Never have so many superstar players been on the block. Tracy McGrady is only the first of a half-dozen prime dominoes that may fall this summer. From Shaquille O'Neal to Ray Allen to Jason Kidd to Paul Pierce, several big-time players may have new addresses in the fall. Never have so many teams had so much room under the salary cap to make huge offers. Denver, Utah and Phoenix are primed, with between $15 million to $20 million available to have a whack at the league's elite, and San Antonio isn't far behind.
Plus, there are a lot of veterans in the final year of their contracts who could be attractive to teams looking to max out on cap room for next summer. Each of these guys could come off a team's cap after next season (2004-05 salary listed in parentheses).
Alan Henderson, Hawks ($8.273 million)
Michael Stewart, Celtics ($4.8M)
Antoine Walker, Mavericks ($14.625M)
Elden Campbell, Pistons ($4.4M)
Bo Outlaw, Grizzlies ($6.585M)
Kerry Kittles, Nets ($10.266M)
Othella Harrington, Knicks ($3.15M)
Andrew DeClercq, Magic ($2.547M)
Glenn Robinson, Sixers ($12.071M)
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Blazers ($14.625M)
Dale Davis, Blazers ($10.068M)
Damon Stoudamire, Blazers ($12.5M)
Vitaly Potapenko, Sonics ($6.191M)
Donyell Marshall, Raptors ($5.328M)
Larry Hughes, Wizards ($5.455M)
What follows is our humble estimation of the free-agent landscape. With so many players up for grabs, there isn't a team in the league that shouldn't be able to add at least one guy who could help fortify its roster next season. Some are obvious; others, less so. Some teams will no doubt talk themselves out of being aggressive for fear of being a luxury tax payer which is a shame. Here's hoping your squad has the courage to bite the bullet and do what it takes.
David Aldridge, who covers the NBA for ESPN, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. Also, click here for Aldridge's chat on July 1, the start of free agency.