LeBron James wants the Heat to find him some help via free agency. Free agents don't want commit until they can get the best offer. Teams won't give out their best offers until players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, ...and LeBron James have committed elsewhere. So round and round it goes until someone blinks.
The Celtics aren't really in the market for a big name free agent (except by sign-and-trade - and even that would be a long shot) but they are still in a holding pattern because they want to keep their options open with Kevin Love. The Wolves are also likely holding off on any Love deals until the free agent pieces fall into place and someone left out of the race still wants a big name.
So we wait, and wait, ...and wait. The 4th of July has come and gone and still no fireworks.
With that said, you can almost feel the bow bending taught. With the slightest movement, the arrow will be loosed and the whole NBA landscape will feel the impact. It will probably be Carmelo Anthony deciding first. It might be Chicago, or the Lakers, or maybe just back in good old New York City. Or maybe LeBron James could drop a bomb and blow up the Miami Heat by deciding to go elsewhere. Or maybe he'll be satisfied with whatever master scheme Riley comes up with and signs up for another few years in South Beach.
Whatever it is, the next steps will be swift and in some cases jarring. Will Morey get another star to venture south to Houston? Will the Bulls get someone who can help Rose on offense? Who will make the first crazy offer to a restricted free agent? Will Paul Pierce end up back under Doc Rivers in Los Angeles? Or will most players end up re-signing with their current clubs?
All of which will have an impact on the Celtics. Can they land Love? If not, what's plan B? Will Ainge find value for Rajon Rondo (if he's indeed put on the market)? If not, do we wait out another rebuilding year with an unbalanced but developing roster?
I still look to that Trade Exception as being something that could play a big part in all of this. If they can't land a big star, they could at least pick up a pick (or more?) by allowing a team to dump a short term salary. I could be wrong of course. The team might just let it expire and that would be that.
Regardless, it seems like things are about to get very interesting. Ainge has been doing a lot of preparation, research, and negotiating for just the right moment. It turned out that draft night wasn't the right time to do anything. Will the official kick off of free agency be that moment?