Ok, stop laughing. I am not talking about next year, but about a long term approach to team building that puts the Thunder into the upper crust of NBA teams competing for the golden trophy. The concept is very simplistic, but in some regards that’s the beauty of it. Keep it simple right? Easy to understand is always better than complex for me.
The idea is first that we have to put players on the team that can get it done. This isn’t as easy as it might seem. There is a lot to team building. You have to get pieces that fit, that compliment each other, that produce as a team, and that can grow together to form a multi-year run at the title. Few teams have been able to “buy” a championship, but it has been done. Sam Presti hasn’t shown any inclination to build a team through a series of big time free agent signings or trades, but he isn’t beyond trying to pluck that special player that is the missing ingredient (Tyson Chandler…). So I am concentrating on players that are in the nucleus now, and the upcoming draft.
I borrowed the concept from a paragraph or two in a blog post over at Hornets 24/7. The way the author (Ryan Schwan) suggests nearly every team that wins a championship has their team structured is around the concept of “A” and “B” scorers (here with reference to the Hornet’s roster):
“it seems to me that there are two ways to contend for a title in the NBA: Field a team with two Class A scorers, and surround them with specialists(see Shaq-Kobe or Shaq-Wade, 2nd Three-Peat Bulls) or field a team with one Class A scorer, and two Class B scorers, then fill in around the edges.(Ginobili-Duncan-Parker, Jordan-Pippen-Grant, Dantley-Thomas-Dumars, Hamilton-Billups-Sheed) The Hornets are currently built around a Class A scorer(Paul) and one Class B scorer(West), and one scorer(Peja) who they hoped would be Class B, but has fallen to Class C. To me, they either need to find another class B scorer on the cheap or try and upgrade their Class B scorer to a Class A one. The question is, however, who do I classify as a Class A or Class B Scorer? Class A are those players who are not only efficient scorers(points per shot of 1.3 or better) but whom retain that efficiency while taking around a dozen shots or more. Class B are those scorers who average between 1.2 and 1.3 points per shot, while taking the same number of shots per game.”
I crunched some of the numbers from recent successful teams and it’s a decent starting point for team success.