I’ll acknowledge that your argument isn’t weak.
I’m going to stubbornly stick to the my point: shooting and 2-way play are where the value lies in today’s NBA. Absent those qualities, or the potential to develop them, player value drops.
It *is* possible to contribute otherwise. But it’s a stretch to consider those contributors as franchise centerpieces worth anything close to the max salary.
Giannis’ value lies in his potential more than his current stats. He’s athletic, he has a good work ethic and he’s still very young. He’s obviously working on his shooting (not to mention all other aspects of his game). Will he get better at it? That’s the hope of the people who are his fans. And that’s his ticket to a max salary.
The league wants combo players, strong scorers/playmakers/defenders, for their franchise centerpieces. It just does; any lesser skill set will be in demand only because the salary cap forces teams to hire *some* players who aren’t candidates for the max.
Look at the devaluing going on for centers who aren’t shooters and are in the game mainly to rebound and set screens. You can pick them up cheap.
And look at the salary a guy like Rondo can command. He’s very good at what he does. But he can’t shoot. In today’s NBA, that matters.