FanPost

First post - How do bad-to-decent upgrades look historically?

Hi everyone, this is my first post on CH, though I've been lurking since I couldn't get enough Wolves news during the Batum saga. I really dig the community and I think there are some excellent basketball minds on here, but I have a question that I haven't seen addressed.

I've seen a lot of comments that revolve around the idea that upgrading from horrible to decent can equal a big boost in wins or the ability for a basketball team to win. This comes up whenever we talk about our wings especially, most famously in the equation Kirilinko - Johnson = Durant.

But that seems ridiculous to me. It's fun to play with stats, and it's hard to overstate how bad Wes Johnson was, or how big of an upgrade Kirilinko will be, but it's impossible for me to believe that upgrading from Wes to Kirilinko is the same as upgrading from a neutral player to Durant.

I'm getting off topic, but the point is that I think stats can only take us so far. What I want to know is if there is any historical evidence for the type of upgrade we're expecting from the Wolves. In other words, have there been many teams that have had a few good players and a bunch of bad ones, missed the playoffs, then upgraded everyone but the good players, and saw a dramatic increase in victories? It's easy to look through history and see the huge improvements made by teams that added a superstar, but does upgrading from terrible to competent actually affect win totals from a historical perspective rather than a statistical perspective? Can someone more knowledgeable than me find any examples? Can anyone who's more pessimistic about our offseason provide any counter-examples? I'm really curious to know.

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