Another annoying "couch GM" idea

So just thought I'd share my (first ever) 2 cents about what we should do in the off season. (Quick shout-out to Dave's mailbag for the info regarding the cap!) This is assuming we lose Hickson, and get a 11-12 draft pick, as Dallas and possibly Toronto can overtake us I believe. In this case we would be up for around $13.5 mil in cap room.

There are 2 ways to go really, we need centre help and a scoring guard, and can interchange them in the draft or free agency, also, NO said he wants 3 good FA's, so I won't be selecting any superstars. I will address the centre at draft variant now.

Option 1 - Draft a big 1st up, get free agents/2nd round pick help for depth, esp. in frontcourt.

I say, that if it is possible we should go for Cody Zeller in the draft, I've seen him as low as 11th. He was projected to be a No. 1 pick pre-season and showed what he can do last year, but has taken a bit of a backward step recently. The reason I like him is that he is a PF/C so could help depth at both positions, whilst being able to play with LaMarcus and Meyers. He is a low post scorer so that would complement LA's game, and has a high IQ. His defensive skills are still in question, as he has shown his anticipation (high Steals/game) and skills on D are outstanding, but he needs to get stronger, more physical and does not possess an enormous wingspan. He is the best of the Zeller Bros.

2nd draft picks could be Rodney Williams, a SF from Minnesota (high potential, great athleticism and defence) and Michael Snaer, a SG from Florida State (Good in transition, big motor, good defence, and calm in tight situations).

After the draft, our depth chart would look something like this:

D. Lillard
W. Matthews, W. Barton, M. Snaer
N. Batum, V.Claver, Williams
L. Aldridge, (C. Zeller), Joel Freeland
M. Leonard, C. Zeller

As you can see the weakest positions (depth-wise) are the PG, wing and Centre spot. But we should have about $13.1 million to work with, and we could probably use the MLE on Maynor.

I'd like for us to get Corey Brewer to fill in that wing/6th man spot, and Denver won't be able to retain him AND Iguodala. He has shown he is a solid defender, and takes quality shots (isn't the best from 3-point-land), say he would be about $5 mil/year and he fits in with our young core.

I think on top of that a combo guard would be great, and a vet would be good to for Lillard's sake. Beno Udrih is coming off quite a lot ($7,372,000) but is playing down in a contract year. He can play SG, but is mainly a point, well known for his pick and roll play. European players usually get that bit extra, so expect him for about $3.5 mil/year.

Well last off, the center position. Since this free agent class is fairly poor, we'd only be looking at a stop-gap center for a max of 2 years, to help Meyers and Zeller out. A good candidate would be Samuel Dalembert. He could come in at $4.5 mil/year and would provide defense, boards and a veteran presence.

We've maxed out our cap now and the depth chart looks like this now.

PG: Lillard, Udrih
SG: Matthews, (C. Brewer), Barton, Snaer
SF: Batum, C. Brewer, Claver, Williams
PF: Aldridge, (C. Zeller), Freeland
C: Dalembert, M. Leonard, C. Zeller


Maynor, assuming we renounce his QO, we should be able to get him for our MLE, at around $2.625 mil/year, as he would be guaranteed a spot in the rotation. That's 14 players. We could finish off the team by signing a PF, say Vladimir Radmanovic (from same country as Udrih) for the veteran's minimum, giving us a 15-player roster.

Our depth chart going into next year: (Bold = part of rotation)

PG: Lillard, Udrih, Maynor
SG: Matthews, (C. Brewer), Barton, Snaer
SF: Batum, C. Brewer, Claver, Williams
PF: Aldridge, (C. Zeller), Freeland, Radmanovic
C: Dalembert, M. Leonard, C. Zeller

If that does not look like an, at least, 6 seed in the playoffs next year, I don't know what to think. Obviously the chances of this exact scenario playing out are astronomically slim, you can see what kind of players/prices we will be looking at over the summer.

P.S. Chris Kaman could play a similar role to Dalembert, and almost came to PDX last year. I like them both.

Big-Man out.

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