Number 5: Who overpays for Carlos Boozer and David Lee? Listen, not everyone playing the Free Agency game this off-season is going to get the Lebron's, Bosh's, and DWADE's this off-season. It's nearly a guarantee that the losers of those sweepstakes will panic and throw ridiculous money at Lee and Boozer. Very similar players actually, Boozer and Lee are both around 6'8-6'9 and have had to play a decent amount of center the last few years, putting them at a huge disadvantage against the trees of the league. However both are very good rebounders who are maximum effort guys that will try and mask their flaws with hustle and hard play. However, both play in systems which have padded their stats some. Lee plays in Mike D'Antoni's run n gun, no defense, try and score 200 points a game system in New York. Nearly all the way across the country, Boozer plays in Jerry Sloan's system in Utah which has always been about getting his PG and PF involved and their numbers. Boozer's back-up, Paul Milsap is arguably the better of the two anyway and he puts up decent numbers off the bench as well. In my opinion, Boozer is best served going back to Utah while Lee won't really have any choice other than to leave New York. In the end, I'm going to bet that..... nah, I'll wait until the end to put this puzzle together.
Number 4: Who does Chris Bosh follow? I really am on the bandwagon that Chris Bosh wants to win very badly. I think he's desperate to win after some horrible years in Toronto where nothing was accomplished. A fan-favorite theory is that he ends up in LA with Pau and Kobe. To me, that's a nightmare for the rest of the West. Gasol moves back to C where he is actually more effective in my opinion and where he played in Memphis. You have two guys who can post up, take their man off the dribble, pass the ball well, shoot from the perimeter. Really, they have two very similar players although Bosh does it more with his quickness and shot while Gasol uses his fundamentals a little bit more. Another popular theory is the one where he joins Lebron in New York. Lebron, Gallo, Chandler, Bosh, whomever would be a deadly line-up, no matter who is playing C (for those slow ones, Lebron will be the point guard). Maybe Bosh goes to Chicago to team up with Derek Rose and Joakim Noah giving Chicago that third star and an absolutely incredible future. Noah's defense, Bosh's offense, Rose's playmaking with role players like Deng and Hinrich, Chicago would be a contender for years. Now onto the Florida theories. You ask someone from North Florida and they tell you that Bosh will be in Orlando as a result of some miraculous sign and trade most likely involving Brandon Bass and Marcin Gortat, maybe J.J. Redick's rights as well in a sign-and-trade scenario. You go down to South Florida and all the talk is Bosh teaming up with DWADE in South Beach. Chalmers, Wade, Beasley, Bosh, and whomever else they can get gives the Heat a very bright future as well with two proven stars and two guys they're just waiting to emerge. Again, I'll wait until the end to put this together.
Number 3: Who joins Wade in South Beach? Anyone who thinks DWADE is leaving Miami doesn't know what's going on at all. DWADE will be on the Heat for life baring some Jordan/Wizards scenario. Beautiful weather, smart organization, no state income tax. There's literally no reason to leave. Above all though is the cap room that the Heat have to bring in a side-kick that Wade has desperately needed since he and Shaq split. Who will it be though? Will Lebron come up from the hell that is down Cleveland? Will Bosh join him there? Will STAT be in a Heat jersey? Or will they have to settle for Boozer or Lee? In either scenario, the Heat get better because when Jermaine O'Neal is your second best player, you have issues. DWADE needs a side-kick desperately and I could even see him waiting until the Heat make their move before he officially re-signs. If the Heat botch this one, DWADE might just leave or demand a sign and trade to a team that wouldn't have the cap room to sign him otherwise. Again, either way, DWADE will be on a better team next year than the Heat were this past season, whether that's still with the Heat or somewhere else is yet to be seen although I'd lean towards him staying.
Number 2: Cinderella's Castle. I mean, LeBron James will be moving but to where? Will he stay in Cleveland? No. Let's get that out of the air now. Lebron is way too cocky to stay in small little Cleveland his whole career. He's going to a bigger market or going to somewhere where he'll win a quick title which will just fluff his ego more. One thing people have to realize about Lebron is that it's all about Lebron, all day. 24/7. I mean, the dude went on Jimmy Kimmel's show and lost a pop-a-shot competition and was trying to distract the guy he was losing to. I'm pretty sure the princess was wearing sunglasses as well. He's inside a building, keep that in mind. The only thing larger than his talent is his potential. The only thing bigger than that is his ego. I wouldn't doubt that if he ends up in NYC, there's a Lebron television channel just showing clips of Lebron and Lebron commercials all day long. And stupid people will watch it because for some reason the world is fascinated by him. Lebron's leaving Cleveland and I'd almost bet my life on it. One thing though I don't see is Lebron teaming up with another mega-star Bosh or Wade, especially not Wade. There are very few players in the league who people will even attempt to make a case for over Lebronbron. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Dwyane Wade. Wade and Bryant have the strongest cases. Me personally, think that Wade is the best player in the game with Lebron a close second. There's no way Bron-bron's ego would be able to take winning anything without being the clear cut man. Bosh and Wade are on the short-list for guys who could out-play him in a series, and that's the last thing Lebron wants. Who will he team up with? Where will he go? I think he's going to Chicago where he'll try and foolishly surpass Jordan's legacy. That leaves Cleveland in a horrible situation. I think Bosh will join DWADE in Miami. I see the Knicks and Jazz working out a sign and trade deal sending Lee to Utah and Boozer back to NYC who will then go and blow money on Rudy Gay in a panic move. As for Stoudmire, keep an eye on Oklahoma City or New Jersey. OKC needs a big to get over the hump, and Lopez and STAT make a formidable duo for the future.
Number 1: The Super Dream Shake. I'm going to take a ton of heat for this and I know it. However, as a Magic fan, I'm biased. Two and a half years ago at the All-Star game, Dwight Howard got to take time out of his day and spend it with Bill Russell. Russell taught Dwight the importance of defense and protecting the basket along with making up for what you lack offensively with rebounding and defensive play. After that talk, and I'm guessing a few others with the legend, Dwight went on to finish 2nd in DMVP voting that year. Since then? Dwight's won back to back defensive player of the year awards and became the first ever player in NBA history to lead the NBA in blocks and rebounds in the same year, for consecutive years. Orlando's defense also ranked top 10 in nearly every statistical category including first in opponents FG%, no doubt a product of Howard. As far as the other end goes, Dwight's been working with former NBA star, Patrick Ewing. Dwight has made progress but not nearly enough as he should to this point. During the Eastern Conference finals, down 3-0, Dwight received a phone call from none other than Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon. Olajuwon gave Howard advice on how to approach the game which seemed to work as Howard's game raised to new heights in game's 4, 5, and 6. The pivotal moment came in the third quarter, with Orlando down by 20 or so, his teammates had hung their heads and given up. Dwight posted up, took the ball, made a move, and was fouled. When heading to the line, Dwight, for what seemed like the first time in his career, yelled at his teammates. He screamed at them to get their heads, up, that it wasn't over. They could still win. The Magic lost, but from a leadership position, that moment confirmed what 2 and a half games leading up had proven, he had changed. This off-season, Howard will be working with Olajuwon on his offensive game. Actually, he has been for the last week or so, no word on how much longer he plans on meeting with Hakeem. Last off-season, Kobe Bryant met with Olajuwon to work on some moves in the post and many people noticed this off-season how good Kobe looked in the post this year. Orlando fans are hoping Howard can make similar strides. If Hakeem can even teach him 2 or 3 moves, not even tapping into the depth of the "dream-shake", Dwight will make steps in his offensive game that will make him borderline unguardable changing the NBA landscape even more so than where Lebron-bron decides to go or who Dwyane Wade pairs up with.