NBA Free Agency 2012: Start Date, Rumors, and Your Complete Guide

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NBA Free Agency 2012: Start Date, Rumors, and Your Complete Guide
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The 2012 NBA free agency period has officially begun, so let the offering, negotiating and one-upping begin. 

Although this summer lacks the incredible star power of previous ones, it will without a doubt feature some NBA landscape-altering signings and moves. 

Without further ado, here is your complete guide to this July's 2012 NBA free agency period. 

Key Dates

NBA Free Agency Starts: Sunday, July 1, 12:00 a.m. ET

NBA Free Agents May Sign: Wednesday, July 11, 12:00 a.m. ET

Latest Rumors

Where Will Top Available Point Guards Sign?

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There are several big-name free-agent point guards available this summer, most notably the Nets' Deron Williams and the Suns' Steve Nash. Though they are on opposite sides of the age spectrum, both are All-Star caliber floor generals with franchise-altering potential. 

The latest on Nash is that he will likely leave Phoenix for a contender but will listen to each and every offer, according to a Saturday report by ESPN's Marc Stein

Meanwhile, Williams is expected to meet with the Nets and Dallas Mavericks on Monday before making a decision on whether to resign with Brooklyn or join forces with Dirk Nowitzki and the 2011 NBA champions, according to a Saturday report from

Both Nash and Williams ranked in the Top 5 in assists last season, averaging 10.7 and 8.7 per game respectively. 

Will Ray Allen Choose the Heat or Celtics?

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No player in NBA history has made more three-pointers than Ray Allen. The sharpshooter will turn 37 this summer, but is still a coveted asset by several teams, including the Boston Celtics and NBA champion Miami Heat

At first glance, the Heat looked to be ahead of everyone else in the race to sign Allen, but a Sunday morning tweet from ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard suggests that the Boston Celtics are now the favorite to land the veteran:

Allen struggled with painful bone spurs in his ankle throughout the Celtics' 2012 postseason run, but shot an impressive 45 percent from beyond the arc for Boston during the regular season last year.

If Allen returns to Beantown this summer, he will rejoin Kevin Garnett, who has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $34 million deal with the Celtics.

Is Eric Gordon a Lock to Resign With New Orleans?

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According to ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard via Twitter, Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon could potentially meet with six different teams this July before making a decision as to where to sign:

Broussard also reports that Gordon is seeking the restricted free agent maximum:

Gordon averaged 20.6 points per game last season with the New Orleans Hornets after coming over from the LA Clippers in the preseason Chris Paul trade. Gordon only played in nine games for the Hornets last season, but shot 45 percent from the field. 

Gordon is arguably the best shooting guard available this summer, so the demand for his services will be high. 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter for more reaction to the 2012 NBA Free Agency Season.

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