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Strong 2008 free-agent class in for terrible summer

Originally Published: November 27, 2007
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com
This past summer, a large group of free agents -- restricted and unrestricted -- got a terrific dose of the realities of the new NBA hard cap.

While Rashard Lewis, Chauncey Billups, Gerald Wallace, Vince Carter and Darko Milicic came away with big deals, only a handful of the rest of last season's free-agent class found anything near the money that free agents typically get on the open market. One prominent restricted free agent, Anderson Varejao, is still waiting for a contract.

Meanwhile, a total of only six players from the 2004 draft who were eligible for extensions -- Dwight Howard (5 years, $85 million), Al Jefferson (5 years, $65 million), Kevin Martin (5 years, $55 million), Devin Harris (5 years, $43 million), Jameer Nelson (5 years, $35 million) and Kris Humphries (3 years, $9 million) -- cashed in.

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