Injuries are the NBA planner's worst nightmare. Organizations spend years building toward a future that may never arrive, and a random injury is often to blame. Sometimes it's an innocent gym bag that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Other times it's a teammate's toe that interrupts a player's scheduled meeting between foot and floor. Random or not, each injury alters the NBA landscape.
As the regular season begins, we're again reminded that a franchise's future is as fragile as its players, but some teams will hurt more than others. Here are nine key injured players from around the league as the season tips off, grouped by how much their absence will affect their squads.