Players who won't actually be available:
- Paul George
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Luol Deng
- Carmelo Anthony
Players who will actually be available:
- Rudy Gay
- Danny Granger
- Zach Randolph
Let's get this out of the way: LeBron, Wade, and Bosh ain't opting out next summer. They've been to the NBA Finals 3+ straight years. They've won back-to-back titles, which could turn into a three-peat. Last week, Bosh said he wants to finish his career in Miami. People who think that LeBron will be leaving Miami 12 months from now are delusional. Just stop that nonsense already. I'm not saying LeBron will be in Miami forever. His contract lets him leave anytime in 2016, 2015, or 2014. But he ain't leaving in 2014. The most realistic time frame for a LeBron-Watch would be 2015. It has become almost customary for superstars to opt out of the final year of their contract, and sign a new long term deal for financial security. For LeBron, that would be in the Summer of 2015.
Restricted free agents like Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins aren't going anywhere. They belong to teams that are well under the salary cap. There's basically 0.00% chance their current teams won't match whatever offer sheet they sign in the market. The only restricted free agents who are likely to leave via free agency are the ones who have disappointing seasons in 2013. The good ones ain't going nowhere.
Dirk is old, and he already said he'll retire in Dallas even if they're rebuilding. Luol Deng is currently in negotiations for a contract extension. He won't even hit the market in 2014. Carmelo Anthony can opt out of his contract next summer, but that means he'd have to leave $24M on the table. The Lakers can only offer him half that amount if they still have Dwight on the roster. I can't imagine Carmelo taking such a huge paycut. If the Lakers do not have Dwight, then they can offer Carmelo the max. But then... why would they rebuild around a 30-year old star who is a terrible fit with Kobe?
So which All-Stars will actually be available next summer? Rudy Gay. Danny Granger. Zach Randolph. That's pretty much it. There is no free agency bonanza in 2014. That doesn't happen until 2015, when Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and (possibly) Carmelo will all be looking for new long-term deals.
So in summary, the Free Agency Class of 2014 will be bad. Very Bad. The Free Agency Class of 2015 will be good. Very good.
Edited by hipster.doofus7, June 28, 2013 - 10:00 AM.