Summer of 2008 could shape up to be something special

It's the summer of 2007, which means it's time to start thinking about free agents. Oh, not this year's free agents -- I took a look at them in March, and our Chris Sheridan will have much more on that gang early next week.

No, it's time to look ahead a year.

2008 is the backdrop for the 2007 free-agent season, because some teams will be using the potential free-agent crop a year from now to guide decisions on how they manage their cap space this summer. And with Washington's Gilbert Arenas announcing recently that he plans to opt out of his contract next summer, the '08 free-agent season is unofficially underway already.