We are at the end of Day 3 of the Lockout and while there wasn't going to be any basketball played today either way, what we are missing out of is the free agency frenzy that happens every year.
The silence of this July 1 was a sad contrast to the dizzying events of exactly one year earlier, when LeBron James welcomed the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets to Cleveland to hear their pitches, and teams crisscrossed the country in pursuit of other stars that were available. Interest in the league surged from there, right on through the NBA finals that drew some of the best TV ratings the event had seen in years.
Granted, last year's sideshow of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh (not to mention Amare and Carlos Boozer) was like no other free agency period before. Still, it is always an interesting time for the league to see who ends up where. Last year we made quick work of signing Jermaine O'Neal and later added the other O'Neal. Who will it be this year? Well, don't bet on any big names.
The rest of the squad will be signed to minimum contracts if the new collective bargaining agreement eliminates the midlevel and million-dollar exceptions. They can also bring back a player who makes no more than $2.488 million by using the trade exception from Marquis Daniels. In terms of dollars and roster parity, this is a top-heavy situation.
But of course, all that will have to wait. ...and wait, and wait.