Rejoice, NBA fans: Coming to a basketball city near you to help break up the dog days of summer is the NBA’s free agency period, which begins on Friday, July 1. Free agency has become an absolutely vital component of most teams’ strategy when they try to build towards a championship. Whether you’re looking for a role player to put your team over the top or a bona fide superstar to build your team around, the free agent market usually has what you’re looking for. While a good showing in free agency can become the key to an NBA championship and can provide teams with the missing piece of their championship puzzle, a bad showing, however, can doom a franchise to years of futility and frugality if the wrong decisions are made.
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The Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics are the first teams to secure face-to-face interviews with free agent center Dwight Howard, according to Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of ESPN. Noticeably absent from the initial interview list are the Portland Trail Blazers. In fact, Neither Broussard nor Stein mention any western conference teams, and only give cursory mention to a third team. The Miami Heat, sources said, have not yet booked a meeting with Howard in free agency, but could emerge as a more serious Howard suitor after registering preliminary interest in him. Although not mentioned here, Howard has been linked to the Trail Blazers leading up to free agency moratorium, which begins Friday