Here we are on the first day of July for the year 2010 and as of 12:01am ET this morning, the NBA officially began it’s free agent frenzy.

But July not only marks what could be the biggest free agent period in NBA history, with some of it’s biggest names possibly wearing different uniforms next year, but it also marks the month where Major League Baseball teams gear up for the trade deadline.

We could see the biggest player movement all together than we’ve seen in quite some time.


NBA Free Agency

First, let’s get to the NBA and free agency that began this morning, because that’s what everyone is buzzing about.

LeBron James, as expected, opted out of his final year of his contract with Cleveland that would have paid him $17.1 million in 2010, becoming an unrestricted free agent.

With that being said, there have been several rumors floating around prior to this morning that had LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh ending up on the same team, at the same time, next year.

I don’t see that happening, at all. While other free agents are going to play the “wait and see” game, waiting for LeBron James to sign somewhere and set the tone on free agent contracts, it seems Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade could make their minds up fairly soon.

According to several rumors, both players were already in Miami, but an ESPN report refuted that, saying Chris Bosh had met with someone from the Houston Rockets in Dallas on Thursday morning.

Speaking of Bosh, he posted on Twitter this morning that he’s received presentations from Houston, Toronto, Chicago, and Miami so far today.

Other NBA news that became official this morning was the Cleveland Cavaliers making Byron Scott their new head coach. You know this comes with it’s own set of rumors, right?

Now speculation is, Scott would not have taken the job if he didn’t have some sort of reassurance that LeBron James would return to the Cavaliers. According to Sam Amick of , those close to James said he would prefer Scott to Brian Shaw if he were to return to Cleveland. That would be enough for me to take the job.

Speaking of Brian Shaw, on Tuesday it seemed that the Cavs and Shaw were close to a deal, before Shaw backed out saying, “it wasn’t the right timing.” Some seem to think that both Shaw and Scott wanted the Lakers’ job if Phil Jackson was indeed retiring.

If Jackson is leaning towards returning to the team, as some seem to think, it would make sense why Shaw backed out of the Cavs’ job to be back on the bench with Phil.

Aside from LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh being unrestricted free agents, have we forgotten that a few other big names are on that list as well? Boston’s Paul Pierce, Cleveland’s Shaquille O’Neal, and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki are also free agents and could also be looking for new teams.

I’m not sure how many teams would be willing to take a risk on an over-the-hill Shaq, but I’m sure there are a few that would as other free agents start coming off the board.

There were some that believed Dirk Nowitzki was going to really test the free agent waters and possibly land somewhere else next season. Mavericks’ team president Don Nelson was so dead set against that, that he was about to board a plane for Germany to go sit down with Dirk and get a deal done.

Dirk apparently got wind of Nelson’s trip and, instead, flew back to Dallas to sit down with the Mavericks and discuss the options. Seem Dirk may not test the waters after all.

Speaking of the Mavericks, there are a ton of rumors flying around that Paul Pierce may be a legitimate candidate to land in Dallas. Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen told WEEI Radio in Boston that, though the Mavericks can’t sign Pierce outright, they can do a sign-and-trade with the Celtics.

Thomsen is of the opinion that a deal to send Pierce and Rasheed Wallace to Dallas for possibly Caron Butler and Erik Dampier could work for both sides.

Two problems with that thinking. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has already said that Wallace is more than likely going to retire and not play next season, the other problem being that Dallas will have a hard time dealing away Caron Butler.

Thomsen did go on to say that he doesn’t see Pierce leaving Boston regardless of Doc River’s future with the team. However, we know now that Rivers is staying as the head coach at least for the 2010-2011 season.


MLB Trade Deadline

With baseball heading downhill towards the July 31st trade deadline, there are already a few moves that have taken place.

Late Wednesday night, the Texas Rangers completed a deal that sent catcher Bengie Molina to Texas from the San Francisco Giants for reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named later.

For the Rangers, it was a deal that had to be made, especially since the two catchers they thought would be gold for them have been anything but. Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are both back in the minor leagues with no real indication that either will be back with the big club anytime soon.

Sure Molina’s run to first base is timed in hours instead of seconds, but he brings a veteran presence behind the plate that may turn around Rich Harden and Scott Feldman’s tough seasons so far. While in the Bay Area, he’s handled some of the best young pitchers in the game with Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Jonathan Sanchez, so who’s to say he can’t make the pitchers in Arlington that much better?

Continuing on the Texas Rangers, the Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt rumors refuse to die. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has a piece out this morning saying that if the Rangers do go after a starter it will be for a guy like Lee or Oswalt. However, the Rangers did have scouts watching Cleveland Indians’ right hander Fausto Carmona during his start against the Blue Jays earlier this week.

The only way the Rangers get a deal done with Oswalt is through the approval of the bankruptcy court. Knowing that the creditors desperately want their money without regard to what’s best for the Rangers as a team, I don’t see this trade going down, especially if the Rangers have to take on salary.

As for Cliff Lee, he’s already expressed the fact that he wants to go into free agency at the end of this year, so are the Rangers really prepared to give up top prospects for what will end up being a two to three month rental? If the answer to the previous question is yes, does Cliff Lee make the Rangers a World Series contender?

While the Rangers made the first move on the trade front, don’t think that the Angels are going to stay quiet at the trade deadline. There’s already word that the team is interested in former Ranger Hank Blalock after he was designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Blalock may not be the only guy they’re interested in, as Adam Dunn’s name has also come up, especially seeing as the Angels need a power hitting first baseman after losing Kendry Morales for the remainder of the season.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ right hander Dan Haren has come up a few times this morning.’s Bill Ladson reports that the Washington Nationals could have interest in not only him, but Carlos Quentin as well.

Then, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, via Twitter , reported that he had heard rumblings about the Phillies being interested in Haren as well. He would definitely go nicely with a rotation that already boasts Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Jamie Moyer.


Who goes where and what happens next?

We’re going to see a flurry of news over the next 48-72 hours especially with LeBron James wanting to make his decision by either Sunday or Monday.

After that, the other dominoes will begin to fall and we’ll see who’s going to be playing where next season.

As for baseball, their breaking news will continue right up until July 31st, when the trade deadline comes around. There will be rumors, speculation, and the like as we head that direction. Some rumors will come true, others will die off as quickly as they started.

As ESPN’s Trey Wingo says so well, via Twitter , Happy Lebronakkah and Merry Lebronamas. Yeah I know it’s kinda lame but you laughed didn’t you?

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