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Thunder: Two potential star free agents coming to town this weekend

By Mike Baldwin Modified: December 19, 2008 at 12:45 am •  Published: December 19, 2008

t unlike LeBron, Bosh said he doesn’t think two weeks ahead — much less where he might be playing in two years.

Toronto will have an advantage. Because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors can offer 10 percent more per season, which could be nearly $30 million more. That’s why many free agents in the 2010 class might re-sign with their current teams.

Money won’t be the only factor. Bosh said playing for a playoff contender with a bright future will figure into his decision. Since he played at Dallas Lincoln High School, Thunder fans might like to think Bosh might be tempted to play in Oklahoma City, near his hometown.

It’s doubtful the Thunder can sign Bosh, James, Dwyane Wade or Amare Stoudemire. But you never know. Presti is clearing about $40 million of cap space for the 2010-11 season.

In line for another high draft pick next June, Oklahoma City should add another talented, young player to the foundation of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook. But to land a quality free agent, the Thunder might need to start winning to convince a player this is a team on the rise.

"There are a lot of variables,” Presti said. "But clearly, you always want to put together the most attractive situation you can. You want to put together a competitive team every year. That helps you not just in free agency but in all other aspects of your business.”

Raptors at Thunder
→When: 7 tonight

→Where: Ford Center

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, AM 640

Probable starters

Thunder (2-24)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Russell Westbrook 6-3 12.8 4.0 4.2
G Damien Wilkins 6-6 1.3
F Kevin Durant 6-9 23.2 5.1 1.9
F Jeff Green 6-9 15.5 5.1 2.3
C Johan Petro 6-10 4.9 4.6 0.3
Raptors (10-15)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Jose Calderon 6-3 13.2 3.2 9.0
G Jason Kapono 6-8 8.5 2.2 1.7
F Jamario Moon 6-8 7.0 3.9 1.3
F Chris Bosh 6-10 23.6 9.7 2.6
C Jermaine O’Neal 6-11 12.9 7.5 1.7
→Coming Sunday: Should LeBron James stay or go? We’ll examine the debate over the future of one of the NBA’s brightest starts in Sunday’s editions of The Oklahoman.


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