@tundrahok Potential is an important factor in readiness. I have long argued that the improvement of players in college is limited because the level of competition is not consistently high enough to push them to develop, the coaching is too limited (weekly limits in season and during the summer) and they are not forced to expand their game.
I used Julian Wright before, so I will go back to him. At his size, he was going to be an NBA small forward. The average small forward in the NBA is 6-7. The average power forward is 6-9. However, in college, the average small forward is closer to 6-4 or 6-5. The average power forward is around 6-7. Therefore, Wright’s size and athleticism made him a mismatch sizewise for not only small forwards in college, but also power forwards. And that’s before we start talking about skill level.
Look at this year’s schedule for KU. It’s a tough schedule. One of the toughest in the nation. Andrew Wiggins will be an NBA small forward, same as Wright would have been. He’s playing on the perimeter as he should be. And yet he has had exactly one game this year where he has faced a guy that was both his size AND close to his skill (vs. Duke with Hood and Parker). Every other game has been against guys that were either too small or not skilled enough from an NBA perspective. One season of that is fine because it transitions him from dunking over 6-4 centers in high school to playing against some more size in college, but the skill will really ramp up in the NBA. But two seasons of that could cause him to start developing bad habits like forcing jump shots over defenders that are 2-3 inches shorter, or gambling on defense and depending on athleticism rather than positioning to recover.
For the most elite players, they need to move to higher levels of competition quickly to avoid developing bad habits by facing inferior competition.