NBA Free Agency: All the Talk This Summer

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIJuly 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04:  NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks to the media before the start of Game One of the 2009 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic at Staples Center on June 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The NBA has had a very wild roller-coaster ride this offseason, to say the least. Commissioner David Stern has to be elated with all the NBA publicity during the summer, especially when the NBA's big brother, the NFL, usually rules the media outlets.

The reason for this swirl of talk revolving around the NBA is because the star power has shifted the landscape in the Association for this upcoming season.

Just a few of the names that will be looking into the real estate markets in the near future are Shaq, Ron Artest, Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace, and Hedo Turkoglu.

As a sports fan, one can’t help but feel almost like the season is right around the corner. Trades have occurred, ink has hit paper for re-signees, and in other cases, verbal agreement have been declared.

The first big deal that started the summer off was Richard Jefferson teaming up with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. The move for the Spurs might have placed San Antonio back into championship talks, at least on the Internet and television; the court will be the ultimate judge of their fate.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Shaq from the Phoenix Suns in a deal that sent Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic to the valley of the sun. Cleveland looks to have gotten the much better end of that deal. The duo of LeBron and the “Protector of the King,” Shaq could be an unstoppable duo come playoff time.

That very same day, the Orlando Magic made a deal with the New Jersey Nets to acquire Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. The Magic sent Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie to the Nets. The Nets' new trio were an integral part of Orlando’s playoffs run.

The newly crowned NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers would not stay quiet for long with all of the deals and signings occurring. Ron Artest was rumored to be Cleveland bound, accompanying Shaq and LeBron. The next day, Ron Artest opened up the midnight edition of SportsCenter with his decision to sign with the Lakers.

Artest’s decision impacted current free agent Trevor Ariza. The Rockets looked to repay the Lakers after losing Artest to their western conference rivals by sweeping in and picking up Ariza.

Now, news has begun that Ariza might be the small forward that the Cavaliers are courting to complete the lineup in Cleveland since LeBron told the UCLA product that he plans to stay a Cavalier past the 2010 season. However, Ariza has remained committed to the Rockets.

The only thing that I know following all of this verbal agreements, signing, and snubs is that the NBA is starting to sound like college football during the heat of recruiting.

The championship trophy might have just been lifted by the Lakers, the draft has come and gone, and the dog days of summer are usually reserved for the NFL, but David Stern and the title contenders have been all the talk these days.