The stretch run for a team to upgrade its roster prior to training camp is here, and there are still a few guys who can help a team hoping to make a championship run. While the big names may be gone, one of these players can make a difference to a team, provided he is the exact type of player the team needs to complete its rotation.
GMs like to think of their players as pieces on a chessboard with predictable movements (meaning production) so that a coach can strategize around the strengths and weaknesses of the team. And just because we're heading into mid-September does not mean that additions are no longer meaningful. On Sept. 22, 2005, chess master Pat Riley added one more pawn to his stacked squad, a former star named Gary Payton. He knew that Payton would give him clutch play and veteran experience in a championship drive. Payton did just that against the Mavericks.
So which player of the remaining candidates can be this year's key addition for a future champion?