Last season, the free-agent pickings were a bona-fide feast of amazing players and jaw-dropping storylines. This year’s free-agent pool isn’t quite as dazzling, but the lockout-shortened season means Friday will kick off a fast and furious barrage of business, movement and change. In 2010, the free-agency period kicked off July 1 and gave us LeBron James’ “The Decision” and a cluster of All-Stars like Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh changing teams. Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, prized free agents themselves, stayed where they were. In 2011, though, teams will have only a few weeks to sign free agents, adapt to a new collective bargaining agreement and make preseason trades before games begin on Christmas day. Here’s a primer on just what to expect. Who are the best players available? While there’s no Big Three to be scooped up, players like Nene and Tyson Chandler could be key additions to teams looking to make a jump forward. They’re among the best players out there for teams that still need to spend the league-required amount of money on their payrolls before the season starts, not to mention those teams that are one more talent away from truly contending. True centers… Read full this story
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