- David Thorpe, NBA
For a player to reach his full potential, it "takes a village." Or in this case, a franchise. The coaches, the systems, the roster -- all have an impact on how well each player develops. This is one reason bad teams tend to stay bad and the great teams maintain their high level of play longer than one might expect.
Look at the San Antonio Spurs. In just the past few years, guys such as Gary Neal, Danny Green and Marco Belinelli (plus a surging Patty Mills) have all excelled in San Antonio. Not to mention their three surefire Hall of Famers -- one a late first-round pick (Tony Parker) and one a late second-rounder (Manu Ginobili). That those two reached elite levels while Tim Duncan, a No. 1 pick, is arguably a top-five player of all time is evidence of a franchise helping players reach the limits of their talent -- a very rare thing indeed. Most franchises are not so lucky, to the detriment of their players.
David Thorpe breaks down the rookies with the most potential.