No NBA free agent can officially sign his new deal until July 11th, but, for all intents and purposes, the summer's most important players (i.e. Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, among others) are all off the table. The remaining few movers and shakers—Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, Jeremy Lin and Nicolas Batum, to name a few—are simply waiting to see how their restricted free agency proceeds.
That's not to say, though, that there isn't still plenty of value left to be plucked from the open market. Sure, teams with too much cap space on their hands will throw bags of money at the likes of O.J. Mayo, Lou Williams and even Ersan Ilyasova, hoping that opportunity and capital investment are sufficient for turning role players into stars.
Big names (and even bigger paydays) aside, the real winners and losers of free agency will be sorted out according to who does best with the so-called "sleepers" of 2012. If superstars form the foundations of playoff perennials and title contenders, then key role players like these guys constitute the crucial finishing touches.