1171Re: [APBR_analysis] Andre Miller and Clipper free agents
- Aug 1, 2002
On Thu, 1 Aug 2002, harlanzo wrote:
> Overall, Sterling has been pretty right about not paying for talent.
Good points, although team context means a lot also. Players will perform
differently and appear different depending on their role on a team.
Harper's probably the best example, he really was a legit all-star level
player with the Clips, but knee injuries slowed him down and when he went
to the Bulls his job was to be a big defensive guard. But he was Clyde
Drexler Lite with the Clips (and was showing that talent at Cleveland too,
before he was traded to the Clips -- 23 ppg as a rookie.)
Manning and Smith were also players who truly were at all-star level --
but marginal all-stars, and certainly not all-pro level (ie. the
difference between say Detlef Schrempf vs Shawn Kemp in his prime -- they
were more Schrempf-like than Kempian). Put into other contexts, they can
become non-all-stars or appear to.
But you're right that many of the other players definitely were not star
level players. Vaught was starter quality, but as a below average
starter. Mo Taylor never impressed me.
> Barry and Wright seemed ok but only at the right price. I know a lot
Yeah, Wright's a decent role player but nothing more. Barry never
impressed me with the Clips either. Of course since coming to Seattle has
had some amazing efficiency stats. So he turned into a starter quality
player, possibly an above average starter.
> of these guys do not seem great today but the players seemed to have
> the same glow of potential that a lot of the guys the clips have
> today do. Does this mean Sterling should let all these guys go too?
> no, I think brand and miller are keepers. (olowokandi is probably
> not at the max). But to write off sterling as a cheapskate ignores
> that he was correct on most of his decisions. I am not saying he
He was correct not to pay them as if they were all-pro players. E.g.
Manning was the first player drafted, and he did have a good career, but
was never a guy who deserved to be paid like an all-pro.
But that doesn't mean Sterling was correct to let them walk. Manning may
not have been an all-pro but he was marginal all-star level.
> runs a good team and that he could do some things differently but I
> would be very wary paying too much for q richardson, maggette,
> olowokandi, mcinnis & miles (who are gone already), and even the
> stars brand and miller.
The current paradigm in the NBA is that you need to have at least one
ultra-superstar, preferably two, to win a championship. And the rest is
just supporting cast. Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem, Jordan. With help of course
from Kobe, David Robinson, and Pippen (Hakeem amazingly managed to win
with nothing but supporting players).
The trouble with the Clips (and with most teams) is that even their best
playes are not at that ultra-superstar level. Brand is very good, but
he's not Bob Pettit, and the Bulls traded him away because they perceived
that he was an all-star level player but not ultra-superstar. Miller's
not at that level either (although he's young and developing and still has
a chance to reach that level).
So the Clips roster, even if Sterling keeps his talent and lets those
youngsters mature, is probably not a championship roster.
But does that mean that Sterling would be right to let his talent walk, as
he did with his early 1990s talent? I don't think so for two reasons.
First, very few teams have championship level talent. Just because
you're not the Lakers doesn't mean that your team is a failure and you
should bust up the team and let the talent walk. Second, who's to say
that the ultra-superstar paradigm will continue to be the correct one?
There have been teams that have won championships without ultra-superstar
talent, the 1979 Sonics being the most well-known example (not a single
Hall of Famer on their roster). But I'd put the Pistons in that category
also: Isiah's a Hall of Famer and arguably was an ultra-superstar, but
I'd put him more in the all-pro category -- he was never an MVP for
example. Those Pistons teams won by having great depth of talent,
rather than just having 1 or 2 ultra-superstars.
So Sterling should not pay his talented roster as if he's got a bunch of
all-pros on that roster. You are correct that they're not. But he does
have what appear to be a number of future marginal all-stars, or better,
and he'll have a good team (maybe not a championship one but a good one)
it he keeps them together. Getting Miller was a good move. Figuring out
what to do with Olowokandi, and how much to pay him, is the tough
decision, as we've mentioned before. His price will almost certainly
exceed his true contribution level. But if Sterling doesn't pay him, he
risks a domino effect and losing much of his young talent.
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