Eric Gordon's return has really given me a different vantage point of things. If he's healthy, then this team fills a giant hole and is several steps closer to being a good team. As of now, we are loaded in the front court with Davis, Anderson, Lopez, and Smith, which gives us some flexibility in terms of trade assets. We are also likely to have a early to mid-lottery pick which will almost assuredly be BPA, granted we don't trade it away. Add in the large space of salary cap we will have to potentially draw in a high profile free agent (which Dell and Monty have alluded to in the past), then you have a very encouraging rebuild.
The team probably wants Rivers to become the true starter at point guard by next season, but I think they will start to really make their intentions known (if they have any) later in the season if he begins to eat Vasquez's minutes. So, I don't think bringing in a free agent point guard is priority number one. However, there will be a veteran player at small forward by no later than the start of next season. I really feel like they're going to go hard after Andre Igoudala or Andrei Kirilenko as H247 has stated in their Missing Piece series.
What concerns me most about this squad is the depth on the wings, or lack thereof. Whether Rivers or Vasquez comes off the bench at some point makes no difference because they'll have no one to really play with on the wings. Luckily, the likes of Aminu, Henry, Mason Jr., and McGuire all fall off the books next season. Brian Roberts and Darius Miller are both team options. The tricky part will be trying to find wings that can play well on a second unit even if they have very defined roles: 3-point shooting, driving ability, lock-down defense, etc. Right now, as McNamara stated above, we're playing with guys who are far below replacement level, and that's not something that a team that wants to contend will manage with. Whoever we draft in the first round will not be a starter next season, they may not even get much time off of the bench (or deserve it because it's a weak class), which makes our pick something that should be dangled in a package for a veteran player.
In the end, I think the picture of the future starting lineup is beginning to become clearer, but the bench is an impossible mystery. But, given our flexibility, it's an exciting mystery. Cheers!
But I was just mentioning the thing that I thought would be the easiest thing to correct. We need a starting SF and lots of time to learn and jell to contend.
Do you think Mason plays for the Spurs today? Is he in the 9 man rotation for any playoff team? Are any guys outside of our top 6?
I havent gone through them all, but my first instinct is no. Even the Lakers, who have a horrible bench- I take Meeks over Mason, Ebanks over any of our SF's, Antawn over Lance, etc.
I still say we get Bledsoe and have him playing with Gordon and Rivers. We would have a great young back court with 3 guards who can cover and play both positions. Bledsoe would change our D's point of attack drastically. We need to either draft, trade, or pick up a SF and Center. Definitely a starter at SF and with Center just depending on if Davis grows and makes the move or what happens to Lopez. Either way with a healthy Gordon our core is not to far from being complete! The future is bright and exciting!
The biggest question mark to me right now is what you make of Austin Rivers?
If he is your point guard of the future (Jason Terry, Dallas Role) it changes completely what you look to do in free agency and the draft.
If he is your future PG in the draft you have to look for a SF or if there is none where the Hornets may pick, I would look for a C or PF and see what we can get for Lopez. A bigman on a good contract for 4 years would be huge for this team, especially with Anderson and Davis taking up big minutes. In free agency a SF is needed and needed big time.
If Rivers isn't your future and turns out to be a Shannon Brown scorer of the bench at best, we are going to need a point guard and a small forward going forward. Throw money at Brandon Jennings? The hard thing is with capspace is when its gone its gone, so you have to be creative.
There is a lot of ways the Hornets can go, but I hope over the last 40-50 games we start to see Austin play a lot more PG (even just with the 2nd unit) because it will give us a 'small' indication of what we need to do going forward. We won't be able to find out everything as Austin is a project but it will show where he is now.
The bench is not as big a concern as you make it out to be. The hole at SF is the main issue right now.
Maybe not as bad as I made it out to be, but Vasquez/Smith arn't an elite bench IMO. But no reason to argue bro, lets just agree to disagree, and call it even.
Mason is still a very good spot up shooter and he showed it last night. He can extend the defense which is a reason he got playing time over Rivers in the 2nd half.
Mason is shooting 38% from three in spot up situations this season. That's a solid number. It's when he has to move a little when he has trouble. Though he's 9-15 in transition this season, which is 60% I believe?
Ryan Anderson is 39% spotting up and 40% in transition.
Not 100% sure EG, AD and Ryno would make a serious playoff team "Big three." Davis may become a beast in a few years. EG is prolly good enough to be second best player / closer. But Ryno doesn't strike me as third best player on top team type. I'd be happy with him as our 4th best guy though. So for that reason I picked half-way-there, though patience will be needed too waiting for AD to become a true center.
I'm torn between halfway and a long way off. We certainly need a better bench, but the big questions are EG's long-term health and Rivers's ceiling. It's hard to call the Hornets future with those variables.
I don't think Davis is a starting C. He's our Starting PF and plays the C role intermittently at the end of the games when the best players need to be there. I actually think he LIKES it this way.
heat: cole, lewis, jones, miller, haslem, joel anthony
Those benches are not elite, not even very good as you re pretending us to believe.
ny and lac I agree with you, they are pretty good and deep.
And related to the Hornets, Mason is a good backup, that guy can knock down 3's and Smith is also decent. But overall, the bench is bad and definitely not enough of course.
Cole- Meh can bring the ball up the court and hit the 3.
Allen- Best 3 point specialist of all time. starter for most teams
Miller- 3 point specialist. Streaky but can kill you, ask the Thunder
Haslem- Rebounding and midrange specialist. Very solid backup, Good defender good mid range shot.
I guess the point is they're all specialist to some degree. We're not talking about platoon swaps where they're playing that whole lineup any of the time. Any of those guys with Wade James or Bosh becomes that much better because of their ability to really attack the lane. Miami is a well built team. I figure Wade or James is in the game something like 80% of the game. With these guys spacing the floor it's impossible to crash the whole D on them. Induvidually, they may not seem like much, but in this group they're pretty well fit. PS I hate Miami.
Jennings, Gordon, Milsaps, AD & DEAL for a three w/ Vasquez, Lopez, top 10 pick & money (any of those combos will get you the #3 that you so highly covet !) Other than Ryno, AD & EGO,> everyone is fair game ! We DONT have a POWER #4 !
You assume that Milsap will be chosen & the rest of our bigs stay the same ! Aint happenin ! If Lopez stays & AD stays a #4, then perhaps Milsaps doesnt fit, but I dont see this entire top9 staying put ! They have to restructure !:cool:
If your looking for a #3 that will be CHEAPER than IGGY & actually a legit #3, not a swing > AND averages more everything per minutes played than iggy>> Dorell Wright is the only #3 on the OPEN market next year worth looking at ! Iggy 6'6" 207 13ppg---34 mpg $14,000,000....... Dorell Wright 6'9" 206 11ppg---22.3 mpg $4,100,000 ! Very long and athletic !