In a non-Dwight year, this is when it tends to stop, in August.
As an NBA executive recently explained, there tend to be four stages to the offseason when it comes to personnel moves:
— The start of the free-agency period and the resulting immediate frenzy.
— The period shortly thereafter when offer sheets are matched or rejected, potentially freeing up what essentially had been frozen money.
— A follow-up period from lower- and minimal-salaried players, primarily those with families, who want to establish in advance their landing spots for the coming season.
— And then the long wait, until just before, or even amid, the start of camps, when, amid depleted cap space, a minimal-salary reality becomes the only reality for those still left on the board.
While the timing of the Olympics and the uncertainly of the Dwight Howard situation make 2012 a bit more complex, the silence currently being experienced is typical.
Oh, there still are those who see more than a minimum-salary reality, such as Mickael Pietrus distancing himself from the Celtics, as well as a few lingering free agents who may yet still cash in, such as fairly recent amnesty additions Andray Blatche and Josh Childress or somewhat-proven veterans such as Carlos Delfino and Kenyon Martin. But most it has become a case of players and teams assessing the prospects of playing time, the only true remaining currency.
That, essentially, is where the best-of-the-rest stand today, free agents such as Matt Barnes, Derek Fisher, Chris Andersen, Darko Milicic, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Anthony Tolliver, Jodie Meeks, Maurice Evans, Anthony Parker, Ryan Gomes and Tracy McGrady.
As for the pool of restricted free agents, that list has been reduced to Atlanta’s Ivan Johnson and Cleveland’s Alonzo Gee, effectively ending offer-sheet season.
At this point, it is likely the NBA’s transaction wire will be busier in September, when camps start to open, than in August, when the assessments could be limited to foreign teams scouting prospects in the Olympics.