In an ideal world every starter on a basketball team would be a "five-tool" player; they would have the ability to create their own shot, defend their position, shoot, pass and rebound. But almost every NBA player has at least one hole in their game—be it a suspect outside shot, an inability to move their feet on the perimeter or a shaky handle.
As a result, "fit" is as important as talent in constructing a team. Building a championship contender is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle—sometimes two pieces, no matter how impressive they are individually, just don't fit well together.
The best teams don't just have the best players; they have the best pieces around them as well.
Offensively, a good front-court should have a player who can score at the rim and a player who can spread the floor. Defensively, one of your bigs should be able to defend on the perimeter and one should be able to protect the rim.
** The Dallas Mavericks' bigs are a great example of a "good fit." Dirk Nowitzki can score from anywhere on the floor, which means that Tyson Chandler's inability to do anything besides dunk isn't too relevant. And just as Dirk makes up for Chandler's flaws offensively, Chandler has Dirk's back on defense. Chandler can guard any type of front-court player, which allows the Mavericks to always hide Dirk on the other team's worst big man. **
On the perimeter, you need at least two three-point shooters, otherwise the defense can clog the middle of the floor and dare non-shooters to beat them from beyond the arc. To complement the shooters, you need at least one guy who can create his own shot off the dribble and create open looks for less talented players.
With the NBA's trading deadline approaching, here are six duos that, despite their impressive individual talent, need to be broken up because of a poor fit.