The draft and free agency will be huge for the Wiz, but player development can't be overlooked. Even if the young guys don't play tons of minutes next year, those minutes will be key to playoff seeding and to making sure our stars reach the playoffs with their health and something left in the tank.
Can Flip identify the young guys with talent and develop them?
I looked up Chauncy Billups' career numbers after Rook wrote about Billups' improvement after Flip became Detroit's coach. (Of course, Billups had already led the Pistons to a championship and been Finals MVP by the time Flip arrived.)
Needless to say, Rook was right. What I hadn't known was that Flip had coached Billups before, during the 00-01 and 01-02 seasons in Minneapolis. In that stint, Billups was unimpressive and went to Detroit as a free agent in 02. There are plenty of possible explanations of why Billups wasn't successful in Minneapolis, but does this suggest a problem identifying or developing talented players? Did Flip develop any young guys in Detroit, or did he ride his veterans?
We've heard that Flip likes a tight rotation and a veteran team. He's claimed that 60 percent of his playbook is devoted to defense. JaVale McGee has great physical tools, but has been clueless on defense. Will McGee get the playing time and coaching he needs to be a defensive force by playoff time? The answers to questions like this will be a big factor in how far the team goes next season.