If the lockout lasts an entire year, what happens to contracts that expire following the 2011-12 season? Do they expire anyway, or does the contract extend through 2012-13?
Coon: A contract that is scheduled to expire following the 2011-12 season should expire on June 30, 2012, whether or not the season is played.
This means it's possible that 2012 free agents -- like Dwight Howard -- may have already played their last game for their current teams. Nervous teams had the opportunity to make a trade by June 30 to avoid the risk of losing these players without compensation. However, no such trade was completed, which may indicate either some faith in their ability to hang on to their potential free agents, or in the league's ability to resolve the labor dispute before the season is lost. It is also possible for the two sides to mutually agree that 2011-12 "didn't happen," so all contracts will simply be pushed back by one year. Therefore this is all subject to negotiation.