Alright we're back with another start/bench/cut debate where this time we're talking two way wings. For the sake of this exercise I'm going to be using Klay's 2018-19 season and we're going to assume everyone is at 100% health. Klay's ACL is good, George's shoulders are good, things of that nature. What makes this an interesting debate is all three give you something different. Maybe you think George is the best all around player. Klay gives you elite shooting and defense, Butler gives you playmaking and strong play in the clutch. But as you'll see from a metrics standpoint all three are pretty similar. As always we'll look at each one before coming up with our final order.
2019-20 stats: 20.2 points / 6.6 rebounds / 6.1 assists / 1.7 steals / 45% FG% / 24% 3P% with 0.5 3PM / 123 Ortg / 108 Drtg
I think we can all agree that Jimmy Butler's first season in Miami was pretty fucking good despite his inability to make a three. It's like he went to PHI and that shit rubbed off on him or something. There's a reason the Heat jumped all the way to the 4th seed and Butler's all around production is certainly high on this list. His offensive rating continued to be in the 120s, but I would say his defense took a slight jump as well comparer to what we saw in MIN/PHI. He may not be what he was in his prime, but he's close to it.
You're also a big time alpha which you have to factor into this exercise.
2018-19 stats: 21.5 points / 3.8 rebounds / 2.4 assists / 1.1 steals / 46% FG% / 40% 3P% with 3.1 3PM / 110 Ortg / 112 Drtg
With Klay, you're taking a hit in terms of all around play as well as a dip on the defensive end but you're also getting one of the greatest shooters to ever live who has championship experience. Not to mention the cool factor. I'm not sure there is a cooler NBA player than Klay Thompson. It's why everyone loves him. Plus when he catches fire it's unlike anything we see in the league from someone not named Steph Curry.
2019-20 stats: 21.0 points / 5.7 rebounds / 3.9 assists / 1.3 steals / 43% FG% / 39% 3P% with 3.2 3PM / 111 Ortg / 105 Drtg
Much like Butler, Paul George's first season in LA was pretty fucking good. He's played only 42 games but his averages are pretty in line with what you expect. He definitely has the reputation working in his favor and you could argue is having the best defensive season. There is no denying that when George is healthy and is at the top of his game he can play at an MVP level. We don't exactly see that from the other two.
So what's my order? After a long internal debate, I think this is where I net out
Start: Paul George
Bench: Jimmy Butler
Cut: Klay Thompson
Allow me to explain. Remember, this isn't a historical ranking. If that were the case the order would be different. This is based on their most current seasons. You may think it's weird to cut one of then greatest shooters ever, but Paul George this season essentially gives you what Klay did last year. Over 3.0 3PM and nearly 40% from deep. What I'm getting in terms of a defender and playmaker is better with George. I'm keeping Butler because he has the best all around production. The efficiency might not be there, but that's why I have George. You give me that alpha mentality, some good defense, and someone who I can run at point to initiate my offense and that's what separates him from Klay. We don't see Klay doing that do we? This order gives me more versatility while not losing all that much production from deep, which is Klay's biggest strength.
I feel like this is really the only way to go if we were talking about these three players and their individual production right this second. Do you agree? If not, what's your order?