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6/05/2008 03:44:00 PM
Game Changers Who Are Available
Will any team take a chance on Barry Bonds?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Two of the NBA's most legendary teams, the Celtics and the Lakers, face off tonight in the NBA Finals. But these franchises did not make it to the NBA Finals via shrewd drafting and cunning long-term planning; both teams swung trades to bring in hired guns (mostly Garnett and Gasol) that pushed them over the top. It's a great reminder of the power of one, of the ability of a great player to make a single team stunningly better. Here's my top five current game changers in sports who are (allegedly) available...
1. Barry Bonds: With Bonds' current legal problems looming, it's not surpising that MLB teams are avoiding the free agent Bonds like the plague. Still, on an AL team Bonds could DH, provide nuclear-level power and maybe, just maybe, make a good team a great one.
2. Jason Taylor: The defensive stopper seems to be dancing his way out Miami. He may be nearing the downside of his career, but he'll providea heckuva anchor for someone's D-line.
3. Gilbert Arenas: Agent Zero recently announced he'd be opting out of his contract with Washington. Even with his occasional knee problems, Gilbert's a stone-cold scorer who can provide enough swag to keep an entire city entertained.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo: Rumors are swirling this week, linking Manchester United's dazzling winger to Real Madrid. Whatever team he plays for, including his native Portugal in the Euro 2008 tourney starting this weekend, Ronaldo is perhaps the most magnetic, dominant player in soccer right now.
5. Mike Vick: I mean, he'd certainly change things, right?
Which gamechanger would you mortgage the future to bring in? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
Forget about mortgaging the future. Jason Taylor for Jeremy Shockey, straight up. I'm sure that Shockey would love to return to Miami. If Strahan doesn't come back this year, it would be Jason and Osi. If he does come back, a three DE rotation would hopefully extend a couple of Giants' careers while reducing the careers of some opposing QB's.