The offseason is already here for every NBA team but two, and as the summer approaches, they will all be looking for ways to improve.
In most summers, July 1 would mark the start of a frenzied period in which many players change addresses. However, with the specter of a lockout looming, we simply do not know when the offseason will actually begin this year.
What we do know is that many teams will be looking to plug holes through the NBA Draft because of that uncertainty. We also know that whenever the offseason does start, there will be free-agent signings, and there will be trades.
With multiple superstars set to become free agents in the summer of 2012, this could be another summer of massive player movement as teams jockey for cap space, appealing sidekicks and supporting role players.
Plenty of names have already been thrown out there as being potentially available, and still others are just speculation. Here's a list of one player on each team who could theoretically, or realistically, be "on the market" this summer, whenever that starts.
Smith's name has already popped up in rumors since the Atlanta Hawks' season ended.
The thinking is that the Hawks need to shift Al Horford to his more natural position of power forward, the spot currently occupied by Smith. Even Horford's father Tito thinks so.
Moving Smith for a true center (like Andrew Bynum) would allow them to do just that. They could then move Marvin Williams to a bench role and pair him with one most potent sixth men in the league in Jamal Crawford.
While Smith is obviously a good player, trading him could make the Hawks a more dangerous team. Atlanta has to be careful to make sure they replace Smith's abilities on defense if they do let him go, which is why a guy like Bynum would be a great fit.
This one is pure speculation, but I promise I have some pretty good reasons he could, and maybe should, be available.
We all saw how much both Green and the Boston Celtics struggled after the trade that brought him and Nenad Kristic over from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Green averaged 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 37 minutes per game with the Thunder, and those averages dropped to 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in just 23.5 minutes a night in Boston.
The Celtics missed the interior defense provided by Perkins and Semih Erden (who was also traded, to the Cleveland Cavaliers), and letting go of the restricted free-agent Green in a sign-and-trade could net a quality big man.
They could also be on the hunt for a shooting guard who could potentially replace Ray Allen. Danny Ainge likes Green and thinks he could be a future starter, but a better option might be to trade him for someone who can start now.
The owner of the Charlotte Bobcats is the greatest basketball player who ever lived, and he is not satisfied with mere mediocrity.
Michael won't stand for competing for the seventh or eighth seed in the conference for the next few years. He would rather gut the team and develop it from the ground up, building a contender along way, or clear up enough cap space to make a splash in free agency.
He is banking on his basketball reputation to be able to lure players to Charlotte, which hasn't traditionally been seen as a "hot" free agent destination.
He proved he really was willing to trade anybody when he dealt Gerald Wallace, arguably the best player in Bobcats history, to the Trail Blazers for two first-round picks and some extra cap space.
No one on the Bobcats should feel safe in their position this summer, because we know Air Jordan will do anything to win.
Luol Deng's name was brought up in discussions involving Carmelo Anthony last season, but obviously that deal didn't materialize, and Deng stuck around and played pretty well in the playoffs.
What the Bulls sorely missed in their series against the Miami Heat was a second go-to scorer alongside Derrick Rose, and Deng is a valuable trade chip.
He is long and a solid perimeter defender, and he is a versatile player on the offensive end. The Bulls can really use an upgrade at shooting guard, and there are plenty of those who could potentially be available this summer.
Almost immediately after the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery, Ramon Sessions was officially placed on the market.
Alan Hahn of Newsday declared the New York Knicks interested right away. The Knicks are looking for a point guard of the future, and Mike D'Antoni and his brother Dan like Sessions.
With the Cavs likely to pick Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the first pick in the NBA Draft, Sessions is expendable. The Cavs will likely want to add youth, size and cap space in any trade so they can create the best possible environment for Irving to thrive.
Caron Butler is a valuable player, but the Dallas Mavericks have made the NBA Finals without him. That alone makes him expendable.
Butler is known as a good, hardworking player, and he could bring back good value to the Mavs (he was once traded, with others, for Shaquille O'Neal).
The Mavericks could be looking for a new point guard if Jason Kidd retires this summer, and Butler could be a player who gets dangled in exchange for someone like Chris Paul.
ESPN's John Hollinger believes Ray Felton will indeed be moved this summer, possibly in return for a rotation big man.
He has no interest in coming off the bench to back up fellow North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson, because he feels he is a starting-quality point guard.
He's right about that. In six seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets, he's averaged 13.7 points and 6.8 assists per game. Those are starting-quality numbers.
Finding a new home for Felton would allow the Nuggets to rid themselves of an unhappy player while upgrading their front line.
One of few remaining players on the roster from the Detroit Pistons championship team in 2004, Hamilton's contract now well exceeds his abilities.
He has already been mentioned in connection with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves. In the proposed deal, the Pistons would let go of Hamilton and the eighth pick in exchange for nothing but the Cavs' $14.5 million trade exception.
This shows the Pistons do not value Hamilton's services at all anymore, and he should expect to be moved if they can find a taker for his enormous contract.
Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis are both terrific players in their own rights. However, they are simply incompatible on the court together.
You can not expect to win a lot of games with two defensive liabilities in the backcourt, which, despite all their offensive talent, both Curry and Ellis clearly are.
Based on those offensive abilities, both could be able to net the Warriors a significant contributor in return. The Chicago Bulls are a team who should be interested in Ellis if he were to become available, because his scoring would provide a great complement to MVP Derrick Rose.
After what was unquestionably his best season as a pro, Kyle Lowry has already head his name mentioned in trade rumors.
One in particular has him, along with the 14th pick, landing in Sacramento in exchange for the No. 7 pick in the draft.
General Manager Daryl Morey has never been afraid to make trades before, and he partook in one with the Kings and the New York Knicks during the 2009-10 season. With a new coach aboard in Kevin McHale, Morey could be active again this summer.
The Indiana Pacers were a surprise playoff team this season, but they didn't go very far. They have an emerging core of young players including Darren Collison, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough and Granger, but there are some who believe Granger is more suited to being a No. 2 option than a No. 1.
One rumor connected him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Wolves GM David Kahn quickly shot it down.
Still, the Pacers could look to move Granger in exchange for draft picks, cap space or a proven scorer.
The LA Clippers were finally able to rid themselves of the large contract of a former All-Star point guard in February (Baron Davis), and they might be looking to do the same with the player they got for Davis this summer.
Mo Williams' contract expires after next year, and the Clippers look like they have found a good young point guard in Eric Bledsoe.
Chris Kaman was injured for a long period of time this season, and in his place, up stepped a lanky young center who was a monster rebounder and shot blocker, DeAndre Jordan.
What they could really use is a versatile small forward who can defend the perimeter and shoot threes to mesh well with their starting lineup that already includes Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin and Jordan.
Andrew Bynum was seen as the lynchpin of the Los Angeles Lakers defense this season, but that defense fell apart in a second-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
His name has long been heard in connection with Dwight Howard rumors, but Howard has never once said that he wants to leave Orlando. Jim Buss, who is taking on a larger role within ownership recently, thinks highly of Bynum, and may not want to trade him.
However, if Howard were to actually to become available, you have to think the Lakers would at least consider it.
The Memphis Grizzlies won a terrific series against the San Antonio Spurs and then lost a terrific series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And they did it all without their supposed best player, Rudy Gay.
The Grizzlies emerged as a serious Western Conference threat while running their offense through Zach Randolph and smothering teams on the defensive end led by Toney Allen, Marc Gasol, Shane Battier and Mike Conley.
Gay is now seen as expendable, perhaps with the Grizzlies looking to upgrade at the shooting guard or backup center position. With so much money already committed to Conley, Randolph and (presumably) Gasol, the Grizz could look to trade Rudy despite signing him to a maximum contract last summer.
Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby are seen as the weak links in the Miami Heat chain.
Regardless, the Heat will be one of the best teams in the league again next season.
Brandon Jennings was in contention for Rookie of the Year in his first season with Milwaukee, but both he and the team regressed in the second year of his career.
Jennings' shoot-first mentality and low field goal percentage can sometimes be a drain on the Bucks' offense, and that is a reason he could potentially become available this summer.
Trading Jennings for another forward to pair with center Andrew Bogut or a scoring guard to ease the load at a more efficient rate would be a decent move.
Although David Kahn has repeatedly insisted that whenever Ricky Rubio does come to the NBA, it will be in a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform, some think that is just not true.
The New York Knicks are a team that is routinely mentioned with Rubio's name because of New York's large market and Hispanic population. The Indiana Pacers also surfaced as a potential destination.
It would be an interesting fit, because the Pacers already have a young point guard in Darren Collison. However, Granger would be a good complement to Kevin Love, the league's leading rebounder, on the Minnesota front line.
Brook Lopez's name surfaced in early discussions for Carmelo Anthony, but the team soon took him off the table.
The Nets have been talked about as a potential landing spot for Dwight Howard if he were to be traded, and Lopez would presumably have to be included in any trade that netted the Nets the All-Star center.
The Nets would love to pair the league's best center with one of the top point guards in Deron Williams, who they acquired from the Utah Jazz in exchange for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and draft picks at February's trade deadline.
Lopez did regress this season, but is still seen by some as a potential franchise center. Is Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith one of them?
Chris Paul re-announced himself as the league's best point guard with a virtuoso dominant performance against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.
However, he has yet to agree to a contract extension with New Orleans, and the Hornets may not want speculation about his future to cannibalize their season like the Carmelo Anthony discussions did for the Denver Nuggets last year.
Paul himself started the speculation that he would wind up with the New York Knicks, when he famously announced at Carmelo's wedding that the two of them and Amar'e Stoudemire should form their own Big Three in New York.
If the Hornets do look to trade Chris Paul, it will likely be as part of a full rebuilding effort.
This past season was a monumental one for the New York Knicks. They added Amar'e Stoudemire in July and traded for Carmelo Anthony in February.
They made the playoffs for the first time since they were swept by the New Jersey Nets in 2004 and were promptly swept by the Boston Celtics.
In that series, Douglas again showed his shooting prowess, but also his relative inability to be a starting point guard. The Knicks' main need is size and defense on the interior, and Douglas could be a valuable third guard for a contender looking to add scoring.
This is a young team that has grown together, and that is a pretty good idea. They need to gain some chemistry together this offseason, and hopefully Kendrick Perkins can be more of a factor for them next year than he was in the playoffs this season.
Despite Howard's insistence that he doesn't want to leave Orlando and has never said that he wants to leave Orlando, people continue to think he will eventually leave Orlando.
Whether his destination is said to be Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York or Chicago, Dwight's name is always going to be out there until he does in fact sign an extension with the Magic.
The players who are so bothered by trade rumors have a very easy way to make them go away, but not many of them seem to want to use it. The players wield a lot of power these days with their freedom to choose where they play, and that is not something they give away easily.
Andre Iguodala is a very capable player, but the 76ers have a number of guys who play the same position(s) as him, namely Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young.
Iguodala has tremendous value as a defensive stopper and "glue guy," because he does just about everything well. He doesn't have any particular excellent trait, but there is nothing he does poorly.
While the Sixers have an emerging young core, including Turner and Jrue Holiday, they lack a go-to scorer in crunch time. Elton Brand does a lot of the heavy lifting for Philly, and he is past his prime.
Iguodala might be the 76ers' best player, but he is also the one who can help them the most if he's traded.
Steve Nash has maintained his stance that he does not want to leave Phoenix.
However, the Suns are not going to contend for a championship in the near future, and the best way for them to rebuild may be to get some value for Nash now.
Nash could bring in tremendous value because of how much he means to an offense. He is still seen as one of the best point guards in the entire league, and although he is loyal to the Suns and their fans, the best thing they could do for him is ship him to a team that will contend for a title for the remainder of his career.
The Trail Blazers were again eliminated early in the playoffs. Along the way, young point guard Patty Mills emerged as a quality player.
Andre Miller has been seen as a bad fit in the same offense as Brandon Roy and the rest of the Blazers for a while now, as he is mainly a half-court point guard and the team is filled with explosive athletes.
Miller's name has been dropped in conversations that involve the Blazers moving up in the draft.
If they were to trade Miller, they would likely want to look at a center or point guard in return to solidify their defense and ball-handling.
The Kings are staying in Sacramento next season. That may not be true for their young guards.
With the Kings thinking about drafting UConn's Kemba Walker, both of them could become expendable. Sacramento has seemingly already admitted that Tyreke Evans is not a point guard, and a Walker/Evans backcourt would be one of the quickest and strongest in the NBA, even if they would be one of the shortest.
Thornton is probably more expendable, but Evans is definitely more valuable. Either one could bring back a pretty nice piece to pair with big man DeMarcus Cousins and whoever they get with the draft's seventh pick.
Yes, Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs recently agreed to a contract extension.
However, he created in-season controversy with his messy divorce from Eva Longoria, and the Spurs have a point guard ready to take over the reins in George Hill.
Trading Parker for a young small forward or center to grow with Hill, Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter would allow the Spurs to get younger and more athletic while remaining a contender as Tim Duncan moves toward the latter end of his career.
The odds of Andrea Bargnani being traded are probably not that high, given that he was selected first overall by the man who is still the Toronto Raptors' general manager, Bryan Colangelo.
However, the Toronto Sun reported that Bargnani could be the asking price if the Raptors were to make a move for Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay.
Bargnani is a good offensive player, but is a liability on the other end of the floor, and the Raptors could look to upgrade that area of their team. He could bring back nice value in return as a stretch 4 in the right organization.
If the Jazz take a point guard with the third pick in the draft, the one they obtained from the New Jersey Nets (along with Harris and Derrick Favors) in exchange for Deron Williams, then Harris becomes expendable.
He is a former All-Star point guard who has now been traded for both Williams and future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd in his young career.
He is a capable scorer and distributor and could be a good fit for a lot of teams. If Chris Paul doesn't hit the open market, Harris could be the best point guard out there this summer for those teams looking to upgrade.
John Wall had an excellent rookie season, and JaVale McGee broke out this year as well.
They are clearly the two solid building blocks that new owner Ted Leonsis will build this team around. Leonsis likes to break teams down and build them from the ground up, as he did with the Washington Capitals.
For that reason, anyone who is not seen as a definitive piece that can help this team win should be on red alert for a deal this summer. Leonsis has built a consistent winner in the NHL, but has also seen that team unable to break through for a championship.
This is an owner who does care about winning, so you can expect him to make the moves he thinks can take the team in that direction. Players who show immaturity like Andray Blatche or inconsistency like Rashard Lewis and Yi Jianlian are all candidates to be moved for the right price.