Top 25 free agents: some will cash in, some face pay cut

Originally Published: July 11, 2007
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com
Nuclear winter is upon us.

Remember early last season when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made that prediction? His thinking behind that line was that there were too many free agents and too few teams with cap space -- and you could also argue that there's too much talent one year away from freedom, as John Hollinger pointed out in his column late last week.

Well, Cuban is going to turn out to be both right and wrong on this one.

There are a few teams (Milwaukee, Charlotte, Memphis, Orlando) with the potential for significant cap space, depending in the cases of Charlotte and Orlando on how they handle their own free agents. And there are a bevy of teams able to offer the midlevel exception when the new salary cap is set July 11.

There was an epic draft last Thursday, and there is a feverish trade market bubbling beneath the surface, with more superstars being shopped or asking out than we've seen in recent memory. Once a few of those deals go down, the cap ramifications will alter the free-agent market.

There will be somebody who gets vastly overpaid (see Ben Wallace last summer, Larry Hughes the summer before that), and there will be somebody who misjudges his worth as it relates to the market and costs himself millions and millions of dollars (see Bonzi Wells, summer of '06).

With that in mind, here is our updated list of the Top 25 Free Agents for the summer of 2007.