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Javale McGee and the low risk/high reward first team


There are a few low risk/high reward players that could reasonably be had through Free Agency, trades, or the draft this year. Maybe they'll be what this team needs to make a championship run. Maybe they'll be just be more fodder for front-office jokes. Here, I've picked a player at each position who I think well represents the challenge. Do the same, if you've got the time...

C - Javale McGee

Why: McGee is a statistically ideal center. He grabs rebounds and blocks shots all over the place, then scores some points on the side. The problems people have with him are with his...decision making, we'll say. It's not always great. This makes him a cheaper, more realistic option than Roy Hibbert. It also is not much of a concern for us - we are not built, nor are we building, to run plays through our center. We just need a guy who is going to grab rebounds and block shots all over the place. Preferably one who never went through the pain of John Lennon getting shot.

PF - John Henson

Why: Call this one "Center, Part 2". Henson is a power forward with the skillset and stat sheet of a good center, and would ideally be groomed that way. His risk has been mostly that of his size. 6-10, 220 pounds is lighter than most centers - not "stick-thin", as he gets thrown at him (David Robinson was 7-1, 235; Abdul-Jabbar was 7-2, 225), but thin enough to cause concern. However, he has gained roughly 40 pounds since his freshman year, and has shown a consistent progression in both weight and talent over his college career. That, and a gorilla-albatross wingspan, make him an intriguing prospect.

SF - Shane Battier

Why: No risk here, in terms of quality. He's a pro. A vet. Defensive guru. Who wouldn't want him backing up Batum? The risk is how we get him, and if it's worth it. The Heat are probably going to be the champs this year, and will be snatching at the bottom of the draft barrel. They don't need much, but who wants to pass up so good a draft? Our second first round pick could probably get us Battier. Then again, it might get us a really great up-and-coming SF. Maybe the next Battier. Could it just be a lateral move? Worse? Sure, but maybe a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

SG - Wesley Matthews

Why: Yes - THAT Wesley Matthews. The one who's already playing on our team. Our one reasonable bargaining chip. He can defend. He can shoot. He can score. He doesn't always do them all at once, but he's a good player. One that I think will flourish off of a point guard who is an efficient passer. Let HIM worry about getting you set up for the good shots, Wes - you just do what they pay you to do.

PG - Scott Machado

Why: 9.9 assists per game for Iona, with an A/To around 3:1. That's Kendall Marshall stuff right there. Plus, he shot .404 from the 3. Double-plus: he's a 6-1 PG who averaged 5 rebounds a game. All this points to a playmaker who knows where the ball is at all times, and who knows what to do about it. His conference wasn't a flashy one, and the lack of big matchups (e.g. Machado vs. Marshall) leaves some question marks about how he'll do at the next level, but the potential is there for him to be the most well-rounded point guard of the draft.

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