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NBA signing day arrives, but action moves slowly

Published: Thursday, July 10, 2014 3:54 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
FILE - In this March 18, 2013 file photo, Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) celebrates with fans as he walks off the court after their NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston. The three-team trade that gave the Cavaliers salary cap space to possibly land LeBron James is official. The Cavs and Boston Celtics confirmed the deal on Thursday, July 10, 2014, when the NBA moratorium on signings ended.

Signing day has arrived in the NBA, though the biggest free agents aren't rushing to grab their pens.

Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might be waiting on LeBron James — isn't everybody? — before making their decisions. There's been no indication when James plans to do so.

In the meantime, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat signed contracts to remain with their teams, while Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward inked offer sheets that could land them on new ones.

Teams and players could negotiate and agree to deals since July 1, but contracts couldn't be signed or trades made until Thursday, after the moratorium period ended and next season's salary cap was set.

Most of the best free agents have usually committed by the time they can sign, though that hasn't been the case this year, largely because of the holdup caused by Miami's Big Three and Anthony.

Bosh may want to wait on the word from James to decide whether he wants to remain in Miami. Anthony is perhaps holding out in case there is some way he, too, could end up partnering with the four-time MVP.

While they wait, so do players such as Lance Stephenson and Luol Deng, who are on the next tier of free agents available.

Not everybody is waiting around. Lowry signed his deal to stay in Toronto on Thursday, which Yahoo Sports reported was for $48 million over four years. Gortat is returning to Washington with a contract that will pay him $60 million over five years.

The center from Poland posted a picture of himself signing the papers on his Twitter page, writing that it was the "best day of my life!!!"

A couple of other players might be getting their riches, though it will take a few days. Hayward signed an offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets that would pay him $63 million over four years. His Utah Jazz have three days to match the offer.

Parsons has a three-year, $45 million offer from Dallas, but he is also a restricted free agent that allows the Houston Rockets the same window to match.

The Rockets are one of the teams believed to be considering Bosh if he does opt to leave Miami, which could affect how they deal with Parsons.

They also met with Anthony, whom New York wants to keep. The Knicks offered him the maximum allowable contract, worth nearly $130 million over five years, when they met with him a week ago in Los Angeles, but are still awaiting word if he is staying put.

So are the Heat, who risk losing James and maybe more. He met with team President Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas, but so far there has been no decision. Once he announces his plans, the other top dominoes may quickly fall.

Then, perhaps the deals will start getting done.

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