To help with this, I have compiled a subjective view of our roster based on production and potential. In this view, I think we need to talk about "potential" in a new way. For example,, it is common to point to Marcus Thornton's lack of potential as a major flaw. While it is true that no one should expect Thornton to be an elite player due to some physical limitations (size and agility), it does not mean he lacks potential. He has two forms of potential that are important to remember: (1) he can improve by doing things like becoming a more efficient scorer better picking his spots and/or becoming a better team defender, and (2) even if he does not improve, it is reasonable to expect him to play at his already high level for the next 6-8 years due to his age.
Current production is simple: how did the player perform last year/in the last few years? I think this tier system is helpful when talking about our roster. Basically, the top two tiers are our core assets. If you say we need 7 or 8 good players to compete in this league, then this is why we are a lottery team. In my eyes, we currently have 4 good players. You could persuade me that we have 5. A few others have the potential to jump into the top 8.
Would love to hear what you guys think... From this standpoint, it makes sense to start Tyreke at the 3, as he is one of our 4 quality players that is young with potential. I also think this system helps with the drafting discussion. Where do you see a #5 draft pick fitting in this assessment in the first season?
Tier 1 (Starter Production/Star Potential): Demarcus Cousins & Tyreke Evans
These players are already good players deserving of a starting role/or at least a large bench role on a good team. They also have the potential/high ceiling that suggests a possibility of becoming a top end NBA player worthy of being a top 3 player on a playoff team.
Tier 2 (Starter Production/Starter Potential): Marcus Thornton & Isaih Thomas
Very good players. Physically limited to extreme growth, yet young and able to improve efficiency and BBall IQ. Already worthy of being a rotation player on a playoff team.
I think these guys currently warrant rotation spots, albeit to varying degrees. On a playoff team, I would expect Thompson to be a 3rd or 4th big. Williams would be a 10-15 min guy. Jimmer would be a shooting specialist who ranges between DNPs and 10 min depending on matchups. They are all young and could conceivably be high end rotation players/starters in the future.
Hassan and Tyler possess more potential as having less time in the league. Still, Donte possesses some nice tools, he just seems to lack a feel for the game. He might figure it out a bit if ends up on a good team (e.g. San Antonio) who gives him a clear role.
These guys all are questionable as current rotation players on a playoff team. Similar to Jimmer, most of these guys probably range between DNP and 10 min. depending on matchups. They are all not projected to improve.