NBA Free Agents 2011: 5 Best Playmakers on the Market This Summer

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NBA Free Agents 2011: 5 Best Playmakers on the Market This Summer
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For the NBA, each summer is usually filled with teams courting potential stud free agents, some blockbuster trades, and a fair number of questionable "Decision"s.

This summer, however, is not a typical one in the world of professional basketball. The NBA lockout is around a week old, and most fans, including myself, are already resigned to the fact that there probably won't be a season come November.

Seeing as how attempting to explain the lockout will only make me want to cry myself to sleep tonight, let's assume that somehow the owners and players reach an agreement, and we indeed have a season later this year, and enough time to sort out the free agent crop.

I think the best way to describe this crop of free agents would be "Darkonian".

The reason is that the class before it was virtually unheralded with the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Amar'e Stoudemire becoming unrestricted free agents.

Next year's class of 2012 has another batch of stars in Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams.

This year's group? Pretty ordinary, kinda like Darko Milicic compared to LeBron James (drafted before him) and Carmelo Anthony (drafted after him).

That being said, let's look at the top playmakers of this year's free agents. Now, when defining "playmaker", I regard it as a player who can create shots for himself as well as others, is typically on the floor during crunch time, and is a guard.

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