There's much more to NBA free agency beyond the whereabouts and future plans of the biggest stars in basketball. In the end, the league only has one LeBron James, one Carmelo Anthony and one Dirk Nowitzki to split between 30 teams. And those marquee names, along with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, might not be changing teams anyway.
The true intrigue of the Association's "silly season," at least as far as actual roster building is concerned, stems from the pursuit of the game's lesser quantities.
This summer, in particular, should see money trickle down to role players and the rest of those below the top tiers of available players. Jodie Meeks, a solid shooting guard who put together a nice season with the sad Los Angeles Lakers in 2013-14, will sign with the Detroit Pistons for $19.5 million over three years once the league's moratorium is lifted later this month, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Trevor Ariza, a streaky shooter by trade, figures to draw an offer that would blow Meeks' out of the water. Shaun Livingston has already found himself a much richer man, now serving as Stephen Curry's backup in Golden State, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
The key for any general manager is to acquire pieces comparable to these and others who will bring home the bacon this offseason but at a fraction of the price. After all, it's the mid-level free agents—not the max-contract types—who pose the greatest threat to a franchise's cap sheet over the long haul.
These 10 guys all fit the bill as hidden gems, be it for their prospective price tags, their valuable unique skill set, the relative lack of attention they've garnered or some combination of those factors.