Following the thrilling NBA Finals triumph of the Dallas Mavericks, the league has entered a rare, and uncertain time.
With the NBA joining the NFL in lockout status, there have been many questions as to how yet another work stoppage of a major U.S. sport could be resolved.
Like the NFL, the negotiations between the owners and players broke down at the last minute and the owners swiftly locked the players out.
Here are five of the most intriguing topics of the offseason:
With the start of the lockout, teams have shut down business in accordance with the second work stoppage in 13 years.
With the owners locking out the players and negotiations at a standstill, the teams have been rumored to have started laying employees off and mandating that others take unpaid vacations.
These layoffs and furloughs will cause the loss of alot of jobs around the league, and will have an immediate impact on the people involved.
Any relief from these actions would come when a new CBA is reached and league business resumes as normal.
Much is made about professional athletes engaging in other activities during a lockout or other stoppage. Concerns are rampant over tampering, conflicts of interest and most importantly of all, injuries.
According to nesn.com, L.A. Lakers center Andrew Bynum recently tweeted that he was working on his "new career" reportedly training with boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
Teams always worry about injuries to their star players or key components when they are not using the team facilities.
In my opinion, players should be able to do as they please when they have time off from their teams, and that they are all adults and should use their best judgment when they decide what activities to participate in.
So if Andrew Bynum wants to box during the lockout, who are we to judge or try to tell him he can't?
Unlike the NFL, the NBA actually has overseas options for its players. Many current and former NBA players have come across the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. to earn a place among the league's best.
Yao Ming is one example of a well-known NBA player to come from overseas to play American basketball.
During the lockout, NBA players such as Kobe Bryant, Derrick Williams and others are reportedly exploring their options overseas to make a living while the labor situation is sorted out.
Some critics have said that playing overseas in foreign leagues is also a catalyst for injury. The NBA should include provisions in their contracts that regulates how playing overseas during a work stoppage should work.
I believe that overseas leagues should be a conduit to keep NBA players in shape and keep their edge for whenever the CBA is resolved.
When college players decide to leave school early to declare for the draft, they often leave without completing their college degrees.
With the lockout bringing all signings to a halt, draftees such as Arizona's Derrick Williams who was selected No. 2 overall, are left in a lurch.
Williams was reportedly deciding whether to return to Arizona during the lockout to attend summer school classes to complete his degree in Business.
I believe that completing a college degree puts an exclamation point on a very important time in a student's life, and that if the opportunity presents itself, a degree should be completed to provide the draftee something to fall back on.
The cornerstone of the Orlando Magic, Dwight "Superman" Howard has been the target of alot of trade speculation this offseason.
His name has been linked to teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and others. He provides a presence at the center position that has not been seen since Shaq's heydey.
Howard would provide range and size to an up and coming team such as Chicago or a team that needs a dominating presence on the offensive glass.
Howard also has some limited shooting ability and would provide some short-range field goal opportunities and has also proven to be a good defender.
Any team that lands him will have yet another piece toward building a contender that could challenge the Dallas Mavericks for NBA supremacy.