You aren’t born shooting. It’s a learned skill.
Though I admit, talent factors into a player’s ceiling.
How much work a player puts into it matters.
Giannis is a gym rat. He’ll shoot and shoot until he can’t lift his arms. What’s his ceiling? Hard to know. But you can be sure that his fans and employer hope like hell that his jump shot will get better. Status quo Giannis is not quite at the superstar level. If he gets a max contract and his shooting stays poor, it’ll be a grade-A salary cap management mistake that will keep his team out of contention.
DeRozen is a shooter, he’s just not a 3-point shooter. He has a very effective mid-range shot and is a dynamite finisher at the rim.
Beal isn’t really a nonshooter. He can score the ball. He’s not usually the prime scorer and does more distributing than shooting, but that’s a tactical decision by management. When Wall is not on the floor, he’ll step up.
Barnes is a shooter. But he’s overpaid for what he can contribute. Franchises do make mistakes; and then they’re saddled with contracts they can’t unload, wasting cap space and hurting their chances of rising to the top.
It’s true that there are max contract players who aren’t shooters at all, Drummond being a prime example. He’s overpaid, Ram.
The smartest franchises will not pay max salary for a nonshooter.
Sometimes, basement teams are just riding bad luck. But more often, they’re suffering from inferior management. If they want to claw their way out of the basement, they’ve got to manage their cap space intelligently — and in today’s NBA, that means avoiding paying too much for role players who can’t shoot.
GSW has employed nonshooting role players on its squad, but none of them are pulling down huge salaries, and they’re expendable. That’s the way forward. Anyone hoping to top GSW has got to learn this lesson.
The goal is to put the ball in the basket. The more players on the floor who can do that — and play defense well — the harder it is for other teams to keep up.