With the NBA Draft Lottery in the rearview mirror, we Cats fans saw another example of why banking on draft luck is just not a efficient strategy to build a winning NBA team in any orderly fashion. Even with a great group of prospects set to possibly be available in the 2014 draft (Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Smart) it remains to be seen whether those mentioned are indeed available and if our set of picks will be ours and lucky enough to hit the jackpot. That said, I present an idea for an immediate turnaround attempt that I am a fan of.
Cho has worked diligently over the last couple years to assemble some growing players and assets. Here is our "James Harden" trade to bring in what we hope will be a superstar and leader of a contending team in the near future.
Why does Minnesota do this? Well...are they sure KLove is their superstar for titles? The Wolves FO says the right things...but I'm not so sure they wouldn't indeed ship out Love for the right package. He is great, but they recognize his injury issues and his past dislike/drama with the organization. Just maybe they think about a change...and this would be a great way to do it! They dump Love's huge $$$ and reap a trove of future 1st's and the #4 pick this year. They also keep their other late 1st this year. And add a KLove ver 0.6 in Mullens on the cheap(er). Sessions adds some scoring and toughness at the backup PG (he would be perfect behind Rubio!). Possible lineup:
- PG: Rubio - Sessions - Barea
- SG: McLemore/Oladipo - Shved - Lee
- SF: AK47 - Budinger - Gelabale
- PF: DWill - Mullens - Cunningham
- C: Pekovic - Stiemsma - Johnson
Add in the #26 pick and #59, they could add something like (C-Withey, PF- Mitchell, PF-Leslie, SF-Saric) and (PG-Siva, PF-Mbakwe, SF-Hill). The freed $$ from Love allows for ease in signing Pekovic and allows for a bit of future room. Then we have effectively handed over our chips in the Wiggins/Parker/Smart/Randle lotto to the Wolves. They get to dream about lady luck and the thought of a Rubio-McLemore(Oladipo)-Wiggins-DWill-Pek lineup to beast on fools.
Why do the Bobcats do this? We bring in a (hopefully) healthy and 100% motivated Kevin Love to be our franchise guy. What are some of our biggest weaknesses? Rebounding, 3-pt shooting, post play, veteran leaders, and good passers. Well, we get one of the best rebounders ever....a 3-pt shooting contest champ...proven big body...and maybe the best outlet passer in the game. We have players in Kemba and MKG who thrive off the break and transition. The outlet passing of Love would heap opportunities on these guys. Bz would have an awesome help rebounder to compliment his post D and aggression. Love stretches the floor from the PF position and would be a great option for Kemba to learn to find open when he penetrates. Can become a beast in the P&R with Kemba, MKG, and Hendo. We would have to amnesty TT and use the space from Diop leaving to afford it...but let's do it!. We could still possibly sign Hendo and McBob (hopefully affordably) and have a real monster in the making. The probability of losing our 1st round pick to CHI is great in this scenario, but it sets a clean slate after 2014 moving into the future (as far as draft picks). Also, Gordon's salary clears (about $13 mil) after next season so we could add another nice piece for (hopefully then) a serious playoff run. Possible lineup:
- PG: Kemba - Ridnour
- SG: Hendo - Gordon
- SF: MKG - Taylor
- PF: KLove - McBob - Adrien
- C: Biz - Haywood
With the #9 pick this draft there are options at both SG and C that would fit nicely (C-Len, SG-KCP, SG/SF-Muhammad, C-Zeller, C-Adams) and with the #52 pick some depth (PG-Wolters, PG-Kabongo, PF-Howell, PF-Mbakwe, SG-Paul). That lineup (with the freedom, minus Gordon after 2013-14 to add another mid/big name) looks nice and prosperous. Insert a Len/Muhammad/KCP and a Wolters/Kabongo/Howell and even the depth looks solid. When you get hit with the Kemba-Hendo-MKG-Love-Biz...and then get relief with Ridnour-Gordon-Taylor-McBob-Len??? Ouch!