Free Agent Watch: Even more on LeBron, Bosh, Johnson and Stoudemire

Here’s more of the latest on this summer’s free-agents-to-be:

LeBron James:
Tired of all the LeBron speculation yet? Don’t worry: You only have about a month and a half to go!

Here’s some more conjecture for you: Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine ranked the five most probable destinations for King James…and Chicago topped the list.

Said Broussard: “Of all the clubs with max cap space, the Bulls have the most talent to put around James. He’s never had a teammate the caliber of Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah is an amped-up, more skilled version of Anderson Varejao (not to mention one of the best rebounders and shot-blockers in the game). The positions are a bit different, but could that trio become reminiscent of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman? The Bulls also have other solid players who might be able to fetch another star-caliber talent in a sign-and-trade. The city of Chicago isn’t New York, but it’s not Cleveland either. The Chi would give LeBron a nice mix of big city excitement and suburban peace.”

Of course, Broussard also points out that signing with the Bulls could cost LeBron $30 million and would force him to play in Michael Jordan’s shadow. To that’s the downside.

By the way, LeBron’s agent, Maverick Carter, has put the kibosh on all those rumors about the King wanting (or demanding) to hand-pick his next coach. Said Carter: “All these rumors out there are absolutely untrue. LeBron just wants to win. He doesn’t want to handpick his next coach.”

Chris Bosh:
Despite all the LeBron buzz, NBA GMs are also talking a lot about Bosh.

According to ESPN’s Chad Ford: “The NBA GMs I spoke with are convinced that Bosh is the most likely top free agent to leave for another destination. They also believe the Raptors will be willing to do a sign-and-trade, potentially putting all 29 other teams in play for his services. That idea wasn’t disputed by two sources close to situation. They told me Thursday that Bosh’s agent has informed the Raptors that he has whittled his potential list down to five teams and has given the list to the Raptors. (See this Bosh news story, published earlier on Friday.) Bosh’s wish list, according to sources, includes the Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and New York Knicks, in no particular order.”

Despite the “in no particular order part, Ford went on to say: “One of the sources told that Bosh’s ultimate decision will likely be heavily influenced where LeBron decides to play: ‘If LeBron decides to go to either New York or Chicago, I think that’s where you’ll see Chris land. If LeBron stays in Cleveland, I think the process is more wide open.'”

Ford also said that Bosh would likely prefer a sign-and-trade scenario so he could get an extra year on his contract and larger year-to-year raises. The Bulls would probably be more than happy to do a sign-and-trade with Luol Deng and/or Kirk Hinrich — due mostly to their bloated contracts — but the Raptors would probably want a big man in return, say, Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah. Well, there’s no way they’re getting Noah. Deng and Gibson, perhaps?

Joe Johnson:
I’ve made my feelings about Joe Cool pretty clear, but allow me to repeat myself: Don’t want him on the Bulls, no way, no how. Well, Brett LaGree of Hoopinion paints an ugly picture that has hardened my anti-Joe stance to “unbreakable.”

LaGree provides plenty of hard data to suggest that Johnson is — in essence — a player without great athleticism who relies primarily on difficult jump shots, rarely gets to the free throw line, and plays questionable defense. And despite being The Man in Atlanta, his production (though very good) has basically flatlined.

Said LaGree: “Johnson turns 29 this summer. He’s played 25,974 minutes in the NBA. The Atlanta Hawks have enjoyed the prime of his career. That prime may last another couple of years but Joe Johnson isn’t going to sign a two or three-year contract this summer. Some team is going to be on the hook for the next five or six years of Johnson’s career at the cost of at least $15 million per season. I think it’s unlikely Johnson gets any better* but how confident can one be that he’ll remain this good. … However one feels about the validity of Johnson’s current reputation, it’s difficult to see how he will maintain his established level of production into his mid-30s. Buyer beware.”

Amar’e Stoudemire:
Even though the Suns are saying they will pay a hefty sum to re-sign him, ESPN’s Chad Ford quoted a source close to Stoudemire who says Amar’es days in Phoenix may be over: “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” a source close to Stoudemire told ESPN. “Amare feels like the organization disrespected him. Amare loves his teammates and has really enjoyed playing for the team these last few months, but he’s reluctant to commit to Phoenix long-term.”

As noted, Stoudemire is right below Joe Johnson on my “Buyer Beware” anti-wish list.

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45 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Even more on LeBron, Bosh, Johnson and Stoudemire

  1. bobbysimmons May 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Lebron won’t be leaving 30 million on table because he’s not going to sign a six year deal, I’m pretty sure he’ll sign a 3-4 year deal. Why would Lebron want to be tied down to a team for 6 years if he can get paid anywhere, he doesn’t need that financial security.

    For 3-4 year deals he’ll only get about 1 million more if he were to sign with the Cavs. So the Bulls will have to convince him to forgo that 1 million and sign with them straight up so that they can do a sign and trade with Bosh (for Deng) who will likely want to sign a 6 year max deal. Our lineup will look like this, definitely championship worthy:


    The only problem is if Lebron wants to do a three year sign and trade too. The Bulls don’t have enough talent and baggage to do two sign and trades, and also who says the Raptors will want Deng. They might refuse to give Bosh a sign and trade so they can just dump salary and start from scratch. I mean if you were them would you want to rebuild with Bargnani, Calderon, and Deng at the helm?

    Enigmatik May 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    joe johnson and amare stoudamire are two guys that will get max dollars but don’t deserve max dollars.

    if the bulls can some how get lebron and bosh on the team, i will not be able to enjoy the season…because my head will have exploded from the excitement.

    Boppinbob May 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    I do not want Bosh, if the Bulls land LeBron, great. They still need to build quality depth behind the starting line-up. The only two players that are worth max contracts are James and Wade. Bosh will command a max contract, if the Bulls sign him they will only be able to add the dregs of the league to their roster and will end up being second round eliminations like the Cavs. On top of that it will become financially difficult if not impossible to resign Rose, Noah and Gibson to keep the primary roster together an the team profitable. The lux tax would kill them. I do not think that Gar and Pax can win in this situation.

  4. bobbysimmons May 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    If the Bulls are championship contenders Reinsdorf has already made it clear he’s willing to pay the luxury tax. So far the Bulls have not been a team of that caliber, hence the Bulls bitter refusal to pay the luxury tax. A team with Lebron, Bosh, Rose, and Noah, with some role players will likely have a payroll of about 80 million in a few years, which is about 20 million in the bonus, costing the Bulls about 40 million in extras. Reinsdorf is known to be stingy so I don’t know if he’ll dig that deep into his pockets but a team like that is just too good to pass up and if it works out will be a championship contender for as long as Lebron is a Bull. If you can buy a championship in basketball, most owners would be for it. The Knicks went far more into the luxury tax for several years and their team still sucked, a team like the Bulls can have though is worth it, definitely.

    BULL4EVER May 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    LeBron is all Chicago needs and they are guaranteed to have Bosh in the mix if Lebron signs with those Bulls because Bosh will follow LeBron no matter where he goes.GO BULLS BABY.

  6. Luis Rivera May 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    I don’t like the idea that the Raptors want to give Chris Bosh a sign-and-trade if he doesn’t want to stay in Toronto, I thought the point of free agency was for the free agent to get to choose where he goes. Honestly it should be every man for himself, not the idea that your former team gets to choose where you go.

    andy May 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    chicago gets james they just need to sing joe jonhson and that will be a 2011 and 2012 championship for the bulls.

    greece2010worldcupchamps May 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    If the Bulls can sign Lebron and get Bosh through a sign and trade that wouls only make the franchise more wealthier and therefore they will have the money to pay Rose what he wants. Oh and Rose will not leave Chicago, he has too much going for him here.

    C-Lo_The_Great May 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    how would getting bosh and james be a bad thing
    granted the bench of the bulls shouldnt even be playing in the developmental league let alone the nba (assuming bulls get both)
    i think bulls would be a dynasty with 2,3, or potentially 4 superstars (james and bosh forsure , rose eventually , mayb noah)

    Dj May 22, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    I can’t believe that I am actually saying this but, if the Bulls do manage to land Lebron James this summer, (which I highly doubt for some reason.) it will only work in a sign and trade deal and hopefully Cleveland is willing to take: L. Deng, Taj Gibson, Bulls 2nd round draft pick and James Johnson. That being said, the Bulls will have enough money to sign another guys like: Carl Landry over David Lee or Chris Bosh, since he will come out even more cheaper as a RESTRICTED free-agent from the Sacramento Kings. (For example like: Rudy Gay)

    Then we will still have our 1st round draft pick to sign another big guy with more money left to fill out our roster.

    This is how our 2010-2011 (13 man roster) would look like hopefully:
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: K. Hinrich
    SF: L. James
    PF: C. Landry
    C: J. Noah
    PF-C: Bulls 1st round draft pick (this years draft has talented big guys)
    C: Omer Asik
    C: Brad Miller (if he resign back with the Bulls to a 1 year deal)
    SG: Kelenna Azubuike or Kyle Korver (to a 2-3 year contract, to add more depth to our 3 point shooting)
    SF: Travis Outlaw (to a 1-2 year contract)
    G: Acie Law (to a 1 year contract)
    SF: Joe Alexander (to a 1 year contract)
    PF-C: Chris Richard (to a 1 year contract)
    Maybe Back-up guys:
    SF-SG: Rodney Carney (to a 1 year contract in case B. Miller does not come back)
    C: Primoz Brezec (to a 1 year contract in case Omer Asik is un-healthy to play for the Bulls)

    With this line-up, the Bulls will be a contender team to win a Championship next year.

    GO BULLS!!!

    Dj May 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    The reason why I didn’t put: Lee David or Chris Bosh in this line-up is because they will ask for money with longer contracts then what Carl Landry will ask for. Plus we will have Lebron James that will ask for 16-18 million dollars to a 3-4 year deal, plus the Bulls also have to resign D. Rose and J. Noah with more money.

    Bill thomas May 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    What a way to put it Dj, but the Bulls can also do a sign and trade deal with Sacramento for Carl Landry, Ime Udoka or Dominic McGuire and their 2nd round draft (since the Bulls gave away their 2nd round pick to Portland) for Kirk Hinrich. Then the Bulls can offer Cleveland: L. Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson and their 2nd round 33rd draft pick from Sacramento for Lebron James. Not only that, by making those moves the Bull will have even more money to offer players lIke; SF:Travis Outlaw, PF:Channing Frye, SG:Kyle Korver, SG:Kelenna Azubuike, SG:Anthony Morrow, PG:Ronald Murray, PG:Steve Blake or PG: Chris Duhon to solid contracts.

    Starting Line-up 2010-2011:
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: Kelenna Azubuike, Kyle Korver or Anthony Morrow
    SF: L. James
    PF: C. Landry
    C: J. Noah
    PG: C. Duhon, S. Blake or R. Murray
    SF: Travis Outlaw
    PF-C: Bulls 1st round draft pick
    C: Brad Miller or Omer Asik
    PF-C: Chris Richard
    SG or SF: Ime Udoka or Dominic McGuire
    SG-F: Rodney Carney
    G: Acie Law
    Back-up guys:
    PF: Channing Frye or C: Primoz Brezec (in case B. Miller or O. Asik don’t sign back with the Bulls.)

  13. chad May 23, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    6 weeks Lebron and Joakim will be dancing together.

    Max May 23, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Wow Bill and DJ all the sudden you guys are on the LBJ bandwagon……..what a difference a few days

    GO BULLS!!!

    Dj May 23, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    1st of all Max I said: “I can’t believe that I am actually saying this but, if the Bulls do manage to land Lebron James this summer, (WHICH I HIGHLY DOUBT FOR SOME REASON.) it will only work in a sign and trade deal and hopefully Cleveland is willing to take: L. Deng, Taj Gibson, Bulls 2nd round draft pick and James Johnson.”

    I have always been on the Lebron James bandwagon Max! but, I just don’t see it happening, like half of you people.

    That why I keep saying, hopefully the Bulls we still use plan B under consideration in case plan A does not happen (which is Lebron James) and plan B is: (Rudy Gay and David Lee or Carl Landry.)

    Dj May 23, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    And yes! I did just though in their Carl Landry name randomly because I did my research on him and I like his game as a solid PF player.

    Dj May 23, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Plus he comes out even more cheaper then: Chris Bosh or David Lee as a restricted free-agent from the Sacramento Kings.

    Dj May 23, 2010 at 8:45 am #


    Trm3 May 23, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    No comment…I am in shock on what DJ is saying..

    Boppinbob May 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    I’ll bring it up again, the draft happens before free agency. Who do the ulls draf with te 17th pick?

    Boppinbob May 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    I think I need to replace my keyboard.

    Boppinbob May 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Or maybe my fingers…

    Boppinbob May 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    I’ll bring it up again, the draft happens before free agency. Who do the Bulls draft with the 17th pick?

    BULL4EVER May 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Chris Bosh was drafted by the Bulls and yet Chicago traded him during the draft for some player, but I don’t even know for which player they traded him for when Chicago started their re-tooling process after Jordan and Pippen gave them a 6th NBA title and left the windy.Man things would be better if we had kept him back then,but we can still him and LeBron if we are lucky enough.GO BULLS

  25. bobbysimmons May 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    DJ…Carl Landry over Bosh, and adding players like Carney and Brezec, what wrong with you bro? Why you so random? Bosh is far better than Landry is basically ever facet of the game especially rebounding, scoring, blocking, size (Bosh legit 6-10, Landry more like 6-6, 6-7). And then you throw in players like Carney and Brezec, trust me those players are far from anyone’s mind except yours. You are too concerned with payroll and which options are the cheapest, stop letting that consume your mind. IF there is a possibly to get both Lebron and Bosh, you better believe the Bulls ownership is going to go for it no matter the cost. When contract time comes for Rose and Noah we can deal with that, going in to luxury tax is not the end of the world.

    chris May 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Duuuuude,what?? The Bulls did not draft Chris Bosh. Ever. I remember that year perfectly…they drafted Kirk Hinrich after the Heat snubbed Dwayne Wade from us with the 5th pick when we had the 7th. Toronto had the 4th and selected Bosh.

    by the way, david lee sucks. landry’s alright, doesnt deserve as much attention as you give him though. If for some reason we’re able to sign lebrizzle we’ll be the best flock and I hope Pax can squeeze his brain a bit to think of an idea to get a big sign big man.

    If we don’t sign a superstar and at least a starting big man im gonna be so pissed after all this hype from the media haha

  27. bobbysimmons May 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    For the Bulls 17th overall draft pick, I think they probably were targeting Paul George from Fresno State, but since basically ever lottery player is sitting out of the combine, apparently George has emerged as one the best players actually participating in the workouts, so he’ll probably move higher. As far as which position, I think the Bulls should go after a SG or SF, we’re kind of thin at that position right now, and we’ll be more thin once Deng is traded (most likely).

    SL88 May 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Joe Johnson has a tendency to disappear Come April..I dont want him on the bulls because he is Consistent in a way where his numbers will fool you. When I watch ATL Hawks game he never really has much of an impact..He just moves through the game and will get 25 on accident. I would rather have Bosh and Noah because the bulls led the league in RPG with just Noah and Gibson.. They would obviously do the same with Bosh. Bosh and Noah wouuld be similar to David Robinson and Duncan in the sense that no one would really come down low to try and score on those guys. You have the perfect balance..Bosh can spread the floor a tad and noah will come back bigger and stronger i promise you that. The starting 5 for the bulls will be
    5.Noah.. The bench will include Brad Miller and a few veterans they acquire through the summer. We will be champions by 2012 at the latest…Lawrence Frank will be at the helm

  29. jeffrey.hayden19@yahoo,.com'
    jeff hayden May 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    lebron and D wade baby!!!!!!!!!! thts all we need

  30. kipp May 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Any starting line up that includes Kirk Hinrich sucks. Period. He is not a starter at any position on a championship team.

    C-Lo_The_Great May 24, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    sad thing is that is true
    i love hinrich as a bull
    would love him more if he was making 3-5m per yr
    as for draft
    some dude brought this scenario up in truehoops for 76’s
    trade between 76’s bulls and raptors
    bulls get bosh and 2nd pick in draft
    bulls lose hinrich deng taj n 17th pick
    76’s get hinrich deng
    76’s lose elton brand and 2nd pick
    raptors get brand 17th pick and gibson
    raps lose chris bosh
    WIN WIN FOR BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!
    no way this would happen but its offseason so nothing better to do then speculate

    Max power May 24, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    huh???? what is wrong with some of you people lol

    Max power May 24, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Lebron James is not leaving Cleveland period! that being said, the Bulls should go after David Lee, Chris Bosh or Carl Landry 1st. Then they should upgrade their SF position by getting a healthier player like Rudy Gay in a sign and trade deal for Deng. After that, they should go after Kelenna Azubuike or Kyle Korver to a minimum 2-3 year contract with adding solid players like Acie Law, Rodney Carney and others like that.

    Remember people, D. Rose is our new future MJ, just have faith in him with his ability to get us a championship soon, all he needs is some solid players that I already mentioned. People, don’t forget Noah is 1 of our other Star player along with Rose, so all we need is 1 more player like Bosh or Gay to help us win it all!

    GO BULLS!!!

    BULL4EVER May 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    LeBron not leaving Cleveland, yeah okay, he is guaranteed to leave those Cavaliers because he already knows he won’t ever win NBA titles if he stays.And LeBron will sign with the Bulls if he truly wants to win NBA titles, but then again it’s totally up to him whether he wants to win NBA titles by signing with Chicago or be totally heartbroken by staying in Cleveland.GO BULLS.

    Max May 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Kelenna Azubuike and now Carl Landry…….Lets hope that is not how the Bulls spend the Free Agency money. Kelenna Azubuike is not even a Unrestricted Free Agent and why would the Grizzlies trade a healthy player for a unhealthy one? And why do you want players that cannot play defense?

  36. steven n. May 24, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    The bulls are going to get LeBron and bosh.They are going to go 69 and 13.Win the Finals, and have the new mj.Stats
    Rose-18 points 8 assists 3 rebounds
    James-29 points 6 assists 5 rebounds
    Gibson-8 points 1 assists 5 rebounds
    Noah-6 points 3 assists 13 rebounds
    Bosh-17 points 2 assists 8 rebounds
    Bench-23 points

    Max power May 25, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Huh??? they can’t play defense? are serious?

    Look Max, it was just an idea, if the Bulls can not manage to land Lebron, Bosh or Wade to Chicago. Beside, all of those guys that I mention can play solid defense and they are all talented scores, which is a good thing.

    By the way Max, what do you got against Carl Landry and Kelenna Azubuike? I don’t know about you but, they are both good talented hustling players that the Bulls would love to have on their team. Plus they are cheaper players that they can afford to get for a good price.

    Another thing, the Grizzlies would probably make that trade move if we throw in James Johnson with Deng. By making that move, the Bulls will have more money to sign another solid player like Travis Outlaw to replace J.J spot.

    Dj May 25, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    And I am the one that does not let people express their thoughts or OPINIONS Max lol jk…

    Trm3 May 25, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Jesus Christ! How many names u got DJ?? That Max Power crap sounded to much like u with the “David Lee, Carl Landry, Rudy Gay” comments. Stop worry about about the Salary cap..That’s Pax, Gar and Reinsdorf job..and trust me they know Rose and Noah will deserve some pay when their due and were not gonna lose them.

    @ Kipp..ur statement of Hinrich is stupid, saying “any starting lineup with Hinrich in it isn’t a Championship team”..really?? So, IF we had Rose, Hinrich, James, Bosh and Noah..ur telling me that team isn’t a Championship team?? I guess the same could be said about Paxson when he was a starter cause Hinrich is better than Paxson was.

    Max May 25, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Your opinion is fine. Those players do not play good defense and that is just a fact. Look at the tape. You can say what you want but it does not make it true. The grizzlies are not trading Gay for Deng and Chicago should not make that trade with JJ included. Deng is just as good as Gay and he plays better defense. Neither can hit the three on a consistent basis and Gay averaged 1 assist a game. Now you can say he is a shooter but dude even Allen Iverson averaged more than that. You also never said that should be a plan B. You stated that LBJ is never coming and the Bulls should just go with your idea. Well Your idea in my opinion is SHITTY and I hope it doesn’t happen…..Just my opinion!!

    Trm3 May 25, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    Btw DJ..u see who else is very unrealistic like me, Max and 95% of the Bulls nation..President Obama! And that guy is running our conutry?? Boy, we’re in trouble.

    dave May 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    ok to everyone in chicago please i beg you STOP right now cause you are all wishing for something that will NEVER happen. not because lebron wouldn’t play here but it’s our history weren’t we supposed to get Kobe a few years back? or even dwayne wade? we all need to realize this will not happen so please just stop

    dave May 26, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    also does anyone anywhere really think that cleveland is going to let james get away? that would be like the bears letting walter payton leave i mean if cleveland’s GM let’s that happen he might as well leave or go into witness protection so please everone take a deep breath and WAKE UP! cause in your world we’d sign lebron dewayne wade and bring phil jackson back to coach I am 43 and have NEVER played professional basketball and i am more likely to be playing in a bulls uniform than any of the free agents that will be available this year

  44. kipp May 31, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    @ Trm3
    My point was stupid? OK, answer this, which starting SG of the last…idk…20 NBA champions is Kirk as good as or better than? That’s a tough one. How about this: Of the last 110 or so starters of NBA Finals teams, name 1 player that Kirk is better than…? Iverson was surrounded by trash; Austin Croshere–maybe. But, both those teams lost. If you have Rose, Bosh, Noah, and LBJ why not upgrade Kirk’s spot with…idk…anybody. Shannon Brown, for all I care. There’s no place for Kirk in that line-up. His shot is too broke for him to sniff the floor. What would his role be?

    He’s definitely no Pax. Pax was an assassin. If he was open, and got his feet set with that 1-2 step, he put the ball in the hole. Pax would shoot holes in Kirk’s jersey. So would Steve Kerr, Craig Hodges, Trent Tucker, etc. He’s just not the same caliber of shooter as those guys were, and that’s exactly what his role would have to be in your fantasy line-up. Hell, give me Boobie Gibson, Derek Fisher, James Posey, Eddie House, any-friggin-body else to be that guy. That’s just never been Kirk’s game.

    Shane June 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    I never post comments but I can’t take it anymore. First of all there was some good work being done in the dream scenario dept. However, when people make blanket statement like Lebron will never come or he’s coming for sure, it makes no sense. Lebron doesn’t even know what he’s going to do yet.

    Miami is a strong contender as well as Chicago and Cleveland and NY. That’s why the FA’s are going to talk before they go anywhere.

    If the Bulls do get Lebron, I think it’s logical that Bosh will get here as well. But to make crazy comments like “never” or “for sure” tells me you really don’t understand professional sports or life in general.

    As for @kipp passing on the scenario with the Bulls, Raptors, and Sixers trading. Why would the 76’ers give up Brand the 2nd pick overall for Hinrich and Deng. Makes no sense whatsoever for them.

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