Wait -- is your theory that no matter how much better AG was playing than Cole and Gaffney Hurley wouldn't try to have him back for next year because 30 minutes a game didn't fit into Hurley's earlier plan? You realize how crazy that sounds? You don't think that Hurley's plan for next year didn't change materially because of the way Whaley finished last season?I don't believe it had anything to do with AGs decision. If RJ is as good as AG was overall his last 6-7 games we will be very good. The fact is why would AG fight what is obvious, Danny brought him in to run the team for 2 years so the minutes would be split at best. He didn't leave because he thought he wasn't as good or maybe better than RJ it was just time to hand it over and go somewhere he can be the 30 minute guy. Like it or not even if AG was playing really good RJ and Gaff would still get minutes, why stay? The plan was in place, good for everyone, I hope!
We don't have any idea how good Cole is likely to be compared to Gilbert. You know three people who have a pretty good idea at this point -- Cole, Gilbert and Hurley. Draw from that what inference you will.
Finally, this comparison to Larrier, Purvis and Wilson is overblown. Wilson came here with zero minutes having been played in college and positive statements were based solely on potential and were probably said in part to keep Sid's confidence up given his mother's death. Larrier, we have no idea how his career would have played out if he hadn't blown his knee out right at the start. Purvis was somewhat of a disappointment, no question, but he had a solid career and had the physical talent to do more if he had played for a coach that developed players and figured out how to get the most out of their talents, but that stopped happening towards the end of KO's tenure.