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Chronz
06-09-2016, 12:34 PM
Seems people have trouble grasping the concept of diminishing returns, that only 1 ball can be shared among stars, people want to place blame on others for a players lack of dominance. This is partly whats going on with Love and people wanting him to be "rescued".


Its like Ray Allen never existed, greatest shooter before Curry couldn't even get enough touches in his championship system but I dont recall any finger pointing back then. What makes Love such an easy target? Is it the guy hes playing behind?


Anyways, in an attempt to humble myself and possibly being wrong, name these 3rd options that were so much more productive in similar situations.

I can think of guys who evenly distributed touches (like the Big-3 in Milwaukee) but for contending teams? Im struggling here. Karl Malone could have continued putting up big numbers in Utah, but he became the 3rd option in LA and I dont remember anyone blaming Kobe/Shaq for that.

FOXHOUND
06-09-2016, 12:37 PM
James Worthy is the go to answer. :D

Tony_Starks
06-09-2016, 12:43 PM
Chris Bosh

mrblisterdundee
06-09-2016, 12:46 PM
James Harden was an awesome third option. The lesser role masked his deficiencies but allowed him to wreak havoc behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while running the second unit.

FOXHOUND
06-09-2016, 12:52 PM
James Harden was an awesome third option. The lesser role masked his deficiencies but allowed him to wreak havoc behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while running the second unit.

True, same for Kevin McHale for the first half of his career. There have been a fair amount of great 3rd options playing with great duos.

valade16
06-09-2016, 01:00 PM
Here is a list of players I remember just off the top of my head (though I looked their stats up):

Chris Bosh averaged 18.7 and 18.0 PPG his first 2 seasons as part of the 'Big 3' in Miami

Ray Allen averaged 17.4 PPG his first season in Boston's 'Big 3'

Manu Ginobili averaged 18.5 PPG in 2008 alongside 19 from Duncan/Parker. Parker/Ginobili alternated averaging 16-19 PPG next to each other and Duncan as 3rd options

The Showtime Lakers featured James Worthy scoring 20 PPG as the 3rd option to Kareem/Magic, then Byron Scott scoring 19 PPG as the 3rd option to Magic/Worthy. Heck in 87 4 players averaged over 17 PPG (Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Scott)

McHale and Parish alternated as the 3rd scoring option behind Bird each averaging 18+ PPG during their run.

The 83 76ers' Andrew Toney dropped 19.7 PPG next to Moses' 24 and Dr. J's 21.

The 72 Lakers had Jim McMilliam score 18.8 PPG next to Goodrich and West, who both averaged over 25 PPG that season.

So has Love's scoring dropped around where the other great 3rd options in history have dropped? Yes. Has he been the best scoring 3rd option? Definitely not.

DboneG
06-09-2016, 01:22 PM
The most prolific or productive 3rd option ever...James Worthy.

John Havlicek
Kevin McHale
Chris Bosh
Ray Allen
Vinnie Johnson
Fred Brown
Bobby Jones could be mentioned. I loved the way Bobby Jones use to go dunk on people.
Manu Ginobili


Kevin Love?! Don't know...don't know. He's probably not better than any of the above names... Kevin Love is just not that good. He's overrated. When he was in Minn., he was just running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Now that he's playing under control, he's not performing that well. I think he has to move on from Cleveland.

hugepatsfan
06-09-2016, 01:24 PM
Seems people have trouble grasping the concept of diminishing returns, that only 1 ball can be shared among stars, people want to place blame on others for a players lack of dominance. This is partly whats going on with Love and people wanting him to be "rescued".


Its like Ray Allen never existed, greatest shooter before Curry couldn't even get enough touches in his championship system but I dont recall any finger pointing back then. What makes Love such an easy target? Is it the guy hes playing behind?


Anyways, in an attempt to humble myself and possibly being wrong, name these 3rd options that were so much more productive in similar situations.

I can think of guys who evenly distributed touches (like the Big-3 in Milwaukee) but for contending teams? Im struggling here. Karl Malone could have continued putting up big numbers in Utah, but he became the 3rd option in LA and I dont remember anyone blaming Kobe/Shaq for that.

Yeah because of the perception (reality?) that Lebron is a player GM who will bolt if he doesn't like the way his team looks. Whenever LA lost I imagine there were no questions about if Magic was going to bolt LA if they didn't trade for guys he liked better. The perception of Lebron's lack of loyalty to his teammates/teams (overstated but there's an element of truth to it at the same time) has in the past and will continue in the future to put a HUGE target on the back of his supporting casts. The media hype surrounding the storyline gets overwhelming.

DboneG
06-09-2016, 01:26 PM
Wow!!! I forgot all about Andrew Toney! Jim McMilliam also!

flea
06-09-2016, 01:27 PM
Productive in terms of just offense? I assume that's what you mean so that's what I'll address.

I think no matter what you're going to have 2 guys that see the ball more than everyone else offensively - one of them is almost always your primary ballhandler. The 3rd guy can be a variety of types. Just to use recent examples:

- he can be a forward like Diaw/Draymond/Horry/Odom who does a little of everything but mainly functions as a ball mover
- he can be a secondary guard (often bench player) like Ginobili/Waiters/Crawford/Barbosa who functions first as a scorer and second as a creator (Billups in Denver and LA probably counts here too)
- he can be a shooter like Allen/Rice/House/Korver/Hamilton/Hornacek who can look like a primary option on a lot of possessions but neither scores like one nor handles like one and does his creating in subtler ways off the ball
- or he can be a big like Bosh/Love/Carr/Wallace/Okur/M. Gasol/Scola/Valacunias/Kanter who is usually good at a lot of things but not good enough to carry an offense or else has 2 better offensive players they play with

I think any can work, but it's obvious the multi-faceted forward is favored today (A) because forwards, by definition, are the most versatile players on the court and thus fit many different lineup constructions and (B) it is almost always the case that one of the top 2 options is guard (the Spurs are the only exception I can think of right now and that just started this year for them).

RE: Love, I think he's done a fine job in his role offensively. Ideally yes he's more of a true big than a Draymond Green or Robert Horry but that's if he's a top 2 option. He has the shooting and passing to play the role of versatile forward.

I really don't think he's a problem on their team, but he's never going to score 20 PPG unless Lebron decides to become a 15 PPG/10 APG point guard - which would require him either getting better at the P&R or working more in the post like Horry and Diaw.

CHANGO
06-09-2016, 02:39 PM
Bosh with the HEAT.
Dray or Klay with the Warriors.
Harden with OKC.

Lot of answers. The problem with Love is he can't defend. That's all. Bosh could and did.

hugepatsfan
06-09-2016, 02:50 PM
Bosh with the HEAT.
Dray or Klay with the Warriors.
Harden with OKC.

Lot of answers. The problem with Love is he can't defend. That's all. Bosh could and did.

James Harden was not as good with OKC as Ray was with Boston. You just have a hard-on for him.

PowerHouse
06-09-2016, 03:16 PM
A question like this makes me think back to the original big 3 of West/Baylor/Wilt and Wilt was the 3rd option. Even after Baylor retired Goodrich became #2 and Wilt still #3. Not a bad run, they got a few finals appearances and a ring out of it.

But Worthy is the answer.

Slug3
06-09-2016, 04:33 PM
Rodman may not put up the greatest points on the Bulls, but as the 3rd option his defense and rebounds fit in extremely well for them.

JasonJohnHorn
06-09-2016, 07:14 PM
James Worthy is the go to answer. :D

It's kind of hard to see Worthy as a 'third' option when he lead the Lakers in scoring most seasons.

JasonJohnHorn
06-09-2016, 07:17 PM
When it comes to guys who are the 'third' option, I'd likely have to go with Mitch Richmond in Goldenstate days. The tenure didn't last long, but with Hardway being the primary ball handler, and Mullin being the first scoring option, that puts Richmond as third on the team.


I assume this speaks to offensive output, otherwise you'll have guys like Rodman and Green who obviously rank up there, and guys like Laimbeer, Paris.

FOXHOUND
06-09-2016, 08:55 PM
It's kind of hard to see Worthy as a 'third' option when he lead the Lakers in scoring most seasons.

Actually, he only led the Lakers once in PPG. From 82-83 to 90-91 (Worthy's time in the Magic era) here is the Lakers "scoring champ" tally.

Kareem - 4 (82-32 through 85-86)
Magic - 3
Scott - 1
Worthy - 1 (90-91, post-Kareem)

There's actually a fair amount of years where he wasn't even top 3 in PPG in favor of guys like Jamaal Wilkes and Byron Scott. I assumed the question was about 3rd best offensive player beyond simply PPG.

ewing
06-09-2016, 09:27 PM
Manu is the best in my mind. At his peak i thought he was a superstar playing 6th man.

Vincent
06-09-2016, 09:33 PM
Rodman may not put up the greatest points on the Bulls, but as the 3rd option his defense and rebounds fit in extremely well for them.

The 13 points/4 rebounds/4 assists that Toni Kukoc provided off the bench was pretty big for that team too if you want to talk about scoring options.

Raps08-09 Champ
06-09-2016, 11:09 PM
Draymond Green bro.

Lakers + Giants
06-09-2016, 11:24 PM
Shawn Marion

Elgin Baylor

Shlumpledink
06-09-2016, 11:44 PM
Glen Rice was pretty good for the Lakers

JasonJohnHorn
06-10-2016, 12:08 PM
Actually, he only led the Lakers once in PPG. From 82-83 to 90-91 (Worthy's time in the Magic era) here is the Lakers "scoring champ" tally.

The first year Worthy won it with the Lakers he was the third option (still very young).
The years he was the second option.
The second title he won he was their second leading scorer.
The third time they won he was the second leading scorer (by a slim margin).
During their 89 run, he was the second leading scorer.
And the next year he was their second leading scorer.
And in Magic's last trip to the finals, he was their first leading scorer.

I don't see how he's a third option with numbers like that. Yes. In terms of careers, he was no nearly as iconic as Magic or Kareem, but by the time he got to the team, Kareem was in his mid-30's and coming down in terms of level of play. Byron Scott had a couple of good seasons. But Worthy was often their go-to guy, and was the 88 Final MVP.


I mean... I understand what you are saying, but I just remember watching the Lakers back then, and it was always Magic to Worthy, and Worthy having those big games and the Lakers really counting on him.

I don't think framing Worthy as a third option is a fair representation of how important he was during his career. It is an apt description of his first three seasons, sure, but afterwards, that team was built around him and Magic.

ink
06-10-2016, 12:41 PM
Yeah because of the perception (reality?) that Lebron is a player GM who will bolt if he doesn't like the way his team looks. Whenever LA lost I imagine there were no questions about if Magic was going to bolt LA if they didn't trade for guys he liked better. The perception of Lebron's lack of loyalty to his teammates/teams (overstated but there's an element of truth to it at the same time) has in the past and will continue in the future to put a HUGE target on the back of his supporting casts. The media hype surrounding the storyline gets overwhelming.

Couldn't agree more. And I think it's not just perception, but reality. He wants it too badly. The harder he chases, the farther away it gets. You can't force success, especially not in a team sport.

Hawkeye15
06-10-2016, 12:59 PM
Manu is the best in my mind. At his peak i thought he was a superstar playing 6th man.

Manu could have been a superstar if he had his own team, but obviously his career turned out just fine. But yeah, people will never understand how dominant he was at times.

FOXHOUND
06-10-2016, 01:42 PM
The first year Worthy won it with the Lakers he was the third option (still very young).
The years he was the second option.
The second title he won he was their second leading scorer.
The third time they won he was the second leading scorer (by a slim margin).
During their 89 run, he was the second leading scorer.
And the next year he was their second leading scorer.
And in Magic's last trip to the finals, he was their first leading scorer.

I don't see how he's a third option with numbers like that. Yes. In terms of careers, he was no nearly as iconic as Magic or Kareem, but by the time he got to the team, Kareem was in his mid-30's and coming down in terms of level of play. Byron Scott had a couple of good seasons. But Worthy was often their go-to guy, and was the 88 Final MVP.


I mean... I understand what you are saying, but I just remember watching the Lakers back then, and it was always Magic to Worthy, and Worthy having those big games and the Lakers really counting on him.

I don't think framing Worthy as a third option is a fair representation of how important he was during his career. It is an apt description of his first three seasons, sure, but afterwards, that team was built around him and Magic.

Sure, I see what you're saying. Any odd year you wanna say the 3rd option was Magic/Kareem/Worthy through the crux of that trio, any of them would be a viable answer.

I meant no slight to Worthy, that's just the reality of the 80's. Most of the stars were on a few teams so they were super stacked, some odd stars were spread out and everyone else sucked lol. Kevin McHale was a 6th man for half a decade. He's also a very viable answer.

FOXHOUND
06-10-2016, 01:43 PM
Manu could have been a superstar if he had his own team, but obviously his career turned out just fine. But yeah, people will never understand how dominant he was at times.

He'll always be my 2005 Finals MVP. :o

Chronz
06-10-2016, 01:44 PM
Peja?

FOXHOUND
06-10-2016, 01:51 PM
http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1987-nba-finals-celtics-vs-lakers.html

This is probably the best you're going to get. Three guys on each team averaging a super efficient 20 PPG in a Finals. Ahh, the "defense" of the 80's lmao.

PowerHouse
06-10-2016, 02:13 PM
Peja?

I always thought Bibby was more of their #3.

TheMightyHumph
06-10-2016, 03:42 PM
Havlicek and Baylor third options?

D-Leethal
06-10-2016, 03:45 PM
Love's problems stem from his lack of ability and versatility on defense and that limits the amount of units they can effectively match up with when he is in the lineup. GSW's small ball lineup is the glaring example - they can't play Love at the 5 without getting murdered defensively and they can't match the speed and athleticism if they play him at the 4.

Love isn't a horrible fit, but he is far from a prime fit for the Cavs. It's rare to beat top tier teams in a playoff series if your lineup has questionable fits and lacks matchup versatility.

Offensively, he is producing at a solid 3rd option level, but if you water down Love's game to the point where he is nothing more than a floor spreader 3rd option and have to deal with his awful defense he becomes a net negative. If you are gonna play Love extensive minutes and deal with his defense, he should be featured and producing the video game numbers he did in Minny or he isn't very effective. LeBron can erase a lot - but he can't erase the Love effect AND beat the Warriors.

D-Leethal
06-10-2016, 03:49 PM
And yes, I know my post had nothing to do with the OP.

Hawkeye15
06-10-2016, 04:59 PM
Love's problems stem from his lack of ability and versatility on defense and that limits the amount of units they can effectively match up with when he is in the lineup. GSW's small ball lineup is the glaring example - they can't play Love at the 5 without getting murdered defensively and they can't match the speed and athleticism if they play him at the 4.

Love isn't a horrible fit, but he is far from a prime fit for the Cavs. It's rare to beat top tier teams in a playoff series if your lineup has questionable fits and lacks matchup versatility.

Offensively, he is producing at a solid 3rd option level, but if you water down Love's game to the point where he is nothing more than a floor spreader 3rd option and have to deal with his awful defense he becomes a net negative. If you are gonna play Love extensive minutes and deal with his defense, he should be featured and producing the video game numbers he did in Minny or he isn't very effective. LeBron can erase a lot - but he can't erase the Love effect AND beat the Warriors.

did you know this post has nothing to do with the OP?

Hawkeye15
06-10-2016, 05:00 PM
And yes, I know my post had nothing to do with the OP.

oh, yep, you did

Chronz
06-10-2016, 05:19 PM
Ive been playing ball every day this week after not playing for months and I seem to have aggravated my hemorrhoids. Has that ever happened to yall?

L8kers4life
06-10-2016, 05:33 PM
When we usually say 3rd option we refer to scoring. So I would say Magic was the 3rd option for scoring behind Kareem and Worthy.

Scoots
06-11-2016, 12:48 AM
Hardaway

LA_Raiders
06-11-2016, 01:01 AM
Yep, James worthy should be the answer.

42-15-7
06-11-2016, 01:09 AM
Worthy.

Nobody else is close.

Chronz
06-11-2016, 01:21 AM
When we usually say 3rd option we refer to scoring. So I would say Magic was the 3rd option for scoring behind Kareem and Worthy.

Interesting pov

ewing
06-11-2016, 06:38 AM
Love's problems stem from his lack of ability and versatility on defense and that limits the amount of units they can effectively match up with when he is in the lineup. GSW's small ball lineup is the glaring example - they can't play Love at the 5 without getting murdered defensively and they can't match the speed and athleticism if they play him at the 4.

Love isn't a horrible fit, but he is far from a prime fit for the Cavs. It's rare to beat top tier teams in a playoff series if your lineup has questionable fits and lacks matchup versatility.

Offensively, he is producing at a solid 3rd option level, but if you water down Love's game to the point where he is nothing more than a floor spreader 3rd option and have to deal with his awful defense he becomes a net negative. If you are gonna play Love extensive minutes and deal with his defense, he should be featured and producing the video game numbers he did in Minny or he isn't very effective. LeBron can erase a lot - but he can't erase the Love effect AND beat the Warriors.

the notion that he is a horrible defender is over blown. you are right you don't want him player a small ball 5 where you switch everything and he has to defend everyone all over the floor.

Scoots
06-11-2016, 02:24 PM
did you know this post has nothing to do with the OP?

hehe

numba1CHANGsta
06-11-2016, 03:14 PM
Kevin Love ;)

Bruno
06-11-2016, 05:52 PM
Diminishing returns is reality. That's why we struggle to even compile a list of 'third options' who have a statistical output that we would all consider to be especially impressive (especially in comparison to our favorite all time #1s and #2). Personally, I ignore the rhetoric of 'third option', because I don't really care about who's third on the team pecking order in FGA. What I'm really trying to figure out who's the 3rd most important player to the team, overall. 3rd most important to the teams fabric, identity, and collective synergy.

Because of diminishing returns and the all encompassing greatness of many #1s and a few #2s in championship history, it's the job of the third best player not to ever rival #1s and #2s in scoring or statistical output, but to complete the team fabric, to be the cog in a five man system that allows your best player to play to their natural game without penalty to overall efficiency/to be the final piece which compliments the #1 and #2 in equal and opposite ways.

2015: Draymond
2014: enter system Spur player here
2013: Bosh
2012: Bosh
2011: Chandler
2010: Odom/Bynum
2009: Odom/Bynum
2008: Ray
2007: Manu
2006: Salvatore
2005: Manu
2004: enter Pistons system player here
2003: enter system Spur player here
2002: Fisher
2001: Fisher
2000: Glen Rice
1999: Spurs system player
1998: Rodman
1997: Rodman
1996: Rodman

IF we look at the champions from the past 20 season, yes we have a Ray Allen and a Manu, but we also have Dennis Rodman, being completely dominant in his role opposite of MJ and Pippen. His rebounding and defense changed series, and it didn't get in the way of what MJ and Pippen wanted to do, he made them better by grabbing their misses. Spurs system players when there is no clear cut #3 is fulfilling the role of making sure the team system thrives. Detroit is an outlier but another great example with Ben Wallace, having a huge impact while staying the hell out of the way of his other scoring teammates. Lamar Odom thrives because he doesn't need many touches and his excellent rebounding/ability to put the ball on the floor as point forward allows Kobe to play the way Kobe likes to play, without screwing over team efficiency. Derrick Fisher hit's 3's at a brilliant TS%, with great three point shooting, with gritty defense in the post Rice era of the three-peat, perfectly complimenting Kobe and Shaq. Tyson Chandler moves the ball and defends the paint on a team of shooters, complimenting the team identity. If you're a third option and you aren't thriving in equal and opposite ways as your #1, and #2, you're probably going to lose. Sure we can reach back to the 60's 70's and 80s and talk about James Worthy or who the 3rd leg was when Wilt/West/Baylor got together, but in the last 20 years the 3rd most important player on championship teams almost always aren't scorers. they're utility knives who don't care about their touches, do what the 1/2 don't, and have a specific skill set that helps forgive the individual failing of their #1/#2 teammates. #3 should be a complimentary synergy player, never a 3rd 'scorer'. That's more usually the role of the #2, and 'the others'.

Since there's no escaping diminishing returns, a teams 3rd best player should be dominant in a complimentary position. Dominant at doing the opposite, at fitting perfectly next to the skill sets around him. When the pieces fit, we talk about Lamar Odom and Manu Ginobli as 6th men of the year or Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman, Tyson Chandler as defensive player of the year (an award he earned in the 2011 playoffs, I don't care if he earned it in a Knicks uniform). Or perhaps the 3rd guy debatable in the case of a Pistons or a Spurs on given years- in which case 3-5 fulfill this role together (in which case the coach receives credit for his genius system, and no 3rd player is specifically praised). It takes the greatest shooter of all time in Ray Allen to fit perfectly, basically as a scorer only.

2016 playoffs Draymond: 17.8PER/.159 WS/48/.528 TS%
2016 playoffs Kevin Love: 19.3PER/.170 WS/48/.549 TS%

We talk like one like he's the plague, and about one as if he's the real MVP of the Warriors. Kevin Loves reputation is getting battered because he does not have the skill set to perform in an equal and opposite way next to LeBron and Irving. Draymond Green absolutely does have the skill set to compliment Curry and Steph in equal and opposite ways, the passing, the defense, the rebounding, the intensity. This is why one is perceived as extremely important, and the other is considered as an extreme disappointment. If we check the stats, bro, then we would guess that Love is producing at the same level as Dray, but we all know thats not the case. Love does not compliment, and he's playing beneath the level he established early in his career. that equals disappointment. A team lead by LeBron and Irving should have a 3rd player who loves defense and rebounding, who's capable of spreading the floor, who isn't too worried about touches. Good luck finding that guy, he sounds like a saint.

Bruno
06-11-2016, 06:06 PM
2016 playoffs Draymond: 17.8PER/.159 WS/48/.528 TS%
2016 playoffs Kevin Love: 19.3PER/.170 WS/48/.549 TS%

We talk like one like he's the plague, and about one as if he's the real MVP of the Warriors. Kevin Loves reputation is getting battered because he does not have the skill set to perform in an equal and opposite way next to LeBron and Irving. Draymond Green absolutely does have the skill set to compliment Curry and Steph in equal and opposite ways, the passing, the defense, the rebounding, the intensity. This is why one is perceived as extremely important, and the other is considered as an extreme disappointment. If we check the stats, bro, then we would guess that Love is producing at the same level as Dray, but we all know thats not the case. Love does not compliment, and he's playing beneath the level he established early in his career. that equals disappointment. A team lead by LeBron and Irving should have a 3rd player who loves defense and rebounding, who's capable of spreading the floor, who isn't too worried about touches. Good luck finding that guy, he sounds like a saint.

And sure Kevin Love is a great passer and always has been but he receives zero credit for that because the specific way in which LeBron and Kyrie score. they stop the ball, they dribble, they penetrate. Draymond is not the passer that Kevin Love is, but he appears to be so because Curry and Klay and the rest of the Warriors take his passes and shoot. in this case, the team synergy comes full circle because now Curry and Thompson the clear 1/2 compliment Dray by hitting shots off his passes. You can't do that if you're a ball stopper/can't hit jump shots on a regular basis.

What were all getting at is basically the same concept. LeBron/Irving/Love is a lousy trio because they do not compliment each other at all, in the slightest, in any universe. To me, that also suggests that it's harder to build around LeBron, and especially Kyrie that most people are willing to acknowledge. How important is that when we talk about greatness? How hard was it to build around you? How plentiful are the players who could be your equal and opposite 3-man? Are they out there, can we trade for them and at what price? Think about the kind of player LeBron requires in the front court in order for his game the thrive. A great passing, three point shooting defensive juggernaut, who doesn't mind letting LeBron hold the torch. Is there a single player in NBA history before the 2015 draft who fits the description? I don't think so man, but I find it fascinating that the past draft has three separate players who all fit that description (Towns/Porzingod//Turner). This means two things to me. LeBron is more difficult to build around that we think, and that he was a decade ahead of his time. Only now are rookies even coming in with the big man skill set that actually would fit perfectly within the LeBron vortex.

Chronz
06-17-2016, 07:31 PM
And sure Kevin Love is a great passer and always has been but he receives zero credit for that because the specific way in which LeBron and Kyrie score. they stop the ball, they dribble, they penetrate. Draymond is not the passer that Kevin Love is, but he appears to be so because Curry and Klay and the rest of the Warriors take his passes and shoot. in this case, the team synergy comes full circle because now Curry and Thompson the clear 1/2 compliment Dray by hitting shots off his passes. You can't do that if you're a ball stopper/can't hit jump shots on a regular basis.

What were all getting at is basically the same concept. LeBron/Irving/Love is a lousy trio because they do not compliment each other at all, in the slightest, in any universe. To me, that also suggests that it's harder to build around LeBron, and especially Kyrie that most people are willing to acknowledge. How important is that when we talk about greatness? How hard was it to build around you? How plentiful are the players who could be your equal and opposite 3-man? Are they out there, can we trade for them and at what price? Think about the kind of player LeBron requires in the front court in order for his game the thrive. A great passing, three point shooting defensive juggernaut, who doesn't mind letting LeBron hold the torch. Is there a single player in NBA history before the 2015 draft who fits the description? I don't think so man, but I find it fascinating that the past draft has three separate players who all fit that description (Towns/Porzingod//Turner). This means two things to me. LeBron is more difficult to build around that we think, and that he was a decade ahead of his time. Only now are rookies even coming in with the big man skill set that actually would fit perfectly within the LeBron vortex.

Pretty hot take but I think it would be pretty easy to build around Bron, I dont think his early version Cavs were that far off, they just made every move a year too late and suffered some badly timed injuries throughout. Usually they suffered defensively too, like in 09 vs the Magic. They had been an elite defensive team all year, especially against centers and they were the only playoff team that couldn't handle Dwight 1v1. I firmly believe Ben Wallace breaking his foot was what destroyed their defensive intensity and robbed them of anyone with any hope of slowing down Dwight. Give that Bron a prime Ben Wallace and I'd roll with that. Him and Big Z were good compliments IMO.