After looking at the 2011-12 free-agent class, it's not hard to see that it doesn't possess many star players. On the contrary, it does include many quality role players that could make differences for respective contenders.
Enter the Miami Heat.
While financial restrictions will play a major role in what Miami pulls off post-lockout, it will also be interesting to see the impact the lockout has on other teams. It's no secret that the NBA salary cap is likely to drop, but in all honesty, it could help Miami.
With not many teams willing to spend big money on aging role players, Miami could steal a few valuable options in solidifying this team as dangerous.
Miami is likely to look at a combination of players including former injury-prone stars, solid starters at the point guard and center positions, or just tough-nosed difference makers off the bench,
With that said, let's look at some possible options for the Heat.
T.J. Ford is a classic example of a player who had a promising career hampered by injuries. While still just 28 years old, Ford has plenty of years left in him to be an effective point guard.
Ford is a smart point guard who can be a solid contributor to the superstars in Miami. He can help spread the floor with his shooting range and can be a quality ball handler.
Last year Miami had a carousel at the point guard position with four different players starting throughout the season. If Mario Chalmers decides to go elsewhere, Ford would be a nice pickup.
Personally, I think Samuel Dalembert is the best free-agent center for the Miami Heat. However, it would be a hard target to sign due to financial restrictions.
The 6'11" big man really fills many voids at the center position. He's got the size, athleticism and defensive presence to make the difference for Miami inside.
While he can put in 10 points a game, Dalembert does not require many touches inside. However, he would be the biggest offensive threat out of any Miami center.
The 30-year-old Dalembert might look to sign a wealthy contract after coming off another solid season in 2010-11. If he decides to sign for a discount, don't be surprised to see Miami right in the hunt.
Shane Battier would be an epic steal for the Heat.
Battier is a true, battle-tested leader who has a workhorse ethic. While never being considered the star of a team, he is a guy meant to be a solid role player.
He's got a deadly game from beyond the arc, able to hit shots at a high percentage. While that is enough to make him useful in Miami, it's his defense to stands out the most.
Battier has shown he can be a shutdown defender night in and night out, and will always take the tough defensive assignments.
Battier is at the falling point of his career, but he is still a valuable option for any contending team.
Michael Redd has only played 61 games since a stellar 2007-08 season. That being said, odds are the Miami Heat could land the former All-Star for dirt cheap.
Redd is a true definition of a one-dimensional player, but luckily for Miami they could use his range. He will not bring great defense or consistency, but Miami could give him a shot to revamp his career.
It will be interesting if any teams will take a chance on the injury-prone Redd, but he is likely to get picked up by a team looking for depth.
Could the White Mamba be taking his talents to South Beach? Hold the presses!
But seriously, this guy always ends up on championship-caliber teams, and based on possible financial restrictions, Brian Scalabrine could add another ring to his collection.
His effort to cheer on the bench is always a welcomed asset, and he could also fill in as the teams towel/waterboy in a must situation.
While not the biggest name on the list, Earl Watson provides Miami with what they need most: a floor-managing, pass-first point guard.
Throughout his 10-year career, Watson has been somewhat of a journeyman. Playing for five different franchises in his NBA tenure, Watson will now look to be apart of a championship team.
Watson watched his minutes drop significantly in 2010-11 with the Utah Jazz, but still managed to be a factor off the bench. With Miami, he could help as a starter or bench player.
If Chalmers decides to go elsewhere in his career, don't be surprised to see the veteran Earl Watson playing for the Heat.
While showing interest in joining the Miami Heat, a lot would have to work out for Nene to land there. Nene is one of the few standouts in the rather weak free-agent class and could be targeted by teams with room to make a big signing. However, expect Miami to pursue the Brazilian.
Nene is one of the most efficient big men in the NBA, and could provide many needs for the Heat. Last season he shot a ridiculous 62 percent from the field while pulling in 7.6 rebounds a game. While most of his shots were gimmes, an effective scorer inside the paint could do wonders for Miami's offensive attack.
Nene would also serve as the team's most solid defensive threat inside. While every Heat fan loves Joel Anthony's work ethic, it's not secret they need an upgrade at the center position.
It wouldn't be a stretch to see Nene end up in South Beach, but he would have to take a major pay cut in order to do so. Anyway you put it, he will be targeted by Pat Riley and the Heat front office.
Grant Hill's time in Orlando was disappointing to say the least. After signing a hefty contract, the former superstar had a steady string of injuries that threw his career off-course. After staying healthy and helping lead the Phoenix Suns as far as a Western Conference Finals appearance, it won't be surprising to see Hill move on.
Hill is a great sportsman and could be the solid veteran leader the Heat need off the bench. His skills are still sharp for an aging player, and could be a huge upgrade for Miami's current bench.
While being 38 years old, Hill has few chances left at winning a championship. After years of being a great player, look for him to sign with a contender to end his career on a high note.
Kurt Thomas will not provide the Heat with the massive center they need, but Thomas is a smart veteran who would be welcomed on the Miami bench.
Thomas was a great fill-in for the Chicago Bulls when Joakim Noah went down to injury, and was a vital part to the team's success.
He can provide the strong, effective minutes Miami could use at the center position, and wouldn't be a terrible starter if all else failed.
Thomas will still grab rebounds and be a nice contributor, but in a limited role he could make a major difference as a spark off the bench.
During his prime, Tracy McGrady was arguably a top 10 player in the NBA. He was a dynamic scorer who could go for 40 points on a regular basis. Years down the road, McGrady joins the long list of players who had their potential destroyed by injuries.
McGrady could provide Miami with a great role player off the bench with his ability to score in bunches. While his numbers have been down over the past few years, McGrady actually still shot well in his lone season in Detroit.
He's not going to put up 20 points a night like his time in Orlando, but Miami doesn't need that. Bringing in a guard/forward combo like McGrady could really help make the bench a more versatile threat.
Anthony Carter has never been an impressive player in the NBA, but there has to be some reason he has stayed around so long.
Of course, that reason happens to be his above-average defense and quality ball-handling skills.
Not the sexiest option for a point guard, but he could be a decent option to play small minutes when needed.
Priority number one for the Miami Heat should be re-signing point guard Mario Chalmers. It was seen during the NBA Finals that he could be a valid point guard option to surround the Big Three of the Heat.
Never afraid to take a big shot, Chalmers often found ways to score in big situations when needed. He's got the handles to advance the ball up court, and is still improving on his decision making.
Defensively, Chalmers has quick hands and the ability to pressure offensive players to force turnovers. He fits well into Erik Spoelstra's defensive game plan and still has plenty of room to grow.
Miami should look into keeping the young Chalmers, and grooming him in to becoming a solid starting point guard.