I believe we as a team are at a crossroads. When I look at our roster, it seems that the decision Petrie makes on Tyreke is the key to shaping the roster going forward, and what we should do depends completely on your view of him as a player and his ability to develop.
If you think Reke has elite talent and untapped potential, you keep him and really commit to building around him. This decision means moving him to his preferred position, which as best as I can tell is a ball-dominant 2. In this scenario, you move Marcus Thorton to the bench in the James Harden
role as a super sub, and you have a 3 guard rotation primarily of IT, Thorton and Reke (with Jimmer's development taking a major hit in playing time). Also, it's absolutely crucial to get a 3 or 4 that can stretch the defense and shoot consistently from the outside. Lastly, as a team, you are fully prepared to pay him handsomely when his rookie deal ends as he is a building block for the team’s future, and you need to allocate your salary cap space accordingly.
Best case scenario here is that Tyreke starts to develop a jumper and more of a mid-range game that makes him a well rounded player. He also embraces his role as a defensive stopper, exerting just as much or more effort on that side of the ball as he does on the offensive end. And, he needs to start doing more of the little things that help teams win (i.e., stay alert on defense, score efficiently, share the ball, make the right play as opposed the spectacular one, etc.).
On the other hand, if you think Tyreke is a talented but ultimately flawed, one-dimensional player that is an odd fit for the team, or if you believe he is determined to force his way out in a year or two because he is unhappy with his role, or if you think he is going to demand close to a max deal that you can't realistically see ever paying given his lack of development, you must look to move him now as he will probably never have more value because he has a year before becoming a restriced free agent. If you keep him any longer, I believe you begin to lose leverage because teams will determine that they are not paying maximum value for a player that is going to be a free agent soon and can be had on the open market.
Best case scenario here is you trade him either for a veteran player that is a borderline all-star with a contract in place(i.e., Rudy Gay
, Iggy, Granger) or you get something along the lines of the #2 pick in the draft, and restock the team with a young player that ideally is going to better fit the team concept moving forward. By restocking, you give yourself a chance at a player that could be as good or better, who will be locked up for a longer period of time on a cheap rookie scale (the importance of which can't be ignored given our ownerships' financial deficiencies).
So that's the big question: Should we be building around Reke or not? At this point, I don't think we can afford to take a wait and see approach, and simply hope for the best next year. We need to either commit to Tyreke and, in doing so, truely put him in a position to succeed, or we need to trade him, and leverage his value while we can. It is critical that Petrie makes the right decision on him because guessing wrong could set the team back years.
My greatest fear in this case that we remain innert and undecided. We continue to evaluate Tyreke without putting him in his natural position, and we as an organization don't play to his strengths, which inevitably leads to the decision not to resign him. Thus, he leaves in a year for nothing, wasting a golden opportunity to turn one of our best assets, a former Rookie of the Year, into something of lasting value. Furthermore, after we decide to part ways, another team puts him in a better situation, and he flourishes, becoming a more well-rounded player--even a perennial All-Star. This would be an an incredibly bitter pill to swallow, and unfortunately we seem headed in that direction.
So if you were in Petrie's shoes would you build around Tyreke or trade him while you still can?
(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)