NBA Player Development: Minutes as an antecedent towards success, or a characteristic or quality of successful players?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is a league that is a league of haves and have nots. No one is going to do you a favor. If you want to be a good franchise, you have to put the work in towards getting better. If you want to be a good player, you have to do the work yourself. Of course, success for a team and player both is most obviously seen on the court. No one has ever hit a game winner while sitting on the bench. Minutes matter. You need to be on the floor to help your team. And you need to be on the floor to get the experience needed to be able to help your team when your number is called. No matter what side of the iron curtain you are on, minutes do matter.

If you don't think they do, you are either being diplomatic, dishonest, or are dumb. (Pick one, which is it?)

Experience does matter. You can kill it in practice, but if you never play in the games, a lot of that experience may not translate over. On the other hand, if you regularly are put into real games then what you do in them will build your confidence level within them. Speaking in front of a mirror at home can help, but the more public speaking you do at school/work is what will give you the needed experience and confidence to perform at your best. Hit a post jump hook in an empty gym? Good. Taking five attempts in a game, every game? Better. Practice is nice. Experience means more.

So, are minutes an antecedent towards success in the future, or just a characteristic or quality of a successful player? Do minutes make the player, or do the best players earn the most minutes? You could argue for that either way. The answer is that it's probably both. It's funny, because David Locke's most recent post makes it clear that it's important to look at what our team is doing now -- but only after we automatically eliminate HOFers. Smart move, Lockey. This is the same employee who chided one of my pieces for not including data on Millsap when making a point about playing time distribution (Sap wasn't the argument, but it's always clever to divert the attention). Let's not divert the attention or make the smallest of cuts in order to serve our paid messages.

The bottom line is that we have four young lottery picks on their rookie contracts. Ignoring the possibility that our scouting department grossly over-estimated the quality of these players, we should assume a positive return on the investment (meager) that we're making with them. Today's NBA is not one that assumes absolute loyalty where a Karl Malone type will keep signing to play with the team that drafted him, implicitly. You aren't guaranteed that a young hot shot is going to want to stay with the team that drafted him. (Ask Toronto or Cleveland fans) The time frame to get a return on a lotto pick is thus shortened.

You're only screwing yourself (in the butt) if you can only get a star through the draft, and then go out of your way to make those guys a) either want to leave, or b) never make them stars. (And really, the Utah Jazz aren't going to sign a star in free agency or trade for one. Ever. And the Utah Jazz are never going to be real contenders without a star . . . do the math, that leaves an OVER-reliance on the draft, and thus inflates the importance of scouting well *and* developing well) The clock is ticking on all of our lottery pick rookie contracts . . . we DO need them to be good sooner *and* later. Delaying their progress is a foolish idea. And I'm not going to go into my whole Watson/Piaget/Vygotsky rant here, so you are spared.

But beyond all of that preamble . . . it doesn't matter if you THINK it's the minutes that make the player, or if you think it's the player that gets the minutes. Let's just focus in on the most elemental parts of this Jazz situation:

  1. You can't be a winner in this league without a star
  2. The Jazz can't get a start in Free Agency or Trades -- only in the draft
  3. We have four lotto picks right now, will be adding a fifth this season
  4. Lotto picks are stars more usually than 2nd rounders
  5. Lotto picks have undervalued contracts and expire
  6. Our best lotto picks are going into their 4th years next year
  7. And aside from Hayward -- all of our lotto picks are behind the curve

None of these 7 points can be honestly refuted by anyone who uses a sufficient and valid sample size.

Compared to All-Stars, our guys are behind the minutes curve. Compared to All-NBA guys, our guys are behind the minutes curve. Even against their own draft classes, this has also been demonstrated. I want our guys to succeed, I do not think they have been given the chance. Now, let's break it all down and look at the last 40 freaking years of the NBA, and do this apples to apples. Let's do this from exact NBA Draft position against exact NBA Draft position. Regardless if you think minutes help you develop (or not), our guys categorically are getting less minutes than the averages.

  • Is this because our team is too good now and we can't play young guys? Fat chance, we didn't make the playoffs this year, didn't make the playoffs two years ago, and made the playoffs last year by 1 game.
  • Is this because our vets are too good? Also Fat chance. We gave $15 million to a guy who scores 17 points per game. That's more than $1 million per point.
  • Is this because we drafted (or traded for) bad guys and our scouting department sucks? Obviously not, our front office is the best in the league. Listen to the radio or TV stations that are owned by the same people who own the team: clearly we are the best, bro.
  • Coaching? Shut your damn mouth, Amar. Tyrone Corbin did the best possible job in the entire NBA with this roster. Hall of Fame Coaches couldn't have done better with it . . . despite . . . you know . . . evidence that a HOF Coach can do more with less and end up with the same result.

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How do Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter stack up against the last 40 years of the #3 Draft spot:

Okay, a player plays games in the NBA. These games are in the regular season and the playoffs. And these players are young, and need to get better asap. You DO get better with more confidence. The majority of confidence comes from experience and success in attempts at building new skills. And the #3 spot isn't supposed to be a role player. Not with this cap. You can't afford to be paying a 23 year old guy $4 million to be a role player. Your #3 spot is supposed to be a money maker. Someone you can put out on the floor, and have them contribute early and often in their careers -- regardless of college experience. You're drafted that high for a reason. And if you are drafting that high on the hope and prayer that they need to be brought along slowly, and don't understand that rookie contracts expire, then you don't deserve to be pulling the trigger on who you draft.

Here's the data for this draft spot -- scroll around to see the names, and their cumulative minutes. (N.B. This was tabulated in the first few days of the playoffs -- so a guy like Harden has even more minutes now, for example.)

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Cumulative Mins per Career Cumulative
Player Draft G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
1 Ernie DiGregorio 1973 87 3,150 36.2 31 712 23.0 76 1,581 20.8 81 2,267 28.0 52 606 11.7 3,150 3,862 5,443 7,710 8,316 25.4
2 Tom Burleson 1974 91 2,252 24.7 88 2,855 32.4 82 1,803 22.0 76 1,525 20.1 56 927 16.6 2,252 5,107 6,910 8,435 9,362 23.8
3 Marvin Webster 1975 51 553 10.8 86 1,372 16.0 104 3,814 36.7 60 2,027 33.8 20 298 14.9 553 1,925 5,739 7,766 8,064 25.1
4 Richard Washington 1976 82 2,265 27.6 78 2,231 28.6 22 213 9.7 82 1,204 14.7 80 1,812 22.7 2,265 4,496 4,709 5,913 7,725 22.5
5 Marques Johnson 1977 89 3,086 34.7 77 2,779 36.1 84 2,989 35.6 83 2,808 33.8 66 2,135 32.3 3,086 5,865 8,854 11,662 13,797 34.6
6 Rick Robey 1978 79 1,763 22.3 91 2,069 22.7 99 1,834 18.5 92 1,308 14.2 64 884 13.8 1,763 3,832 5,666 6,974 7,858 18.5
7 Bill Cartwright 1979 82 3,150 38.4 84 2,974 35.4 72 2,060 28.6 88 2,640 30.0 89 2,885 32.4 3,150 6,124 8,184 10,824 13,709 33.0
8 Kevin McHale 1980 99 1,941 19.6 94 2,676 28.5 89 2,522 28.3 105 3,279 31.2 100 3,490 34.9 1,941 4,617 7,139 10,418 13,908 28.6
9 Buck Williams 1981 84 2,904 34.6 84 3,046 36.3 92 3,476 37.8 85 3,305 38.9 85 3,196 37.6 2,904 5,950 9,426 12,731 15,927 37.0
10 Dominique Wilkins 1982 85 2,806 33.0 86 3,158 36.7 90 3,383 37.6 87 3,409 39.2 91 3,442 37.8 2,806 5,964 9,347 12,756 16,198 36.9
11 Rodney McCray 1983 79 2,081 26.3 87 3,182 36.6 102 3,445 33.8 85 3,295 38.8 81 2,689 33.2 2,081 5,263 8,708 12,003 14,692 33.9
12 Michael Jordan 1984 86 3,315 38.5 21 586 27.9 85 3,409 40.1 92 3,738 40.6 98 3,973 40.5 3,315 3,901 7,310 11,048 15,021 39.3
13 Benoit Benjamin 1985 79 2,088 26.4 72 2,230 31.0 66 2,171 32.9 79 2,585 32.7 71 2,313 32.6 2,088 4,318 6,489 9,074 11,387 31.0
14 Chris Washburn 1986 40 314 7.9 28 262 9.4 314 576 576 576 576 8.5
15 Dennis Hopson 1987 61 1,365 22.4 62 1,551 25.0 79 2,551 32.3 66 746 11.3 71 1,314 18.5 1,365 2,916 5,467 6,213 7,527 22.2
16 Charles Smith 1988 71 2,161 30.4 78 2,732 35.0 74 2,703 36.5 54 1,458 27.0 96 2,560 26.7 2,161 4,893 7,596 9,054 11,614 31.1
17 Sean Elliott 1989 91 2,323 25.5 86 3,176 36.9 85 3,257 38.3 80 2,985 37.3 88 2,983 33.9 2,323 5,499 8,756 11,741 14,724 34.2
18 Mahmoud Abdurl-Rauf 1990 67 1,505 22.5 81 1,538 19.0 81 2,710 33.5 92 2,956 32.1 76 2,158 28.4 1,505 3,043 5,753 8,709 10,867 27.4
19 Billy Owens 1991 84 2,667 31.8 37 1,201 32.5 82 2,865 34.9 70 2,296 32.8 66 2,113 32.0 2,667 3,868 6,733 9,029 11,142 32.9
20 Christian Laettner 1992 81 2,823 34.9 70 2,428 34.7 81 2,770 34.2 84 2,829 33.7 92 3,543 38.5 2,823 5,251 8,021 10,850 14,393 35.3
21 Anfernee Hardaway 1993 85 3,148 37.0 98 3,750 38.3 94 3,488 37.1 64 2,441 38.1 19 625 32.9 3,148 6,898 10,386 12,827 13,452 37.4
22 Grant Hill 1994 70 2,678 38.3 83 3,375 40.7 85 3,350 39.4 81 3,294 40.7 55 2,028 36.9 2,678 6,053 9,403 12,697 14,725 39.4
23 Jerry Stackhouse 1995 72 2,701 37.5 81 3,166 39.1 79 2,545 32.2 47 1,312 27.9 85 3,268 38.4 2,701 5,867 8,412 9,724 12,992 35.7
24 Shareef Abdur-Rahim 1996 80 2,802 35.0 82 2,950 36.0 50 2,021 40.4 82 3,223 39.3 81 3,241 40.0 2,802 5,752 7,773 10,996 14,237 38.0
25 Chauncey Billups 1997 80 2,216 27.7 45 1,488 33.1 13 305 23.5 80 1,816 22.7 85 2,489 29.3 2,216 3,704 4,009 5,825 8,314 27.4
26 Raef LaFrentz 1998 12 387 32.3 81 2,435 30.1 78 2,457 31.5 86 2,700 31.4 89 2,102 23.6 387 2,822 5,279 7,979 10,081 29.1
27 Baron Davis 1999 86 1,580 18.4 92 3,589 39.0 91 3,719 40.9 55 2,083 37.9 74 2,946 39.8 1,580 5,169 8,888 10,971 13,917 35.0
28 Darius Miles 2000 81 2,133 26.3 82 2,227 27.2 67 2,008 30.0 79 2,079 26.3 63 1,699 27.0 2,133 4,360 6,368 8,447 10,146 27.3
29 Pau Gasol 2001 82 3,007 36.7 82 2,948 36.0 82 2,592 31.6 60 1,923 32.1 84 3,293 39.2 3,007 5,955 8,547 10,470 13,763 35.3
30 Mike Dunleavy 2002 82 1,305 15.9 75 2,336 31.1 79 2,570 32.5 81 2,578 31.8 82 2,580 31.5 1,305 3,641 6,211 8,789 11,369 28.5
31 Carmelo Anthony 2003 86 3,138 36.5 80 2,788 34.9 85 3,134 36.9 70 2,696 38.5 81 2,952 36.4 3,138 5,926 9,060 11,756 14,708 36.6
32 Ben Gordon 2004 88 2,155 24.5 86 2,727 31.7 92 3,099 33.7 72 2,291 31.8 89 3,303 37.1 2,155 4,882 7,981 10,272 13,575 31.8
33 Deron Williams 2005 80 2,307 28.8 97 3,607 37.2 94 3,572 38.0 73 2,716 37.2 86 3,200 37.2 2,307 5,914 9,486 12,202 15,402 35.8
34 Adam Morrison 2006 78 2,326 29.8 52 711 13.7 33 254 7.7 2,326 3,037 3,291 3,291 3,291 20.2
35 Al Horford 2007 88 2,817 32.0 76 2,494 32.8 92 3,233 35.1 89 3,172 35.6 14 456 32.6 2,817 5,311 8,544 11,716 12,172 33.9
36 O.J. Mayo 2008 82 3,120 38.0 82 3,113 38.0 84 2,231 26.6 73 1,934 26.5 82 2,913 35.5 3,120 6,233 8,464 10,398 13,311 33.0
37 James Harden 2009 82 1,858 22.7 99 2,726 27.5 82 2,576 31.4 78 2,985 38.3 1,858 4,584 7,160 10,145 10,145 29.8
38 Derrick Favors 2010 78 1,535 19.7 81 1,903 23.5 65 1,376 21.2 1,535 3,438 4,814 4,814 4,814 21.5
39 Enes Kanter 2011 70 917 13.1 70 1,078 15.4 917 1,995 1,995 1,995 1,995 14.3
40 Bradley Beal 2012 56 1,745 31.2 1,745 1,745 1,745 1,745 1,745 31.2
G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
All 40 Years 3,086 88,387 28.6 2,945 92,169 31.3 2,890 94,086 32.6 2,711 85,903 31.7 2,511 80,416 32.0 2,210 4,514 6,866 9,014 11,024 31.2
Last 20 Years 1,518 43,875 28.9 1,524 49,411 32.4 1,345 44,530 33.1 1,170 39,243 33.5 1,069 37,095 34.7 2,194 4,664 6,891 8,853 10,708 32.3
Last 10 Years 788 21,918 27.8 723 21,147 29.2 627 19,475 31.1 455 15,794 34.7 352 12,824 36.4 2,192 4,307 6,254 7,833 9,116 31.0
Last 5 Years 368 9,175 24.9 332 8,820 26.6 231 6,183 26.8 151 4,919 32.6 82 2,913 35.5 1,835 3,599 4,836 5,819 6,402 27.5
Favors + Kanter 148 2,452 16.6 151 2,981 19.7 65 1,376 21.2 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 1,226 2,717 3,405 3,405 3,405 18.7

I know it would have been easier to just link to a table someone else made, but no one else did this. This is original research. It's a lot of numbers. And it's a large sample size. More than some other blogs give you. That's fine. Let's look at the critical data (cumulative career MPG at each year) in bar graph form.

Career_cumulative_minutes_for_draft_spot_3

Yeah, not exactly ahead of the curve there. Not exactly even keeping with the pack either. But if you hand pick the players to check Favors against in a careful way you can make it look nicer. The numbers for Derrick's 4th and 5th season remain to be seen. Kanter is in the same boat but also needs to play his 3rd season still. Even if Kanter plays 2k mins next year, the cumulative average for our boys will still be behind by 2k minutes. But of course, if you don't believe minutes mean anything, then we are still good. I don't know what the milk-dips to cookie dunk ratio for 6.8k career minutes are (as an average) for a third year #3 draft pick . . .I hope some day David Locke reveals the formula for that. (Was D-Will over dipped, or did playing 3.5+k mins in years 2 and 3 help him become an Olympian?)

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How does Gordon Hayward stack up against the last 40 years of the #9 Draft spot:

The #9 spot is far from the money maker that a #3 is. But it is funny in it's own way, because Gordon is the only guy who has gotten consistent minutes in his career, akin to that of a player on a positive development trajectory.

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Cumulative Mins per Career Cumulative
Player Draft G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
1 Dwight Jones 1973 74 1,448 19.6 75 2,086 27.8 66 1,762 26.7 86 1,485 17.3 82 2,476 30.2 1,448 3,534 5,296 6,781 9,257 24.2
2 Tom McMillen 1974 51 709 13.9 76 1,492 19.6 22 345 15.7 65 1,385 21.3 68 1,683 24.8 709 2,201 2,546 3,931 5,614 19.9
3 Gene Short 1975 34 222 6.5 7 37 5.3 27 185 6.9 222 259 444 444 444 6.5
4 Armond Hill 1976 81 1,825 22.5 84 2,591 30.8 91 2,794 30.7 84 2,201 26.2 75 1,738 23.2 1,825 4,416 7,210 9,411 11,149 26.9
5 Tom LaGarde 1977 86 945 11.0 23 575 25.0 96 1,327 13.8 82 2,670 32.6 47 909 19.3 945 1,520 2,847 5,517 6,426 19.2
6 Reggie Theus 1978 82 2,753 33.6 82 3,029 36.9 88 3,052 34.7 82 2,838 34.6 82 2,856 34.8 2,753 5,782 8,834 11,672 14,528 34.9
7 Larry Demic 1979 82 1,872 22.8 78 1,001 12.8 48 356 7.4 1,872 2,873 3,229 3,229 3,229 15.5
8 Michael Brooks 1980 82 2,479 30.2 82 2,750 33.5 82 2,457 30.0 47 1,405 29.9 10 148 14.8 2,479 5,229 7,686 9,091 9,239 30.5
9 Rolando Blackman 1981 82 1,979 24.1 75 2,349 31.3 91 3,422 37.6 85 3,003 35.3 92 3,158 34.3 1,979 4,328 7,750 10,753 13,911 32.7
10 Cliff Levingston 1982 62 879 14.2 85 1,847 21.7 74 2,017 27.3 90 2,125 23.6 91 1,956 21.5 879 2,726 4,743 6,868 8,824 22.0
11 Dale Ellis 1983 75 1,237 16.5 76 1,382 18.2 79 1,153 14.6 96 3,603 37.5 80 2,962 37.0 1,237 2,619 3,772 7,375 10,337 25.5
12 Otis Thorpe 1984 82 1,918 23.4 78 1,710 21.9 82 2,956 36.0 82 3,072 37.5 86 3,287 38.2 1,918 3,628 6,584 9,656 12,943 31.6
13 Charles Oakley 1985 80 1,860 23.3 85 3,109 36.6 92 3,189 34.7 91 2,903 31.9 71 2,532 35.7 1,860 4,969 8,158 11,061 13,593 32.4
14 Brad Sellers 1986 85 1,819 21.4 92 2,356 25.6 93 1,909 20.5 59 700 11.9 43 226 5.3 1,819 4,175 6,084 6,784 7,010 18.8
15 Derrick McKey 1987 87 1,815 20.9 90 3,090 34.3 80 2,748 34.4 77 2,617 34.0 61 2,072 34.0 1,815 4,905 7,653 10,270 12,342 31.2
16 Rony Seikaly 1988 78 1,962 25.2 74 2,409 32.6 64 2,171 33.9 82 2,917 35.6 72 2,456 34.1 1,962 4,371 6,542 9,459 11,915 32.2
17 Tom Hammonds 1989 61 805 13.2 70 1,023 14.6 37 984 26.6 54 713 13.2 82 926 11.3 805 1,828 2,812 3,525 4,451 14.6
18 Willie Burton 1990 76 1,928 25.4 68 1,585 23.3 26 451 17.3 55 708 12.9 53 1,564 29.5 1,928 3,513 3,964 4,672 6,236 22.4
19 Stacey Augmon 1991 82 2,505 30.5 76 2,205 29.0 93 2,929 31.5 79 2,414 30.6 87 2,608 30.0 2,505 4,710 7,639 10,053 12,661 30.4
20 Clarence Weatherspoon 1992 82 2,654 32.4 82 3,147 38.4 76 2,991 39.4 78 3,096 39.7 82 2,949 36.0 2,654 5,801 8,792 11,888 14,837 37.1
21 Rodney Rogers 1993 91 1,596 17.5 83 2,218 26.7 67 1,950 29.1 84 2,565 30.5 76 2,499 32.9 1,596 3,814 5,764 8,329 10,828 27.0
22 Eric Montross 1994 82 2,377 29.0 61 1,432 23.5 78 1,828 23.4 48 691 14.4 51 647 12.7 2,377 3,809 5,637 6,328 6,975 21.8
23 Ed O'Bannon 1995 64 1,253 19.6 64 809 12.6 1,253 2,062 2,062 2,062 2,062 16.1
24 Samaki Walker 1996 43 602 14.0 41 1,027 25.0 39 568 14.6 75 1,101 14.7 73 1,039 14.2 602 1,629 2,197 3,298 4,337 16.0
25 Tracy McGrady 1997 64 1,179 18.4 49 1,106 22.6 82 2,573 31.4 81 3,265 40.3 80 3,090 38.6 1,179 2,285 4,858 8,123 11,213 31.5
26 Dirk Nowitzki 1998 47 958 20.4 82 2,938 35.8 92 3,524 38.3 84 3,248 38.7 97 3,839 39.6 958 3,896 7,420 10,668 14,507 36.1
27 Shawn Marion 1999 60 1,541 25.7 83 2,996 36.1 81 3,109 38.4 87 3,655 42.0 79 3,217 40.7 1,541 4,537 7,646 11,301 14,518 37.2
28 Joel Przybilla 2000 34 271 8.0 71 1,128 15.9 36 579 16.1 17 347 20.4 76 1,858 24.4 271 1,399 1,978 2,325 4,183 17.9
29 Rodney White 2001 17 131 7.7 72 1,563 21.7 76 1,011 13.3 58 677 11.7 131 1,694 2,705 3,382 3,382 15.2
30 Amar'e Stoudemire 2002 88 2,773 31.5 55 2,025 36.8 95 3,490 36.7 3 50 16.7 92 3,032 33.0 2,773 4,798 8,288 8,338 11,370 34.1
31 Mike Sweetney 2003 46 551 12.0 77 1,509 19.6 72 1,342 18.6 49 388 7.9 551 2,060 3,402 3,790 3,790 15.5
32 Andre Iguodala 2004 87 2,878 33.1 82 3,086 37.6 76 3,062 40.3 88 3,476 39.5 88 3,538 40.2 2,878 5,964 9,026 12,502 16,040 38.1
33 Ike Diogu 2005 69 1,031 14.9 59 760 12.9 30 305 10.2 29 215 7.4 36 470 13.1 1,031 1,791 2,096 2,311 2,781 12.5
34 Patrick O'Bryant 2006 16 119 7.4 24 99 4.1 39 255 6.5 11 51 4.6 119 218 473 524 524 5.8
35 Joakim Noah 2007 74 1,534 20.7 87 2,209 25.4 69 2,113 30.6 64 2,105 32.9 67 2,044 30.5 1,534 3,743 5,856 7,961 10,005 27.7
36 D.J. Augustin 2008 72 1,908 26.5 84 1,545 18.4 82 2,757 33.6 48 1,408 29.3 77 1,237 16.1 1,908 3,453 6,210 7,618 8,855 24.4
37 DeMar DeRozan 2009 77 1,664 21.6 82 2,851 34.8 63 2,206 35.0 82 3,013 36.7 1,664 4,515 6,721 9,734 9,734 32.0
38 Gordon Hayward 2010 72 1,218 16.9 70 2,138 30.5 72 2,104 29.2 1,218 3,356 5,460 5,460 5,460 25.5
39 Kemba Walker 2011 66 1,792 27.2 82 2,859 34.9 1,792 4,651 4,651 4,651 4,651 31.4
40 Andre Drummond 2012 60 1,243 20.7 1,243 1,243 1,243 1,243 1,243 20.7
G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
All 40 Years 2,733 60,233 22.0 2,766 74,071 26.8 2,556 71,974 28.2 2,282 66,110 29.0 2,156 63,016 29.2 1,506 3,358 5,157 6,810 8,385 26.8
Last 20 Years 1,229 26,619 21.7 1,308 34,298 26.2 1,149 32,776 28.5 908 26,255 28.9 892 26,510 29.7 1,331 3,046 4,685 5,997 7,323 26.7
Last 10 Years 639 13,938 21.8 647 17,056 26.4 503 14,144 28.1 371 10,656 28.7 268 7,289 27.2 1,394 3,099 4,514 5,579 6,308 26.0
Last 5 Years 347 7,825 22.6 318 9,393 29.5 217 7,067 32.6 130 4,421 34.0 77 1,237 16.1 1,565 3,444 4,857 5,741 5,989 27.5
Gordon Hayward 138 3,010 21.8 152 4,997 32.9 72 2,104 29.2 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 1,505 4,004 5,056 5,056 5,056 27.9

I think that this is what you could build a case around. Hayward is "right THERE" or slightly better in total minutes vs #9 picks. He's also the guy we have seen the most confidence from on the court on offense and defense out of our youth. He's also the guy we've seen the most on court production from as well, from stealing the ball from Kobe Bryant, getting chase down blocks, or hitting game winners.

Career_cumulative_minutes_for_draft_spot_9

Of course, it couldn't possibly be the minutes. It's some sort of development fairy that visited him in his sleep. For we see Hayward being a productive player, we see that against his draft spot he's right there in terms of career minutes, and we see him play with confidence. He's also the guy who has played the most out of our lotto picks. But I thought too many minutes is bad, and just enough is the oreo, and, and, and? Okay, so Hayward's mins are just right, but are more than Favors, and these many mins for Favors would be too much?

But what can I expect from those who laud and disregard per 36 stats when they best serve their own argument? I could pull the reverse Locke and instead of removing the data from HOF players, remove the data for busts at #9. I guess Dale Ellis, Charles Oakley, Dirk, and Iggy are over-dipped because they played thousands of more minutes than Gordo did. Oh, but that would be dishonest, and a small sample size.

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How does Alec Burks stack up against the last 40 years of the #12 Draft spot:

The #12 spot is where all-around players go to die, and where specialists bloom. The players here suck, right? So Burks should be ahead here.

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Cumulative Mins per Career Cumulative
Player Draft G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
1 Kevin Kunnert 1973 64 701 11.0 83 2,045 24.6 80 2,335 29.2 93 2,378 25.6 80 2,152 26.9 701 2,746 5,081 7,459 9,611 24.0
2 Brian Winters 1974 68 1,516 22.3 81 2,921 36.1 78 2,717 34.8 89 3,056 34.3 79 2,575 32.6 1,516 4,437 7,154 10,210 12,785 32.4
3 Frank Oleynick 1975 52 650 12.5 50 516 10.3 650 1,166 1,166 1,166 1,166 11.4
4 Terry Furlow 1976 37 190 5.1 55 877 15.9 87 1,930 22.2 76 2,122 27.9 190 1,067 2,997 5,119 5,119 20.1
5 Cedric Maxwell 1977 72 1,213 16.8 80 2,969 37.1 89 3,064 34.4 98 3,328 34.0 90 2,975 33.1 1,213 4,182 7,246 10,574 13,549 31.6
6 George Johnson 1978 67 1,157 17.3 75 1,938 25.8 45 953 21.2 59 720 12.2 82 2,297 28.0 1,157 3,095 4,048 4,768 7,065 21.5
7 Jim Paxon 1979 75 1,314 17.5 80 2,705 33.8 82 2,756 33.6 88 3,000 34.1 86 2,858 33.2 1,314 4,019 6,775 9,775 12,633 30.7
8 Mike Woodson 1980 83 957 11.5 83 2,331 28.1 81 2,426 30.0 74 1,925 26.0 78 1,998 25.6 957 3,288 5,714 7,639 9,637 24.2
9 Kelly Tripucka 1981 82 3,077 37.5 58 2,252 38.8 81 2,701 33.3 64 1,963 30.7 85 2,801 33.0 3,077 5,329 8,030 9,993 12,794 34.6
10 John Bagley 1982 68 990 14.6 76 1,712 22.5 85 2,569 30.2 78 2,472 31.7 72 2,182 30.3 990 2,702 5,271 7,743 9,925 26.2
11 Darrell Walker 1983 94 1,519 16.2 82 2,489 30.4 81 2,023 25.0 84 2,088 24.9 57 1,095 19.2 1,519 4,008 6,031 8,119 9,214 23.2
12 Tim McCormick 1984 78 1,584 20.3 77 1,705 22.1 86 2,938 34.2 70 2,114 30.2 85 1,310 15.4 1,584 3,289 6,227 8,341 9,651 24.4
13 Kenny Green 1985 41 453 11.0 19 172 9.1 453 625 625 625 625 10.4
14 John Williams 1986 81 1,822 22.5 87 2,613 30.0 82 2,413 29.4 18 632 35.1 33 941 28.5 1,822 4,435 6,848 7,480 8,421 28.0
15 Muggsy Bogues 1987 80 1,630 20.4 79 1,755 22.2 81 2,743 33.9 81 2,299 28.4 82 2,790 34.0 1,630 3,385 6,128 8,427 11,217 27.8
16 Harvey Grant 1988 71 1,193 16.8 81 1,846 22.8 77 2,842 36.9 64 2,388 37.3 72 2,667 37.0 1,193 3,039 5,881 8,269 10,936 30.0
17 Mookie Blaylock 1989 50 1,267 25.3 72 2,585 35.9 76 2,696 35.5 83 2,919 35.2 92 3,330 36.2 1,267 3,852 6,548 9,467 12,797 34.3
18 Alec Kessler 1990 78 1,259 16.1 79 1,209 15.3 40 415 10.4 15 66 4.4 1,259 2,468 2,883 2,949 2,949 13.9
19 Greg Anthony 1991 94 1,723 18.3 85 1,939 22.8 105 2,430 23.1 72 1,078 15.0 69 2,096 30.4 1,723 3,662 6,092 7,170 9,266 21.8
20 Harold Miner 1992 73 1,383 18.9 67 1,415 21.1 45 871 19.4 19 136 7.2 1,383 2,798 3,669 3,805 3,805 18.7
21 George Lynch 1993 71 1,762 24.8 66 1,089 16.5 78 1,027 13.2 41 1,059 25.8 82 1,493 18.2 1,762 2,851 3,878 4,937 6,430 19.0
22 Khalid Reeves 1994 67 1,462 21.8 51 833 16.3 63 1,432 22.7 82 1,950 23.8 11 112 10.2 1,462 2,295 3,727 5,677 5,789 21.1
23 Cherokee Parks 1995 64 869 13.6 77 972 12.6 80 1,704 21.3 48 1,118 23.3 56 808 14.4 869 1,841 3,545 4,663 5,471 16.8
24 Vitaly Potapenko 1996 80 1,238 15.5 84 1,482 17.6 50 1,394 27.9 79 1,797 22.7 82 1,901 23.2 1,238 2,720 4,114 5,911 7,812 20.8
25 Austin Croshere 1997 26 243 9.3 28 250 8.9 104 2,375 22.8 85 2,003 23.6 80 1,345 16.8 243 493 2,868 4,871 6,216 19.2
26 Michael Doleac 1998 53 823 15.5 81 1,335 16.5 81 1,443 17.8 42 705 16.8 75 1,041 13.9 823 2,158 3,601 4,306 5,347 16.1
27 Aleksandar Radojevic 1999 2 24 12.0 12 128 10.7 24 152 152 152 152 10.9
28 Etan Thomas 2000 47 618 13.1 38 513 13.5 79 1,901 24.1 55 1,102 20.0 74 1,139 15.4 618 1,131 3,032 4,134 5,273 18.0
29 Vladimir Radmanovic 2001 66 1,343 20.3 72 1,910 26.5 77 2,321 30.1 69 1,978 28.7 89 2,220 24.9 1,343 3,253 5,574 7,552 9,772 26.2
30 Melvin Ely 2002 52 802 15.4 42 510 12.1 79 1,649 20.9 57 1,348 23.6 30 309 10.3 802 1,312 2,961 4,309 4,618 17.8
31 Nick Collison 2003 93 1,614 17.4 66 1,448 21.9 82 2,378 29.0 78 2,223 28.5 71 1,831 25.8 1,614 3,062 5,440 7,663 9,494 24.3
32 Robert Swift 2004 16 72 4.5 47 987 21.0 8 98 12.3 26 343 13.2 72 1,059 1,157 1,500 1,500 15.5
33 Yaroslav Korolev 2005 24 127 5.3 10 41 4.1 127 168 168 168 168 4.9
34 Hilton Armstrong 2006 56 634 11.3 73 804 11.0 74 1,145 15.5 33 335 10.2 61 523 8.6 634 1,438 2,583 2,918 3,441 11.6
35 Thaddeus Young 2007 80 1,714 21.4 81 2,809 34.7 67 2,145 32.0 87 2,262 26.0 76 2,032 26.7 1,714 4,523 6,668 8,930 10,962 28.0
36 Jason Thompson 2008 82 2,303 28.1 75 2,357 31.4 75 1,748 23.3 64 1,657 25.9 82 2,285 27.9 2,303 4,660 6,408 8,065 10,350 27.4
37 Gerald Henderson 2009 43 355 8.3 68 1,661 24.4 55 1,831 33.3 68 2,133 31.4 355 2,016 3,847 5,980 5,980 25.6
38 Xavier Henry 2010 38 527 13.9 45 759 16.9 50 625 12.5 527 1,286 1,911 1,911 1,911 14.4
39 Alec Burks 2011 63 1,002 15.9 64 1,137 17.8 1,002 2,139 2,139 2,139 2,139 16.8
40 Jeremy Lamb 2012 23 147 6.4 147 147 147 147 147 6.4
G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG G Min MPG 1 2 3 4 5 5 Yr MPG
All 40 Years 2,454 43,277 17.6 2,529 59,019 23.3 2,483 66,038 26.6 2,139 56,697 26.5 2,011 51,106 25.4 1,082 2,557 4,208 5,626 6,903 23.8
Last 20 Years 1,046 17,679 16.9 1,080 21,025 19.5 1,102 25,216 22.9 914 22,013 24.1 869 17,039 19.6 884 1,935 3,196 4,297 5,149 20.5
Last 10 Years 518 8,495 16.4 529 12,003 22.7 411 9,970 24.3 356 8,953 25.1 290 6,671 23.0 850 2,050 3,047 3,942 4,609 21.9
Last 5 Years 249 4,334 17.4 252 5,914 23.5 180 4,204 23.4 132 3,790 28.7 82 2,285 27.9 867 2,050 2,890 3,648 4,105 22.9
Alec Burks 63 1,002 15.9 64 1,137 17.8 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 1,002 2,139 2,139 2,139 2,139 16.8

Nope.

Career_cumulative_minutes_for_draft_spot_12

Freaking Hot Plate Williams played more. Former All-Star Kelly Tripucka played a thousand more mins in his rookie than Burks has in 2 years. I guess the only answer is that Burks must really suck (some Jazz media guys are hard already), or Raja Bell / Jamaal Tinsley are too awesome. Or maybe he's an under dipped cookie? Not according to the recent years, but let's not forget that the last 5 and 10 years data sets include a guy (Lamb) who has only played 1 season - skewing the data. (This is also the case for Beal and Drummond)

.

.

Bottom line:

  • For the last 40 years the #3 pick AVERAGED 6,866 career mins after year 3, Favors has only 4,814
  • For the last 40 years the #3 pick AVERAGED 4,514 career mins after year 2, Kanter has only1,995
  • For the last 40 years the #9 pick AVERAGED 5,157 career mins after year 3, Hayward has only 5,056
  • For the last 40 years the #12 pick AVERAGED 2,557 career mins after year 2, Burks has only 2,139

Yup. Initial defense force will say "LOCKOUT !!!11!" but if you think Alec was going to play 500 more mins in the 16 (82 minus 66) games had there been no lockout you should probably should stick to milk and cookies; math is out of your league.

I chose total minutes by season, because a long playoff run and playing time in it is useful too (James Harden played 537 and 630 more mins in 2nd and 3rd seasons for example -- Kanter has only 43 when we made the playoffs); and grading them by season. In this version of the NBA it's season, not age, that is the true denominator. Why? Look at the rules for rookie contracts again. Lastly, I used numbers. And I used every data point for 40 years. (I did not eliminate HOFers, I want to compare our lotto guys against the best!) And I did not use subjective, idiotic terms -- that are internally inconsistent (Hayward's mins are just right, but they are more than Favors' mins, and had Derrick played as much, he'd be over dipped -- they are of the same draft class).

Maybe minutes help a player get there faster? I wonder how Karl Malone would have developed playing less than half a game, off the bench, in each of his first three seasons -- instead of 30+ right out of the gate? Or maybe it was his greatness that allowed for him to play so much so early?

What I do know is that by the numbers, against a non-manicured sample size, our guys have received BELOW AVERAGE on court experience while winning ZERO playoff games in three seasons. (A rare feat that we don't see Championship winning franchises make!) I also know that certain media members get financial performance bonuses for using social media to proselytize our failures as calculated goals met by unerringly precise, design.

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EDIT: Looking at the first four seasons for the core of three West conference Playoff teams -- and us. (Reg + Playoff Min)

Ccm_sas_gsw_hou_uta

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