At the conclusion of the 2011-12 NBA season, free agency will be the talk of the basketball world. This year's free-agent class isn't as hyped as last season's unit or even next season's group for that matter.
Even though this season's class doesn't have a superstar, that doesn't mean it's not important. Role players mean as much to the big teams as stars mean to the small teams. Adding a Lamar Odom or Rasheed Wallace to your roster can result in a NBA Championship.
Kobe Bryant knows what it's like to be a free agent. After the 2003-04 season in which the Los Angeles Lakers were stunned by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, Bryant entered the free-agent conversation. Oddly enough, Bryant's other top candidate was the Los Angeles Clippers, his current team's in-city rival.
Bryant chose to stay with the Lakers then, and he did so again in 2010 by signing an extension.
Another superstar that tested the waters of free agency was LeBron James, and he may have been the most sought after free agent in the history of the NBA this past summer. Plenty of teams with proper cap space made runs for James, but he ended up signing with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat.
Here's a rundown of a player each team should maintain and one they should pick up from free agency.
**This list only includes players that are free agents this year, so Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are not included.