When I'm not reading BlazersEdge, I'm probably reading FieldGulls, the SBNation site for the Seattle Seahawks. What has really put the Pete Carroll era Seahawks ahead in the past couple off-seasons has been fostering competition at every roster position during camps. After reading the recent interview with Meyers Leonard, I was pretty pleased with what he had to say about his improvement and I really hope he backs it up. However, either way, Meyers will start the season in 2013 as the 'project center' who only needs to show a little improvement to stick around. Although I really like KCP and CJ McCollum in this upcoming draft, I can't help but think that a highly competitive rookie big could not only contribute on his own at some point, but also push Leonard to get to his potential. Seahawks fans have seen this time and time again with late round picks and UDFA's like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, KJ Wright, and Doug Baldwin all playing at starting or pro-bowl levels. Not to mention that these are only the outstanding players, not the many more who pushed more established players to go harder in practice. Even though we are picking at #10, which is hardly the NFL UDFA bargain bin, any big we could feasibly select would have to dog it out with Meyers for minutes, which I think is a good thing.
I know it's become fashionable around here to dismiss Gorgui Dieng for having short legs, but nonetheless the guy has been packing muscle on his frame for the last year like crazy, and his size and wingspan are still impressive. Not to mention the man is wildly competitive and would do whatever it took to take Meyers' PT. I bet both players would become better for it.
While acquiring someone like Gortat/Pekovic/Splitter, plus Reddick/Evans, plus a draft pick like McCollum or KCP would send any of us over the moon, I wouldn't scoff at only going hard after wings in free agency if the center market looks downright financially irresponsible, as it usually does. In this case I think a good, cheap vet like Jermaine O'neal plus a fired up Dieng and Leonard would be our next best bet at the 5. At the very least the in-house competition would be fun for us fans.
Does Pete Carroll's philosophy work in basketball? Thoughts?