Free agency is the first thing on the NBA's schedule this offseason once this lockout ends. It is both a time when bad teams try to sign superstars in order to become relevant again, and a time where contenders try to find the perfect role players to solidify their bench.
We are going to focus on those role players.
There are obviously some players in free agency that every team would love to have, like Nene from the Denver Nuggets and Tyson Chandler from the Dallas Mavericks, but every year it becomes clearer that having depth is as important as having superstars.
Just take a look at the 2011 NBA Finals for proof.
The Dallas Mavericks centered their team around superstar Dirk Nowitzki, building a perfect roster of role players to complement the German forward. Players like Peja Stojakovic, J.J. Barea, and even Brian Cardinal became integral pieces in the Mavericks' title run.
I have chosen five types of role players: the "Glue Guy," the "Hustle Guy," the "Three-Point Shooter," the "Defensive Specialist," and the "Dynamic Scorer."
None of these players are starters, but they are all guys that should be looked at by contenders who are trying to deepen their bench.
We know that superstars win championships, but we also know that they don't win it without a little help from these next five guys.
*I only chose players who were NOT starters last season (except Chuck Hayes who started because of an injury to starting center Yao Ming).