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2009 NBA Free Agents

http://www.depressedfan.com/img/boozer022309.jpgNow that the dust has settled from the trade deadline, it's time to take a step back and look at this summer's free agent class. After the jump we'll examine each team's financial situation as well as all the players who will, could, should and shouldn't test the free agent market come July.

First, a look at every team's financial situation. I based the cap space number on the 2008-2009 salary cap ($58,680,000) and the luxury tax threshold is also based on this year's number ($71,150,000). Those numbers are going to come down, and each team's first-round pick is not figured into these numbers either, so the actual cap space and wiggle room under the luxury tax will be lower, possibly by a couple of million dollars, depending.

Please note that all of these numbers are assuming the teams renounce their own free agents, which is not a safe assumption. Basically, this is the most cap space they could possibly have.

nbateamsalaries2009022309.gifThe teams in orange above, are the players in free agency. They have enough cap space to acquire a free agent by paying more than the mid-level exception (roughly $5.5M). You can probably remove Atlanta from the list of teams right away, it's highly unlikely they will let both Marvin Williams and Mike Bibby walk. Plus, Atlanta still has a hefty cap-hold for Josh Childress ($10M+) counting against their cap. That leaves Toronto ($7.8M), Oklahoma City ($15.9M), Minnesota ($7.7M), Memphis ($19.6M) and Detroit ($17.5M) as the only teams far enough below the cap to outbid the MLE to land a free agent.

The teams in blue above are teams who are far enough under the luxury tax threshold to utilize their full MLE to sign a player. Five teams fall into this category, however both Philadelphia and Chicago could easily fall out of the category if the retain Andre Miller or Ben Gordon.

Finally, the teams in pink are teams who are already over the luxury tax threshold, and would probably be willing to add a full MLE player to their roster because they either are not afraid to spend or they are considered a championship-caliber team. This group has 8 teams.

So, best-case scenario, there are 5 teams who could spend more than the MLE to sign another team's free agent and 13 teams who could use the full MLE.

Here are the players they could use that money on.

We'll start with the unrestricted free agents.

Unrestricted Free Agents 2008-09 Salary
Jason Kidd 21,372,000
Allen Iverson 20,840,625
Stephon Marbury 20,840,625
Shawn Marion 17,810,000
Mike Bibby 14,983,603
Lamar Odom 14,148,596
Rasheed Wallace 13,930,000
Wally Szczerbiak 13,775,000
Raef LaFrentz 12,722,500
Andre Miller 10,333,333
Radoslav Nesterovic 8,400,000
Malik Rose 7,647,500
Ron Artest 7,400,000
Eric Snow 7,312,500
Drew Gooden 7,151,183
Bobby Jackson 6,987,888
Chris Wilcox 6,750,000
Ben Gordon 6,404,750
Jason Collins 6,200,000
Stromile Swift 6,200,000
Desmond Mason 5,300,000
Joe Smith 4,795,000
Anthony Parker 4,550,000
Damon Jones 4,460,186
Zaza Pachulia 4,000,000
Robert Swift 3,579,131
Shelden Williams 3,395,760
Trevor Ariza 3,100,000
Keith Bogans 2,565,000
Chris Mihm 2,500,000
Jason Hart 2,484,000
Maceo Baston 2,272,860
(Saer Sene) 2,252,400
Jarron Collins 2,074,302
Walter Herrmann 2,000,000
Brevin Knight 2,000,000
Grant Hill 1,976,400
(Didier Ilunga-Mbenga) 1,971,041
Cedric Simmons 1,742,760
(Smush Parker) 1,660,000
Rodney Carney 1,655,760
(Justin Reed) 1,573,000
Ronald Murray 1,500,000
(Qunicy Douby) 1,427,040
Calvin Booth 1,319,651
Marcus Williams 1,262,520
Jacque Vaughn 1,262,275
Ronnie Price 1,188,000
Morris Almond 1,081,440
Ime Udoka 1,080,000
Maurice Ager 1,042,440
Melvin Ely 998,398
Ryan Hollins 972,581
(Adrian Griffin) 932,000
Stephen Graham 826,269
Juwan Howard 797,581
Lindsey Hunter 797,581
Lorenzen Wright 797,581
Gerald Green 797,581
James Singleton 797,581
Anthony Carter 797,581
Chris Anderson 797,581
Dahntay Jones 797,581
Von Wafer 797,581
Steve Novak 797,581
Shannon Brown 797,581
Adonal Foyle 797,581
Mike Wilks 797,581
Quinton Ross 797,581
Jamaal Magloire 797,581
Kevin Ollie 797,581
Sean Marks 797,581
Ryan Bowen 797,581
Donyell Marshall 797,581
Theo Ratliff 797,581
Kareem Rush 797,581
Matt Barnes 797,581
Michael Ruffin 797,581
Shavlik Randolph 797,581
Patrick O'Bryant 797,581
Juan Dixon 797,581
Jake Voskuhl 791,726
Dikembe Mutombo 787,066
Jeremy Richardson 769,431
Darius Miles 743,337
Solomon Jones 729,000
Thomas Gardner 711,517

Click here to see the free agents broken down by position.

Of the big names here, I'd say Mike Bibby, is the most-likely to re-sign with his current team. I know the Sixers would like to retain Andre Miller's services. The rest are a complete crap shoot, with the exception of Allen Iverson, who has zero chance of staying in Detroit. The cream of the unrestricted free agent crop consists of Odom, Gordon, Marion, Rasheed and Artest. That's 5 players who will probably command more than the MLE. There are plenty of guys who will be looking for that level of compensation, but I doubt they'll find it on the open market.

Next, the restricted free agents.

Restricted Free Agents 08-09 Salary Qualifying Offer
Marvin Williams 5,636,142 7,355,166
Raymond Felton 4,148,715 5,501,197
Charlie Villanueva 3,448,050 4,623,835
Channing Frye 3,163,769 4,264,761
Ike Diogu  2,912,823 3,946,875
Sean May 2,661,027 3,680,200
Rashad McCants 2,620,126 3,644,595
Joey Graham  2,449,184 3,441,104
Hakim Warrick  2,119,102 3,021,839
Nate Robinson  2,020,179 2,911,078
Jarrett Jack  2,002,623 2,899,798
Luther Head 1,962,378 2,868,997
Johan Petro 1,939,893 2,849,703
Linas Kleiza 1,824,493 2,705,724
David Lee  1,788,033 2,682,050
Leon Powe 797,581  
Glen Davis 711,517  
Aaron Gray 711,517  
Brandon Bass 826,269  
Jamario Moon 711,517  
Ramon Sessions 711,517  
Paul Millsap 711,517  
Josh Childress    
Carlos Delfino    

Click here to see the free agents broken down by position.

A few names jump out as guys who other teams will probably try to steal, David Lee, Paul Millsap, Ramon Sessions and Charlie Villaneuva. They could all venture out of the MLE level, or could, rather, if there were more teams with cap space in the market. The intersting thing from this group is going to be whether some of these guys even get qualifying offers from their teams. I could easily see at least 6 or 7 of the first-round guys being cut loose by their teams. $7.3M for Marvin Williams may be a bit rich for Atlanta's blood as well.

Milwaukee is right up against the luxury tax for next season, it's conceivable they could lose both Sessions and Villaneuva if they can't find a way to trim salary.

And finally, the players with ETOs (early-termination options).

Player Options 08-09 Salary ETO Value
Kobe Bryant 21,262,500 23,034,375
Jermaine O'Neal 21,372,000 23,016,000
Carlos Boozer 11,593,817 12,323,900
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 10,841,615 11,541,074
Eddy Curry 9,723,983 10,500,423
Al Harrington 9,226,250 10,026,875
Jamal Crawford 8,640,000 9,360,000
Mehmet Okur 8,500,000 9,000,000
Quentin Richardson 8,685,500 8,700,000
Mark Blount 8,513,916 7,967,375
Hidayet Turkoglu 6,864,200 7,354,500
Etan Thomas 6,864,200 7,354,500
Jerome James 6,200,000 6,600,000
Anderson Varejao 5,784,480 6,212,960
Kyle Korver 4,956,818 5,338,636
Trenton Hassell 4,350,000 4,350,000
Kwame Brown 4,000,000 4,000,000
Steven Hunter 3,862,600 3,696,000
Brian Cook 3,500,000 3,500,000
Eddie House 2,650,000 2,862,000
Michael Finley 2,500,000 2,500,000
Ricky Davis 2,300,000 2,400,000
Tyronn Lue 2,250,000 2,250,000
Anthony Johnson 1,910,000 2,062,800
Travis Diener 1,620,000 1,740,000
Francisco Elson 1,700,000 1,700,000
Devean George 1,600,000 1,600,000
Brian Skinner 1,262,275 1,306,455
Malik Allen 1,300,000 1,300,000
Devin Brown 998,398 1,107,572
Chris Quinn 972,581 1,074,702
Yakhouba Diawara 875,000 945,000
Bobby Brown 442,114 736,420

Click here to see the free agents broken down by position.

If this winter's baseball hot stove has taught the players anything, the vast majority of these guys will gladly accept the money they have on the table. There will probably be a few guys who opt out, however. The short list of guys who could possibly do better on the open market (or think they could) is:

  1. Carlos Boozer
  2. Mehmet Okur
  3. Hidayet Turkoglu
  4. Eddie House
The scarcity of teams with cap space, the world-wide recession and the dropping salary cap and luxury tax numbers should make this summer the best buyer's market in years. Obviously there will be trades and possibly sign-and-trade scenarios that will play out to alter the landscape, but this is a decent look at the starting point. Should be a fun summer for basketball blogs everywhere.

(all salary figures were found here)

by Brian on Feb 23 2009
Tags: 2009 NBA Free Agents | Basketball |