I dunno about you, but I see the same thing as we saw a few years ago: a TON of athletic young promising athletes, in fact, so many that there is a shortage of minutes looming, especially at small forward, that will challenge our new coach. (BTW, anybody doubt that it will be a new coach - Neils's language has changed)
I'll present my minutes breakdown after the poll and the jump, and you feel free to jump right in with yours...
Many of our players can play more than one position, making minute estimates much harder. And when injuries happen, all previous estimates are out the window, for that, and surrounding, positions. But it's fun to think about, and to show that we really have quite a deep team. Not loaded with the big 3 all-stars of the likely champions, but I'll take our 4-12 guys against anyone in the league! Years of growth, and a consolidation of that talent could open another championship window sooner than I thought possible before now.
Take a look at our roster, and the potential minutes at each position:
<15th guy, Joel? -0 mpg->
28: LMA (+4 at 5)
4: JJ Hickson
8: Nolan Smith
10: Nolan Smith
8: Ronnie Price
Which nets out to:32 each for the big 3 of LMA, Nicola, and Wes. I'm allocating more to Freeland (24) than most would, but I think Leonard is going to get in foul trouble more than GO did his first year... (Please, don't take him out just cuz he has two fouls!)
We have 5 solid guards. Probably no All-Stars, but a Rookie All Star, and no scrubs in the bunch. With the addition of Jeffries, and JJ Hickson, we have give 5 pretty solid big guys (still want one more center, Joel, to cover our inevitable injuries and foul trouble games). I still don't count Luuke as a big, but he's getting there, and he's a big part of the glut at the 3, so he'll probably play more 4. Nicola Batum, Victor Claver, Will Barton, Luuke, and Wes can all play the 3. There just aren't enough of those minutes to go around!
I think because of this depth, (our second unit is better than your second unit), this team is going to surprise a lot of people, and we'll be in contention for the playoffs all year long. We should improve as the year goes on, too, and it should be fun to watch, especially and as long as Lillard plays like this!
We're pretty solid at all positions: at the 2, Wes, Elliot, Will, and Nolan can all play it.But the 3, geesh, 5 players would like to claim minutes there...
I think a key for Olshey is going to be able to continually do 2:1 deals to get more talented players in exchange for our depth. Sure, wait a few months, see how things shake out, but I would always be on the lookout for trades where you get the best player, in exchange for 2, or 3, of your mid-tier, promising young assets...
On the other hand, allowing us Blazer fans to dream for a bit, how about this Portland Green Dream Team...
LMA (perennial All-Star)
Scottie Pippen Lite (played by Nicola Batum)
Led by Point Guard Derrick Rose Lite (ably played by Damian Lillard)
Solid Bigs who can run, block, shoot!
All we really need is that big clutch 2 guard... Could be Wes... Cold be EW... But man... this could be fun!