I led today's SN column with NBA Free Agency, because at 12:01 a.m. this morning, that's what I was thinking about.
But not 2009 NBA Free Agency, but the countdown that officially began to 12:01 a.m. on July 1... 2010, what I argue will be the biggest single day in NBA history.
(No, really: Make an argument for any other single day as being bigger. Not even the day of Jordan's first unretirement, which I would argue is the reigning champ, right up until 7/01/10.)
Carlos Boozer is staying put. Hedo Turkoglu could be headed West to the Blazers. Jason Kidd might be going to the Knicks. I have no idea where David Lee will end up, but as one of my Top 5 favorite players in the league right now, I sort of care. And he'll make a big impact. (The real question there is whether the Thunder sign Lee, sign Millsap or sign neither.)
But the meta storyline of NBA Free Agency is this: It's a terrible year to be a free agent, not just because everyone is hording cash for 2010, but because no one wants to spend cash, period, and the combination of the current economy and the FA forecast in 2010 gives them an excuse not to spend it.
Meanwhile, this is a point I make in the column, and I expect to hammer it for the next 364 days: There can only be 2 or 3 "winners" (ie, signing LeBron, Wade, Bosh) next summer; everyone else will have a ton of cap room and a mess of good-not-transcendent free agents to pick from, along with a decision:
Do they spend to try to compete now, or do they maintain the "rebuilding" thing. Problem: Everyone has kept saying "Just wait for 2010!" At that point, fans will want action; no more excuses for not spending -- or competing for a title, at least among the middling teams who aren't quite legit contenders and aren't quite bottom-feeders.
Complete column here. More later -- I mean, did you drop by yesterday at all? Apparently, "more" means "a lot more."