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NBA lockout: Which teams benefit most, least?

  Derek Fisher discusses the NBA lockout
Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for their responses and feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment of your own.

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Considering their lame-duck status in New Jersey, the Nets would prefer the NBA calendar simply flip to 2012-13, when they become the Brooklyn Nets.

The NBA's ultimate limbo franchise, one awaiting a new location and a new arena, the Nets still are looking to add one more piece to their core, while trying to lock up Deron Williams as a component of that core.

In a perfect world, the Nets wouldn't have to bother with another game in front of sparse crowds in Newark.

By contrast, the team that least benefits from an extended lockout is the Heat, with each day without basketball meaning a day without the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Remember, the clock is ticking, with each of the three eligible to opt out of their contracts in the 2014 offseason. Micky Arison and Pat Riley will never have as much to sell as they do now.

Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel

A prolonged lockout could deliver a one-two punch to the Orlando Magic and the city of Orlando beyond the labor dispute’s universal cost: depriving game-night workers and local businesses of badly needed income.

Superstar center Dwight Howard will be eligible to opt out of his contract during the summer of 2012. So if the entire 2011-12 season is canceled, it's possible that he already has played his last game for Orlando.

Central Florida residents also worry that the 2012 All-Star game, scheduled for Amway Center on Feb. 26, will be canceled. If the game is canceled, Orlando is all but certain to host the game in 2014 — but that's small consolation because Central Florida's economy is slumping badly right now.

The only teams that would benefit from a prolonged lockout are those that stand to lose the most money by playing games in 2011-12 under the old collective bargain agreement.

Photo: Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players union, talks to reporters about the league's labor dispute. Credit: David Karp / Associated Press.

 
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