Since this is the weekend of frivolity for the NBA, I figured we could handle a frivolous exercise here as well. These are the rules, all players keep their current contracts, but suddenly have no team. You have to put together a 12-man roster, but remain under the cap for this season.
Use this site to find player salaries
, the cap is $58,600,000. Those are the rules, come up with your roster and let's see if you can do better than mine below.
Explanations after the jump.
I started with LBJ, which really shouldn't need further explanation. Chris Paul is just too much of a bargain to pass up, obviously. At that point I went looking for a stud PF with a low post game, if possible. My first choice was Chris Bosh, but he was too expensive and you can't win without a bench, so I made a decision to use the PF and C spots for two purposes, blocked shots and rebounding. Camby was a no-brainer, and when I went looking for a PF who fit the bill I found that bigs are not cheap in this league. Okafor seemed like a perfect fit at a decent price. Brandon Roy was a value for the SG position, so my starting lineup was set and I had roughly $17M to build a bench.
I tried to build a bench that could come in as a unit and contend. The biggest cap hit was James Posey, but I wanted a tough perimeter defender who could shoot the three and no one fits the bill better than him. The rest of the second unit is made up of extreme values, Sessions worries me a little at the point, but I figure he's got plenty of offensive firepower around him, especially down low in Bynum and Millsap.
Rounding out the bench are Roger Mason Jr. and Theo Ratliff. One guy to come in and spread the floor, the other to provide some depth for the bigs.
There's my logic, and my made-up team, add your own in the comments.
Joe had a great rule to add in the comments. No rookie contracts allowed. This makes it a much, much tougher exercise. Here are the two rosters I came up with following the new rules, check the comments for Joe's as well.
Here I stuck with the core starters of LeBron and Camby. Around them, I put Derek Fisher at the point (too good of a value to pass up, can defend, knock down the three and run the team), Posey as the starting SG, defense, range and toughness. Joining LeBron and Camby in the front court is Okur. Big who can play on the outside and hit big shots.
Coming off the bench, we have Hedo at SF, Grant Hill out of position at the 2, Ivey running the point, Scola and Ratliff down low. I like the interior defense, the scoring from Hedo and Hill. Intangibles from Scola. The bench is filled out by Bird Man and Morrow, two minimum guys who can bring something when called upon.
In this one I went with the same base, but looked for what I thought was the best value contract. Caron Butler fit the bill for me. I kept Fisher as the point, and brought Devin Harris in to play the two, sliding Posey back to the bench to anchor that unit. This team would need LeBron to really play like a power forward, especially on the boards, but it would have more offensive punch than the other no rookie contracts team.
Use either set of rules for your roster in the comments.