Potential... What does it exactly mean to you guys?
Often this is the term that separates the good from the great on draft night. It is what people use to describe the "Next Big Thing" coming out of high school. It is why people still like OJ Mayo.....
But honestly what is it really?
I see Otto Porter at 7, Tony Mitchell at 19, and Rodney Williams at 36.
I see CJ McCollum at 17, Nate Wolters at 34, and Brandon Triche at 49.
You have all kinds of 4/5 players from Cody Zeller at 3 to Jordan Bachynski at 55.
I understand that these players arent exactly alike and I know that someone like Porter is clearly better right now than Williams and Zeller is clearly better than Bachynski.
But sometimes teams just miss. Someone that goes undrafted ends up better than the 5th overall pick. Clearly there are several different things that factor into it. But if someone like Wesley Matthews can end up better than someone like Wesley Johnson for example, doesn't that mean Matthews' potential was just as good, if not better? Or does it not have anything to do with it?
Bottom line, when you think of the term "potential" what factors into it the most? How important is it when drafting? And how long does that player carry that same kind of potential before it starts to dwindle away or go away completely?
Great Question and Great topic I always wondered that too. I would love to hear some great answers. Often people link athleticism to potential. So my question is, if the player loses that then do they lose their potential all of a sudden?
I generally think of potential as in "If this guy can just do _______, he can be a great player". It's usually either due to elite athleticism (Wes Johnson), a unique skillset (Carter-Williams, Royce White, Isiah Austin, etc.), or a guy that is extremely talented but maybe hasn't quite put it all together yet (Perry Jones).
Basically, anyone that's going to be a top 20 pick that isn't a safe pick is probably a pick based on potential. Someone like Trey Burke is a safe pick, because you pretty much know you're gonna get a smart PG with some good skills, but he probably won't develop that much; whereas someone like Carter-Williams isn't as good right now, but with his unique combination of body and skillset, he could end up developing into a stud.
I'm just curious as To why you say Burke is a safe pick and probably won't develop that much but MCW could end up being a stud.......MCW is almost a full year older then Burke. Don't hold it against Burke because he is already a stud on a team that has been top 5 all season. That doesn't mean he can't get better. I have never seen taking a small point guard as the "safe pick" unless he is CP3ish, which equals a stud with potential to get better........
MCW is more raw than Burke at this point. Burke has already developed his skills. He's a pretty good shooter, a pretty good passer, and a pretty good ball-handler. But he's too reliant on the pick and roll, he's a poor defender, doesn't bring rebounding to the table, and his lack of height and athleticism will make it hard on him at the next level.
MCW is a great rebounder for the guard position, he's a better passer at this point despite playing with a far more limited supporting cast, he can break his man down better, he's a better defender, he has the height to see over the defense with ease and has great court vision, and he's more athletic. MCW is one of those guys that looks like he'll be better at the NBA level than he is at the college level. Burke is the opposite.
So like I said your holding it against hime because he is already good. NBA is a pick and roll game. He is not a poor defender, he is a better athlete them peole give him cred for. He jumps and dunks with ease.....athletic finisher. MCW only averages 1 more rebound then him. You say syracuse team is "far" more limited....I don't agree with that. The CUSE have a squad. It only seems like michigan is that much better because Burke is that good I just don't like it when people say "his skills are developed" like his game can't get better.......that is just not true. MCW may never develop......he is already older than Burke. Point guards over 6'5 don't work in the league. I can't help but see CP3 when I see burke play. I'm sorry I just don't see the love affair with MCW......he is frail, turns the ball over a lot. Burke is the truth......
1. Trust me. I've been a Cuse fan all my life. This team is horrifically limited. James Southerland is the only guy that can shoot worth a damn. None of the big men can catch a pass. The rare time they are able to catch a pass, they can't make a layup or dunk if their lives depended on it. Meanwhile Burke's team is filled with 3 point shooters and a big man that can actually catch and finish every once in awhile. He's in a fantastic situation for himself while MCW is in a terrible one.
2. Yes, Burke is currently better than MCW, but he doesn't really have much room to grow IMO. MCW does.
3. Burke reminds me more of DJ Augustine. MCW reminds me of Shaun Livingston/Jason Kidd/Greivis Vasquez.
4. MCW has done a much better job since the Notre Dame game. He's gone back to being a distributor first and isn't really turning the ball over much anymore either, and he'll get stronger at the next level.
Thanks for the feedback guys you both make good points that I agree with.
I actually started this thread because I was thinking dang Rodney Williams could be a steal in the second round. He has so much potential because of his length and athleticism. Then I thought really am I getting caught up in the whole athleticism=potential craze? So I thought I'd ask.
I definitely agree with what machu46 is saying. I think potential is the level of greatness that player can reach and generally a player has more potential when they have less things to work on to become great or has more attributes that contribute to that greatness.
I think athleticism is linked with potential because 1) it can't be taught, it is more of a natural gift although you can work to improve it and 2) it makes things so much easier for the player.
Rodney Williams for example does not get that incredible block on Oladipo without his ridiculous length and athleticism. People see an amazing athlete like Andrew Wiggins and say if he develops his skill set and works hard he can be great. He isn't a top prospect if he is an average athlete. All the blocks, steals, dunks, and incredible athletic plays he makes come from his physical attributes.
I personally think if t. mitchell went to UK it wouldnt be a a question who's better between him a poythress
Youth + Length + Athletic Ability = Potential
I think it's kind of a load sometimes, especially because it almost seems that some prospects who have more refined games are overlooked because teams think they can't improve. I think that just shows work ethic and dedication, which are great indicators a player, no matter how refined at age 21 will get better. While as a 19 or 20 year old who can't shoot free throws or plays with no IQ despite 10 years of youth and high school ball, shows very little work ethic IMO. That is why, I feel, many "potential" guys fall on their face, and many guys who are 22 and skilled that fall to the teens, 20's and 2nd round end up being good.
Potential is mostly based on the physical but player intangibles usually determine how likely they are to reach their potential and how close they can come to reaching it.
Like, how coachable are the players? Can they think on their feet (bball IQ)? Can they get theirs within a team concept? How steep is their learning curve? Have they shown constant improvement? How good is their work ethic? Do they have a competitive drive?
The physical is easy to measure and see. The other stuff isn't and is often ignored, which results in a lot of "high potential" players busting or not coming close to reaching their potential.
I agree with you man. Great point. That is basically what I have been thinking without putting it together lol.. Like with the Rodney Williams example, his potential is high because of his physical attributes, but the likelihood he reaches that potential is based on other things like work ethic and coach-ability, along with other factors like you said.
It is really like two completely separate evaluations. You could say Andrew Wiggins' potential is a 10/10 but what do you grade the likelihood he reaches that potential based on his other attributes? He has a lot of work to do to live up to the hype but he seems to be working hard so maybe an 8? While Jabari Parker I would say has a little less potential like a 9 but a little better chance of reaching it because of how smart and polished he is at such a young age so another 9.
Wiggins has improved way more over the past year then Parker. He's not all athleticism like everyone seems to believe, he's very skilled in his own right and just as likely to reach his potential as Parker is.
YOUTH... key word.
People stay ignoring age.
Mason plumlee was born in 1990, Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Ausin were both born almost in 1994.
^^^This is probably the best, most concise answer of what NBA GM's think of when they speak of potential. But I would add a couple more things, WORK ETHIC & PASSION FOR THE GAME.
How many times have we all read in player scouting reports (either on this site or others) about "questionable work ethic" or "not showing emotion for the game"? Very few players reach or even come close to their potential though because it does take hard work, practice and a love for the game to get there.
I'm great at discerning potential, but I'm usually not foolish enough to expose my views before a player's career has come to an end.
But I'm willing to make an exception here. I think Kobe and LeBron have a lot of potential. Let's hope they pan out.
potential is what young player has and what he can impruve and translate that on next level what will be played in future
If you look for sample kid 17 year old playing highschool basketball you actually have to predict what he will do in basketball played in future 2-15 years
potential is not only athletic abilitys, but evrything. skills, shooting, passion, iq, toughnes. if player is unathletic he can impruve his athleticisam, but only to some point. but also that works in other areas. if player is stupid he can become smarter, but not much that he is