This is meant to be the time of year when rumours fly around about trades, teams talking up news of rookie development and dreams of training camps. Instead, we find ourselves reading articles about the NBA Lockout. We have to look at David Stern with his silly grin instead of watching Blake Griffin throwing down a flurry of dunks at practice. We have to read about Derek Fisher and his negotiation tactics instead of hearing about the Lakers and what they are going to do to stop the Mavs next season. I don’t know about you, but I’m already sick of it. The off-season is usually about player movements and coaching changes as well as the hype that comes with trades and teams as they work with new structures and defensive strategies leading into a prospective new season. What we have now, pure and simple with a lockout, is the prospect of no NBA games come October. This can’t be good for any of the interested parties, most of all the fans. The only fascinating aspect of the off-season we have at the moment is if Gilbert Arenas says anything ridiculous on Twitter or if Ron Artest, sorry, I meant Metta World Peace, decides to change his name again. The players can’t talk to the coaches, the franchises can’t talk to the players! Rumours abounding the internet are about where some players may go if they decide to take money from any of the European teams. Please say it isn't so. Coming off the back of one of the greatest playoff series ever, so many questions are being asked of next season. Can LeBron James step up off the canvas and show what he is made off? Can the big German Dirk relive his form of the finals series and send Dallas into the Finals again? Can one of the biggest franchises in the game, the New York Knicks, add to the roster and become a contender much to the expectation of many New Yorkers? [caption id="attachment_1273" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="Ron Artest, AKA Metta World Peace, is one of many NBA players who has expressed interest in playing overseas during the lockout."][/caption] Put simply, this past season, which may have been the best season since Jordan was a Bull, could all be in vain unless we can get a resolution between the players association and the team owners. Money may make the world go round but when push comes to shove it, can also bring everything to a sudden halt. The players make enough money to give a little. The owners of the franchises surely can agree to the terms set by the players, right? Wrong. This could go on for a while and could either end up at two outcomes; A shortened season or a whole season wiped out. So what do we do? Well, I have decided to come up with a few options for those addicted NBA fans that need something over the Aussie summer/American winter when the stadiums in the US are normally full with the NBA pro’s running around. I have decided to go with an Aussie theme, considering the no.1 draft pick Kyrie Irving is Australian. We will claim him, at least for the benefit of this article. Build the local game. Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut are going to have some spare time, so how about they come back to Australia and help out the flagging NBL? The NBL, who gained some momentum last season after struggling for a few years, would welcome some much needed publicity. Rumours have been circulating about Mills returning to the Adelaide 36ers for a season if the lockout continues. Mills, who has a pending contract with the Portland Trailblazers, would love some extra court time since he only averaged a little over 11 minutes and 5.5 PPG last season. Maybe Bogut, a Melbournian, could help out the Melbourne Tigers after they had a season to forget? His presence in the middle would bring some big-time excitement to the league. A little too optimistic? Probably, the chances of this happening are zero to impossible, but at least it would provide some hope of watching some NBA players with an Aussie fragrance locally. Euroleague anyone? David Andersen, who had limited time with the New Orleans Hornets after a trade from Toronto, has recently signed back on with Montepaschi Siena in Italy, so his future may be more secure at this point in time compared to the NBA outlook. Andersen made a name for himself in the Italian A League, Russian Superleague and Spanish ACB league, winning numerous titles and also earning all Euroleague first team honours. Other Aussie players to flourish in Europe include Joe Ingles, David Barlow and Nathan Jawai. This could be an option if any of the big name NBA players follow the money and play over the lockout period for one of the bigger Euro teams. The European leagues appear to be a happy hunting ground for NBA talent scouts if the most recent draft is anything to go by, and with Deron Williams looking likely to be in a Besiktas jersey throughout the duration of the lockout, many more NBA players may join the exodus to Europe. What about the WNBA? There are numerous Australians playing WNBA at the moment, with none bigger than the 2011 WNBA no.2 draft pick Liz Cambage who has had a good start to her career with the Tulsa Shock. Lauren Jackson has made a name for herself in the WNBA for many years now and continues to put up good numbers for the Seattle Storm. Jackson is ranked as one of the best women basketballer’s in the world, having won the WNBA MVP three times and a WNBA championship twice. The last time the NBA had a lockout was in 1989-99 and the season was shortened to 50 games. Hopefully both parties can find a resolution to the new collective bargaining agreement and we can get a full season of NBA basketball. Until then, with the outlook a little frightening, all we can do is sit back and pray that some sort of agreement is worked out sooner rather than later. The only basketball to watch is the NBA and if the season does fail to materialise it could be a much longer off season than many had hoped.