More than two days into the NBA free agency, every big name is still available and no team has found their man. Dwyane Wade is rumored to be leaning towards returning home—not his recent Miami home, but his hometown of Chicago. Amar’e Stoudemire is apparently done in Phoenix and in a New York state of mind. And there’s been no sign where the most coveted free agent, LeBron James, might sign.

James and the other marquee free agents have heard a lot of talk since free agency officially began July 1 at 12:01 a.m., but haven’t reached any decisions. Here’s the latest:

*The Atlanta Hawks offered Joe Johnson a six-year, $119 million deal on July 1. Early reports suggested Johnson was a lock to return to Atlanta, but it now appears that the Hawks’ leading scorer isn’t a sure bet to return to the team. Johnson is apparently waiting to see what the other headline free agents will do before he commits. New York and Chicago are still in the hunt for Johnson’s services.

*Wade and Chris Bosh met with Chicago’s front office on July 2, a meeting which reportedly left Wade very intrigued. A chance to return to his hometown and play with rising star Derrick Rose and a strong supporting cast has Wade on the fence. “It’s going to take the weekend for everyone to think about what they want to do. This is not an easy decision to make and everyone thinks it is,” Wade told reporters.

*Reports suggest New York is prepared to offer Stoudemire a five-year, $100 million contract. Wherever Stoudemire signs, it likely won’t be back with the Phoenix Suns. The Arizona Republic reported on July 2 that Stoudemire turned down a five-year, $96 million contract from the Suns. Yahoo! also reported on its Twitter page that, “Suns owner Robert Sarver and Happy Walters had a talk late Thursday and Amar’e’s agent rejected Suns latest—and likely final—proposal.”

*James concluded his free agency tour July 3, meeting with Cleveland at 11 a.m. and Chicago at 2 p.m. James met with New York and New Jersey when the free agent window opened on July 1 and Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers the following day.

Done Deals:

Not every free agent is an A-list name, but that doesn’t mean they’re not on someone’s wish list. Here are some of the more notable names that have agreed on deals.

*Baltimore native and Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay will return to the team after committing to a five-year, $82 million deal with Memphis on Thursday.

*The Milwaukee Bucks have obtained verbal agreements from Drew Gooden (five years, $32 million) and John Salmons (five years, $39 million). Both deals are expected to be signed July 8.

*Phoenix agreed to a deal with forward Hakim Warrick (four years, $18 million) and resigned Channing Frye (five years, $30 million), further suggestion that Stoudemire may be done as a member of the Suns.

*Toronto resigned Amir Johnson to a five-year, $34 million deal on Thursday.

Information from Yahoo! Sports, ESPN and the Sportingnews.com was used in this report.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO