With most of the top free agents accounted for (or at least in agreement on the terms of an offer sheet), NBA teams have a more accurate idea of where they stand going into the season to come, and how much risk they can embrace given their level of competitiveness this season.
Winning teams and losing teams may gamble on the same kinds of vaguely talented players, but with so much decided by the free-agent market, each can now more solidly pitch prospects on what they could expect.
For example, the problematic (enigmatic doesn't even seem fitting anymore) Anthony Randolph has drawn the interest of a few notable teams, per Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
Wolves free agent forward Anthony Randolph meeting with Atlanta Hawks this weekend, source tells Y! Dallas native meeting with Mavs Tuesday.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2012
Randolph has long been a player more interesting in theory than on the hardwood—a combination of raw skills so cluttered and unrefined that he can't seem to find a reasonable way to utilize them as a means for sensible production.
Yet his size and uniqueness keeps him on the radar, and were Randolph to ever pan out, he would likely reward his team handsomely.
That's what the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks are counting on, and if either comes to an agreement with Randolph, it's also what they'd be paying for. Randolph's per-minute stats still show well, but his NBA life at this point banks on the notion that he can improve to become a member of a fully functional offense.
Donnie Nelson and the Dallas Mavericks are likely now hoping that Randolph could become some kind of marginal bright spot in what looks to be a dismal season, while Danny Ferry and the Atlanta Hawks are likely courting Randolph to fill out their depth chart. The former can likely offer consistent minutes and the latter can stand behind a superior overall team.
Though Randolph isn't nearly as attractive as so many other free agents in the field, he's the kind of calculated risk that teams can now afford to take a flyer on. Feelers have been put out, options have dried up and these kinds of marginal risks with potential (if unlikely) payoff remain.