It's no secret the NBA is void of parity and completely diluted of talent. The days of the 80's/90's purists are over, team ball is dead and the age of the superstar is well in effect. While there will always be superstars and a need for them in ANY sport, the NBA lacks great teams that are at least filled with competent players that have potential. So how can we start to change that? Well, what many of us have begged for and read about in recent years is contraction. Let's get rid of some these teams, even Lebron agrees (kinda), so that's what I tried to do. (DISCLAIMER: This is all fantasy, so keep an open mind.)
So what is (could be) a Contraction Draft? (MY OWN RULES & HOW I SEE IT) Simple, the teams that are in essence eliminated from existing have there players that are under contract going in to the next season put in to a pool of players to be selected by the rest of the functioning clubs. That means guys under longterm contracts and team/player options are made available, if a player has an opt out clause they must first go through contraction draft then decide whether to exercise it or not. All unsigned players can sign where ever they choose. For teams the first year of the players contracts would work like a reversed amnesty. The league would pay half of the 1st year salary while the contracted franchise pays one quarter of the remainder and the drafting team pays the other quarter; but every year after that the team that drafts the player pays the full salary. (Hey, I'm not a lawyer/accountant, give me a break.)
So who's on the outs? I wanted to reduce the league by four teams, to 26 the fewest since 1988. For me it was simple, while 4 years ago it would've been so easy to pick the Clippers and the Grizzlies that is no longer the case. And while OKC is a super small market in a college sport region and we'd all love to get a Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Martin, Perkins, PJ3, Lamb or Collison on our team, it's not happening even though they are so green of a franchise and in a small market. Then there are the Kings, and while they make sense, they cannot be removed as they are in a bidding war and (likely) if they stay in Seattle then the NBA would add another team for Seattle (because they have an arena) on top of keeping the Kings and then have to add an East Coast team to make it an even 32 (possibly; I'm mostly fear mongering), YUCK! No thanks, you can stay Kings but you are going to Seattle, deal with it! Some people would contract our beloved Sixers from the league, and some nights we want to do it as well, but we have a great history and great players of the past so we stay. The Nets were an option before they moved to Brooklyn and as much as Toronto is irrelevant to the NBA as a team they are a viable money making franchise.
So for me that left New Orleans, Minnesota, Charlotte and Atlanta, yes Atlanta. Why Atlanta? Because basketball is the 3rd sport and Atlanta folks barely go out to see their currently 1st place Braves. It's a football town now and they can only seem to focus on one sport at a time. Good... O.K. market but they show very little interest in the Hawks even though they keep making the playoffs. Why the Hornets? Because they named themselves the Pelicans. Sorry Mr. Benson just focus on football, that's what the fans really care about. Especially when CP3 skipped town, the fans barely gave a care then. Plus the NBA could use some of that talent. Why Minnesota? Once again it's a football town, and basketball is probably (no it is) the 4th sport there. Yes, KG came from there! So what, the franchise stinks time to share the Love, Minny. And why Charlotte? You know why Charlotte.
Ok, enough prefacing let's get down to it. Here are the four contracted franchises and the (36) players under control through next season. (In no particular order)
(MY) PLAYER RANKINGS
5 E. Gordon
11 D. Williams
15 L. Williams
19 T. Thomas
21 B. Gordon
31 L. Thomas
Since there are 36 players, it made it perfect that the (now) 10 lottery teams, get one extra pick in the 2nd round. In the first round I went strictly by current records, in the 2nd round it's by records of the lottery teams. So here is how it shook out...
1st Pick ORL: Anthony Davis - Orlando adds the #1 pick from the 2012 Draft to pair along side Mr. Should've Kept himself. They lacked interior athleticism & defense all season and that's what The Brow brings. Not to mention more youth. It allows them to have the option to select either McLemore, Noel or the ever surging Marcus Smart 1st overall (now that Charlotte does not exist).
2nd Pick PHX: Kevin Love - The Suns get probably the best player of the pool, an obvious upgrade over the Morris twins and with Gortat often injured another board grabbing big is needed. Granted Kevin has been injured way too much this past two seasons but the prospects of having a 25/14 guy that can shoot it is too much to pass up.
3rd Pick CLE: Al Horford - Cleveland can finally pair a competent big with Sideshow Bob. Horford allows Anderson to focus on the rebounding as Al can fill it up when called upon. Not to mention Kyrie Irving could use a well rounded big man to play inside out with.
4th Pick DET: Ricky Rubio - Detroit is looking to move Knight to the 2 and the addition of Rubio allows such a thing, not a perfect marriage but Ricky can surely get that anemic offense moving. Monroe and Drummond will greatly benefit from the pick up of Rubio as well.
5th Pick SAC/SEA: Kemba Walker - This pick is so Kings (or whatever they'll be in Seattle). While Kemba is probably not the player they need it's the player they want. The Kings (in real-life) are attached to Trey Burke as a draft option, this pick up of the stepback assassin allows the "team to be named" to look to add a guy like Porter, Oladipo or Pointzz Muhammed.
6th Pick WAS: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - Look at the Wizards on the come up. Wall has reached his stride and moving closer to what we all thought he could potentially be. Beal is going to be a baller once he comes back healthy, not you add MKG on the wing with his combo of athleticism, speed and (potential) defensive prowess you're looking at a team working it's way to competing for a playoff spot. Add a kid like Anthony Bennett, Alex Len or Cody Zeller in the draft and in a few years they can be a Top 3 team in the East.
7th Pick TOR: Alexey Shved - After the failed acquisition of Lowry and trading away Calderon, the Raps are in need of a talented Point Guard and the Wolves have they guy they could use. Alexey can stroke it, run the floor and run the offense. Rudy Gay could use the help, as Terrence Ross moves into the starting lineup in 13-14, Shved makes it a sizeable 1 through 3. Now if only Bargnani can get his game together.
8th Pick PHI: Ryan Anderson - Oh thank heavens, a real stretch 4. Sure Bynum won't be here next season but now that we have the 8th pick in the June (not real) draft, we have a shot at Cody Zeller or Alex Len. Neither are fully interior bigs but a tremendous upgrade over the Hawes/Allen/Brown combo of the 2012/2013 campaign. Bring on the long two's and three's, this guy'll actually make them!
9th Pick POR: Eric Gordon - Gordon wanted out of New Orleans, because he knew they were going no where and luckily for him I gave them the boot. Portland couples the ROY Lillard with a scoring threat that when healthy is a Top 10 bucket getter. It's not Phoenix, Eric, but it's not N'Awlins either.
10th Pick MIL: Derrick Williams - The raw athletic big joins a raw athletic squad, but this marriage has the potential to work. So many lobs in Williams' future with Jennings and Ellis penetrating and dishing. Plus adds more length to and already long front court.
11th Pick DAL: Grevias Vasquez
12th Pick BOS: Tyrus Thomas - Boston goes for length and athleticism which they really need. If Thomas can return healthy he can help to improve the Boston front court.
13th Pick UTAH: Jeff Teague
14th Pick LAL: Louis Williams - Not a perfect fit, but with the Mamba down for 6-9 months the Lakers could use the back court scoring, and when Kobe returns LouWill can greatly improve the Lakers' bench.
15th Pick CHI: Ramon Sessions
16th Pick HOU: BJ Mullens
17th Pick GSW: Robin Lopez
18th Pick BKN: Bismack Biyombo
19th Pick IND: Gerald Henderson
21st Pick MEM: JJ Barea
22nd Pick LAC: Jason Smith
23rd Pick DEN: Luke Ridnour
24th Pick SAS: John Jenkins
25th Pick OKC: Austin Rivers
26th Pick MIA: Ivan Johnson
ROUND 2 (Lottery teams only)
27th Pick ORL: Ben Gordon - Orlando grabs the overpayed Gordon for some instant offense.
28th Pick PHX: Andrea Kirilenko
29th Pick CLE: Jeff Taylor
30th Pick DET: Darius Miller
31th Pick SAC/SEA: Brandon Roy - The Seattle groups plays to the emotions of their fans bring back the former Washington Huskies for his swan song season, which would mostly be full of pine riding.
32th Pick WAS: Lance Thomas
33th Pick TOR: Brian Roberts
34th Pick PHI: Deshawn Stevenson - Sixers add a vet with 3 pt. range and perimeter defense. Two things much needed.
35th Pick POR: Brendan Haywood
36th Pick DAL: Dante Cunningham
...And now the NBA is better, not fixed, but better. Realistically if contraction ever were to happened it would probably be at the next CBA.
And if you've lasted this long, you too care about the NBA.
REC: If you love the NBA.
IGNORE: If you love Satan and hate your Grandmother & like to throw puppies off bridges.