Some People's Kids: Too many MCs not enough Mics

Friday, August 10, 2007

Too many MCs not enough Mics

I know that Baseball is in full swing and we are now just getting to the entertaining part of NFL training camp but I just can't get over the Timberwolves. I'm probably the last person that should be trying to figure out the roster for next year, but this team has way too many players that play the same position (2 &3) and too many players in general. I'm going to try to go through the roster, make some hypothetical trades, balance veterans and newbies and get this team down to the 12 active players allowed by the NBA. This is going to be hard and I know the post is going to be long, but bear with me.

The easiest problem to solve is Chris Richards. The teams second round draft pick out of Florida is going to have to spend at least one year in the NBDL. Hopefully while there he will be turned into more of a center and will only have to wait until Theo Ratliff's big contract is up or he goes down for the season. Whichever comes first.

Theo Ratliff is going to spend the season as the backup center. Mark Blount will probably be the starter. I really don't care who starts, but I like the idea of this tandem. They are Yin and Yang. Blount is finesse and can come in when the team is down and in need of some points. Ratliff can come in when the D needs to keep the lead. He's gritty, a rebounder and a shot blocker. Granted I don't believe that he'll be 100% but if he is good enough to play he can bring the D that this team has been lacking. Between Ratliff and Jefferson they can equal or do better than one defensive KG not to mention the other power forwards I'll be keeping on this roster.

Al Jefferson is a no-brainer. McFail and Taylor better get a contract extension in front of him and soon, if not they had better find a spot in the witness protection program because every basketball-loving bastard in the state is going to be out for blood. You don't give up KG and let the best piece of the puzzle get away. He stays.

The backup to Jefferson is going to be Juwan Howard. I know he is old balls like Robert Horry, but I want him on the team to help Jefferson and Craig Smith and/or Ryan Gomes. He'll be a great teacher for the young guys and hopefully he'll have a calming demeanor and interject some veteran presence when it’s needed.

My major problem with this roster is that 5th big man. I want to see Smith and Gomes battle it out in training camp for the final spot, but I feel like I'm going to pair one of their cheaper salaries and upside with Marko Jaric or Mark Madsen in order to get a team to bite on a trade. Wikipedia claims that 6 of the 16 players currently on the roster are Power Forwards. We've already sent Richards to the NBDL and given 2 spots on the roster other 4s, plus Howard can play center when necessary. The two vying for my last spot are the same height and while Gomes had a better average over the season Smith averaged 21 pts and 10 rebs when he started the last 5 games. It comes down to intangibles when they are only going to be allotted so many minutes. I think I'll go with Smith seeing as he and Foye have meshed while Jefferson and Gomes share the same position and there won't be that same kind of connection on the court.

The ESPN Trade machine says that there are trade restrictions on all of the Boston players and Juwan, so I've decided to have Smith and Gomes duke it out in camp. If Smith loses he gets bunched with one of the players I'll try to trade. If Gomes loses I'll deal him for a draft pick and some cash if I can get it.

We're going to skip the Shooting guard and small forward for the moment because those positions are the others that give me problems.

As for Point Guard I'm going to stick with Randy Foye as the starter even though it's not his natural position. This hurts me, but there are so many interchangeable parts in the 2/3 positions and I see football players change positions when they are drafted all the time. Sebastian Telfair is going to stick around as my backup PG as long as he can keep his guns locked up in a cabinet somewhere far away from the team.

Now I've got 5 spots left and two positions to fill. Starting shooting guard is going to be Ricky Davis for the time being. I'd like to trade him later down the road because of the prima donna ways and what I've read about possible bad blood between him and Jefferson. His backup is going to be Rashad McCants. I want Shaddy's minutes to expand, but I want his micro fracture surgery fully healed. Plus I still feel like he's got some learning to do after all of that missed time.

I think I'd like to keep my 3 shooting forwards on the team. I feel like they've all got something to bring to the table. I have a good feeling about Gerald Green… not just because he is so young or because he won the Slam Dunk competition. Green had to sit behind Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak. He'll be my scoring SF. Trenton Hassell will be my veteran presence. I love Trenton so I'm going to keep him around but he is going to be trade bait in a year. His job is to teach Corey Brewer everything he has learned about defense. Brewer is going to get the fewest minutes of the bunch, with Green and Hassell switching in and out in a similar fashion to our Center position; Green to get the lead, Trenton to keep it.

That leaves 3 men out not including our NBDL bound friend Mr. Richards: Marko Jaric, Mark Madson and most likely Gomes. Gomes is easy to get rid of, but like I said before I may have to part with Smith in order to rid myself of Mark and O. I heard a rumor that Detroit wanted Marko Jaric for Nazr Mouhammed, which I'm totally down with, and Madson and Smith for Lindsay Hunter worked, so I'd like to work out a deal with Detroit. If we got Hunter in here he could spend his final contract year teaching Foye how to play point and Bassy how to stop pointing guns.

I know I just spent far too much time rambling but I've come up with a team. Gomes gets traded for a pick. Mad dog and Smith end up in Detroit. (I know. I hate that I got rid of two young players, but being a GM is hard and you can't please everybody.) Three deep at PG Foye starts, Bassy plays second fiddle and Hunter teaches. Starting shooting guard is Ricky Buckets with McCants backing up. Marko Jaric clings to the end of the bench waiting for someone to injure himself while Jaric tells himself that he can play 1-3. The crowd sits and laughs knowing that he can't even properly shave the stubble off of his face. Small Forward is taught and started by Hassell with Mr. Green as our 6th or 7th man and Brewer slowly adapting to the higher level of play. Al Jefferson Starts at Power Forward backed up by Juwan Howard. Mark Blount Starts at Center and Theo Ratliff backs him up. If a smaller lineup is needed or one of the center/ Forwards gets hurt Brewer or Hassell can slide to the PF for a minute or two.

I know that's 13, but someone is going to get injured during camp and as soon as they get better someone else will get injured. This is basketball people! There are always injuries. That leaves us with Lindsay Hunter, Theo Ratliff and Ricky Buckets in their final years. Same goes for Foye, Green, Jefferson, McCants and Telfair but some if not all will be resigned using. The veteran contracts add up to almost 21 million to add to the 15.8 million worth of yummy cap space that we have already got stock piled and the almost 4 million in trade exceptions (Which I tried to fully understand). That 37 million is enough to handsomely reward Foye and Jefferson and still go after another big name. Right?

Written by the Muck-up (photo from I heart KG)

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