The current Blazer roster consists of 4 solid NBA starters and bunch of question marks. This past season we outperformed our expectations with no consistent bench players. Our expected cap room is supposed to be around $13 million. Slightly more if we waive Sasha Pavlovic and don't sign Maynor to a qualifying offer.
Last summer, there were a lot of players who were over paid at the beginning of free agency but towards the end teams were getting great value (i.e. Carlos Delfino, Houston Rockets, $3 million). If we need to get to a 9 man rotation with the cap space we have, we can't spend all of it on 1 player. We need to get value players to fill out the roster. I have looked at free agent players who are veteran NBA players, who would fill roles for our team.
Name, Position, Former Team, 2012 Salary
Eric Maynor, PG, Portland Trailblazers, $2.3M
Of these players, Earl Clark is going to get the biggest pay raise. He can hit 3's and play defense. If we could pay him $20M over 4 seasons, but slope the cost towards the end we would use ~$3.5M of our cap room. I understand that he is a SF, but I am a huge proponent of playing Batum as both a SF and SG. This allows Matthews, Batum, and Clark to split the minutes at the 2 and 3, with some of the minutes also going to Lillard in a 2 PG set. Also, Clark could play some stretch 4.
Ronny Turiaf is an underrated defensive C, he rebounds and he hustles, and somehow he always makes the league minimum. We could offer him a two year contract just above the minimum, and shore up our C position. He's played for winning teams and could help foster that in our locker room. Great bench cheerleader.
I was also a fan of Eric Maynor, but would not want to over pay him. There are a lot of solid back up PGs available this summer. Toney Douglas is a better defensive player than Maynor and might be cheaper. but we could go with any number of players here.
Elton Brand and Andray Blatche are more question marks. Brand is at the tale end of his career, has lost a few steps, but still rates as a solid NBA bench player. He can play either of the front court positions and has the most experience of anyone on this list. Andray Blatche got out of DC, has played well in Brooklyn, but still has some stigma related to his bonehead moves. I wouldn't want to pay him more than $3M, but would gamble on him for the right price.
If we can use our cap space wisely, and land three or four solid NBA players, we just might be able to compete with the best teams in the league next year.
Proposed roster 2013:
PG Damian Lillard/Eric Maynor
SF Nicholas Batum/Earl Clark/Victor Claver
C Meyers Leonard/Ronny Turiaf