FanPost

The Plan A That Was

Watching the Heat vs Pacers series has me lamenting what might have been. Can you just imagine if the Pacers hadn't matched that offer sheet for Hibbert? Looking back, I can see that Olshey's Plan A would have put us immediately into contention. This year's line up would have been:

Lillard / Maynor

Matthews / Barton

Batum / Claver / Babbit

Aldridge / Hickson / Freeland

Hibbert / Leonard

Last year we had one of the best starting line-ups in the NBA. Our starting 5 of Lillard, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, and Hibbert would have been even better! With Hickson's new found scoring proficiency and unreal rebounding ability, our bench minutes wouldn't have been spent hemorrhaging our lead nearly as much and, I believe, we would have easily been a 7/8 seed last season. After that year of our league-best starting 5 and our 2-man bench building their chemistry, we would have come into this offseason with a much more realistic "final pieces" agenda than our current "holy crap, hopefully we can retool instead of a full rebuild" agenda. Imagine, we're over the cap, so we can use Bird Rights on Hickson and Maynor to bring them back. Then, because we're under the tax threshold, we go out and use the $5M MLE on someone like SF Corey Brewer, the Veterans Minimum Exceptions on Martell Webster, Jermaine O'Neal, and Elliot Williams. Our 12-man roster looking something like this next year:

Lillard / Maynor

Matthews / Webster / Williams (Barton in D-League or IR)

Batum / Brewer

Aldridge / Hickson

Hibbert / O'Neal / Leonard

Tell me that team isn't at least in the conversation for a championship this upcoming season. We'd be looking at, at the very least, a top 4 seed in the West - dreaming about winning it all - instead of wondering if we can pull of the seemingly impossible task that's currently ahead of us. That kills me. That one move could possibly be the difference between contention and a rebuild this year. Thanks a lot Pacers...

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