This was initially a response to a thread posted earlier today about drafting walker when we already have bayless. You can see that thread here and weigh in if you want.
I started writing my response and halfway through I realized that it wasn't really about bayless and walker but more about this idea of "redundancy" (whatever that means) and how I think it is AWESOME not a PROBLEM to be avoided. So I decided copy/paste as a new thread.
I really don't like the "does so-and-so make what's-his-name redundant?" questions. Whether it's Amir and Davis or now with bayless and walker, it think the whole question is pretty useless. I think "redundancy" only comes in to play a negative role is where you have two guys who BOTH make too much money to come off the bench at the same position and/or are both unhappy about the amount of minutes they are getting. But these problems are either financial problems or locker room chemistry problems, that in reality have very little to do with players having "similar games". The fact of the matter is that if you have two really good players, and their isn't a better option readily available, you can afford BOTH and they don't mind sharing the position why wouldn't you want both? The only argument I can find is that by having a player who "provides a different look" gives you a tactical advantage.
I don't buy this argument and I'll point to two examples where redundancy pays off:
Case 1 Miami Heat: Aren't Wade, Lebron, and even Bosh-to a lesser extent, "redundant" because they are all ball-dominant players? Wasn't that the big question facing Miami this year, could Lebron and Wade coexist? I don't know about the rest of you, but even though I'm not a big fan of Miami I do have them penciled in with a finals appearance. Regardless of whether they win this year or not I think they've proven to the doubters, and hopeful haters (myself included), that despite their similar games and their need to "dominate the ball on offense" that they can win.
Second, look at team USA, they don't say well we can't take Chris Paul and Deron Williams because their games are too similar, and they wouldn't have hesitated to have Shaq backed up by Dwight Howard if they were both the best at the same time. Team USA would NEVER pass on an amazing player because his game is too similar to another player on the team. You take the most skilled players that are going to play as a TEAM.
YES, their can be problems managing players who are unhappy with their role. Just ask the Lakers during the Shaq/Kobe era, but we can agree that had nothing to do with their skills being "redundant" but them not being able to manage their ego's and accept certain roles. Does having players with a similar skill set/talent increase the odds of a locker room bitterness? MAYBE. But that doesn't mean you pass up on a player that makes your roster better because you are worried about personalities.
I think part of this "redundancy is bad" argument stems from the success of the Calderon/TJ Ford years where our success was seen as having the "different looks" our two pgs w/ different styles offered. If having two pgs with different styles makes us good then having to PG's with the same style makes us bad, right? But how did that turn out? At least one of them wasn't happy with their role and was traded. Avoiding "redundancies" won't save you from locker room problems that arise with athletes performing at this level.
"Redundancy" is a red herring: No matter how "similar" a players game is on paper, each player has different tendancies and moves. Different reactions and choices in the same scenario. No matter how similar players are, you have to prepare for them differently. OR at least you should.
If you want to win you compile a TEAM of the best players you can get regardless of whether they may or may not have "similar games". Even if having two similar players allows an opposing team to have a simpler game plan doesn't change the fact that they have to EXECUTE it for an ENTIRE game against TWO really good players who aren't going to make that very easy. Redundancy doesn't make you worse, in fact it makes you better if it means you have 48 minutes of awesomeness at a single position instead of a measly 36.