NBA free agency is huge business this year

 

Anyone who is interested in sports, even just a little bit has heard about the 2010 NBA free agency for the past 2+ years. This year’s free agency list is not only larger than usual, but it contains most of the best players in the world. The top three players that are free agents this summer and have the ability to completely change the landscape of the NBA for the next 5-6 years are: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Just to illustrate how big of a deal all this is, it is also the NHL’s free agency right now, but even in Canada, the NBA free agency is being talked about a lot more. Due to certain league limitations that teams can pay players without having to pay a penalty (luxury tax), we know how much each of those three players I mentioned will be making- about $20 million a year for 5-6 years ($100 million-$120 million +/-) There are a lot of rumours swirling around that two or maybe even all three players will join the same team.

From a business perspective this can not only make certain franchises more or less money, but it can affect entire cities. For instance, the city of Cleveland, the current home to the number one free agent LeBron James may have a declining economy (more so than it is right now) if James decides to sign with another team. Cleveland Cavaliers games have seen attendance almost double since he joined the team 7 years ago and it is now one of the top tourist attractions in the city. It has also been estimated that if he were to sign with the Chicago Bulls, then the added money that would enter the economy of the city of Chicago would be about $2.7 billion. These two examples should make it crystal clear to everyone how important these few individuals’ decisions over the next few days or so, will be.

Even tiny changes that these players make off the court right now are making headlines on just about every news outlet. The best example of this came yesterday when LeBron James joined Twitter. He didn’t mention anything about his free agency decision and he has even mentioned that he will not use it to announce those decisions but, still just that little, useless tidbit made headlines on CNN, Reuters and everywhere else. This free agency is even garnering more attention than the World Cup, at least in North America.

It seems that the three top players will likely make their decision in the next few days because people are starting to become restless and at the end of the day, each on of those players has an image and brand to maintain. I also want this to end soon because as a basketball fan of one of the teams directly affected by these decisions, I want the rest of the free agents to sign and/or be traded already and that will not happen until the top three players decide where to go.