Today's discussion will be who has money to overpay these guys. And the list is not long. The teams listed in orange below are the only teams with cap space over the midlevel exception (about $5.5 mil). Any team can sign free agents up to the midlevel extension, but only those with cap room can go above that number. The cap numbers listed below assume that the team will rescind its rights to its own free agents, which is unlikely in a lot of cases (like Atlanta).
Basically, you have three teams that could lure away Memo or Boozer: Detroit, Memphis, and Oklahoma City. There are a couple of teams that could make a run at Korver, but I don't think he'd get more than the midlevel exception anyway.
Detroit: The Pistons are the team that everyone thinks will try to lure away Boozer. They've got cash ($17 million under the cap), they have been linked with Boozer before, and they are losing three power forwards to free agency (Rasheed, Maxiell, McDyess). Four if you count the Walter Herrmann, and you know I do.
But, there are some things working against Detroit signing Booze. First, they are located in Detroit. I'm not sure how willing their owners will be to sign a guy that shoots balls into a hoop to a long term deal in the $50 million range when the city is boasting 22% unemployment. Second, when you are one of the only teams with real money to spend, you can play the field. Instead of Boozer, they could go after a true free agent like Marion, Lamar Odom, or Ron Artest (oh, sweet irony) and offer a rock bottom price, hoping that the desperate free agent bites. Or, they could make a run at a retricted guy and hope his cash-strapped club blinks. That list of possibilities includes David Lee, Glen Davis, and our very own Paul Millsap.
Memphis: The Grizzlies have tons of coin to spend ($19 million), but the question with them is always, "will they spend it?" Remember this is the team that traded Pau Gasol for his brother. They aren't about winning, they are about staying afloat. That alone disqualifies them in my mind as a serious suitor for Boozer or Okur. I may well be proven wrong, but I see the Griz treading water for a few more years until they become the Seattle Grizzlies. I don't see Memphis opening up the checkbook for anyone, let alone Boozer.
Oklahoma City: This team is an enigma. They are loaded with young talent in Westbrook, Durant, and Green. They have a high draft pick this year. They have a pretty loyal fan base that spends money. They have a good cap situation -their worst contract is two more years of Nick Collison at $6.5 million. And (chun-chun-chun) I think Okur is a perfect fit for them. They need a shooter to take heat off Westbrook and Durant, they are dying for a real center, and Oklahoma City is renowned for its shawarma.
But, is a team led by two future all-stars who still cannot legally drink willing to risk a long-term deal with a 30-year old center, even one who is relatively injury-free for his career? And is Memo, a guy who reportedly loves Salt Lake willing to move to Oklahoma City?
Prediction: I don't think any of these teams go after Boozer or Okur. It's just too much money to spend for teams that are going with youth. Boozer to Detroit is the one deal that seems to make some sense, but I still think they'd prefer a younger, cheaper, more durable version of Carlos.