We all expected the 2011 NBA Free Agency to be a bit crazy with the lockout forcing a condensed time frame and three big names potentially in play. No one, however, could have predicted what's gone on so far and those three big names (Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams) could all still be available and moving soon.
Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise, but the three wealthiest teams in the NBA have made the biggest moves so far. Here's a quick recap of where things stand. For more details check out the SB Nation NBA Free Agency Hub for all the latest news and rumors.
We'll start with the New York Knicks who used the new amnesty provision to jettison Chauncey Billups (who's very unhappy) and dumped some other salary so they could do a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks to get Tyson Chandler. Chandler will give Amare Stoudemire a big who can protect the paint and do the dirty work inside and, along with Carmelo Anthony, gives the Knicks one of the strongest front courts in the league.
The Mavericks received a trade exception in the deal that they quickly used to acquire Lamar Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers. They sent a future first round pick to the Lakers but that pick is highly protected and therefore has much less value.
Most feel the move clears room for the Lakers to now make a run at Dwight Howard who has told the Orlando that he wants to be traded...to the New Jersey Nets. If the Lakers do land Howard, he would join a seemingly endless line of superstar centers who've played for the Lakers.
Deron Williams is sitting in New Jersey essentially as bait for Howard to pick the Nets as his destination. If Howard, however, ends up in Los Angeles then some believe he will be open to moving to his hometown Mavericks who would have the cap space and trade pieces to get him from New Jersey.
Oh, and Chris Paul....twice the NBA nixed deals sending him to the Lakers which has prompted a law suit threat from Paul's camp. The Clippers are now thought to be the leading suitor for his talents but the Golden State Warriors probably haven't given up on him yet.
The Houston Rockets were a big player in the Chris Paul deal (they would have gotten Pau Gasol and sent Luis Scola and Kevin Martin and other parts to the Hornets). Now they will probably go after a free agent big man, either Nene or Samuel Dalembert.
Meanwhile, at home, the Phoenix Suns waived Vince Carter and Gani Lawal. Carter is supposedly going to sign with the Mavericks while Lawal is waiting to find a new home. Shannon Brown has been officially signed and Sebastian Telfair's deal should be done very soon.
Crazy times in the NBA and it's far from over.