"Plan B" with McGee and a bench and under the CAP

--Dave's “plan 2” uses Freeland, the#10 pick, and Wesley to obtain McGee. That trumps my previous post that utilizes the 10th pick and uses Wes in picking up [#17 Atl] and [#18 Atl]. I felt that McGee with his skill-set was a great fit at Center for the Blazers but.... I'm aware of “lazy-crazy-won't work” tag people have attached to him. I probed the internet and found two key articles. One points out the McGee plays great for 5 straight minutes and all of a sudden he tunes into a different player. He starts making mistakes and seems to take himself away from the game.

The other article mentions that he was diagnosed with Athletic asthma. Athletic asthma is different from normal asthma in that it only comes into play during exercise. McGee does not have panic asthma attacks when he walks, for example; he just was wheezing and out of breath after a certain amount of time on the court.

Portland with it's clean, oxygenated air would be a much better environment for McGee than Mile-high Denver with it's thin air. That along with the newly named Dr. Stackpole as their Director of Player Health and Performance and it should mean that McGee's health issue would be under control.

Proof of why –Dave's “plan 2” may work is unfolding. VP D'Alessandro, GM Masai Ujiri, who brought in McGee, and Coach Karl are all gone leaving a cost cutting CEO Josh Krenke. Add to that, SG Andre Iguodala has elected to opt out of the final year of his contract and will now require replacing him with a starter (Wesley??).

And, after reading these articles along with facts like:

JaVale averaged a league-leading 3.9 blocks per-36 minutes last season.

JaVale ranked 8th in Player Efficiency Rating for all Centers in last seasons Hollinger's Stats

I am now sold. This year, JaVale McGee is the best obtainable “Center for the Future”. Now, how do you add 7 players and build in a talented bench with the Cap Space left over?

Problem 1? No starting SG:

FA offers 3 desirable choices in Tyreke Evans, O.J. Mayo, and J.J. Redick. Portland can't win out in a biding war for Evans and Mayo. Redick is the logical choice left. But, Redick can be easily schemed against on defense. I propose adding two players to blunt that weakness.

First, draft a talented SG that can develop by playoff time. My choice with the likely obtainable 1st round draft picks is Allen Crabbe. According to Synergy Sports Technology, Crabbe shot an astounding 53.8% on unguarded catch and shoot opportunities. Crabbe is also an excellent shooter coming off screens and curls. He does a very good job of using his speed and takes tight angles coming off screens. More impressively, Crabbe has an incredibly quick release that requires very little time and space to get off, with excellent balance and footwork when preparing for the shot.

Second, sign SF Matt Barnes from FA. Either Barnes or Batum will be on the court and capable of good coverage on the opposing SG while Redick is on the floor.

Problem 2? No substantial backup for Lillard:

I'm hopeful that Neil Olshay will again trump Chad Buchanan's unperceptive eye for point guards and chooses Dennis Schroeder to backup Lillard. Dennis offers terrific ball-handling skills, a lightning quick first step, excellent speed in the open floor, and a penchant for getting teammates involved. He compliments Lillard and they would make a great “small-ball” tandem.

Problem 3? Inadequate depth in the back-court:

Sign FA Jermaine O'Neal for his all-around skill set and as a much needed tutor for Meyers Leonard.

Also draft the young (21) senior Mike Muscala for his offense. Muscala has developed into an incredibly dangerous post threat over the past three seasons, being equally dangerous with both his left and right-handed hook shots while sporting some deceptive range and quickness with his moves. He shows a very good feel when he gets the ball in his hands and is remarkably efficient with his movements, getting off shot attempts very quickly and rarely wasting time. \
Problem 4? Filling out the 15 player roster?

PG Damian Lillard /Dennis Schroeder

SG J.J. Redick /Allen Crabbe /Will Barton

SF Nicolas Batum /Matt Barnes /Victor Claver

PF LaMarcus Aldridge /Jermaine O'Neal /Mike Muscala

C JaVale McGee /Meyers Leonard /Jermaine O'Neal

Two more players are needed. Adding them is easy using the remaining CS money and the Room Exception and without going over the Cap Space limit.

How It is done:

LaMarcus Aldridge $14,628,000

Nicolas Batum $11,295,250

JaVale McGee... $10,750,000

Damian Lillard $3,202,920

Meyers Leonard $2,222,160

Victor Claver.... $1,330,000

Sasha Pavlovic -$1,399,507 Cut (non-guaranteed)

Will Barton...... $788,872


Salary CAP $58,500,000

Guaranteed Total $42,817,695

CS: $15,682,305


DRAFT Picks:

PG Dennis Schroeder $1,655,300 [#13 Dallas]

(for #39 and #40 - they might take less)

SG Allen Crabbe $997,300 [#24 NY]

(for Kostas Papanikolaou and the 45th)

PF/C Mike Muscala <$1 mill Buy high, 2nd-Rd pick


FA Pickups:

C Jermaine O'Neal $1,250,000

SF Matt Barnes $1,250,000

SG J.J. Redick ... $7,000,000

Additional needs: 2 players

New CS: >$2,529,705

Plus: Room Except. max contract: 2yrs @ $2.5 mill/yr.

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