As we sit in NBA limbo, there is little to do but talk about what-ifs for a 2011 season that may or may not exist. The draft has ended, but without a collective bargaining agreement, teams cannot trade amongst each other or sign free agents.
If there is indeed a season next year, the free agency class, while not nearly as rich in talent as the class that sent LeBron James to the Miami Heat, is still full of many dynamic players.
Here are the 10 players who will spark a generous amount of interest throughout the league.
Set to be an unrestricted free agent, Glen Davis can play both the power forward and the center position.
He lacks height at 6”9’ and his strength leaves a bit to be desired; but Big Baby has a solid jump shot and is a good scorer and defender.
Davis had one of his finest seasons in 2010-2011. He is certain to be one of the most heavily sought-after free agents once he hits the open market.
One of the better centers in this league, Chandler played an integral role in helping the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Championship in 2011.
Chandler is coming off one of his best seasons, certainly as a scorer. He scored 10.1 points per game in 2010-2011.
But his greatest attribute is his defense. He can provide a solid presence at the center position and, as reliable centers are rare these days, will make a fine addition to any team he chooses to sign with.
A two-time All-Star and now an NBA Champion with the Dallas Mavericks, Caron Butler is a very important player to the Mavericks and a very dynamic player in this league.
He is an incredible offensive talent and is the best offensive player on the team besides Dirk Nowitzki.
Butler is also an excellent defender and his skills would be serviceable to many teams around the league. He will be taken up quickly if the Mavericks do not re-sign him.
While inconsistent, Delonte West can still contribute greatly to any team that signs him.
He has a great deal of speed, is a great scoring talent, and can shoot decently.
So long as West is not relied upon to be the No.1 guy on the roster, he can be a very solid bench player and allow coaches to give starters some much needed rest with his solid play.
Perhaps the most underrated player in the entire NBA, Jamal Crawford won Sixth Man of the Year in the 2009-2010 season and is a very valuable member of the Atlanta Hawks roster.
While he has lost a step seemingly after coming off one of his lesser seasons in 2010-2011, Crawford is certainly still a valuable player and will spark much interest around the league.
Although Peja Stojakovic is not quite the All-Star he once was, he is still one of the better three-point shooters in the NBA. A three point shooter is valuable on any roster, especially one that has the veteran experience that Stojakovic does.
The Mavericks may be unlikely to re-sign him due to his age, but he will find a home somewhere next season, as he is still a valuable player.
Marc Gasol will be tougher to sign, as he is set to become a restricted free agent; but if a team is in need of a good center, Gasol is certainly a good option.
Gasol is not quite the player that his brother Pau is, but he is still a good basketball player and may someday reach his brother’s level. He is young and still has a great deal of time to develop, and he has already proven himself an excellent scorer.
And while his brother is more of a finesse player, with less strength, Marc has more bulk and more power, and can drive harder to the rim. It is almost a certainty that teams around the league are considering paying extra to acquire his services.
Shannon Brown has proven throughout his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers that he can be a solid role player off the bench.
He has improved a great deal in recent seasons and has shown that he can be a potent scorer.
There are teams that need a solid shooting guard, such as the Chicago Bulls, and they would be wise to consider Brown once free agency finally begins.
While Shane Battier was never a good scorer, and has even lost a step there in recent seasons, he is one of the finest defensive players.
Having twice made the All-Defensive Second Team, he is known for his lockdown defense. They say defense wins championships and a team in great need of an improvement there would be wise to seek out Battier.
At 32 years of age, Battier is aging, but still has much to contribute in the NBA.
What Dalembert brings to the table is defensive talent.
He has always been known for his great shot-blocking abilities, and he is a solid rebounder as well. It helps that the current NBA is devoid of solid centers.
Dalembert will find a job for certain in this league for that reason.