NBA Free Agency 2012: 10 Teams Left High and Dry Thus Far
Plenty of NBA teams have made splashes during free agency this year, but other teams have been left high and dry when pursuing players.
The Brooklyn Nets were able to convince Deron Williams to stay instead of leaving to join Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.
The Phoenix Suns lost Steve Nash (as expected) to the Los Angeles Lakers (not expected). However, they're already moving on from the face of the franchise by signing both Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley (and maybe Eric Gordon).
Even the defending champion Miami Heat, with limited cap space, managed to reel in Ray Allen this summer.
Certain teams have been gobbling up big-name free agents, but others have very little to show for the 2012 offseason.
Here are 10 teams who have either missed out on free agents or stayed quiet throughout the summer proceedings.
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Danny Ferry, the new general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, has been hard at work since joining the franchise.
Some fans may not like it, but being able to unload Joe Johnson's gargantuan contract will go down as one of the most underrated moves of the 2012 offseason.
Despite wiping Johnson's contract away from the Hawks' salary cap, followed by moving Marvin Williams' equally egregious deal for Devin Harris' expiring contract, Atlanta has been absent this offseason.
The Hawks will still be a decent team with Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague leading the way, but they're certainly not championship material.
Although Atlanta's lack of free-agent signings has to be frustrating for fans in the present, the Hawks appear to have big plans for the future. They'll have a ton of cap space with which to work.
Update: According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Hawks have agreed to a contract with free-agent guard Lou Williams.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
The Dallas Mavericks roster for the 2012-2013 season will look a lot different than it has in years past.
As if losing out on the Deron Williams sweepstakes wasn't enough of a stomach punch for Mark Cuban and company, as that situation unfolded, the Mavs saw Jason Terry sign with the Boston Celtics and Jason Kidd with the New York Knicks.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith tweeted the following recently:
As for Dallas, after losing Tyson Chandler, you lose Kidd and Terry and don't nab Deron Williams. I'll say this: Carlisle deserves better.
— Stephen A Smith
I have to agree that Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle deserves better than what Cuban has delivered this summer—which is zero.
Dirk Nowitzki likely isn't happy with what has happened to a roster that won a championship trophy a little more than a year ago.
Golden State Warriors
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Admittedly, the Golden State Warriors don't have much cap space to work with considering Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Andris Biedrins are raking in the dough.
Nevertheless, the Warriors were in the running to add Brandon Roy on his quest to make an NBA comeback, but they missed out when he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves (via Austin Chang of Yahoo! Sports).
The Warriors have to be thrilled that Harrison Barnes fell to them at pick No. 7 in this year's draft, though. They desperately needed a wing player with more consistency than Dorell Wright.
However, adding another piece to the puzzle, especially a veteran presence like Roy, would have helped the development of their young core.
Perhaps no team in the NBA this summer has been left more empty-handed than the Houston Rockets.
Having spent the entire offseason pursuing the Orlando Magic's superstar center, Dwight Howard, there has been little time for Daryl Morey to do much else.
Since the offseason started, the Rockets have lost or traded Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, Chase Budinger and Samuel Dalembert, and it appears as if Courtney Lee could be the next out the door.
In addition, the Rockets have signed offer sheets with both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. However, ESPN's Marc Stein reported via Twitter that the New York Knicks will match any offer extended to Lin, and Fran Blinebury of NBA.com is reporting that the Chicago Bulls will match the Asik deal.
The Rockets have been missing out on players left and right, and with the news that the Brooklyn Nets appear to be the front runner to acquire Howard via a four-team trade (Joseph Karbousky, The Examiner), the summer just keeps getting more frustrating for Rockets fans.
At least now they have Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones though, right?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The majority of talk surrounding the Memphis Grizzlies this summer has revolved around free-agent shooting guard O.J. Mayo.
Mayo, who started the summer as a restricted free agent, appeared to be maintained by the Grizzlies moving forward.
According to SB Nation, the Grizzlies were reported to match any offer extended to Mayo in order to keep him on the roster.
Since that point, the Grizzlies chose not to extend Mayo his qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent, free to sign wherever he pleases.
After back-to-back fabulous seasons to start his career in Memphis, Mayo has been disappointing.
Since moving to a bench role in Memphis, Mayo has averaged 11.3 points per game (2010) and 12.6 points per game (2011). He's clearly much more comfortable as a starter, but the starting job in Memphis has been solidified by Tony Allen, one of the best defenders in the NBA.
Perhaps it's better for both sides involved if Mayo joins a new team, but that doesn't mean the Grizzlies aren't losing out on a great talent who can score the basketball.
Bottom line: The Grizzlies will lose a dynamic bench scorer next season without Mayo.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
The Orlando Magic are living in a nightmare.
It's only a matter of time before Dwight Howard gets shipped out of town, but he's not the only player the Magic have decided to let leave.
Instead of matching a four-year, $36 million deal offered to last season's Most Improved Player Ryan Anderson, the Magic instead decided to execute a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Hornets, according to James Reid of The Times-Picayune.
The Magic received Gustavo Ayon from the Hornets in exchange.
Instead of keeping Anderson, who is arguably the team's best player when Howard is not available, the Magic signed Jameer Nelson to a three-year, $19.7 million deal.
Nelson is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career and is now 30 years old.
Perhaps Orlando thought that $36 million was too lucrative a contract to give Anderson moving forward, but he's one of the few positive faces in the Magic organization, so I was surprised to see him leave.
Portland Trail Blazers
This had to a be a frustrating offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers, simply based on the fact that they had to watch Brandon Roy make his NBA comeback without the ability to bring him back to Portland.
In addition to the dilemma with Roy, the Trail Blazers may have hit a road block with restricted free agent Nic Batum.
The lanky 23-year-old small forward has reportedly signed an offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to ESPN.com.
Although the Trail Blazers are a virtual lock to match the offer and keep Batum in town, it appears that Batum may not have mutual interest.
According to the ESPN article, Batum's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, is hoping that Portland will agree to see Batum leave by executing a sign-and-trade deal with Minnesota.
This situation isn't nearly as ugly as the scenario between Eric Gordon and the New Orleans Hornets, but it's still not positive for Portland.
Batum is a great young player. Watching him leave would certainly sting the Trail Blazers' future plans, so I can't see him getting away even if he feels the Timberwolves are a better fit.
Even so, this summer has been a headache for the Trail Blazers.
Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Sacramento Kings have made some strides in recent years.
They've watched last year's "Mr. Irrelevant" (the last pick in the draft), Isaiah Thomas, blossom into a solid NBA point guard. Also, DeMarcus Cousins is starting to look like a superstar (especially if he can continue to mature).
The Kings are still a few tweaks away from becoming a playoff team in my opinion, so they needed to target names in free agency to help improve the roster.
Sacramento needs perimeter shooting in addition to frontcourt depth. They could have killed two birds with one stone in that department if they were able to lure former Oak Ridge High School and Cal standout Ryan Anderson.
Colin Becht of CSN Bay Area wrote about the meeting between the two parties, but Anderson ended up being the focus of a sign-and-trade to the New Orleans Hornets.
Anderson would have been in a great fit in Sacramento with the Kings, but the team was left empty-handed.
Adding Thomas Robinson via this year's draft is a nice addition, but the Kings need more.
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
The Toronto Raptors put all of their eggs in the Steve Nash basket this summer and exited the dust cloud with nothing to show for their efforts.
Despite offering Nash a whopping three-year, $36 million deal, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, they couldn't lure the point guard to Canada.
Also, in an effort to hinder the New York Knicks' chances of adding Nash via a sign-and-trade deal, the Raptors signed Landry Fields (thought to be the key sign-and-trade piece) for $20 million over three years.
Well, the Knicks didn't end up with Nash, but neither did Toronto.
The Raptors did manage to add Kyle Lowry via trade, but Lowry is no Steve Nash (and it cost Toronto a first-round draft pick to get him).
Nash certainly left Toronto high and dry this summer by choosing to join the Los Angeles Lakers to be nearer to his children. The Raptors organization clearly wanted Nash above all else, but Lowry is certainly not a bad plan B.
Regardless, one of the key pieces the Raptors have to show for this summer's exploits is $20 million worth of Fields.
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Instead of looking to add talent in the free-agent market, the up-and-coming Utah Jazz made two moves to acquire overpaid players.
First, the Jazz got in on the Lamar Odom trade to reacquire Mo Williams, who started his career in Utah, from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Williams is set to make $8.5 million next season, but according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Jazz will use the trade exception they created in the Mehmet Okur deal to absorb his contract.
Williams will be an improvement over Devin Harris out of the point guard spot. Harris was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for former No. 2 overall pick, Marvin Williams.
The second player named Williams the Jazz acquired this summer, who never lived up to the hype accompanied by being taken second overall in the draft, is set to make $8.3 million and $7.5 million in his next two seasons, respectively, according to Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Neither of these acquisitions are seen as huge improvements to the current roster.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz were in the running for a familiar name this summer as well.
Andrei Kirilenko was reportedly 50-50 about a return to the NBA, possibly with the Jazz, but ultimately he decided to remain in Russia.
Kirilenko would have been a huge pickup for a young Jazz squad, but they weren't able to lure him away from the prospect of playing in his home country.
Utah is still a young team with a lot of talent, but it could have afforded to make a bigger splash during free agency this summer, especially after a disappointing playoff showing against the San Antonio Spurs this year.