The early sense I get is that the Mavericks have little interest in using their midlevel exception — which is back in their possession after Orlando confirmed its intention to match a five-year, $34 million offer to Gortat — to play the restricted free-agent game again with Boston's Glen Davis.
Detroit, by contrast, really covets Big Baby, whose modest $711,517 salary last season didn't stop him from stepping in admirably for the injured Kevin Garnettin the playoffs. The Pistons' problem is that their offer can start in only the $3 million range compared with $5.9 million in Dallas' case, raising the obvious fear that the rival Celtics could tie up the Pistons' money for seven days and then match.
The Hornets, meanwhile, haven't abandoned their Big Baby interest, but New Orleans has to shed some salary before it can do anything significant or construct a sign-and-trade deal that the Celtics would accept. The team considered most likely to trade for Tyson Chandler— Phoenix — just completed a buyout with Ben Wallacethat rips up the contract New Orleans was hoping to score in exchange for Chandler to enable the Hornets to finally join this summer's action.
Ah, the game NBA general managers can play. If Detroit offers BBD a contract, Danny Ainge waits the full seven days before matching the deal. During that time, Joe Dumars might be forced to watch his back-up plans sign with other teams. I love it.