Re: Some Conceptual Questions
Q: What is the value of having one player who can draw double teams on improving the efficiency of teammates?
A [Michael Tamada]: "I'd think pretty high, IF that player has good passing ability. (This may all change under the new defensive rules.) Jordan could draw double teams and in doing so make his teammates better (exhibit A: John Paxson and Steve Kerr). Elvin Hayes and Spencer Haywood could draw double teams, but they were black holes into which basketballs disappeared. Good players, legitimate all-pros in terms of individual talent, but they didn't make their teammates better to the extent that a Jordan, Kareem, etc. did."
Great answer, passing is the key. However, I want to make a small semantic suggestion and use Steve Kerr to illustrate it. Steve Kerr from 1989 to 1995 made 288 of 617 trey attempts (.466) in 7929 minutes. That's about 3.7 trey attempts per 48 minutes. With Mike from 1996 to 1998, Kerr made 289 of 604 trey attempts (.478) in 4899 minutes. That's about 5.9 trey attempts per 48 minutes.
So the semantic change I want to make is to say Mike made the game EASIER for Steve Kerr, he didn't make Steve Kerr BETTER or more efficient. I mean, given the open shot Kerr has always knocked them down with basically the same regularity throughout his career. Making shots is a direct result of Kerr's skill, not Mike's skill. What Mike did was draw the double and make it easier for Kerr to get open and thus have more opportunities to shoot the ball. But a player has to have an existing strength, Mike couldn't do anything for Brad Sellers.
By extension I would make the same argument for Bird or Magic, a defense is so busy trying to stop them, it will give up stuff to the others cats. And the passing gives those other cats the opportunity to shine, it's up to them what they make of the opportunity.