ESPN.com's Chad Ford takes a comprehensive look at the most anticipated free-agent class in NBA history, ranking Paul Pierce and Ray Allen among the top 30 (potential) free agents of the 2010 offseason.
Pierce is listed at No. 8 in what Ford dubs, "Group I: The 'big 10' ETO or player option candidates," or players with an "early termination option" or "player option" in their contracts, meaning they can opt to forgo the final year(s) of their deals and instead become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2010.
On Pierce, Ford writes: "Pierce has been pretty adamant that he wants to be a Celtic for life, and it looks as though it will play out that way. Although he is still going strong, Pierce, who turned 32 in October, probably has only two or three more highly productive seasons left in him. Most likely, the Celtics will give him an extension."
Allen is listed at No. 7 in, "Group III: The real, honest-to-goodness unrestricted free agents," or the guys who will be on the market with no strings attached.
On Allen, Ford writes: "Allen is another player whose game has been in decline this season. At 34, he has become a liability on the defensive end. But he'll draw interest because he can still shoot, and that skill doesn't deteriorate much with age."
Nate Robinson, acquired as part of a five-player swap with the New York Knicks at last week's trade deadline, is one of Ford's notables in Group III.
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