I know we haven't even gotten to the season yet, but since it's slow, I figured I'd at least entertain myself, with a lil hypothetical thinking. Instead of going thru the whole season, I'm going to fast forward to February, right around the trade deadline. How do u see things shaping up? Record-wise, where r we in the East? Do we look like strong contenders or not ready yet? Will we be aggressive or complacent?
Here's my take:
I don't think Portland takes the bait for Rudy and ends up keeping him. We go into the season with basically this lineup that we have now, with a D-Leauguer as our 13th guy. And the more I think about the more I hope they do stand pat on this Rudy deal.
Record wise -- I think we come into the new year 25-6, 1st in the Central by about 3 or 4 games, and only behind Miami in the Conference. But I see a rocky Jan. leaving us 33-13 going into Feb. I think we've jelled pretty well, but that it's noticable that the offense is more efficient when we have more shooters on the floor. Luol is having a better than average season, but he and Brewer on the floor at the same time just doesn't work. They both are best at slashing and mid range game, but don't help spread the floor. But because of no injuries and back to "2007 form" play, he has become a valueable asset entering the trade deadline.
It looks as if we could be a very strong contender to the Heat. We need more scoring at the SG, a shooter first, playmaker second(preferably both a playmaker and shooter) and don't want to lose the defensive presence that Deng brings at the SF. By the trade deadline, I'm thinking some way better options than Rudy will exist, and we'll have better ammo. A few of the names I think will be available:
-- Rip Hamilton -- Carmelo Anthony -- OJ Mayo
Looking at this list what player, or combo of players, best fits our expected needs?
Melo and AI look the most tempting, but trading for those guys will take more than just Lu and our throwaways (Jimmy Johns and 1st round pick). Plus, we'll have added scoring but it will still leave a whole in the starting 5, where Brewer is best off the bench. The rest of that list really doesn't do much for us either, unless u want to go after Rudy again. But wait, there's 2 names that really intrigue me, as potential targets. OJ Mayo and Shane Battier.
Here's my dream deadline trade: ESPN TRADE MACHINE APPROVED
Bulls Get: SG OJ Mayo from Mem, and SF Shane Battier from Hou
Grizz Get: SF Jimmy Johns from Chi, PF/C Jordan Hill from Hou, G Jermain Taylor from Hou, a 1st round pick from Chi (not Charlotte's), and a 1st round pick from Hou
Rockets Get: SF Luol Deng from Chi and 2nd round pick from Mem
We get our SG, who can shoot, create his own shot, and play good D in Mayo. He pushes Brewer to the bench and is the perfect compliment to D.Rose in the backcourt. Along with Battier, another Dukie, great defender, above average rebounder, and can knock down the 3.
Grizz get 2 young forwards, to develop. Or plenty of cap space if they choose not to extend an offer. JJ could be a nice backup and complement to Rudy Gay. Hill can't find a home, but maybe in Memphis he flourishes behind Z-Bo and beside Baby Gasol. Taylor is a nice scoring combo guard and they get 2 1st rounders. I know they're gettin the short end of the stick but it's not like it didn't happen before and they're gettin way more for OJ than they did for Gasol.
Rockets get the perfect compliment to their style. Deng is in essence a more efficient Trevor Ariza, minus some athleticism. His slashing style and mid range game will work well with Yao and Brooks. Their rotation is now
PG Brooks / Lowry AND they still have Jared Jeffries expiring 6.8 mil to play with.
SG Kev Mart / C Lee
SF Deng / Budinger
PF Scola / Patterson / Hayes
C Ming / Miller / Hayes
We go into the 2nd half of the season looking like this:
PG DRose / Watson
SG OJ Mayo / Brewer / Bogans
SF Battier / Korver
PF Boozer / Gibson
C Noah / Asik / Thomas
I like this roster, we have our additional shooters, and we are probably better defensively with the additions.