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LeBron leads free-agent crop

Updated: July 1, 2010, 11:40 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Let the bidding and begging begin.

The NBA's free-agency period has opened, with LeBron James leading perhaps the deepest group of players to ever hit the market.

Teams could begin making their pitches at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, and some were getting started quickly.

The Atlanta Hawks were prepared to offer free-agent-to-be Joe Johnson a maximum six-year contract when the Hawks and Johnson's representatives met Thursday morning in Los Angeles, league sources told ...

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