There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the 2011 NBA free-agency period. With the NBA lockout in effect and no clear end in sight, there is no way of knowing when teams will be able to begin pursuing free agents and how much flexibility teams will have in doing so. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) under negotiation, the salary cap has yet to be set and owners are unsure how much money they will be allowed to invest in players.
In addition, there is always the chance that a rule change could occur and alter the free agency landscape. One such rule that could potentially be reinstated is the Allan Houston rule, which would allow each team to release one player from the roster while having that player's contract removed from their total payroll. Although that player would still be payed his contract by the owner, it would not count against the team's cap space and he would be free to sign a new contract with another team.
If such a rule were to be reinstated, it would greatly open up the flexibility of teams like the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Portland Trailblazers, who would be able to open up their cap space by releasing, Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis and Brandon Roy, respectively.
Therefore, teams like the Magic, who at the moment appear to be completely devoid of the flexibility to pursue high-end free agents, could have far more flexibility under the new CBA. This potential for change makes it very difficult to accurately predict the cap situation of teams heading into the free-agency period (whenever it might occur).
Consequently, I have written this article to highlight the ideal player for each NBA team to sign, regardless of their previous cap situation. In addition, I have not included re-signings that teams would be wise to perform, as the purpose of the article was to suggest a new player that each team should bring in.