While not all trades or free-agent signings work out as planned (right, Lamar?), an offseason addition can mean the difference between making the playoffs and spending late spring on an early vacation. Whether a player provides MVP-like numbers or veteran leadership to a youthful squad, adding the right player to the right team can prove to be a difficult process. Let's look at the top five offseason acquisitions of the 2011/2012 and see how these players impacted their respective teams.
- Chris Paul: Almost landing with the other Los Angeles team, Paul has done wonders for the Clippers as the squad has solidified its standing as one of the best in the Western Conference. The former Wake Forest star has given the youthful team an identity while improving the play of his teammates, especially young big men Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. With averages of 19.3 PPG and 8.9 APG, Paul is among the top contenders for league MVP.
- Tyson Chandler: After helping the Mavericks take the NBA title last season, Chandler landed with the Knicks after it became clear the squad wasn't going to be able to land Paul or Dwight Howard. Brought in to provide a big body in the paint and championship experience, Chandler has exceeded all expectations with his quality of play and locker room leadership. While factors outside of Chandler's control have kept the Knicks from achieving their lofty preseason goals, the team could still make some noise in the playoffs as the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
- Jeremy Lin*: Technically acquired after the start of the season (two days after Christmas), Lin captivated the basketball world with a dynamic style of play during the month of February. The undrafted former Harvard star struggled in his first season as a member of the Warriors before going on to average 14.6 PPG and 6.1 APG in 35 appearances with the Knicks. Unfortunately for Lin, his season came to an early end when he had surgery on April 3rd to repair a torn meniscus.
- Shane Battier: Not known for his ability to score 20 points in a game or grab double-digit rebounds, Battier has made a living in the NBA by playing highly-effective basketball. The former Duke star has provided exceptional defense to a Heat squad loaded with offensive firepower. As his value to his team doesn't always show up in the box score, Battier must be judged beyond his 4.8 PPG and 2.3 RPG with the Heat.
- Brandon Bass: With sincere apologies to David West, the Celtics' trade with the Magic to rid themselves of Glen Davis netted them arguably the fifth-best acquisition of the entire 2011/2012 offseason. Originally slotted to provide the Celtics' second unit with depth and a youthful spark off the bench, Bass' role quickly shifted when injuries plagued the team's roster. Given the opportunity to start regularly for the first time in his career, Bass has responded with 12.3 PPG and 6.1 RPG as the squad's starting power forward.