Rather than creating another thread that gives members of the community a prime forum to take shots at current players on our squad, I figured I'd create one that would give members a chance to pick which players they think will fit into the roster when we are ready to sign free agents in 2013.
If everything goes as planned, this is the year that we will be primed to make a serious overnight jump that teams like the Pacers and Bulls have been able to take in recent seasons.Hoopsworld has posted a list of free agents available that year, so let's all put that information together with our personal beliefs of what will happen along the way and rosterbate away. Keep in mind, this is strictly for fun, but try to be as realistic as possible.
For me, it goes like this......................
Of the players on our team currently, I predict Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo to remain (simply based on them being 1st round draft picks this year that have played halfway decent), Gerald Henderson based on my belief that the front office has a lot of faith in him and his work ethic, and D.J. White, Byron Mullens, and Derrick Brown possibly hanging around as role players. Reggie Williams looks to be a keeper as well (*note, in my theory, Thomas has been traded for an expiring deal/amnestied
Who said amnesty me??!!!!
, and everyone else (minus whatever we get, if anything for D.J.), just fell off the books. We also will have a high pick, if not the first, so I'll assume that we'll do what's been predicted with the pick (I know we're not guaranteed to get it!) So, let's start with a simple depth chart.............
SF Williams, Brown,
PF Anthony Davis, White
C Biyombo, Mullens
At the least.............., that's 7 players. Using the current salary scales, Walker, Henderson, Biyombo, and Mullens can be retained for roughly $13.4 million. Davis, if drafted number one overall, can be expecting a salary of about $5.5 million that year. I expect D.J. White to be signed to an extension that pays him $3.5 million annually, Brown somewhere close to $2 million and for us to try to retain Williams, hopefully for $5 million or less at that point (yes, I expect him to double is worth while here. That brings us to $29.4 million. Since that will be two years away, we will more than likely have another top 5 pick (along with Portland's pick) to add along with that which will come with another $5-6 million tag. Judging from everything I'm seeing right now, it would need to be a more pure point guard than Walker, relegating him to a combo guard role off the bench, ala Ben Gordon. So for my scenario, we're sitting at roughly $36 million in eaten cap space with 4 roster spots open. Assuming the cap hovers somewhere around $58 million at that point still, we will have roughly $22 million dollars to complete our "contender" before Jordan is forced to do as he promises and begin paying the luxury tax.
In my scenario, with studs presumably already at the point or center, one of the other three positions' starters will have to be relegated to the bench. Should it be Williams, Henderson, Biyombo, or all three? Let me take a look at the free agents available...........
Ellis in Charlotte? It could happen.
Josh Smith will be by far the best free agent small forward around this time and it would make a lot of sense to make a run at him if given the opportunity. In fact, he'll probably be the only "difference maker" at his position that year on the market.
Blake Griffin is a pipe dream, but the Thunder could have issues retaining Serge Ibaka with everyone else on the team receiving extensions. There are a few unrestricted free agents available that could step in and be starters over, or very good backups to Biyombo at that point including Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, and Lamar Odom amongst others.
Out of these choices, I would use the $22 million to sign Josh Smith and Monta Ellis to deals while hoping to just fill in the backup PF spot with a veteran on their last legs who could still contribute. Antawn Jamison maybe?
Either way, for me, our final product will end up looking something like.......
PG Ian Miller, Walker, BJ Young
SG Ellis, Henderson
SF Smith, Williams, Brown
PF Davis, Jamison, White
C Biyombo, Mullens
with the two other spots on the roster being dedicated to 2nd round picks, minimum level free agents, or D-Leaguers who are still developing. Would that squad be good enough to actually compete for a title over the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls? What would your squad look like? What free agents do you think we should make a run after?