With the dreadful NBA lockout over, we can finally focus on watching our favorite teams bid on free agents and build towards the 2011-12 season.
With very little time between the free-agent signing period and actual season opener, we are likely to witness a cluster of blockbuster deals and signings to keep us all on our toes.
As far as this free-agent pool goes, there are not a lot of star players. However, on second glance it's clear there are plenty of young players with the potential to bud into household names for fans.
Let's look at some of these players and what they can bring to some lucky teams.
With Kevin Garnett on the verge of inevitable decline and retirement, Jeff Green would be a solid signing to secure the Celtics a forward in the future.
While Green didn't play many minutes in his 26 games with Boston, he still remains a 6'9" player with a versatile skill set and massive potential. With the ability to score inside and out as well as rebounding at a solid level, the Celtics would be silly to pass on a piece that can give them a competitive future.
Look for Green to stay in Beantown while seeing more playing time for a Boston team that still looks like serious contenders.
Wilson Chandler is a player who shows significant improvement every year, but has yet to reach his ceiling.
He can be a legit choice to play either a small forward or shooting guard role, but can also shut down those positions defensively. Chandler continues to look more confident with his long-range shot and has proven he can score inside as well, but he could really succeed in a role with many opportunities.
Denver seems like an ideal place for him, as they have plenty of money to spend and will look to build a young nucleus for a bright future.
It isn't unreasonable to think that Shannon Brown could put up 20 points a night somewhere, but he must learn to knockdown shots from mid-range and create for himself.
Being one of the best dunkers currently in the NBA, Brown has gained the reputation of a superior athlete. Rightfully so, but expanding on his arsenal would be key for him if he wants to take his game to the next level.
He's an average defender with an undersized body for a shooting guard, but has the potential to be a lockdown option.
Working on his ball-handling ability shouldn't be forgotten, as it will only help him become more of a valid threat.
Big, gigantic or enormous—anyway you put it, Glen Davis should get some attention this offseason. He's never going to be a player that will be an every-night threat, but he possesses the size and hustle you love to see in a big man.
While he seems more wide than he is tall, Davis remains a pretty athletic person for such a stature. He will not elevate for highlight plays, but expect him to hustle and be the first person diving on the floor for loose balls.
Davis averaged a career high 11.7 points a game last season and has never been afraid to take advantage of a pick-and-pop jumper. He may make boneheaded plays sometimes, but he remains someone you love coming off the bench for quality minutes.
Rodney Stuckey is a 6'5" combo guard with the talents to be a solid contributor for a lucky team. He keeps his turnovers to a minimum while dishing out average assists, but also brings a nice defensive mentality as well.
Averaging 15.5 points a game last year was nice for Stuckey, however he shot a measly 29 percent from downtown. On the bright side, he can score inside at an elite level for a point guard and knocks down free throws at an above average percentage.
Alongside rookie Brandon Knight, Stuckey could be an interesting fit for a Detroit Pistons team looking to get back into contention.
Detroit is likely to move Rip Hamilton with either a trade or amnesty clause, which will open up a competitive backcourt tandem for the Pistons.
Surrounding Blake Griffin in Los Angeles, DeAndre Jordan has the potential to become in household name in the near future.
Jordan will not see many touches inside, but he is a very efficient scorer at 69 percent and 7.1 points. That being said, it's on defense where you can expect Jordan to make his money.
Averaging 1.8 blocks and 7.2 rebounds a night, Jordan will likely expand those numbers with more playing time next season. While Chris Kaman takes up a large chunk of minutes when healthy, a trade is a likely option to open up more time for Jordan in a starting role.
Jordan will threaten for a double-double average in a few years and should not be let go by the Los Angeles Clippers.
While he will most likely never be a top-tier point guard in the NBA, Mario Chalmers will end up being one great role player if he stays in Miami. With the correct grooming from his teammates and coaching staff, Chalmers has the potential to be a true difference-maker.
Chalmers has a little maturing to do on the court, including ball-handling issues and staying out of foul trouble, but he could fit well by staying in Miami.
While not the best shooter on the court, Chalmers remains a streaky shooter that is an ideal option for a spot-up jumper from long range. Along with that, he has quick hands defensively and has the knack for causing turnovers to careless ball-handlers.
With many great point guards in the NBA, Chalmers will find starting opportunities to be slim pickings if he decides to test free agency.
Thaddeus Young watched his minutes take a significant dive in 2010-11, but he will be a crucial sixth man for any team willing to give him the money. However, don't count him out as a breakout player who could string together some All-Star seasons.
Young shot an impressive 54 percent from the field last season while showing he can be a versatile scorer on the floor. With his size often being questioned, Young still shows he can finish strong at the rim and knock down mid-range shots.
Philadelphia could be active very soon with the option of trading the dangerous Andre Iguodala, which would only open up more time for Young if they decide to keep him.
If not, Young could end up being one of the most highly-coveted free agents in the signing period.
Let's not forget about the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. While he has been considered a bust due to injuries, Greg Oden is still a risky player that could give a team a high reward.
Oden is a rather efficient scoring option offensively with the ability to swat shots at an elite level defensively. He is a seven-footer with a big frame who can battle inside with any big man around.
Given he holds up from falling apart, look for Oden to possibly shed the "bust" label and be a solid piece for a growing Portland squad.
Based on the honest lack of talented centers in the NBA, Oden would surely be worth a nice contract if a team is serious enough.
Marcus Thornton is really coming into his own, molding himself into a versatile scorer with an ability to put up big games regularly. Once he finally got a trade that opened up more minutes, Thornton turned heads with a stellar second half of the season—perhaps one of the best in the league.
Thornton exploded last season after being acquired by the Sacramento Kings, averaging 21.3 points in 27 games. It was the first time we have seen him in an expanded role, and he did not disappoint.
With decent size, Thornton can play either guard position and would complement Tyreke Evans nicely in the backcourt.
Thornton is becoming a safe ball-handler and has shown he deserves a nice contract for a building team. While Sacramento could be listed as the favorite to sign Thornton, don't be surprised to see many teams bid on the potential NBA All-Star.