Playing in a system may be good for a lot of players, as it hides some of their flaws in the offensive or defensive end of the hardwood thanks to their teammates and the hard work of the coaching staff.
Some players thrive and become studs in a team and then wind up being mere flukes when they’re traded or sign elsewhere, Avery Bradley being perhaps the most recent example of that premise.
Other players are good, but not as good as everybody thinks they are, and it is their team that makes them stand out. Today, we’re going to talk about 10 players that wouldn’t be that good if they played elsewhere.
10. John Henson
John Henson is a guy that has always looked as if he was ready to take a step forward and establish himself as one of the league’s best rim protectors, but always falls short due to his offensive inconsistency and proneness to get in foul trouble.
He has thrived lately with the Milwaukee Bucks due to the fact that the team features players with huge wingspans and switchable defenders, so his long arms really come handy. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be in the league anymore for sure.
9. Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier has been one of the Orlando Magic’s few bright spots in the offensive end of the floor ever since getting there, even though he was looking like a major bust early on with the Nuggets.
Fournier’s stats are out of context, mostly because he’s had to handle point guard duties through several stretches, not to mention be the only guy slightly capable of making a pull-up jumper on that team.
8. Robert Covington
The last couple of seasons, Robert Covington has surged as a bigger version of Trevor Ariza, a 3 and D stopper that could guard 1 through 5 with great ease, and one of the Philadelphia 76ers’ X-Factor.
Nonetheless, he tends to get lost in the offensive end and if it wasn’t for his talented teammates he would’ve been vastly exposed as the streaky shooter he is. Also, his teammates being as long as they are, they really help him when he gets caught up in switches.
7. Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis was a stud early on with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first couple of months of the season, but his lack of experience and defensive awareness costed him not only his starting spot but also his spot on the team.
Now that he’s with the Pacers and playing off the bench, he has the possibility of playing against slower and less talented scorers and doesn’t get as exposed in defense as he used to be, not to mention he’s now playing on a team where he’s actually featured on offense.
6. Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson was one of the league’s best offensive rebounders, but other than that and being famous for switching his free throw shooting hand from left to right and vice versa, he wasn’t truly known in this league.
Hell, if it wasn’t for the fact that LeBron James really liked his hustle in the playoffs, he would’ve never signed that huge deal he signed a couple of seasons ago, and he would never start on any other team.
5. JR Smith
JR Smith was all over the place throughout his entire career. He just couldn’t be tamed. Contested pull up shots with 15 seconds left in the clock, jogging back on defense, hitting the club, you name it.
As a matter of fact, he even admitted that being dealt away to Cleveland was going to be good for him because he wouldn’t go out as much as he did in New York. If it wasn’t for the Cavs and LeBron, he wouldn’t even be in the league anymore.
4. Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside was thrown out of the league by the Sacramento Kings, and even though the Kings have a history of making terrible decisions, they may have not been that wrong when they gave up on him.
Whiteside is so full of himself and thinks he is way better than he actually is. Coach Spoelstra knows he’s a stat padder and benched him through key stretches, and there’s a reason why no team has made a serious inquiry about him despite knowing he wants out of the Heat.
3. Clint Capela
Clint Capela has quietly and rapidly surged as one of the league’s top-tier rim protectors and that’s mostly on him for sure, earning a huge paycheck as the Houston Rockets’ defensive anchor.
But, now that Chris Paul’s also on board, he’s made Capela even better, as he’s turned him into an offensive factor as well on pick and roll sets and throwing him a lot of lobs as he used to do with DeAndre Jordan.
2. Mike Conley
Mike Conley was a late bloomer after everybody thought he’d be a major bust, and up to this date, I still believe he’s one of the most underrated point guards in the game due to his two-way expertise.
Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for the Grizzlies’ slow-paced offense, Conley would be really exposed at that end of the floor. He lacks the speed or explosiveness to constantly create his own shot, and having Tony Allen next to him really helped him look like more of a stopper.
1. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is arguably the most versatile defender in the league and that has absolutely nothing to do with the Golden State Warriors, even though it was Steve Kerr who gave him the starting nod.
Still, if it wasn’t for the kind of shooters he’s surrounded with, he’d be a huge offensive liability and a spacing nightmare as well. Moreover, he’s become a nice playmaker because of Thompson’s and Curry’s top-tier off-ball shooting.