Every offseason, there's pressure - lots of pressure - on NBA general managers to go out and find enough talent to compete.
Just imagine that pool of talent being smaller with players defecting to Europe and China.
And the time frame to pursue free agents prior to the start of the season? Not only is it cut down, but it actually starts the same day as training camp.
Welcome to NBA free agency 2011, where GMs will be challenged in ways they never have before.
Few teams have as many holes to fill as the Celtics.
They currently have six players under contract, and a seventh, Jeff Green, is a restricted free agent that the C's have repeatedly said they want to re-sign.
Green shares that same sentiment.
"I would love to be back," he told CSNNE.com recently. "But the one thing this lockout has taught all of us players; this is a business first. So we'll see how everything plays out."
Boston also plans to sign its two draft picks from Purdue, JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore.
That would give the Celtics nine players, with the need to add at least four more.
Ainge said earlier that because the C's have so many needs, there's not necessarily a pecking order for what positions they will target first.
"I know it's a cliche, but where we are, we really do have to take the best players because when you look at our numbers, there's a need for us at a lot of positions," Ainge said.
And as far as the short period of time to wheel and deal, Ainge isn't overly concerned about that, either.
"We're no different than anybody else," he said.
Just like every other team, Ainge's decision-making will be under even greater scrutiny now. Because putting a championship-caliber team together has to be done quicker than ever.
And in doing so, the so-called GM geniuses will have a chance to prove they are indeed as good as advertised.