Now that basketball is over for the year, we have roughly two weeks until the season starts all over again on July 1st with Free Agency. So gearing up to that I couldn't help but to put together my own offseason of moves, mostly done in a vacuum where what I needed to happen would happen whether it would be guys falling the draft or teams letting free agents walk. Still this is all based in realism, even if it's at least still only fantasy until and unless it actually happens.
So going in to the offseason, first I had to decide what our style of play and team identity would be.
Playing Style: Uptempo Outside-In offense, Pack the Paint-Perimeter Length defense
Team Identity: Athletic and Long
11th Pick: Traded to Atlanta Hawks for the 18th and 50th picks.
- I wanted to get an extra pick, considering it's a draft that's not stellar but technically deep because so many players are of similar value. I chose to trade with Atlanta because they possessed two mid-first and two seconds, taking their last pick in each round and giving up my lottery pick felt like the best choice here considering our needs and I'm not so in love with anybody available at 11 to stay.
18th Pick: Tony Mitchell SF/PF; 6'9" 240 LBS, 7'3" Wingspan. 13.2 Pts, 8.5 Reb, 1.0 Stl, 2.7 Blk, 32.8 Min
- Mitchell is a bit of a few players we have seen before. Some Josh Smith, some Thomas Robinson, some Perry Jones, some Elton Brand-like length to height ratio. The talent is there, he had a down year mostly on offense where he lost a lot of confidence after he attempted to open up his game too quickly and add a perimeter shot that he really didn't need. He doubled his 3 point attempts from his Freshman to Sophomore year and that plummeted his shooting percentage and overall offensive production. While he still has a lot to learn defensively working the strong side, he was pretty consistent defensively from last to this year. Tony is an athletic freakazoid, not surprisingly he hasn't been able to reel in his game just yet but in a professional system where he wont have the option to take 3's (deep 2's in the NBA) he'll have a chance to further his already solid midrange game and work on his post game. His rebounding pace decreased but it was still really good and better coaching at the pro level will help him improve even more.
35th Pick: Mike Muscala PF/C; 6'11" 230 LBS, 7'1" Wingspan. 18.9 Pts, 11.3 Reb, 2.3 Ast, 2.3 Blk, 32.1 Min
- Muscala is a late-first early second guy because of his collegiate competition and that thought process helps us here because the guy is a potential stud for where you can get him. While he doesn't have tons of size and gets moved off the block sometimes, he has the post game to make up for it. He is mobile, can protect the paint and rebound. Mike is comfortable playing back to the basket, face up, pick and pop, pick and roll and rim running. While he is not strong he doesn't play soft, works hard every play to score, defend and rebound because he uses his 7'1" length well.
42nd Pick: Nate Wolters PG; 6'5" 195 LBS, 6'4" Wingspan. 22.6 Pts, 5.5 Reb, 5.8 Ast, 1.8 Stl, 60% TS
- Wolters is pretty much a pure point guard. A good rotational option, maybe end of the bench his first year and a backup for Jrue as a second year player. He has all the offensive makings of a NBA point guard: vision, good size, good handles and shooting. His weaknesses can be glaring, his isn't long, not fast, not extremely athletic. So while he will find ways to score and could be a solid backup floor general, he will be a weak link defensively although he does manage to play passing lanes and get steals. As we know he is not the first guard or player that can't defend but can score. I'd liken him to Jose Calderon, neither can defend or are particularly fast but can dish it and make good choices & shoot/score the ball.
50th Pick: James Ennis SG/SF; 6'7" 200 LBS, 7' Wingspan. 16 Pts, 6.5 Reb, 2.1 Ast, 1.7 Stl, 1.3 Blk
- Reliable shooter at the college level. Efficient scorer, boasting a true percentage of 61%, while shooting 58% from 2 pt range. Extremely athletic and great 7 foot length allows him to defend well. Ennis stuffs the stat sheet from top to bottom, a competent scorer, above average rebound for position, can find a guy or two and forces turnovers & blocks. He isn't a strong ball handler but it wouldn't be necessary as he would be used on the perimeter to receive kick outs for three's and two's. Also can play SF in relief but makes a great option at the 2 spot on defense causing havoc with his length. Could be similar to Kahwi Leonard in a few years, just not as elite of a rebounder or defensive player coming out of college, as well as not as large of a frame. He could contribute in his second year.
Reasoning: In a draft like this, trading back isn't a bad idea and then grabbing a guy with boom or bust potential is also a weighted risk worth taking. You grab any extra pick that saves you money when filling out your roster instead of having to pay a vet free agent millions for barely playing when you can give a second round guy hundreds of thousands. With the four selections we added size, length, athleticism, ball-handling, shooting, defensive ability and a lot of rebounding for position.
Michael Curry: Knows the roster the best, defensive minded.
Chris Finch: Successful at minor league level with young players & Euro league experience, offensive minded.
David Fizdale: Player Development, offensive minded.
Each of these guys are just about on the cusp of becoming head coaches, each young and all are respected and have experience.
Chris Finch, has the most experience, still young, has gotten a nice amount production out his young teams (winning D-League championships) and he is offensive minded (in the Pro-sense not the Eddie Jordan-sense of the phrase) which the fans want to see after a decade of "defense". But Finch does care about defense, as well. Sam Hinkie is very familiar with this Finch from Houston, so this is highly likely that he would be the guy.
Offer Tyreke Evans 4 Years/44 Million, look for (hope for) the Kings to balk at that price considering they have to pay Cousins next year to as much or more. Offer a Sign-And-Trade, of Thad Young (sorry but best trade chip) & Evan Turner for Evans and his new deal. You could luck out and offer Hawes instead of Thad, giving them two expiring contracts, but Kings fans HATE Spencer.
Still with roughly 9 Million dollars left after the trade, resign Wright and Ivey to 2 year deals with team options. Sign Corey Brewer off the street for perimeter defense a 2 year, 6.5 Million dollar deal.
New Players, (R) - Rookie,
PG Holiday, Ivey (2YR/2M; Re-sign), Wolters (R)
SG Evans (4YR/44M; S&T), Richardson, Holiday
SF C. Brewer (2YR/6.5M), Wright [6TH] (2YR/10M;Re-sign), Ennis (R)
PF Mitchell (R), Moultrie, Allen
C Hawes, Muscala (R),
Players to Develop/Under 25
Your team is young, you had to give up Thad but got a young scorer, ROY talent in return for similar money. Replaced Thad with a similar player in Tony Mitchell but with more potential. Signed and re-signed a couple vets, kept the Holiday brothers together for a little "feel good" distraction. Your youth will get a chance to shine as 9 of your players are under 25 but now you're a lot more athletic and balanced throughout your roster. More exciting team to watch, with a young experienced coach to grow with.