Basketball fans you've seen this happen before. A team trades players (salary dump) and gets rid of draft picks to clear salary cap space to land a few big prizes in a bumper crop of free agents. Then no one takes your money and you have to settle for a second tier player on the market. The team that I speak of is the Chicago Bulls. Remember when Michael Jordan retired and Pippen and Rodman parted ways and GM Jerry Krause said "organizations win championships,not players" or something to that effect. They proceeded to clear out scores of cap room and no one came to Chicago. Its almost the same scenario except the cupboard isn't bare and they do have young pieces in place with Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah, and James Johnson. They signed Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kurt Thomas. Probably not what they wanted out of free agency, but they were solid pickups. In the process they lost Brad Miller to the Houston Rockets.
I do consider the Bulls to be losers in free agency, but they're a young, up and coming team, so shed no tears for them. To me it looks like Derrick Rose wants to be the man in Chicago and i think he's up to the task. Noah is maturing and becoming a solid player. If Deng can stay healthy and all the pieces click, they will be a contender in the Eastern Conference for years to come.