With two days to go until the official signing period begins, here's the latest free-agent buzz gathered from conversations with executives, agents, and others in the know:
* As reported by CBSSports.com, the Mavericks are pushing for a sign-and-trade with Toronto that would send Shawn Marion to Dallas. Such a deal almost certainly would have to include Jerry Stackhouse going to Toronto -- or a third team -- because only $2 million of his $7 million salary for next season is guaranteed. Toronto is not in a position to take back salary because it needs to clear space to sign Hedo Turkoglu, who agreed to a five-year, $53 million deal over the weekend after reneging on a verbal commitment to Portland. Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Marion's agent, Dan Fegan, are pushing the Dallas scenario, according to a source, and are trying to involve either Oklahoma City or Memphis as a third team to satisfy Toronto's need to clear room for Turkoglu. If the Raptors can't trade Marion, the simplest path to clearing space for Turkoglu would be to renounce its rights to Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker.
* Despite reports that the Trail Blazers were preparing to make a major bid for Knicks restricted free agent David Lee, a coaching source familiar with the situation said Portland is more interested in the Lakers' Lamar Odom. And the source described the Odom situation with Portland as "lukewarm." The Blazers and Lee's agent, Mark Bartelstein, discussed the situation early in the negotiating period, but Portland was preoccupied at that time with its pursuit of Hedo Turkoglu. Now that Turkoglu has spurned the Blazers and committed to the Raptors, Portland is deliberating what to do with its $9 million in cap space. The Blazers have been exploring point-guard options for some time, but the coaching source said Sixers free agent Andre Miller isn't the answer because of his sub-part shooting ability.
* Lee's situation is complicated by the fact that the teams with cap space have either spent it on other players (Detroit, Toronto, Memphis) or are proceeding cautiously in the first wave of free agency (Oklahoma City, Sacramento). The market for Lee is difficult to navigate because teams are hesitant to endure the seven-day period during which the Knicks would have the right to match. Sign-and-trades, too, are untenable due to the fact that Lee's first-year cap number would be exorbitant based on his status as a base-year compensation player. Knicks president Donnie Walsh has played this as close to perfectly as possible from the beginning.
* A rumored trade discussion sending Richard Hamilton from Detroit to Utah for Carlos Boozer is just that, for now: a rumor. "Not at all," said a person who would have knowledge of the talks when asked if there was anything there. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind because it makes too much sense for both teams. Boozer's decision not to invoke his player option opened the door for the Jazz to trade him while retaining restricted free agent Paul Millsap, who like Lee has been met with lukewarm interest. The backcourt situation in Detroit with Rodney Stuckey, Hamilton, and Ben Gordon bears watching, as does the $50 million or so left on Hamilton's contract.
* The Wizards are pursuing Antonio McDyess, but word is he's heading back to the Pistons. A decision from 'Dyess is coming soon, according to a source, and it appears to be between Detroit and San Antonio. Blazers restricted free agent Channing Frye could be a fallback option for Washington. But according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cavs are the latest team to meet with Frye, who also has drawn interest from Denver, Phoenix, and San Antonio.
* If you're having serious hoops withdrawal, you can watch the Orlando Summer League action live online. I'll be watching the first few days of the Las Vegas Summer League in person from July 10-14. You can follow my updates on Twitter. But then, you already should have been doing that.
UPDATE: Shannon Brown will re-sign with the Lakers for two years and $4.2 million, according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein. The second year is a player option.
UPDATE: Ramona Shelburne of the L.A. Daily News -- you read some of her stuff here during the playoffs -- caught up with Kobe Bryant at his annual basketball camp at Loyola Marymount on Monday. Surprisingly few media members were there, considering all the news in Kobe-land of late. Check out her blog for all the details.