Every October, we read about how this title contender or that up-and-coming team added talent during the offseason. The question is, how big of an impact does that talent make?
Often the best and most impactful talent is sitting on a team's current roster. It's important to look for teams that either have a player who is ready for a breakout season or one who can bring talented players in through an in-season trade (a less common but still powerful possibility).
Though the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden just before the 2012-13 season opened, his absence opened up more possessions for their top two players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The result? The Thunder enjoyed the best regular season in team history, earning the league's highest average margin of victory since 2000.
Likewise, the Indiana Pacers watched as two of their young stars, Roy Hibbert and Paul George, dramatically improved when the team needed them most after Danny Granger was lost early last season to a knee injury. Hibbert's and George's elevated play has elevated the Pacers to the status of an elite team.
This season, one player could have a similar impact, not only because of his talent but also because of what he could bring if he were traded -- Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. Here's an examination of Asik, his trade value and a couple of potential deals involving him: