8 NBA Rookies Who Won't Reach Full Potential with Their Current Team
This is a list inspired by the trade that sent Thomas Robinson to Houston.
In Sacramento, Robinson was in an environment unfit for his development. His potential would have never been reached had he been stuck in that particular lineup.
Now in Houston, he has a coach and supporting cast that can maximize his abilities and give him the best chance at fulfilling his promise as an NBA player.
Robinson wasn't the only one put in a bad situation.
Many of the prospects from the 2012 class were drafted by a team that could be holding them back.
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
In Toronto, there's just too many wings higher than Terrence Ross in the pecking order.
He's going to have trouble seeing floor time with DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Alan Anderson and Landry Fields all standing in his way.
Ross is the type of player who needs rhythm. He has the ability to heat up from downtown, and sporadic four-minute runs won't allow him to do that.
He's in the process right now of figuring out how to generate his own offense. The more reps he gets, the quicker he'll learn. There just aren't enough reps to go around in Toronto.
Kendall Marshall, Phoenix Suns
I couldn't believe my ears when David Stern announced that the Phoenix Suns had selected Kendall Marshall.
Marshall is a table-setter who works best when those joining him are hungry.
In other words, without talent around him, Marshall is ineffective. He doesn't have the athleticism to beat defenders off the dribble and break down the defense.
At North Carolina, he was surrounded by a talented cast. Marshall was able to put his teammates in position to make a play, and they'd make it.
But in Phoenix, his teammates aren't talented enough to convert on scoring opportunities.
Without scorers and finishers around him, along with a starting point guard in Goran Dragic who just inked a multi-year deal, Marshall will never reach his potential playing in Phoenix.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond will never reach his potential with Greg Monroe in the middle, Lawrence Frank on the sidleline and a scorer running the point.
Monroe spends just about all of his time occupying the space from foul line to baseline. But so does Drummond.
You don't usually see lineups where the 4 and 5 are both interior-only players. This leads to a clogged lane and poor floor balance, considering each player brings a defender into the paint.
Drummond will also be a lot more effective with a natural point guard who can facilitate and set up easy scoring opportunities for his teammates.
He'll be a lot better off once he gets consistent minutes and a more balanced supporting cast.
Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder
The trade that sent Jeremy Lamb from Houston to Oklahoma City worked out for everyone but him.
Lamb is stuck playing behind Kevin Durant, Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha, and now Ronnie Brewer.
The good news is that you couldn't ask for a better place to develop if it's not going to be during live game action. Practicing with and against guys like Durant, Martin and Russell Westbrook will better prepare him for when his time eventually comes.
Chances are that happens in a few years with a different team.
Royce White, Houston Rockets
This relationship became tarnished before Royce White even played a game for the Houston Rockets.
With tension in the workplace, Houston isn't the ideal environment for someone like White to develop.
White will never reach his potential if he's not comfortable where he is. So much of learning the game is mental, which is likely an understatement in this particular situation.
It will be interesting to see how this storyline plays out. White is an NBA talent, but apparently needs everything in place for that talent to emerge.
Arnett Moultrie, Philadelphia 76ers
Doug Collins just doesn't like playing guys who haven't yet developed.
Arnett Moultrie falls into that category.
He's actually a prospect I felt went way too late in the draft, falling to No. 27 overall, when he was traded from Miami to Philadelphia.
Moultrie is a project, though one who fits the bill as an NBA rotational big man. He's 6'11'' and exceptionally athletic, making plays at the rim or even spotting up from deep.
But he's not going to reach his potential until his third contract in the league, and it's probably not going to be with the Sixers.
Perry Jones, Oklahoma City Thunder
Perry Jones slipped all the way down the board during the 2012 NBA draft and landed with a team that doesn't have many open positions.
Oklahoma City is a win-now team without time for young rookies to be learning on the job.
Jones will use his time in Oklahoma City to develop, but his potential is unlikely to be reached here. There's just not much use for him with how the current roster is constructed.
Quincy Miller, Denver Nuggets
If Quincy Miller ever turns out to be the NBA player we thought he could be coming out of high school, it's not going to be with the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets have a record-setting number of small forwards already on the roster, which is the only position that Miller is capable of playing.
Miller would have been better off returning to school and working on his game. But instead, he left when his stock was low and he slipped to the second round.
He's years from reaching his potential, which is actually quite high for a No. 38 overall pick. But he's not going to get there on Denver's bench.