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Will History Repeat Itself?

looking forward, i agree that our main concerns are both in the backcourt. unfortunately we're not looking for useful pieces, though, we're looking for 2 starters, one of whom needs to be an elite perimeter scorer. your breakdown of who's available is pretty thorough, and makes it obvious that the players we need are not out there for us right now.

however, there is a path to what we need, and it is the draft. obviously there are no sure things in the NBA draft, but this year looks to be a weak draft (so picks will probably be available in trade) that also happens to be very deep with point guards. ricky rubio, brandon jennings, stephen curry, jrue holliday, demar derozan, etc. we already have 2 first-rounders this year (our own and utah's, which is top-22 protected), so the draft could be a very real possibility to help build this team.

as for trades, i don't see much happening that benefits this team in the short term. one situation to watch, though, is in portland, which is overstocked at the 1, 2, and 3 with 8 potential starters. they will be looking to deal a lot to get the right pieces around Roy and Oden (and to a lesser degree Aldridge). that means that Blake, Rodriguez, Bayless, Fernandez, Batum, Outlaw, and Webster could all be available, and the one thing all of those guys have in common is the ability to shoot the ball. the blazers also have a lot of players to extend and resign over the next three years, including aldridge, roy, rodriguez, oden, bayless, fernandez, and batum. combine that with the 6 former draft picks they still have developing overseas, and they are going to need to wheel and deal to free up all of the cash and roster spots that those situations require. if we were dealing with the blazers, who would you want to target?

I doubt they'd trade Bayless, so out of the group I guess I'd prefer Outlaw, if he can play the 2. Sergio is intriguing, but he hasn't shown any ability to shoot the three to this point.

Portland's problem is that they have too many bodies. If they make a move, it'll probably be lopsided, like 3 young guys for 1 really good veteran. Not sure how the Sixers would match up.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 18:24

He's up to 33.3%, which at least, is a lot better than his first two seasons. But sure. I would do the Brand do-over and sign Boozer, or better yet, just wait until 2010. I wouldn't call Brand an abject failure by any means (although offensively he's been terrible, there's nothing worse than a power forward who shoots 44% from the field), but I struggle to see how we ever build a great team around him. There are simply better uses of that money.

Brand's contract isn't outrageous, can you find me 10 guys making between $13-$15M who are markedly better than him? He hasn't played up to his ability so far this season, and it worries me that maybe he'll never be what he once was, but they didn't overspend for him. And the team doesn't necessarily have to be built around him because his salary is reasonable.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 27 at 23:46

So you're saying that, with Miller and potentially Dalembert gone, we could afford a player with a contract the size of Brand's or greater? I'm not a cap guy but my understanding was that with our commitments, we weren't going to be able to afford another max deal type of guy. As for naming ten guys (arbitary number) between 13-15M who are doing better than Brand, I don't know where you go to find a list of such players, but over on hoopshype where they list players making 14.41M and up, I'd have to say that Gasol, Vince Carter, Yao, Bosh, Wade, Carmelo, and LeBron are all markedly better than he is. Other players would include Nash (though he just makes 12), Billups (just 11), Dwight Howard at 13.75, Parker who's paid much less, Joe Johnson, and you could certainly make a case for Zach Randolph. Other than that, there just aren't a ton of guys in that range, and many of the ones who are were signed a long time ago and wouldn't get that kind of money today.

To search for comps, salary-wise, I go here and then navigate through the teams.

Brand is at $13.7M this year, goes up to $18M in the final year of his deal.

And to answer your question. If they drop Miller and Dalembert and they replace Dalembert with a salary that comes off the books after this season, they'd have roughly $45.9M counting against the cap, so maybe $15M in cap space. If they replaced Dalembert with someone whose contract expires after next season (and didn't replace Miller or add any new contracts that ran through 2011 next summer) they'd have approx. $42.8M against the cap, so possibly $20M in space, depending on what the cap number is. They'd also have zero cap-holds against them. If they wait until the following year, they'll have Thad and Jason Smith as restricted free agents and that eats up your cap space, like Iggy and Lou did this summer.

And I'm sorry, but saying Zach Randolph is better than Brand is just silly. He's playing out of his mind right now, the best stretch of his career, and he isn't even close to Brand pre-achilles.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 28 at 3:24

Right now, I'm saying. I mean, statistically you've gotta admit, Brand's having a pretty terrible year. And Randolph's having a really good one. Long term, of course you want Brand on your team for more years.

Didn't like the Korver trade. I understand the rationale behind it and it did get us Brand, but it hasn't worked out for us like we imagined. How we'd love a guy with Korver's range and solid shooting from the FT line. Yes, he's not a good defender but definitely no worse than Kareem Rush.

The Hinrich deal is the one that really strikes me as realistic and one that could benefit both parties. Chicago would still lack scoring but Dalembert can be a rebounding machine at times. That being said if we trade him we won't have anyone to rebound the ball and it'll be 2006 or 2007 all over again.

Portland is just an intriguing team, I'm sure sooner or later they have to choose between certain players but they are so stacked with young talent it's unbelievable. If I had to choose I'd try for Outlaw or Fernandez, I don't think they'd even consider letting Bayless go.

I'm not sure where Portland is in the toughness department but I could see them trading one of those perimiter players for a tough rebounding veteran like Reggie. Of course that softens the Sixers...as Speights and Thad dont seem to have that physicality.

Unfortunately, I think Reggie's toughness is outweighed by his contract. I doubt Portland would be interested.

Reggies 'toughness' is off set by his crap ness folks - his contract is bad but he's just not a very good basketball player - the blazers were looking at bibby earlier in the year to mentor for a year - so maybe they'd be interested in miller.

I don't know what it would take to get rid of sam - but since his contract is too damn long i'm not sure anyone would take him - and moving him to the bench makes him whine and cry and be a selfish baby.

The best target could be the wolves if they are still looking to save money - give em andre miller for mike miller and get them to include randy foye somehow

It frustrates me that we have a "point guard of the future"problem when we have an even bigger - MUCH BIGGER - "shooting guard of the present" problem. With that said, I'd probably take Hinrich over Felton or Conley, though I've seen Felton play a few times and he ain't half bad, so to speak. When you look at our horrible team, however, it literally turns the stomach to think that we (apparently) don't have ANY dependable shooters. NONE. Shittiest shooting team in the entire league and, honestly, worse than quite a few college teams out there. I know you're a fan of Iggy, Brian, and I know you know what I think of him (i.e. I bet I could beat him in a game of horse). So, it shouldn't shock anyone to hear me say that I'd be willing to start Rotal Ivey at PG next year as long as we can bring in a legitimate shooting guard on this god forsaken team of the damned!!!

Venting complete.

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