In the NBA, the team can make the player.
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't get put into the right situation—with the right coach, the right style, the right teammates and the right location—there's a good chance you won't thrive.
Just look at Danny Green, who was waiver-wire fodder in Cleveland but a near finals MVP in San Antonio.
Not all cases are quite that drastic, but for several polarizing players in the upcoming NBA draft, the team that drafts them could prove to be critical for their future success.
Let's take a look at some best-possible scenarios.
SG/SF Shabazz Muhammad: Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 9)
In order for Shabazz Muhammad to fully take advantage of his talent, he needs a point guard—or more specifically, a pass-first point guard.
There's little question that the UCLA star can be a scorer. In his only season with the Bruins, he averaged 23.2 points per 40 minutes, which was one of the best marks in America.
However, you have to consider the way in which he tends to get his points. He isn't overly athletic and more importantly, isn't a great playmaker who can create his own shot.
Instead, he scores mostly via fast breaks, jump shots and offensive rebounds, as he exhibits his toughness and warrior-like mentality.
Although that can obviously be effective, it doesn't suggest he will be a future No. 1 go-to option. Still, he has the talent and tireless work ethic to be a dangerous scorer as long as there is someone capable of setting him up and letting him work off the ball.
In Minnesota, Ricky Rubio, one of the best distributors in the Association, would do wonders for Muhammad's game.
It's worth noting that the T-Wolves don't need a small forward for the very near future, but if they believe they can slot Muhammad at the 2, there's a chance they take a risk on the intriguing talent depending on how the first eight picks play out.
The burgeoning star can only hope.
PG Michael Carter-Williams: Milwaukee Bucks (No. 15)
You aren't going to find a more enigmatic player than Michael Carter-Williams.
On one hand, he has a blend of size (6'6" with a 6'7" wingspan), playmaking ability, vision (7.3 assists per game), defensive prowess (2.8 steals per game) and limitless upside that makes him a potential top-five pick.
However, he tends to make poor decisions, turn the ball over too much (3.4 per game) and shoot like Rajon Rondo on a bad day (29.2 percent from deep, 69.4 percent from the line).
Carter-Williams is someone who you have to let be himself and accept the bad along with the good; you have to let him loose.
H is a highlight-reel player who he would thrive in an up-tempo environment, and according to NBA.com, the Milwaukee Bucks averaged the third-fastest pace in the NBA last season.
This depends on the future of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, of course, as Carter-Williams likely wouldn't mesh very well with either of them, but should they leave via free agency, the former Syracuse star would have the freedom to play his game and gain much-needed confidence.
PF Tony Mitchell: San Antonio Spurs (No. 28)
Tony Mitchell is the epitome of frustrating.
Blessed with impressive physical tools, the 6'9", 240-pound athletic power forward has the raw talent to be selected in the top 10 of this draft.
But take a look at his staggering regression at North Texas this past year:
Throw in the fact that his field goal percentage took an unprecedented fall from 56.7 to 44.0 percent, and there's obviously reason to worry.
Nevertheless, we know the talent is there. What Mitchell needs is a good coaching staff and veterans who will take him under their wing.
There are a lot of options for that at the end of the first round (read: playoff teams), but having the guidance of the best head coach in the league in Gregg Popovich and arguably the best power forward of all time in Tim Duncan, can't be beat.
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