The summer of 2010 featured the most irritating and amazing NBA free agency of the last fifteen years when LeBron James — the most salivated over high school prospect of all time — hit the market after being totally embarrassed by the Boston Celtics. James, who had received little in the way of help from the perpetually inept Cavaliers front office, decided — sorry, ‘Decided’ — to take his talents to South Beach, and the new Big 3 (James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh) were formed. There was a great gnashing of teeth and an army of fists shaken, but the Heatles were able to parlay their free agency union into four straight NBA Finals appearances, going two-for-two on basketball’s biggest stage.
The year 2014 hasn’t been quite that exciting, but it has been close. With the LeBron-to-Cleveland rumors refusing to go away (mostly, we suspect, because of ESPN’s ability to hatch and self-perpetuate stories out of thin air), Carmelo Anthony’s potential departure from New York, and the rest of the uncertainty around the missing pieces for championship teams and windows of contention and players finally getting paid, the NBA has been all abuzz with chatter. So much so that we’ve almost missed some of the Summer League Games — which are on NBA TV, and provide a good look at the various draft picks in action. But, with almost a week of free agency underway, even if it doesn’t become official until July 10, here are the winners and losers so far.