Culture vs. Minutes
I was listening to Stan Van Gundy the other night and I thought it was interesting when he pointed out that just because young guys go into a bad situation and get minutes...it doesn't necessarily mean they'll improve at a faster pace than a guy on a team with established veterans who get less minutes. A couple guys that come to mind as examples are MKG and Jeremy Lamb. I think being a part of that Thunder team, a winning, well-constructed organization top to bottom with veteran leadership (D Fish, Collinson, Sefalosa?, Perk, KD, and Russ) has helped him immensely as far as confidence and work ethic. Now you look at MKG's situation in Charlotte and obviously you have a team made up of mostly young guys who have yet to find success in the L. I think this also points to the possible strategy of MJ, draft guys with high character and work ethic who you don't have to worry about as far as putting in the work (i.e. Zeller, Bismack, Kemba, MKG Morrison, Henderson). When I think about it I actually like the idea if in fact that was Mike's thought on the teams he's tried to put together, winners who instill a winning attitude and provide leadership and accountability. Obviously they've yet to see great success but still not a bad idea. At any rate I just thought it was interesting to think about where a guy lands and the effects that it has on different players.
Is there any fallen hyped prospects (cough, Gerald Green, cough) that comes to mind that may of been successful in another organization, or maybe a quality player who was lucky to land where they did (Danny Green, cough, cough)
I would say that if you are a young team you HAVE to get good character guys. Otherwise, your team will implode.
For veteran teams, I think they can handle a wildcard or two better, but probably no more than that.
No matter how good a young player is, he can ALWAYS learn from the veterans. Which is why even young teams need a few veterans sprinkled in.
I think MJ had the right idea in Charlotte to go after high character guys in the draft. Their team isn't good and they missed on some guys like Adam Morrison, but they do have Kemba Walker, MKG, Gerald Henderson, and now Cody Zeller. I think they can build something solid there. They then went out and got a solid veteran guy in Al Jefferson to even things out. For a small market club like Charlotte, they primarily have to build through the draft, and then not overpay for free agents. They can't afford to build super teams, and the top tier superstars don't want to go there, so they have to be more prudent in running the team. Drafting high character guys is a great first step in building a solid franchise.