The key for the front office is figuring out where the problem lies.
In his article, Lombardi discusses how legendary coach Bill Walsh (pictured at left) always had two lists: A "Must List" of areas where his teams MUST improve, and a "Need List" of spots that could use an upgrade, but aren't as critical.
Lombardi also writes that it's not enough to simply identify quality players. How does a player match up against the teams/key opponents in his division? Winning divisional games is critical for a team's overall success. It's an interesting point that's often overlooked in the NBA, where some players are better equipped to play in one conference over the other.
In the end, says Lombardi, it comes down to finding "diamonds in the rough" -- mid-priced guys (and role players) in free agency and the draft who can make "vital contributions."