[from the comments -yfbb]
So it looks like we will have approximately 11.7 million in cap space (after the two first round picks). I think Melo is a great option but let’s assume he won’t be joining the Bulls. What do we do? I like the idea of trading for a legitimate SG (such as the Alec Burks idea proposed on this comment board) so Butler can be moved over to the 3, or trying to sign one.
Or perhaps RFA Gordon Hayward can be given a substantial deal such as 11 mil per year or such, and see if Utah matches it. Maybe a poison-pill type contract like Houston has used could be employed. I like the idea of having a 6’9 scoring SG going next to Butler and keeping our size advantage over most teams (Derrick is a strong 6’3, Butler at 6’8 and Hayward at 6’9 provide a lot of combined height on the wings and Taj plays big at PF with his 7’4 wingspan).
In this scenario, we would let Mirotic stay for another season in Spain, where he could develop one more year so he could be added to the rotation next year or traded for someone such as Kevin Love. I think this is pretty good situation for this season, as we would still have 2 picks to add depth, and could offer the tax-payer’s exception of about 3 million per year (see Larry Coon website). This could go toward a scoring bench piece such as DJ, Vince Carter, Rodney Stuckey etc. Then add picks Adriean Payne at 16 and Zach Lavine at 19. Payne could play minutes immediately off the bench and Lavine would be an obvious Thibs redshirt candidate but has the ability to be a stud combo guard in the future. Sign Kirk to the minimum (might take a small hometown discount here) and a big man such as Emeka Okafor. Go with the following lineup next season:
Rose, Kirk (min.), DJ, Lavine
Hayward, Carter/Stuckey (option B), Snell, Lavine
Butler, Dunleavy, Snell
Taj, Payne (min. big)
Noah, Smith (min. big)
I would be happy with a starting lineup with two scorers, hopefully some improvement from a healthy Jimmy, and the Taj-Noah combo. The bench of Kirk, DJ or Carter or Stuckey, Dunleavy, Payne, and smith provides a solid mix of shooters, ball-handlers, and solid rebounding. Snell would return to the role he should be in now as a reserve wing shooter who plays only by necessity. Lavine has a year to develop (hopefully this goes better than Teague experiment). Most importantly, the bench is all reasonable contracts who, because of the great depth, could be dealed as part of a blockbuster trade, if the opportunity arose.