First post from a lurker and I will try and make this as short as possible.
These are my thought on NBA player and the Jazz. I wanted to get an idea of how other thought about this. I think there are five levels of players broken down as follow;
1. Super Stars (SS)- top 6-8 players in the game. These players will earn 10-12 all-stars appearances in their careers. They will be in the discussion for league MVP, etc... There is only about 6-9 of these player that come into the league every decade, and about 1/3 of them will never become super stars because of injury or attitude problems.
Examples: Lebron, Dirk, Kobe.
Note: point guards rarely every become super stars. I base this on the fact that hardly any team wins a championship if their best player is a PG. The only SS point guard I can think of are Magic, Stockton and Kidd. I think there are valid arguments to shrink that list.
2. Stars (S)- players you would rank 8-25 in the NBA. These players will typically earn 4- 8 all star appearances, the media will call most of them "NBA super star". They may put up super star numbers for a couple of years, but ultimately they do not change a team they way a super star does.
Examples: Gasol bothers, Rondo, Paul Pierce.
3. Playoff caliber players (P)- players you would rank 25-80 in the NBA. There are 16 teams that make the playoff and 5 starters on each of those teams, so multiply 16*5 = 80 players that truly help your team get to the playoff (yes I know that not all 80 of these players are on playoff teams). Some of these players may earn 1-3 all star appearances. They may put up star numbers for a few years. In general they will be considered one of the better players at there position for about a half dozen years or more.
4. Roll Players (RP)- players you would rank 81-180. These player are helpful in limited roles and/ or limited minutes.
5. Roster Filler (F)- players you would rank 181-430+. These players help you get your roster to 13 players and your team salary to 52 million.
Yes, I think that over half of the players in the NBA are doing nothing to help you earn a championship.
How do you build a contender: I think if you you look at all the teams that have one a championships you will find one of the following groups of players:
2SS, 1-2 S, 1or more RP
2SS, 1S, 1or more P, 1 or more RP
2SS, 1-2 P, 1 or more RP
1SS, 1S, 1or more P, 1 or more RP
1SS, 2-3 P, 1 or more RP
2 S, 3 P, 1 or more RP
Where exactly each team falls would be a matter of opinion, but in general we can probably agree that the 1980's Lakers and Celtics would fit one of the top profiles, so would most of Jordan's Bulls teams and the current Heat team. While I think the Houston teams and the Detroit championship teams would fit in the lower profiles.
In another post I will share my thought on were the Jazz are in terms of building one of the contender profiles. Right now I need to go to work. Let me know what you think.