Who are the big names hitting the open market this summer as well as the Miami Heat star?
LeBron James will opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The four-time MVP will be the top prize in an offseason with plenty of veteran talent available but very few big-name stars.
Here are the top ten free agents set to hit the open market on July 1.
1. LeBron James - SF - Miami Heat
James will be the big prize on the market this summer by a long way. He is still likely to return to the Heat after making four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, and his focus may be on recruiting more talent to Miami rather than looking elsewhere. Plenty of teams have begun clearing cap space, however, to try to attract the ten-time all-star. If the right situation arises for King James to win titles with a good supporting cast, don't be surprised if he takes his talents away from South Beach this summer.
Potential suitors: Heat, Cavaliers, Rockets, Lakers, Clippers
2. Carmelo Anthony - SF - New York Knicks
Anthony is the second marquee name on the market this year, and he has good reason to consider a move away from New York after missing the playoffs last year. The Knicks are in no position to win a title any time soon, and like LeBron, if a team ready to contend can offer Melo big money he will certainly have to consider an offer.
Potential suitors: Bulls, Rockets, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Heat
3. Dirk Nowitzki - PF - Dallas Mavericks
After winning his first NBA title in 2011 it is highly unlikely that Nowitzki will leave Dallas. He will almost certainly retire a Maverick, but if he craves another championship ring there is the slim possibility that he could be tempted away.
Potential suitors: Mavericks, Heat, Bulls
4. Chris Bosh - PF/C - Miami Heat
Bosh's status rests almost solely on where LeBron decides to play next season. If James re-signs with the Heat Bosh will definitely stay and will perhaps take less money to help attract another star. However, if LeBron leaves Bosh may decide to join a potential team where he would be the star.
Potential suitors: Heat, Mavericks, Lakers, Rockets
5. Kyle Lowry - PG - Toronto Raptors
Lowry earned himself a big payday with his impressive play for the Raptors last season. There are plenty of teams with cap space this year, and in a league that is becoming more and more point guard-driven, he is likely to land a lucrative deal.
Potential suitors: Raptors, Heat, Lakers, Bucks
6. Eric Bledsoe - PG - Phoenix Suns
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and it is unlikely that Phoenix would let him go this summer. However, a few teams could test the Suns' resolve by offering the young, athletic point guard a max-level contract.
Potential suitors: Suns, Bucks, Lakers, Raptors
7. Greg Monroe - PF/C - Detroit Pistons
Like Blesdoe, Monroe is a restricted free agent whose most likely destination is probably his current team. However, the Pistons have struggled to integrate him with fellow big men Josh Smith and Andre Drummond. A max-level deal could see Monroe start for a new team next year.
Potential suitors: Pistons, Mavericks, Hornets, Lakers
8. Luol Deng - SF - Cleveland Cavaliers
After a turbulent season in Chicago and then Cleveland, Deng will hit the open market this summer looking for a new home. He will not return to the Cavs, and will instead pursue a deal with a potential contender looking for a veteran piece.
Potential suitors: Bulls, Mavericks, Lakers, Spurs, Heat
9. Isaiah Thomas - PG - Sacramento Kings
A criminally underrated point guard, Thomas could surprise everyone by landing a big contract in this offseason. He offers instant offense and is a solid playmaker, and teams needing help at the point could even target him ahead of Lowry.
Potential suitors: Kings, Bucks, Raptors, Hornets
10. Pau Gasol - PF/C - Los Angeles Lakers
Gasol is past his prime at 34 but can still offer production to a veteran team needing frontcourt help. With the Lakers soon to hire a new coach he may stay with the team and see more of the ball than he did under Mike d'Antoni.
Potential suitors: Lakers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Clippers, Heat