Quiet NBA free-agency periods have a way of making consolation prizes very, very rich.
Names like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh dominate free-agency headlines—and for good reason. They're superstars who can instantly alter the direction of an entire franchise, turning fringe contenders into championship hunters and thrusting irrelevant squads into significance.
But what happens if nothing happens? If James and Bosh stay in Miami? If Melo sticks with New York? If the max-contract-seeking Eric Bledsoe stays in Phoenix?
What happens then?
Others get paid.
Furious or distressed—or outright panicky—after missing out on this summer's top-flight talent, slighted teams will fill on-court voids and overindulge off-court egos by throwing wads of cash at contingency plans and last-ditch opportunities.
Consolation prizes—talented as they are—will have the chance to ink fat pacts, making a whole lot of money and noise courtesy of inaction and relative quiet higher up the food chain.