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Links: NBA Free Agency 2012 kicks off without much expected from Washington Wizards

Pictured: A prized free agent target?
Pictured: A prized free agent target?

The 2012 NBA free agency period kicked off this morning, but the Wizards don't figure to make many big moves after effectively treating Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza as their de factor free agent acquisitions. Still, there's plenty of news and rumors from around the association, as several big names could be switching teams in the very near future. Links:

  • Randy Wittman plans to use the summer league to figure out where Beal excels and what he needs to work on before the season starts. [CSN Washington]
  • Beal should help make the Wizards' backcourt more efficient. [TrueHoop Blog]
  • Thom Loverro says it is now fair to judge Ernie Grunfeld after picking Beal. [Washington Examiner]
  • Frank Hanrahan doesn't think the Wizards went best-player-available with the Beal pick, but he gives them high marks for sticking to the plan of adding a standout perimeter shooter in the draft. [CSN Washington]
  • I for one enjoy the way David Stern eggs on the boos each year at the NBA Draft, but Tracee Hamilton does not. [Washington Post]
  • Harrison Barnes has yet to lace up his sneakers as a professional basketball player, but he's already thinking of himself as a businessman. [News & Observer]
  • Sam Amick breaks down the prospects for some top unrestricted free agents, none of whom will be wearing a Wizards jersey next season. [SI]
  • Here's a ranking of the top 83 (!!) free agents in the 2012 class from SB Nation's Tom Ziller.
  • Marcus Spears ranks his top 20 free agents. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Keep up with all the latest NBA Free Agency rumors at SB Nation's StoryStream.
  • Newsflash: Dwight Howard wants to be traded to the Nets. No one has ever predicted this would happen. [SB Nation]
  • And the Magic seem like they might be ready to finally ship Howard out of town. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • The Heat plan to make an aggressive run at Ray Allen. [ESPN]
  • And the Celtics would like to replace Allen with Jason Terry. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Speaking of the Celtics, Kevin Garnett has signed a deal that will keep him in Boston for another three seasons and make him the highest paid player in NBA history. [SB Nation]
  • Ric Bucher is reporting that the Thunder and Scott Brooks have agree to a four-year deal that will pay Brooks "north of $4 million" annually. [ESPN]
  • It was originally reported that Blake Griffin had agreed to a five-year, $95 million extension with the Clippers, but Griffin's business manager, who you'd think would know about these things, says no deal has been reached. [SB Nation]
  • But Griffin totally intends to sign the extension. Meanwhile, Chris Paul turned down a three-year, $60 million offer from the Clips. [ESPN Los Angeles]
  • As expected, the Hornets have waived Rashard Lewis. [AP]
  • The Raptors have called in a ringer to help recruit Steve Nash back to Canada. [SB Nation]