A list of the top 2009 NBA Free Agent power forwards.
Carlos Boozer, Jazz (PO) (16.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg) Age: 27. Exercised option; stayed with Jazz
All indications are that Boozer will likely opt out of the final year of his deal with the Jazz that would pay him $12.6 million for next season. With Paul Milsap a restricted free agent and likely draw some serious interest from other teams, Utah is stuck with a major decision; try to re-sign Boozer for about $15 million a year or bring back Milsap at half the price. The likely choice will be for the Jazz to part ways with Boozer and bring back Milsap. That leaves one likely destination for Booze...
Prediction: Signs 5-year, $75 million with Pistons.
David Lee, Knicks (RFA) (16 ppg, 11.7 rpg) Age: 26. Re-signed with Knicks: 1 year
Lee has emerged into one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He plays hard every night, does all the dirty work down low, and has a knack for cleaning up the glass. Several teams will likely inquire about his services, and the Knicks may be willing to let him go to keep with their plan of having plenty of cap space for the 2010 offseason so they can make a serious run at LeBron, D-Wade, or Chris Bosh. However, New York would be idiotic to let him go and not get anything in return, so expect a sign and trade to be worked out that might net the Knicks some expiring contracts, young players, and/or draft picks. The Grizzlies and Thunder seem like possible destinations. Detroit could also be in the running.
Prediction: Signs 5-year, $52 million with Knicks as part of sign-and-trade
Paul Millsap, Jazz (RFA) (13.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) Age: 24. Re-signed with Jazz (4 years, $32 million)
Since Boozer is staying in Utah, the chances of Millsap returning have diminished. Millsap proved he can be a starting power forward when Boozer missed most of last season with injury. His agent has said he wants about $10 million a year and could net that type of offer from the Grizzlies or Pistons. But Jazz management has been adamant in their stance that they will match any offer sheet Millsap signs which makes sense since Boozer will now become a free agent next summer.
Prediction: Re-signs 5 year, $45 million with Jazz
Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers (8.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) Age: 26. Re-signed with Cavaliers (6 years, $50 million)
For some reason, Varejao thinks he is worth $10 million a year. In this market in which teams are going to be very careful with the money they spend, Varejao won't see near that amount. He opted out of the final year of his deal which would have made him about $6.2 million. If he is willing to accept a job with a losing franchise like the Grizzlies or Thunder, he could make more money than re-signing with Cleveland.
Prediction: Re-signs 4-year, $32 million with Cavs
Rasheed Wallace, Pistons (12.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg) Age: 34. Signed with Celtics: 2 years, mid-level exception
At 34, 'Sheed is getting up their age and will likely have to take a major pay cut as Detroit begins their re-building process. No young team will want to take the risk of signing up as the possibility looms of him messing up a team's chemistry. The scenario that makes the most sense is Wallace accepting the mid-level exception on a title contender who could use his inside/outside game and experience. The Cavs have already been rumored as a possible destination.
Prediction: 2-year, mid-level exception with Spurs
Charlie Villanueva, Bucks (16.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) Age: 24. Signed with Pistons (5 years, $40 million)
I was a little surprised to see Milwaukee not offer Chaz V. the qualifying amount and instead, let him become an unrestricted free agent. I thought at the very least, the Bucks could have tried to work out a sign-and-trade. Now Villanueva is an unrestricted free agent and is already being wooed by the Pistons, with the Cavs reportedly interested as well.
Prediction: Signs 5-year, $40 million with Pistons
Davis made himself a lot of money this post-season filling in for the injured Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, and almost helping lead the Celtics to a second round upset of the Magic. Big Baby has erased any concern there was when he entered the NBA about being too soft or undersized to play the four at this level. Davis has stated that he would like to return to Beantown, but that he will also see if any starting opportunites are out there. He will garner a lot of interest from teams with their mid-level, but I don't think that will be too pricey for the Celtics to match.
Prediction: Re-signs 5-year, $33 million with Celtics
Drew Gooden, Spurs (11.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg) Age: 27. Signed with Mavericks (1 year, $4.5 million)
It's hard to believe that Gooden is only 27 years old. He bounced around this past season, eventually taking a back-up role with the Spurs after having his contract bought out by Sacramento just one game after being traded by Chicago. Gooden's strength is still crashing the boards and provided a toughness inside that most teams are in need of. He likely won't find a suitor this off-season that is willing to give him a starting job and may have to settle into another backup role.
Prediction: Signs 3-year, $12 million with Bucks
Brandon Bass, Mavericks (8.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) Age: 24. Signed with Magic (4 years)
This former second round pick is ready to cash in this off-season after two productive seasons providing energy and toughness off the Mavs' bench. Dallas' main focus will be re-signing Jason Kidd, but retaining Bass should also be a priority as he provides something off the bench that nobody else on Mark Cuban's roster does. Spending money has never been an issue for Cuban, so I imagine retaining Bass' services this summer will not be a major issue.
Prediction: Re-signs 4-year, $20 million with Mavericks
Hakim Warrick, Grizzlies (RFA) (11.6, 5.0 rpg) Age: 26. Signed with Bucks
Warrick has been productive the last three seasons for the Grizzlies but is still a bit of a tweener which hurts his value. He primarily played the power forward position in Memphis, but is physically better suited at the three since he not is a very physical force. Any team that hopes to add Warrick will have to pay a pretty hefty price as the Griz will likely match any lowball contract he signs.
Prediction: Accepts qualifying offer with Grizzlies
Leon Powe, Celtics (RFA) (7.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) Age: 25. Signed with Cavaliers (2 years)
As I mentioned in Davis' description, I find it highly unlikely that the Celtics will be able to retain the services of Powe and Big Baby. While Davis' stock soared in the post-season, Powe's took a bit of a hit because of a season-ending injury. Still, Powe has proven to be a valuable commodity off Boston's bench, providing energy and toughness when KG or Kendrick Perkins needs a breather. Powe is a restricted free agent and I find it hard to envision a team making too large of an offer for the C's to match, unless that team plans on making him a starter.
Prediction: Re-signs 4-year, $14 million with Celtics
Other Free Agent PFs: Chris Wilcox (signed with Pistons), Shelden Williams (Signed with Celtics), Ike Diogu (signed with Hornets), Channing Frye (signed with Suns), Sean May (Signed with Kings), Maceo Baston, Donyell Marshall, Melvin Ely, Walter Herrmann (signed with Spanish Team), Josh McRoberts (Re-signed with Pacers), Malik Rose, Stromile Swift, Shavlik Randolph, Michael Ruffin