I know the Bulls achieved their top priority in re-signing Butler and Dunleavy as free agency began, but wasn't it kind of strange that we haven't heard anything about them since? They don't have much available to spend, but there's not even a rumored target. We know there's a pretty big hole remaining.
Here's some notes on the rest of the league as we start the holiday weekend.
the big two
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan have yet to make their decisions, though I'm not sure they're that big of 'dominoes' as there's then a big dropoff over who's left. Like, Robin Lopez reportedly will go to the Knicks if Jordan doesn't sign there, but even that's not a huge deal. The next best available free agents are of the restricted variety (Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson), and as we know their markets are usually depressed regardless of what else is going on.
It's been pretty amazing how fast everything has gone so far though. I really enjoy it.
East playoff teams (maybe)
Obviously there's a lot to shake out still, but I'd put the East as follows:
Tier 1: Cleveland
2: Bulls, Wizards, Hawks
3. Raptors, Bucks, Heat
With the most stable roster, maybe the Bulls are by themselves in tier two. I'm clearly giving some bias towards the incumbents here. It's certainly possible that the Bucks, with their signing of Greg Monroe, could jump a tier. Whatever, this isn't meant to actually mean much.
The Bucks somewhat hurt their '15-'16 chances by dumping Jared Dudley on the Wizards, and that's a nice save for Washington after losing Paul Pierce. They may not be done, as the latest has David West being pursued there, with a possible subsequent move of Nene being shipped out to make room. I still think Nene has the better chance at a high-ceiling season, but he really fell out of favor as the season went on last year so perhaps not. A West-Nene swap is probably neutral for the Wiz, but that's frankly not good enough for their summer, they should be improving.
Meanwhile, West's former team in Indiana made a signing with a solid fit in Monta Ellis, and he with George Hill and Paul George makes a lot of sense. The frontcourt is a mess though, with them possibly dumping Roy Hibbert, or at best only keeping him begrudgingly.
Plan B: rent the space in trades
There are still several teams with cap space to spare and possibly empty chairs at the end of this free agency music. At that point, the Knicks, Lakers, Kings, Mavericks, Jazz (I'm probably forgetting some) should start looking to take on other teams' relatively-dead weight instead of overpaying the few remaining free agents to multi-year deals. The Pistons did this on Thursday.
Some possibilities, outside of the aforementioned Nene and Hibbert, include:
Nikola Pekovic (3/$36m)
Eric Gordon (1/$15.5m)
David Lee (1/$15.4m)
Brandon Jennings (1/$8m)
OJ Mayo (1/$8m)
JJ Hickson (1/$5.5m)
Anthony Bennett ( 1/$5.8m)
Marvin Williams (1/$7m)
Martell Webster (1/5.6m)
Chris Kaman (1/$5m)
Chase Budinger (1/$5m)
Maybe you get an asset for your trouble, though it's not likely you get as much as the Sixers got for taking the Kings bad deals.