How should a team manage it's last five roster slots? 15 active NBA players is too many, but considering that the Blazers like many NBA teams may lose someone that was expected be in the rotation to injury (ref: Miles, Oden, Webster), most team do use all 15 slots.
Obviously, Bayless, was very hungry for minutes - but the fact that the other slots 12-15 had no real expectation of playing time might have helped in keeping disruption minimal. What do you see as an ideal "bottom 5"?
With picks #24, #33, #38, #55, #56 you may be tempted to simply list the your five favorite players coming out of this year's draft class. Feel free to list yours.... But would that be heatlhy to introduce 5 players from the same draft class hungry to "make their mark" in the NBA? Also, is it realistic that the Blazers would be able to trade 4 players for 2, without taking back some baggage and/or upgrading draft picks? For argument sake; let's consider the roster as follows, the Blazers have used: Rodriguez, Blake, Outlaw, and Frye to acquire the best PG available and a backup PF, and maximize their first round pick, and have an infinite # of 2nd round picks.
PG: PG/ Bayless
SG: Roy/ Fernandez
SF: Webster/ Batum
PF: Aldridge/ VET PF
C: Oden/ Przybilla
Let us know your best formula with or without names. For me, last year served as a good template, with each player designated as follows:
11) Bayless (PROSPECT)
12) Diogu/ Ruffin (POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTOR)
13) Randolph (HAPPY TO BE HERE)
14) LaFrentz (VET $ BAGGAGE)
15) Webster (IR)
11) PF -Draft using 1st round pick (PROSPECT; i.e Blair)
12) PG - Use highest available 2nd Round pick, possibly someone that could play some SG (POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTOR; ie. Collison, or other "low floor/ceiling" player)
13) C - Give a minimum contract to the best available C (HAPPY TO BE HERE; i.e. Joel Anthony)
14) SF -Designated spot for player we get back with $3M trade exception or salary cap dump (VET $ BAGGAGE - i.e Mark Madsen, although not a SF, and not a particularly burdensome contract)
15) SG - Late 2nd round pick/ D-Leaguer (i.e. Jerel McNeal); should anyone in the playing rotation be in the IR slot here. However, with the versatility of the current roster it's unlikely even with an injury that this player would get time.