Training camp is finally here, and all over the NBA, position battles have commenced as players attempt to show their value, either as rookies making their first impressions or veterans eager to show what they learned over summer vacation.
The NBA version of "roster musical chairs" does not often carry the same heavy stakes of employment that is a staple of NFL training camp because most of the contracts are guaranteed and, in many cases, positions have already been filled.
Still, the reality is that competition for roles and playing time is still a nonstop process in the NBA, as a few extra possessions and minutes here and there can lead to much more lucrative contracts for players down the line. In the context of the musical chairs analogy, in the NBA everyone with a guaranteed contract has a seat, but what players are fighting for when the music stops is to sit closer to the window and farther from the restrooms.
From a team perspective, the goal is to achieve the alchemy that results in the most effective player combinations, whether that means fielding the most potent lineup or ensuring that there's always a playmaker on the floor. As such, a starting job does not amount to a referendum on "who are the best five players on my team," as we've seen talents in the past like Manu Ginobili and James Harden come off the bench in favor of lesser players.
Here are three situations where jobs are at stake, along with a look at the possible candidates to fill the positions: