almost over. LeBron is going to the Heat. Most of the top 25 are set, and the ones that aren’t will be soon.

So here is a little wrap up, with a few loose ends out there. What follows is a list of the top 25 free agents on the market (by our estimation), each with a little note about where they stand right now. Bookmark this post, because we will be updating it with the latest information you need, distilled and neatly compiled in one place. Why? Because we care about you and your time. Plus we like lists. They’re fun.

Last updated 8:30 am Eastern
1. LeBron James (Going to Miami): Miami is going to be a force in the East. You would guess that with the three-man super team of LeBron/Wade/Bosh. But it’s more than that.

The Cavaliers and Heat agreed to a sign-and-trade that sends picks and a massive $15 million trade exception to Cleveland for LeBron. However, LeBron did not sign the max deal — he took less. He took the six years but for less money. We don’t know how much yet. Wade and Bosh did the same. This will allow the Heat to put some talent around them, such as Mike Miller, and maybe long-time Heat mainstay Udonis Haslem.

2. Dwyane Wade (going to stay in Miami): He is staying home — and he is bringing his friends Chris and LeBron with him. Wade confirmed in an ESPN interview that he will sign a deal in Miami. He signed a six-year deal, but not for the maximum amount of money. We don’t know how much the deal is worth, but we know LeBron and Bosh did the same. They left money on the table so the Heat could put players around them.

3. Chris Bosh (going to Miami): He’s going to the Heat, to team up with Wade and LeBron to form the core of a powerhouse team. He was part of a sign-and-trade that sent picks to Toronto as well as giving the Raptors a huge trade exception (near $15 million, most likely). We don’t know what the contract for yet, but we know Bosh (and Wade and LeBron) left millions on the table so the Heat could add talent around them. 

4. Amare Stoudemire (Agreed to terms with New York): The Knicks have their first big signing of the summer — Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks agreed to terms Monday. It is a five year, $100 million deal. He tried hard to recruit LeBron, but that appears to have failed. Still, the Knicks get one of the best power forwards in the game, a guy who may have been the best player in the league after the All-Star Game last year. But they also get a guy who has had serious work on his knees in the past and won’t be getting fed by Steve Nash anymore.

5. Joe Johnson (Agreed to terms with Atlanta): Finally. After flirting one more time with the Knicks, he agreed to Atlanta’s max-deal offer of six years, $119 million. This is a contract the Hawks will regret come 2015 (and he’s not a real max deal player now) but both sides got what they wanted out of this.

6. Carlos Boozer (Agreed to terms with Chicago): He has agreed to a five year, $75 million deal with the Bulls. This is a great signing by Chicago. First, it puts them right in the mix for LeBron James, although he still seems set on Miami. But even if they don’t get LeBron, they have the money to add a top shooter like JJ Redick. A starting five of Rose/Redick/Deng/Boozer/Noah with Taj Gibson first off the bench is near the top of the East.

7. Rudy Gay (Agreed to terms with Memphis): Gay has accepted a five-year, $81.6 million offer from the Memphis Grizzlies. That may be overpaying him, but we said before free agency that someone was going to overpay for him. Might as well be Memphis. Now we’ll see if he wants to live up to the contract, or his focus gets worse because he’s comfortable. 

8. Dirk Nowitizki (Agreed to terms with Dallas): It was just a matter of time. Nowitzki agreed to a four year, $80 million deal with the Mavericks. He got a big deal that extends into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Mavericks got a little payroll flexibility because he took less money (a max deal would have been $96 million). Smiles everyone, smiles, smiles.

9. Paul Pierce (Agreed to terms with Boston): After tweaking the deal for several days, both sides finally agreed on Saturday night to a four-year, $61 million deal, with the fourth year only partially guaranteed (so they can buy him out). This deal would save the Celtics about $12 million next season when you factor in the luxury tax. This deal also means we will see the same old Celtics for one more year.

10. David Lee (agreed to terms with Golden State): Golden State has pulled off a sign-and-trade with the Knicks that will send Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike to the Knicks for Lee. This could be a great landing spot for Lee — depending on who the owner is after the team is sold this summer. And who that owner brings in as GM. And who the GM brings in as coach.

11. John Salmons (Agreed to terms with Bucks): He has verbally agreed to a five-year, $39 million deal to stay in Milwaukee. He can’t sign it to July 8, like all free agents, and with Joe Johnson now a Hawk a couple teams may call and try to offer him more. He said he is not taking those calls.

12. Ray Allen (Agrees to terms with Boston): It’s official, the Celtics are going to ride the old timers for a little longer. Ray Allen has agreed to a two-year deal with Boston to reunite with Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers for one more run at a title. It is two years, at $10 million a year, with a player option the second year. Watch Doc Rivers rest all his key guys a lot in the regular season — and be willing to lose a few games to do so — in order to save them for one more playoff run. 

13. Udonis Haslem (not signed): How bad does he want to return to the Heat? Miami has been talking contract with him, but what they have left to offer is like $4 million a year or less. The Dallas Mavericks have talked to him about a deal for the full mid-level exception — three years at $5.8 million per year. What would you do? Could he leave like six million on the table?

14. JJ Redick (Offer from Chicago): The Chicago Bulls have made a three year, $20 million offer to Redick, which would be a fantastic pickup for Chicago. The question now is will Orlando match. That is a fair price for Redick, but will Orlando pay that for him to back up Vince Carter?

15. Brendan Haywood (Agreed to terms with Dallas): The Dallas Mavericks have made it a priority to bring him back — and they did. Six year deal worth $55 million dollars. He’s a solid big man who can score, rebound and defend, which makes him a great pairing with Dirk Nowitzki.

16. Luis Scola (restricted, not signed): About to get an offer from the Charlotte Bobcats. The New Jersey Nets are talking to him and may make an offer. The Rockets can match any offer, but they also are very willing to use him as part of any sign-and-trade.

17. Tyrus Thomas (Signed offer with Charlotte): The Bobcats and Thomas have agreed to a five-year, $40 million deal to keep him a Bobcat. Larry Brown has always been high on Thomas, now we’ll see if he can get Thomas to live up to his tremendous potential.

18. Shaquille O’Neal (not signed): Miami to join the big three has come up as a rumor, and Miami is confident they can get him. Not because they can offer more money, they can only offer about $4 million a year less than what Atlanta is rumored to have offered (two years at the mid-level exception of $5.8). But Miami knows Shaq likes to be in the spotlight, in the middle of the circus. Miami will be the circus next year.

19. Brad Miller (not signed): Boston has shown some aggressive interest in him and have started negotiations for him to take over the Sheed role. Things we can’t wait to see: KG’s reaction to Miller’s defensive rotations. Houston has had a sit-down with him as
well. He also has drawn int
erest from the Nuggets and Cavaliers.

20. Matt Barnes (not signed): He has been contacted by Miami, Cleveland, Washington and Dallas in recent days. Detroit has reached out to him, likely as a replacement if they trade Tayshaun Prince. Barnes says he wants to stay in Orlando, and they say they want to keep him. But they want to get him for the bi-annual exception of $1.92 million, and others may offer more.

21. Luke Ridnour (not signed): He has had serious talks with Minnesota, although they are overloaded at the point in everyone’s eyes except David Kahn (he loves him some point guards, can’t have enough). Minnesota is trying to trade Ramon Sessions to make room for Ridnour. Which strikes me as a lot of work just to get a backup for Brandon Jennings.

22. Mike Miller (Going to Miami): He has struck a deal with the Miami Heat to be the designated stretch-the-floor shooter for LeBron, Wade and Bosh. He likely will make about $5 million a year or so, but the financial details are still being finalized. Not a bad spot to land.

23. Steve Blake (signed with Lakers): Blake — a near perfect fit for the triangle offense — has agreed to a four year, $16 million deal with the Lakers. The two-time defending NBA champions just got better. And they got their coach back. Maybe it doesn’t matter where LeBron goes. 

24. Ronnie Brewer (not signed): Utah is looking at bringing him in, as are the Chicago Bulls. He will not be returning to Memphis after they signed Tony Allen.

25. Anthony Morrow (Offer from New Jersey): New Jersey has offered a three-year, $12 million contract to Morrow. Rumor is the Warriors will not match. Which is just idiocy. Morrow would be a good fit with the young and improving Jersey team.

  1. bbc - Jul 2, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    you talk like a loser with that kind of biases.

  2. LT - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Maybe they’d have won with Hayward, but they WOULD have won with Perkins…..

  3. LT - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    Maybe they’d have won with Hayward, but they WOULD have won with Perkins…..

  4. postman - Jul 2, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    I love all the Celtics fans crying on all the free agency blogs. You had a physical, bruising, defensive slugfest in Game 7 of the NBA finals with the “soft” Lakers and they beat you at your OWN GAME. The Lakers out-fought the Celtics for the title. And I don’t want to hear about injuries and how if Perkins had been healthy they “definitely would have won.” If Bynum was healthy the Lakers could say the same. Not to mention Kobe’s finger or Ron’s elbow or Shannon’s hand or any other myriad of injuries affecting both teams.
    The Lakers won. Now stop complaining.
    Also, the Bucks are flying under the radar as usual. They’ve had several solid pickups, and with the defense they play and their young core centered around Jennings and Bogut, they look pretty good in the East this year.

  5. Anonymous - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    It doesn’t matter what team LeBron goes to the Lakers upgraded their point guard position with Steve Blake . That spells three peat. Number 23 on your list insures the Lakers stay number one . It’s a no brainer . Fisher and Farmar leave . Brown stays along with Sasha . The back court is in good hands .

  6. mavsfan - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Mavs GM is Donnie Nelson, not Donnie Walsh……check you facts!

  7. mavsfan - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    C’mon NBC Sports….Mavs GM is Donnie Nelson, not Donnie Walsh. Keep your facts straight.

  8. jorge - Jul 2, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Lebron, you know and I know that your future is in NY. plain and simple. If you can make it in NY, you can make it anyqhere. just ask jeter and Alicia Keys. We know that you have to go through the motions, but NY id the only place that you want to play in. When you get tired of measuring yourself against inferior personalities, look to NY to help you reach your highest heights. The heighetest heights in the world only happen here.

  9. Zbsk - Jul 3, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Ho-hum who cares

  10. randy - Jul 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Pierce is solid, but he’s not a big fish anymore. Dominated in 2008, but hardly relevant this go around. Thank you Ron Artest. KG plays with heart, but he’s slipping too. Allen is inconsistent. Key for Celtics is another offensive option – perhaps Lee. Lakers just got better with Blake. I expect him to have his best year yet as a pro and he will thrive in LA with so many bigs attacking the basket. Would love to see the Lakers pull in another defensive minded guard (Bell or Allen) and a strong big like Kurt Thomas for 10-12 minutes a game. Best coach, best player, and best team means another title. Biggest threat will be a potential all star team (Bulls or Heat?) or perhaps a young, hungry team like the Thunder.

  11. Dave - Jul 3, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    Shaw to Houston…
    Why the need to get rid of Scola? Geesh he only leaves it on the floor every night. The best power forward no… but if Yao is healthy… the 17 million dollar question.. he’s servicable and will take a lot less then someone else.

  12. chris24 - Jul 3, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Paul Pierce blows.
    He can’t run and all he does is hog the ball.
    If he would have passed the ball and ran the system
    Doc runs, they might have had a chance, but, Pierce
    hogged the ball and shot every time down the floor.
    I hope they give him the max contract for 100 years.
    The Celtics SUCK!!!!!

  13. Jackbnimble - Jul 3, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Guess what fans? You’re the ones paying for all of this. Feel good?

  14. celticsfan - Jul 4, 2010 at 12:02 AM

    If I were LA I would trade Bynum and a couple expiring contracts (Vujacic and derek fisher) for Chris Paul. Let Bynum develope on a team that isn’t championship ready and get a transcendent talent. Now I hate the Lakers but that idea is scary. Odlly, no one is talking about it. Can someone explain to my why that wouldn’t work? They should get Paul and I think they have the parts to do it – what if after all is said and done a TRADE not a free agency signing would make the largest impact over the next few years.

  15. Greatest City in the World Welcomes Lebron James - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Yes sir, Lebron is going to love playing in the biggest mecca in the entire NBA, under the Big Lights of Madison Square Garden. Like the Knicks told Lebron, “You’re going to make over $1 Billion to play for the Knicks, and will triple that with the push from Madison Ave, plus, the free Crib that resembles a palace in Greenwich Village, and the acting gigs, and all the other perts that come with being the Pope of Greenwich Village & New York, and playing for the future NBA Champions, The NY Knicks.

  16. Greatest City in the World Welcomes Lebron James - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    Yes sir, Lebron is going to love playing in the biggest mecca in the entire NBA, under the Big Lights of Madison Square Garden. Like the Knicks told Lebron, “You’re going to make over $1 Billion to play for the Knicks, and will triple that with the push from Madison Ave, plus, the free Crib that resembles a palace in Greenwich Village, and the acting gigs, and all the other perts that come with being the Pope of Greenwich Village & New York, and playing for the future NBA Champions, The NY Knicks.

  17. GreatestCityintheWorldWelcomesLebronJames - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    Yes sir, Lebron is going to love playing in the biggest mecca in the entire NBA, under the Big Lights of Madison Square Garden. Like the Knicks told Lebron, “You’re going to make over $1 Billion to play for the Knicks, and will triple that with the push from Madison Ave, plus, the free Crib that resembles a palace in Greenwich Village, and the acting gigs, and all the other perts that come with being the Pope of Greenwich Village & New York, and playing for the future NBA Champions, The NY Knicks.

  18. geo59 - Jul 4, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    Response to celticsfan from a 50 yr LakerFan:
    Gee, thanks for the great advice. Let’s see, you are a Celtics fan and your advice to the team that just beat the Celtics in the finals is to trade their center away for Chris Paul. Hmm… and you say you hate the Lakers. Could it be that your advice is meant to sabotage the world champs? Bynum is currently the second best center in the league. If he gets healthy and can play 30 – 40 minutes a game he becomes the absolute best center in the league. Better than Howard, who has a very limited offensive game. Okay, a healthy Yao might contest for this title but Yao is probably never going to be healthy. His body is too big for his legs and feet to be able to take the weight. It’s possible that the same may be true of Bynum but it’s also possible that Bynum’s body will “equilibrate” and he’ll start getting his minutes. The kid is only 22! Regarding Chris Paul, he’s a bit overrated. Deron Williams is the best PG in the NBA. Then you’ve got Nash, Kidd, Billips, Rondo, Evans, Miller, Paul, etc. So you’re saying trade Bynum for Chris Paul. Despite the fact that N.O. is not about to trade Paul. Well maybe there’s someone in the Lakers organization that will listen. Maybe they have Curly from the Three Stooges, poised to take your advice. He’ll listen and bite on your advice. Then you can write another comment, advising the Lakers to trade Kobe. Curly will listen to that also, and alas, after all your heartache, maybe the Celtics can beat the Lakers.

  19. DougTucson - Jul 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Leave it to the Laker braintrust. Blake is exactly, exactly what they needed to make the team clearly better. They will be very tough to beat with him in the triangle offense, and they weren’t easy to beat before that. Gold stars to the Laker’s front office.

  20. josh - Jul 4, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    1. Lakers got the best free agent point guard, a player who is a 42% shooter from 3 and an excellent passer who led Maryland to NCAA title. (Lakers also picked up Derrick Caracter in the draft, and Phil and the Lakers develop talent better than any team in the league)
    2. Wade would be spectacular in NY, however Lebron is even more of a prize. Look for Lebron to head to NY, or stay in Cleveland. Really, it only makes sense for him to leave Cleveland if it’s for New York… UNLESS he became unhappy with Cleveland at the end of the playoffs and just wants change now, in which case NJ and Miami are possibilities. Chicago is highly unlikely. NY would be awesome for Lebron, so if he’s ready for the big-time, then the Knicks are the team he’ll land with; otherwise look for him to continue in Cleveland (he’s an Ohio guy through and through).
    3. I’d like to see Bosh in a sign and trade to the Lakers, but that is a longshot. Could happen though… Starting to shape up like Bosh and Wade to Miami, Lebron and Stoudemire to NY, “superteam” idea to the trash can, championship to the Lakers.
    You can’t front on that :)

  21. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2010 at 2:42 AM

    Randy, I’m not so sure LeBron wants to play with Wade and I’m not sure if a team would be comfortable with both of them taking all their cap space for 5+ years. They are similar positioned players. Will LeBron be comfortable not getting the last shot of a big game? We know Wade is a proven big game takeover player, will LeBron be happy if he’s overshadowed at times?
    I think a more likely scenario is Wade and James on different teams with either Chris Bosh, David Lee, or Carlos Boozer to go with them. I think Bosh would for sure sign with a team that is getting one of the two, except for the sign and trade thing which could make that not happen and Bosh end up somewhere with neither James or Wade.

  22. Ron - Jul 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Oh come on Chris Bosh has never been league MVP Kirt is much better should be second or third.

  23. Ron - Jul 5, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    People keep forgetting about the fact NY cut its own throat with its tax situation Lebrons Billions would be cut drastically. NO sign there

  24. Robert F Eick - Jul 5, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Shaq to the nets with maybe even a minimum contract
    he’s a Newark boy can play part time,mentor Brook Lopez,and maybe even be a player coach
    he’d love to finish his carrier in Newark.
    Randy Foye also
    he’s been released,another Newark boy,Nets lost Dooling and need a back up point guard,Foye can be gotten for a song,and still has the potential to shine especially on his own home court.
    Lebron and boozer to the nets too!

  25. fantastic - Jul 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Pierce opted to take less money in order to provide cap room for new signings. All the Laker hate for a gutsy player from Los Angeles is impossible to understand. I’ve seen more sophomoric insults–usually using female versions of Pierce’s name, a la the moron Jim Rome trying to bait Everett. This is beneath stupid

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