Free Agency Updates: LeBron Loves Joe Johnson, while Dwayne Wade Ogles Amar'e Stoudemire

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

Let's start a rumor that this Team USA moment (where Wade jealously catches LeBron and Kobe laughingly bond) caused a rift. As a defense mechanism, Wade will now pursue Amar'e, while LeBron's goes for Joe. Can't they see true love is right there next to them? --No, not Kobe! I'm talking about each other! (source: Yardbarker.com)

In an ESPN.com article, Mark Stein writes:

It is widely assumed that LeBron James and Chris Bosh are the two marquee free agents Dwyane Wade wants the Heat to pursue starting July 1.

The reality, though, is that Amare Stoudemire should be regarded as no less than an equal in this conversation.

Given all the options and potential outcomes of LeBron’s foray into free agency — and Bosh’s recent insistence during All-Star Weekend that he’s in no rush to relocate just to be regarded as someone else’s sidekick — Stoudemire would appear to be the most signable of the three.

One source close to the situation insisted this week that Wade and Stoudemire are closer than advertised as pals even though they haven’t played together on Team USA since 2004.

The source also said that Miami is indeed Stoudemire’s first choice in free agency if he finally leaves the Suns this summer after being shopped by Phoenix at two successive trade deadlines.

My feeling is that because of Bosh’s insistence that he doesn’t want to be #2 to nobody, that he shouldn’t even be considered a realistic option for Miami.  Seems it’ll come down to LeBron and Amar’e.  If Miami really is top of the list for Mr.Standing Tall And Talented (aka STAT), then no matter what, Wade’s unlikely to leave the Heat and is gonna end this summer a happy man.  I honestly think we can more definitively cross Wade off the list of potential Knicks than LeBron.  Wade would love to stay in Miami and since, like with New York, they have the space to sign another max player, it doesn’t appear that we have anything to offer him.  The only possibility would be if LeBron said, yo, Dwayne, I’d love for us to team-up and dominate, but I wanna go where we can both start over rather than joining your team.  Even in that unlikely scenario, I think Wade might prefer to stay in Miami with Stat than starting over in NYC with the King.

On the other hand, at the beginning of this video piece ESPN’s Ric Bucher reports that LeBron’s got man-love for another big name besides Wade: Joe Johnson.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Atlanta Hawks Chris Bosh Cleveland Cavaliers Dwyane Wade Joe Johnson Kobe Bryant LeBron James Mark Stein Miami Heat Phoenix Suns Ric Bucher Toronto Raptors

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