With so few superstars, the NBA free agency season has more losers than the winners. The winners so far are the Nashified Lakers, the Deron (and Dwight?) Nets, possibly Miami due to their Ray Allen addition.
What did the losers get? Nothing much, which is why they're losers. What made losing in 2012 especially tough is that a few teams were loading up for this scenario, gutting their rosters for a potential big fish.
The Mavericks would be Exhibit A in this instance. Mark Cuban sacrificed a championship roster for the mere chance at Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. Worse, Cuban was quite smug about the endeavor, regularly scoffing at those who criticized him for jettisoning Tyson Chandler.
In Cuban's defense, he likely lost on a few calculated risks, just as Rockets GM Daryl Morey did, Exhibit B. Morey has been rebuilding for years, and looked to put together a great Dwight Howard package. But Dwight rejected the idea of moving to Houston, abruptly killing the trade talks.
Recruiting is a huge part of the GM game—it's not all about knowing which players provide value. The league only has a few superstars, and those few superstars matter incredibly. Cuban and Morey, for all their intelligence, can't overcome their inability to recruit important players.
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