The impending NBA lockout that had threatened for months has now been averted, with teams headed back to the court starting Christmas Day. Teams across the country are currently readying themselves to the campaign with training camps and player acquisitions, making it an interesting time to be an NBA fan. Schedules for teams across the country were also released Friday, including those for the LA Clippers. The Clippers will commence their season at home on Dec. 30 when they welcome league powerhouse Chicago to the Staples Center. With electrifying players like Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin ready to do battle, it’s not hard to imagine that Los Angeles Clippers games are already starting soon!

But the question remains: Will the Clippers be able to take the next step? To that end, they have just completed the signing of Caron Butler from the Dallas Mavericks and are also rumored to have set their sights on a slate of other players including Chris Paul, one of the most talented players in the entire NBA. Butler is a 31-year-old veteran who began his career with the Miami Heat before playing for the Lakers and the Washington Wizards. The small forward is a two-time NBA All-Star and was appointed to the NBA All Rookie First Team in 2003. He was an NBA Champion in 2010-2011 and Big East Player of the Year in 2002 showing fans that he has plenty of pelts on the wall during his basketball career. Surgery sidelined Butler for much of his one season with the Mavericks, but he will likely be looking for fresh start with the Clippers and will be eager to lead the Clippers’ attack.

Chris Paul on the other hand is a point guard who is still currently with the New Orleans Hornets, though that may only be for the moment. The 25-year-old is a former NBA Rookie of the Year and a four-time NBA All-Star player. Paul has only just narrowly avoided being traded to the Lakers early in the preseason, setting the NBA . However, an LA move could still be in the cards for the player, albeit to the Clippers instead. One way or another, it seems Chris Paul could possibly be playing his home games at the Staples Center this season, which would obviously suit Clippers fans quite nicely.

With Butler already signed and Paul or others likely on the way, the Clippers look set to emerge as a revitalized team next season. Of course, with Paul’s potential arrival likely to be an ongoing process, there remain other questions. Will Eric Gordon depart? Is it possible he’ll be offered in partial trade for Paul? There is also still the outside chance that the Clippers will succeed in signing DeAndre Jordan, another talented player who could be a big part of the team for years to come. With many questions still out there, it won’t be long before Clippers fans start to get some answers.