Just what type of impact will a new CBA have on NBA free agent negotiations and signings? Most likely a huge one.
Being sandwiched between two stellar, star-studded free agent classes, the players available this offseason do not bring as much hype as they should. This is a talent pool with many players who can be solid role players or possibly bud into stars.
For many of the top names eligible for a brand new contract, they could look to stay with a team they are comfortable with and well-suited to succeed. Money will likely be scarce for most teams based on lowering teams' salary caps, and they could look to take moves that are less risky for the near future.
These are some key players who are likely to stay with their current organizations.....
When it comes to Greg Oden, he's correctly labeled a bust so far in his career. It has nothing to do with his talents, instead it's his injuries that have doomed him.
At just 23 years old, it is highly possible that Oden can still be a very good contributor and possibly an All-Star. Oden has potential to be one of the better big men in a weak pool of NBA centers.
Playing just 82 games in his career so far, Oden has shown he can be a game-changing defender down low. He possesses great size and has blocked 1.4 shots a game thus far. The big man hasn't received many looks offensively with Portland, but he's connected on 58 percent of his attempts.
It would be surprising for the Portland Trail Blazers to give up on Oden. While he could carry a heavy price tag based on his potential, Portland will look to keep the player they invested their future in at one time.
Alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, these two can be one of the better front-court duos in the NBA based on Oden's health.
One of Erick Spoelstra's biggest coaching failures so far in his young career is not realizing Mario Chalmers was the right fit for Miami's starting point guard role.
The season opening starter Carlos Arroyo got cut halfway through the season to make room for the newly signed Mike Bibby.
How did Bibby turn out? Well, just ask most Heat fans, and they will agree he turned out to be a flop. Bibby failed to hit big shots or be effective for Miami when it came to big situations.
That's where Chalmers came in.
Chalmers has shown ability to succeed in the clutch during his college days in Kansas. I'm sure most fans remember the big shot he hit in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game against Memphis right?
His confidence and shooting talents have translated well into the NBA, as he has become a perfect role player for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami.
He's a young point guard who can still be groomed, but as of now, he's a pesky defender and a point guard who can help spread the floor.
Miami shouldn't let Chalmers slip away based on his potential and how well he fits the team.
The more minutes Arron Afflalo gets in the court, the better he seems to get. Since being in the NBA, Afflalo has raised his scoring numbers and shooting percentages significantly every year in the league.
The Denver Nuggets have plenty of money to spend if they decide to this offseason, but Afflalo should be one of the top priorities.
He can progress into a dangerous scoring threat who will spread the floor as well as work his way inside. Afflalo has All-Star capabilities and could really shine in the right position.
While he is solid offensively, Afflalo continues to work on his defense and other key areas to become a more complete player. If the Nuggets don't grab him, it's likely he will be considered a steal for another team.
Kris Humphries has had his two best NBA seasons so far with the New Jersey Nets. Averaging a double-double last year, Humphries showed he deserves a nice contract to be a supporting cast member.
New Jersey needs to pair Brook Lopez with a solid rebounding power forward. After lackluster numbers last season, Lopez has had his toughness questioned by many fans and experts. Fair enough, but Humphries has worked the last two seasons beside him and improved both years.
Offensively he is improving his game, but still needs some more polishing. Humphries is improving on his range and confidence and playing with superstar Deron Williams should only help that.
Humphries plays with high energy and would be a great player to keep for the soon-to-be Brooklyn franchise.
It's about time for the Boston Celtics to start thinking about their future. They have an aging corps of players, but they do have a great young point guard to build around.
Rajon Rondo could easily be considered the future of the Celtics, but he will need help along the way. Jeff Green could step up and be that guy.
With so much age surrounding Boston, Green will play a significant role off the bench. He only averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 23 minutes a game with the Celtics, but could do much better in an expanded role.
Green can play both forward positions and guard them as well, making him a nice substitute for Kevin Garnett and Paul Peirce. He continues to work on his shooting, but as of now, he can spread the floor out and make defenders keep tabs on him.
Once the "Big Three" era is over in Boston, Green will be a valuable starter if he decides to stay around. Look for the Celtics to keep him in Beantown for the time being.
J.J. Barea isn't the prototypical NBA point guard, but he is a high-energy player who is vastly improving his skills. It was seen in last year's NBA Finals that he can be a formidable point guard option for any team, but would be best suited in a role like he played for the Dallas Mavericks.
Like a mouse, Barea is small and quick, but he also has the talents to hurt you many ways offensively. He has a nice, reliable jumpshot and has shown progression in his passing and game-managing abilities.
He was a major factor in a Dallas championship last year, but he could also be considered a possible successor for Jason Kidd once he retires.
Many teams could be interested in signing Barea as a backup, but what would be the point of going anywhere else for him?
Mark Cuban has never been afraid to throw money at solid role players, and Barea has been nothing but an asset to the Mavericks.
Look for him to stay in Dallas and help them contend for at least another year.
For a man of his size, you have to give Glen Davis credit for being a hustle player. No Celtics bench player has had the same impact as Davis over the past few years, and Boston should look to bring him back.
Davis showed significant improvements to his overall game last season, most notably averaging a career-high 11.7 points a game. He also runs the floor well for a massive guy and puts up solid rebounding numbers at 5.4 last season.
While the talent is there, Davis must work on his basketball IQ. He should stop settling for mid-range jumpers and instead use his large frame to score inside. Also working on his positioning both offensively and defensively could make key differences for Boston's attack.
Davis has some work to do, but Boston shouldn't let him get away. Alongside Jeff Green, these two can be a great combination off the bench and possible future starters.
Being just 23 years old, DeAndre Jordan has the future of a double-double center who makes a difference with his athleticism.
At 6'11", Jordan brings a great physical form but could use a lot of polishing on his overall skills. He's already a notable defender in the league averaging 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks, but improving on his offensive attack would make him dangerous and versatile.
While Jordan converts on an impressive 69 percent from the field, he has yet to establish himself as a go-to option inside. Look for Blake Griffin to get most of the looks inside and for Jordan to clean up the boards for second chance points.
The Los Angeles Clippers are doing a lot right for once, re-signing Jordan could add to the list. This is a young team that could steal a playoff spot right now, but in a few years this corps could be elite.
Last but not least, here is the prized possession in this offseason's free agent pool: a European seven-footer with a great combination of size, strength and finesse. Marc Gasol has the abilities to to be a top 5 center in the NBA if he's not already considered one.
Gasol was a part of a storied playoff run by the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the 2010-11 NBA Playoffs. He averaged 15 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks a game while establishing himself as a force on both ends of the floor.
While Gasol did decline statistically last year, he picked up many new tricks and skills along the way to make himself a more complete player.
Memphis doesn't need to pick up much this offseason, but retaining Gasol is crucial to this year's success and many more after that. The Grizzlies do not carry any burdening contracts, but could possibly move some players around if salary cap space becomes a legit issue.
With the lack of top talent available via free agency, teams like the Houston Rockets who desperately need an inside presence could swoop and and steal Gasol with a surprising offer.
He has the talents to be a great center for years to come, but where he will sign remains to be seen. However, Memphis and Gasol are a perfect fit for each other.