Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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Rights Information

© 2014 Nicholas B. Kennedy


NBA general managers are responsible for all aspects of roster management and seek to acquire players with complementary skills. Ayer (2012) examines elements of roster composition, including player types and the impact of the composition of a team’s top two and three players on winning games. I expand the literature on roster composition by redefining player types and examining the impact of star and role player combinations on playoff success. Contrary to popular belief, I find that general managers should avoid superstar point guards, as teams featuring this player type tend to underperform in the playoffs. The results of this study suggest that teams should seek to acquire, among other player types, two elite wings, one defensive-specialist, and one three-point specialist, all found on a total of five championship teams from 1994 to 2013.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.