The NBA's rite of summer: If it's August, someone must be going somewhere.
No superstars went anywhere, but NBA free agency being what it is these days, almost 10% of the league did. Ray Allen, the No. 1 plum, stayed in Seattle, and Michael Redd, the No. 2 prize, stayed in Milwaukee, but to date, some 30 players have changed teams.
Frenetic summers are now the rule with bad teams, such as Atlanta, trying to move up, and good teams, such as Phoenix, trying to avoid crossing the $61-million luxury tax threshold.
After a month of feverish negotiating, this summer's moves are now being made official, capped by Tuesday's record-setting blockbuster in which five teams moved 13 players around, or 12 plus Greg Ostertag.
Of the major movers, here's how it looks at this point:
Miami -- The team that had to be rebuilt on the fly around Shaquille O'Neal is now so deep that Antoine Walker will come off the bench. With O'Neal, Walker, Udonis Haslem and Alonzo Mourning, this is now the game's biggest team.
Jason Williams might start at point guard, taking some heat off Dwyane Wade. James Posey will replace Eddie Jones. The big question is Coach Stan Van Gundy, now wobbling after Pat Riley mused about giving him more help, then let him dangle for weeks. This presumably means O'Neal, who likes to select his coach and signaled his displeasure with Van Gundy, wants Riley.
New Jersey -- Solid Shareef Abdur-Rahim joins the Jason Kidd-Vince Carter-Richard Jefferson nucleus. Mouthy Jeff McInnis joins his third team since leaving the Clippers in 2002.
Memphis -- Jerry West will have a hard time in his last season with this young team in the rugged West, but he got rid of a lot of trouble, clearing out Bonzi Wells and Williams, who clashed with Coach Mike Fratello, while bringing in Jones and Bobby Jackson.
Indiana -- They landed Sarunas Jasikevicius, the sharpshooting Lithuanian point guard everyone wanted, to back up improving Jamaal Tinsley. Now if they can just keep Ron Artest out of the stands....
Lakers -- Well, it's better than where they were a year ago, skipping merrily toward the abyss.
It was nice of Phil Jackson to come back to shepherd them in the wilderness. Andrew Bynum was the right kind of gamble even if Jackson will be back in Deer Lake with his feet by the fire before anyone knows if it pays.
With Lamar Odom going to small forward and Brian Grant and Vlade Divac just going, they had no big help for Chris Mihm, who needs a lot, so Kwame Brown will be useful at worst. At best, it could be a classic case of reaping the benefit of the four hard seasons the Wizards put in with the big, talented and attitudinal Brown.
New York -- Isiah Thomas finally did something right, holding the coaching job open for months until Larry Brown could escape Detroit. Now, if they only had a team. At least, the Knicks will have a good summer before Brown goes in and tells Thomas to get rid of everyone.
Clippers -- Cuttino Mobley was the kind of player they needed and Bobby Simmons the kind they could afford to lose. Keeping Zeljko Rebraca was good too.
Milwaukee -- Sen. Herb Kohl, the owner, goes in spurts -- free-spending optimism alternating with crashing depression -- but this was one of his up summers. Rookie Andrew Bogut may not be great, but he'll be a quality starting center. Redd is a big-time shooter. They gave Simmons way too much -- $9.4 million a year over five -- but he can play. T.J. Ford is trying to make it back.
Boston -- Folding in the playoffs gave General Manager Danny Ainge license to dump Walker, shop Paul Pierce (stay tuned) and start a real youth movement.
The gods helped by letting high school guard Gerald Green drop to them at No. 18. However, $15 million over five years was about $9 million too much to give former USC Trojan Brian Scalabrine.
Cleveland -- They wanted Larry Brown and Redd but got Danny Ferry and Larry Hughes. Redd's shooting would have complemented LeBron James' game. Hughes is a great talent but not much of an outside shooter, and he's likely to tell LeBron to spot up.
Keeping Zydrunas Ilgauskas and signing underrated Donyell Marshall used up their money, so this is their team for the duration. Meanwhile, the East is getting tougher and they're working against a deadline -- the summer of '08, when James can leave.
Chicago -- Eddy Curry won't get a new deal because of his heart problem, which means he can look forward to a nightmare free-agent season under his nemesis, Coach Scott Skiles. The Bulls offered Tyson Chandler $10 million a year, but he wants more. With Curry outward-bound, they'd better lock up one of their big men or they may soon be starting all over again.