Just as movement seemed to be slowing, a number of big names made big decisions in recent weeks. Former Dallas guard Michael Finley, waived under the amnesty clause, choose San Antonio as his suitor after a brief courtship with Miami and Phoenix. San Antonio also added guard Nick Van Exel and re-signed center Sean Marks. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls re-signed restricted free agent Tyson Chandler to a multi-year agreement and inked Malik Allen to be his backup.
Houston agreed to an extension with Yao Ming and made another significant transaction by signing former Blazers guard Derek Anderson to a deal. The Nuggets welcomed former Memphis point guard Earl Watson.
Former Pacers forward James Jones is also changing squads -- he'll go to Phoenix in a sign-and-trade. Other less heralded players making news included the signings of Calvin Booth (Washington), Maurice Evans (Detroit), Devin Brown (Utah), Milt Palacio (Utah) and Linton Johnson (New Jersey).
Free agents re-signing with their own teams included Vitaly Potapenko (Seattle), Matt Bonner (Toronto), Eddie Griffin (Minnesota) and Othella Harrington (Chicago). The SuperSonics matched Minnesota's offer for restricted free agent Damien Wilkins.
The prior week, the long-anticipated Joe Johnson trade was finally consummated. The former Suns swingman goes to the Hawks in exchange for Boris Diaw and two conditional first round picks. The deal was originally reported Aug. 1 but was held up because of an ownership dispute that's since been resolved. Meanwhile in Dallas, the Mavericks signed Doug Christie and DeSagana Diop, and in Charlotte, the Bobcats re-signed Brevin Knight.
The revamped Heat roster got another weapon when it was announced Alonzo Mourning will return to Miami. The franchise picked up the option on his contract when Mourning expressed his desire to play another season of basketball. On Thursday, Phoenix signed forward Brian Grant, waived by the Lakers under the amnesty clause, and former Magic center Pat Burke.
The NBA's deadline for teams to take advantage of the NBA's amnesty clause -- a one-time provision provided by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement allowing teams to waive a player and not have that player's contract count against the luxury tax -- came Monday, Aug. 15. In total, 18 players were waived under the amnesty clause.
The New York Knicks shocked observers by electing to waive forward Jerome Williams instead of guard Allan Houston, who was widely believed to be the most likely victim of the clause. Two days later, Williams announced his retirement. Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller, who also retired this summer, was waived as well. Dallas let Michael Finley go just before the midnight ET deadline after failing to trade him.
Other players waived under the clause included Doug Christie (Orlando), Fred Hoiberg (Minnesota), Ron Mercer (New Jersey), Clarence Weatherspoon (Houston) and Calvin Booth (Milwaukee).
Earlier in the day, the Chicago Bulls matched the offer sheet presented by Toronto to restricted free agent Chris Duhon, enabling GM John Paxson to keep the Duke grad in the Windy City.
Week Two closes
On Saturday, the Bucks re-signed Michael Redd, ending the free agent shooting guard's flirtations with several other teams who were eager to sign a proven scorer with exceptional shooting range. And, in a Friday night trade, the L.A. Clippers gained experience with the acquisition of Sam Cassell. The point guard came with a lottery-protected first-round pick; in exchange, Minnesota received guard tandem Marko Jaric (whom the Clips re-signed) and Lionel Chalmers.
Just hours earlier, the offseason odyssey of Shareef Abdur-Rahim reached a conclusion as the free agent forward stayed on the West Coast by inking a deal with Sacramento.
The Kings' signing comes three days after New Jersey rescinded its Aug. 2 trade with Portland for Abdur-Rahim. The Nets, however, made other waves, acquiring center Marc Jackscon from Philadelphia on Tuesday and signing free agent guard Jeff McInnis on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Indiana signed former University of Maryland star Sarunas Jasikevicius. The Lithuanian has been compared favorably to San Antonio's Manu Ginobili. Another guard, Doug Christie, was waived by the Magic, making the defensive stalwart the third player to be released under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement's amnesty clause. The Lakers used the rule to release Brian Grant on Wednesday.
On Monday, Clippers free agent Bobby Simmons, the NBA's 2004-05 Most Improved Player Award, signed a multiyear agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks..
Busy first week
The Simmons signing followed an active first week of official player movement. On Friday, Aug. 5, Memphis landed Damon Stoudamire and Seattle inked Rick Brunson. Re-signings included Michael Ruffin in Washington, Toni Kukoc in Milwaukee and Ryan Bowen in Houston. Aug. 4 action saw the Clippers and Nets re-sign Zeljko Rebraca and Clifford Robinson, respectively, while Juan Dixon joined the Trail Blazers.
Aug. 3 -- Day 2 of Player Movement -- featured star power in the form of arguably the biggest free agent prize this offseason. Ray Allen, a five-time All-Star, re-signed with Seattle after leading the Sonics to a 50-win season and the Western Conference Semifinals last campaign.
Also, the the Clippers introduced clutch-shooting Cuttino Mobley, the Suns welcomed guard Raja Bell, and the Magic bolstered their depth at point with Keyon Dooling.
Meanwhile, Portland took advantage of the CBA's amnesty option and released Derek Anderson. They also chose not to retain Nick Van Exel for the last non-guaranteed year of his contract. The Atlanta Hawks also signed Bucks restricted free agent pivot Zaza Pachulia to an offer sheet (the signing became official Aug. 11 after Milwaukee chose not to match).
Official movement began Tuesday, Aug. 2, with the largest trade in NBA history headlining the day. An incredible 13 players were moved by five different teams in the historic deal. The Memphis Grizzlies acquired guard Eddie Jones from the Miami Heat and guard Raul Lopez from the Utah Jazz while sending guards Jason Williams, Andre Emmett and swingman James Posey to Miami and trading newly-acquired center Greg Ostertag to Utah.
Miami sent Rasual Butler to New Orleans and traded Qyntel Woods, two second round draft picks and the draft rights to Albert Miralles to the Boston Celtics. Utah traded Curtis Borchardt to the Celtics and Kirk Snyder to the New Orleans Hornets. The Celtics sent Antoine Walker to Miami and the Hornets traded the draft rights to Roberto Duenas to Miami.
The biggest name involved in Tuesday's festivities was Miami center Shaquille O'Neal in an unrelated transaction. The Heat secured the future Hall-of-Famer's services for the long haul by signing him to a multi-year extension. The Heat also re-signed restricted free agent forward Udonis Haslem.
Getting the ball rolling with the first news of the day was Memphis, who announced they were sending guard Bonzi Wells to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for center Greg Ostertag and guard Bobby Jackson.
In L.A., swingman Caron Butler and guard Chucky Atkins were traded from the Lakers in exchange for Wizards forward Kwame Brown and guard Laron Profit. Washington also announced the signing of guard Antonio Daniels.
The Cleveland Cavaliers reached contract agreements with Washington free agent guard Larry Hughes and Toronto free agent forward Donyell Marshall in addition to re-signing All-Star center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
The Philadelphia 76ers officially agreed to contracts with their own free agents in center Samuel Dalembert and sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Willie Green, whom published reports indicated would also be re-signing in Philly, injured his knee playing basketball and his situation is held up for a later date pending the outcome of his medical situation.
The San Antonio Spurs re-signed forward Robert Horry, who played a key role in the Spurs 2004-05 title run. Additionally, San Antonio added 6-10 center Fabricio Oberto, a teammate of Manu Ginobili on Argentina’s national team.
The Houston Rockets announced the acquisition of Memphis free agent forward Stromile Swift at a press conference. The New York Knicks officially added Seattle free agent big man Jerome James to their roster. The Boston Celtics signed Nets free agent forward Brian Scalabrine.
The New Orleans Hornets officially signed guard Arvydas Macijauskas and returning forward Bostjan Nachbar.
The Charlotte Bobcats announced a trade for Phoenix Suns center Jake Voskuhl in exchange for a conditional 2007 second round draft pick. They also sent guard Jason Hart to the Sacramento Kings for a future second-round pick.