So with the dreadful EJ season in the books, I got to thinking about next season. Are we still rebuilding, or are we ready to contend? So, here are a few bullet points a came up with for why next season could be a contending season (by contending I mean 45-50 wins, playoff berth):
- We will we getting a high draft pick, surely top 10, possibly top 5.
- The addition of Brandon Jennings essentially took MIL from 34 to 46 wins (+12); why can't we do the same with a solid high pick? 12 more wins would only make us 39-43, but many of our later losses I blame on EJ and the futility of the season, not the talent, so I'm thinking we could go +20 to 47-35 -- best case scenario.
- We have an oppurtunity to bring in a solid new coach (like JVG or one of many prosiming assts around the league).
- We could also clean the front office a bit, if we choose to toss Ed to the curb...could bring in a solid replacement there.
- We still have Jrue, Andre, Sammy, etc. who in the right system, with the right coach, and alongside a great young (draft pick) talent could play like an actual pro basketball team next season.
- We could probably benefit from a lower-level free agent addition too, but I'm not sure what our $$$ situation is, hence lower-level.
- Eastern Conference is still weak enough (8 seed is .500, 41-41, this season) to make the playoffs next season, likely with 43 wins.
I realize that we won't be winning any championships soon, not with King James and Kobe and Chris Paul and the like playing on teams that would be better that us even without them. Still, we the fans have to be excited about clawing our way to (at least the rim of) higher mediocrity.
So? Is next year a contention year? Can we win 43, 45, 47? Thoughts?