So, as you might have heard, the end of the 2011 NBA Lockout is imminent. Here are a few things that will be out of the ordinary for this lockout-shortened NBA Season.
- There are some teams, most notably the Denver Nuggets, who will most likely have to spend the season without key players. J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler, and Kenyon Martin are all tied up in Chinese contracts, which have no NBA-out clause. J.R. Smith was close to being cut, but should his team want him, there's nothing he can do.
- Though not as significant, Aaron Brooks will also be missing this season.
- Additionally, there are a lot of lower level players in Europe, like Sonny Weems, who have no NBA-out clause at all. This will create opportunities for several D-Leaguers or other players looking for an NBA comeback attempt.
- Newly signed players, like Lamar Odom and Tyreke Evans, might not appear for their foreign clubs at all.
- The landscape of the Euroleague will be vastly changed. Teams that heavily rely on foreign stars, like CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Tel Aviv, might see a significant hit to their talent.
- Free Agency will start on December 9th, when we will see players actually start to sign with teams. With Martin, Smith, Chandler, and Brooks all in China, big Free Agency names will include Glen Davis, Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, Nene, Tayshaun Prince, Shane Battier, Michael Redd, David West, Jason Richardson, Andrei Kirilenko, and Yi Jianlian. Full List here.
- We will see some games cut out of the team's schedules. I wrote about it here, but it's not clear which games will be cut yet. Likely possibilities are games against non-divisional opponents and/or opponents from the other conference, given how the NBA was so dead-set on retaining divisional games after the last lockout.
- We will see some of the much dreaded back-to-back-to-back games, as in games that must be played on three consecutive days.
- Player Movement will be more frequent. Via Henry Abbott of TrueHoop:
You know you love the excitement of a trade. And there’s going to be more of that. The old CBA went to some trouble to keep teams united. The new one, not so much. The league noticed that LeBron James’ desertion of Cleveland spurred more interest in the NBA, not, as feared, less. It’s no accident the new system will inspire a lot of player movement.
Revenue sharing will be a factor here, too. While a lot of the CBA fight was about the rich teams adding free agents, the deal's biggest effect might be at the other end of the spending spectrum. The stingiest teams ought to be ready to join the bidding to add salaries here and there. That's a win for small markets and for free agents.
- Basketball Related Income for the players will go down to 50/50.
- There are still some players and owners who are not happy with the deal. If, for some reason, the deal is not ratified by both sides, the NBA season is most likely lost. This is not likely to happen though.