Well we all now how amazing that trade was as we essentially set the grounds for getting a GOOD nba bench by trading hump and jawai. Sad to see jawai go before really seeing what he can do but it was again a no brainer for the trade. Not to mention the fact that douby is not a bad third option for point guard or even second if roko is really struggling. But now that we have 12 million left to spend on three players, what are the next steps:
Well firstly we have to look out where are the wholes:
a) 6th man - wright is a great defensive pickup and he and george both played good minutes in dallas but i see george being more of a bench warmer and wright actually having a role for about 15-20 minutes a game. Having said that, great teams have that undisputed guy who can come in and drop at least 10-12 on a nightly basis. Contenders have that guy as a star but I don't see that as an option right now. Mainly because when your sixth man is a star, that position in your starting lineup is generally a whole that is filled when he comes off the bench. The raptors pretty much have their five set and instead they just need 3 guys off the bench who play CONSISTENT. No body needs to drop 20 nightly, there is enough offense on the starting lineup but we need 3 guys who can play defense and gives us consistency.
b) another big man. I like what reggie brings us on the boards and in toughness but he is a still a bit undersized. We need someone who is tall enough, and can provide some offense to spread the floor to complement his offensive rebounding.
c) point guard: whether this is needed is debatable based on how ukic really develops but it might be a good idea to pick up someone who can be an undisputed backup capable of staring if jose goes down again. It would be a real shame if the season goes in the toilet if jose gets injured again and with the talent we have now, it might be a safe and wise choice.
So whose available?
In terms of 6th man, it seems like its a lock that delfino is coming back at around 4 million with bird rights. To me thats great, he's fast, young, athletic, can definitely play good in the fast break and more importantly, plays on both ends of the floor
Other than that, there doesn't seem to be a lot of guys out there who can come in this year and be that guy. Only other options that I've heard are being considered are josh childress and marvin williams. Whether we can get them for the mid level and whether they are ok with being a 6th man is another story. Another option is klieza who I love as a back up small forward. If we were to sign delfino and use part of the mid on klieza, that would be a stellar bench backcourt but there are still other bases we need to cover. Also I've always liked Matt Barnes game so him instead of klieza wouldn't be a bad idea just because he can play 3 positions, and is fast enough to guard three position while klieza is a little stronger and slower and one sided.
That's pretty much the only option though in terms of whose left in free agency right now.
In terms of big man it seems pretty easy again. I live around the air canada centre and have seen rasho here with maurizo many times so it seems like a lock that he's coming back. I think the only question is really whether he does so on the bi annual or at the vet minimum. Either way, it's nice to have a big man who wants to be in toronto, can play defense, and can spread the floor a little bit. He contrasts reggie evans well and I think thats the kind of big man we need so they can play together. Not to mention, if god forbid someone goes down, both those big men can step up and start for a while. Having said that, if that does happen, I would have liked to have a third big man who can still provide a spark off the bench if either rasho or reggie has to start due to injury. Enter Pops. His cheap, we have bird rights, he's young so we can add him without really hurting any of our other options. The only thing is whether he's ok with sometimes possibly not even getting in the game.
Finally, we got the point guard position. Again whether we need it or not is another question based on roko's development, but I don't want to see this season squandered because of injury to ANY one player. We have the money, the space and the appeal to build a great deep team and we should use it. Here the most prominent name for the mid level seems to be jarret Jack who is use to coming off the bench, can start, and commands around the mid level. He would be my number one choice for that position. Again this need is a little less because if jose does go down, ukic or delfino can play point and turk can be a point forward so I'm ok with them using the mid level to sign another wing like klieza. He seems to be the only great back up out there with sessions likely to be kept by the bucks. If we can't get him for the mid level, I would probably take our chances on ukic and use the mid level to bring in another wing instead.
I think more than anything else, this money has to be used to find players who can play multiple roles and make us strong enough to whether injuries to the playoff. I definitely think we have the opportunity to contend with the right signings and I definitely trust BC to make the right move.
Ideally it would be this:
PG: Jose, Jack, Ukic, Banks, Douby
SG: DeRoazen, Delfino
SF: Hedo, Wright, George
PF: Bosh, Reggie
C: Bargnani, Rasho, Pops, O'Bryant
I realize that is 16 players but I feel they can buy O'Bryant or Douby out and it wouldn't be a big deal. That's an injury proof 15 man team for sure provided we are healthy for the playoffs, and even if we're missing one, we would still be strong enough to do some damage for a round or two. Again it does look ugly to have 5 point guards so I would be down with buying out Douby or bringing in klieza or barnes for part of mid level instead of jack but I definitely feel a solid pg backup could prove the difference in an injury proof season.
Regardless, BC IS THE MAN and has definitely quieted all his haters in Toronto.
Can't wait for next season!