This isn't a snap reaction to the lost by the Sixers in game 2 or to the Rose injury (get well soon kid)
I still thought the team was lacking this year. There still lacked that consistent scorer even in Rip in who I must admit while he did open up the floor for the offense, I was very unimpressed with what he brought to be honest. Not in regards to the injury, but I digress. Still we suffered from that syndrome of Rose or bust this season unless everyone's shots were falling. I love Deng, but I don't think he really should have been an All-Star based on his great defense and hot shooting streaks. We still have a hole for that second consistent scorer. Rip is still signed for another year, with the 3rd year being a team option, however, I can't imagine at age 34 he really still have all that much left in the tank (no matter how good of shape he keeps himself in).
Rose is not going to be himself out of the gate next season. He may regain form, but it won't be from day one. So playing Rose-or-nothing early on is something that should be avoided. I honestly, wouldn't be surprised if he came back next season slightly overweight and out of shape. It's very common for people coming off knee injuries.
So this is a post of players who realistically could provide some help to us this offseason....
O.J. Mayo: Well known around and loved (at least last year) around BAB. We all know of the guy coming second to Rose in ROY honors. He was relegated to the bench at the mid point of last year and after climbing out of the dog house, started playing very well there. Seems to be content with it.
Positives: He can score in many different ways. Whether it be from 3PT (36.4% this season, 37.5% career), mid range, or creating his own shot and driving to the basket. Has experience at the point and can distribute when needed. Seems to have embraced his bench role and can be a spark there. Has become pretty clutch this year and a reliable down the stretch scorer.
Negatives: Still not the best defender, though he has shown improvement (though he is playing against bench players). Also can be a volume shooter since he has the green-light off the bench and not the most efficient scorer (40.8% FG this year). Also, I question since he has embraced coming off the bench so far, would he be able to handle the starting role again. He had a big head his first 2 1/2 years which got him on the bench his half way thru his 3rd year (and it was well deserved).
The Catch: He is a RFA this offseason and has been a valuable asset to the Grizzlies off the bench since the trade deadline. However, he was nearly involved in a trade for Ray Allen so they may be more than willing to let him walk, but he could come with a big price tag.
Kevin Martin: Kevin McHale's main doghouse patron. Seriously, him and McHale go together like oil and water and McHale made it clear that he would prefer to with Courtney Lee. He has a hefty tag at $12.5 million next year, but could be had for a few contracts.......
Positives: Efficient scorer who can drop 20+ on any given night. Great shooter, great at drawing contact and getting to the line, great FT shooter, not bad in transition. Can catch and shoot or one dribble and shoot. Is essentially a thinner Korver with a big offensive repertoire. Moves well without the ball in his hands. IS on the trade block.
Negatives: If he went to court, he would immediately get convicted because he would have no defense. Seriously, though, the guy is admittedly bad on defense. He has length, but that's about where it ends. He could go off for 24, but his opponent could do the same on him. Though Thibs may be able to turn him into at least an average defender. Also, isn't going to win any iron man awards. He's only played 60 or more game in a season 4 times (out of 8 seasons; and one of those seasons he started on the bench). Also, his game isn't very widespread (3.8 career Rebounds Per Game, 2.1 career Assists per game).
The Catch: Once again, his contract is hefty. And at $12.5 million, you'd be wanting more than half a season for a guy you hope could put you over the top and take a major load off your superstar. However, honestly, he is my pick simply because I think the Rockets would be willing to take him for expiring contracts that could clear cap room for them to get a big man (especially since I see them going after Asik this offseason). It would be painful seeing him in the starting lineup with Boozer, but if the starting offense can put up the heavy scoring and the Bench Mob can at least shut the opposing bench down or hold off the scoring, I like the fire power out starting offense would have. Plus, if he doesn't work out, he would be in the last year of his contract anyways.
Eric Gordon: Rose's old AAU running mate. Once thought to be the 2nd best SG on the west coast and eventual top 5 SG, he was traded to the Hornets in a one sided trade and was forced to miss most of the season because of the joke of the Hornets training staff. RFA this offseason.
Positives: Has a high ceiling as has top 5 SG potential. Can score in a variety of ways. I think he is essentially a shorter version of D-Wade without the hate and a better midrange and 3PT game. Is also a very efficient passer and not a bad defender in his own right. Not tall but strong. Good in the fast break and very fast. Said to be a good teammate.
Negatives: Health risk to say the least. Only played in 9 games this season following a knee injury that was never disclosed, or it seems really solved either. Eventually was shut down the last 2 games of the season. Had injury issues in his final year with the Clippers as well with a bone-chip fracture where he had to where a wristband the rest of the season. Also, while strong, is undersized for a SG and could possibly be a liability against bigger ones. Also, seems best only when the ball is in his hands.
The Catch: He is going to be expensive to be honest. He is the top 2 guard on the market by far. I wouldn't mind him being here, but it would be a pipe dream with Boozer's contract and already so much money in the books already. Honestly, I don't consider him a realistic option unless someone is amnestied (looking at you Boozer). Also, with a shady injury with the knee, I'd be reluctant to pull the trigger without medical reassurance.
Ray Allen: The NBA's all time 3 point shooter (attempts and makes). I really on a fall out with the Celtics right now and is very likely not to come back next season. Like Rip, keeps himself in great shape. Not what he was, but still one of the best knock down shooters in the NBA. One of the few things about the Celtics I like (him and Rivers).
Positives: As mentioned, one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. Catch and quick release. Hits 3's with the best of them and seems to have unlimited range. Clutch. One of Thibs most successful projects in turning a liability into a great defender. Keeps himself in really good shape (apparently better than Rip). Very efficient shooter. Move very well without the ball.
Negatives: Age is something but a number. He'll be 37 next season and while he may keep himself in great shape, we've seen with Rip how quick age can catch up with someone. Already bothered with an ankle injury and has since lost his starting job to Bradley. Also, doesn't have a complete offense really . Just more of a catch and shoot guy. (Doesn't seem like he can create his own shot). May not have the desire to play next season since he has his ring and his HOF spot.
The Catch: Teams will be vying for Allen next season. Old or not, he is still one of the best shooters in the game and that is a valuable commodity. He may be the most likely candidate to be an addition to the Bulls, but either he or Rip would have to come off the bench (and as it looks, neither one of them like that option). Definitely going to be a fight to get him on a roster next season after his likely fall out with the Celtics (maybe a fight with Miami).
Jamal Crawford: Former 6th man of the year. One of the better bench scorers in the NBA. Had a fallout with the Trailblazers and is going to (or is very likely to) opt out of his contract this season and become an UFA once again this offseason.
Positives: Great bench scorer. Very, very good at creating his own shot. Great ball handler. Can get to the basketball when he wants. When he has the green light as a scorer he can score how he wants and isn't a bad creator for others. Best FT in the NBA last season. Natural off the bench so can start when needed or keep being a threat off the bench and provide scoring late in the game.
Negatives: Volume shooter who's mostly effective when he takes a lot of shots. Needs the ball in his hands to be effective and isn't great when moving without the ball. Not a catch and shooter. Also, a pretty piss poor defender as well. If he's not scoring he is pretty much a liability out there. His prowess from 3PT range left him last season (as well as from the field overall) and could be a trend as to his age or if it was just a blip from a terrible Portland team.
The Catch: Could be looking to cash in next season since he will be opting out of his contract. Stood to make about $5.3 million dollars next year and will be looking to make similar money. Once again, unless someone(s) are moved, we may not be able to make a run at him. Would have to break up the Bench Mob's chemistry if he were added though with CJ's dribble-dribble-shoot strategy, I would be willing to take that risk. However, defense may suffer a bit. Also a risk I'd be willing to take.
Thoughts, additions, subtractions?