Grab bag: Get your locks out

During the slower times during the offseason (of which there could be many in a bummer summer with a potential lockout looming), we’ll occasionally reach into our Celtics Mailbag and pull out a question to field in the blog. Hop HERE to submit a question:

Q: With the lockout looming, will the Celtics be able to talk to, or sign free agents after July 1, and if not, how will any team be able to work out deals with free agents? -- Chris (Mount Vernon, N.Y.)

A: Thursday could be the last day of official NBA business for a while with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire when the clock strikes midnight. Teams cannot sign any free agents, nor ink any rookie deals, until the offseason officially begins, which means a new CBA must be in place. The only possible moves you'll see made Thursday are qualifying offers being extended (C's should formally do that with Jeff Green), options being picked up or declined, and maybe the rare extension being inked (like Oklahoma City's Nazr Mohammed did Wednesday).

Until that new CBA is achieved and the parameters by which all the teams will operate moving forward are established, no team can sign a free agent (not even an undrafted player like Pittsburgh shooting guard Gilbert Brown, who visited Boston this week and will have to wait out the lockout like the rest of this year's rookies). What's typically a busy and exciting month of July could be a snoozefest filled with headlines about owners and union reps meeting all across the country.

Here's the latest lockout coverage: