Which players would you take a chance on to start a new franchise?
I know that with the current lock-out situation we are about as far from expansion as possible, but this business with Beasley probably getting caught out and likely to be traded post-lockout got me thinking. There are so many players who in the right situation could contribute and develop, but none of the current teams have a need they can fill. These are the guys who could probably be nabbed because their current teams have more or less given up on them, but are still young enough to turn things around.
So who are the players you would take in an expansion draft or pursue through trades/FA to start a new team with.
Here are a few of mine;
1. J.R. Smith: Best thing about J.R. is that he'll put people in the stands, because if nothing else, he's highly entertaining. With the responsibility of leading a new team, and the opportinity to be a volume shooter, J.R. might finally reach that potential with the right coach.
2. OJ Mayo; the kid had it made his rookie season, until Rudy Gay returned from injury, and Z-Bo was traded to the team. Any chance he had of being the go-to scorer he seemed destined to be was gone, but I think he's the sort of guy who would flourish given the chance to step up and be a leader. It would be either him or J.R. though I might add.
3. Donatas Motiejunas; Motie is a skilled offensive big guy, and is likely going to be held to the pine in Houston with the sheer number of young PFs they have available. His play-style (soft) and great size mean he could have Dirk-like longevity and be a cornerstone for years to come.
4. Hasheem Thabeet; admittedly, the Rockets are likely going to need him to help fill the void left by Yao, but his value isn't particularly high right now, and every team needs a defensive C. With an expansion team he'd have all the minutes he could want and even if it wouldn't be pretty initially, things would look up sooner or later (you'd hope).
5. Martell Webster; was hindered by injuries early on in Minny and couldn't really battle his way back into the rotation, but still young (approx 24) and with 6 years experience in the NBA. Seems like a Gerald Wallace type who could come good with a fresh team.
6. Rick Adelman; not a player, but if I wanted a coach who will win games and get the most out of whatever talent he has available, Rick is my guy. It also helps that he's available.
So what are your thoughts?
Michael Beasley- Needs to be the number one option and learn to be a leader by example first and then vocally. Has all the talent in the world just needs the mental aspect and maybe being with a experienced coach someone could make him grow up. He showed he can be the guy this season but got hurt he and love did co-exist well this season though.
Anthony Randolph- Just needs to be on one team for a full season and get playing time because he has shown through summer league and pre season games that he has the assets to be the guy on a team. He just keeps getting traded to teams that have a guy who plays his position.
Sorry man, I just think that team would lose games like nobodies business. JR Smith puts people in the stands? Really? Well, he has his moments, but I have never found him incredibly exciting altogether. To perimeter oriented for a player with his kind of athleticism, not to mention wildly inconsistent. While Hasheem is a fairly nice shot blocker with his length, he gets regularly outmuscled, which will probably always be his problem. Not to mention his footwork and hands leave a lot to be desired.
I know you have always been high on Donatas, but his style of play (soft), will more than likely mean he will not become Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk atleast turned himself into a solid defensive rebounder over time, and I do not think Donatas has that kind of toughness, or desire. I am actually a fan of Martell, but Gerald Wallace, he is not. Martell is a very solid shooter actually, but lacks the athleticism and rebounding ability of a Gerald. Minnesota was his chance to shine, and so far, he has done little to prove he was worthy of the 6th pick in the draft. He was compared to Glen Rice coming into the league, but he has never had consistency, and his handle is still pretty below average.
OJ Mayo is the only player I truly like out of your 5, as long as the price is right. Seeing that it probably will not be, I am not a huge fan. Rick Adelman is a good coach, for sure, but he has never been one of my favorites. His teams do seem to plateau, possibly due to the talent he has only going so far. I can not imagine him helping this group win though, unless you got some other starters in mind besides Motiejunas and Thabeet. Not to mention a PG, which as much as OJ Mayo seems think he can be, does not suit him. I do not know what players necessarily fit your classifications as starting an expansion team, in the past teams have offered 3 players in the expansion draft and that means you would have 90 players to choose from. I would not really know how to begin and what would fulfill your guidelines, but I will give it a shot.
PG Aaron Brooks: Restricted FA, had a very difficult 4th year in the league. It is possible you could sign him for decent value, and you have a PG who has quickness that is tough to maintain. He may be more of a scoring guard than a true PG, but he possesses the ability to pressure the ball and can lead teams on major runs.
SG Rudy Fernandez: He has always thought of himself as a star, and here would be his chance to shine. Giving Rudy around 30-34 minutes a game could pay major dividends, he is a dead eye shooter and plays with amazing passion. If he had the confidence that he was a vital part of the team, he might gain back the initial confidence he played with and really shine. I think he could actually have a very nice year on Dallas next year, should be interesting to watch.
SF Andrei Kirilenko: I think there is a strong chance he finally leaves Utah, and he would bring a great deal of versatility, not to mention a very solid defensive SF. He more than likely would not want close to the money he was making before and he was indeed, once an All-Star SF. Think that Andre is still young enough and could play a solid role in helping a team score some W's.
SF Thaddeus Young: Feel that the 76ers fans may have given up on him, but I haven't. He is a combo forward who is incredibly versatile, in a way he is sort of a parrallel to Kirilenko. It might be slightly strange having them both, but I think Thaddeus might actually have the ability to play the 4 if he does bulk up slightly. Has very high level athleticism and a developing offensive repertoire, still very young and a player I like a lot.
C Greg Oden: Yes, I may indeed be dreaming to think the Blazers would enter Greg's name in an expansion draft, but there is no Center I would want to gamble on more if I were starting a team from scratch with realistically available players. Greg has the ability to be a defensive anchor, and I actually believe that given these players he might have a chance of staying out of foul trouble. Nonetheless, these are 5 players I like a lot who are nearing or in Free Agency and could possibly be available.
Coach: Larry Brown. I think this guy is a genius. Yes, his patience is limited. Sure, he will trade everyone to win now. But, he ends up giving you a team that you in no way would otherwise have and changing an entire perspective. I have always really liked him as a coach, and while I might worry that he would trade some young talent, I think he could work with the pieces I really wanted to build around, and than get better winning pieces at positions I would be willing to upgrade.
OJ Mayo, JR Smith, Terrence Williams, Jeremy Tyler, Darius Morris, Anthony Randolph, Mike Beasley, Eric Maynor
Thanks for the feedback Mikey. I should clarify a few things you rightly objected to; these were just some players who would be good in a expansion situation, rather than my actual team. As far as Martell, I meant Gerald Wallace in terms of career path, i.e. he could find a bigger role with an expansion team and start to flourish, rather than a comment on their playstyle.
Great call on Greg Oden and Rudy, definitely players I'd take a chance on.
Having said that, I would target these guys as my starters;
PG: DJ Augustin; underrated PG, looks to be on the way out of Charlotte with Kemba coming in and with Mayo able to create for others, they could share the playmaking abilities. I wanted a true PG, but honestly there didn't seem to be any on the market who would have a pass-first mentality, and Brooks strikes me as having an ego problem after winning MIP.
SG: Sticking with Mayo, maybe being the face of a franchise will restoke the fires in his heart. Dude looks like a broken man these days, no passion in his game, but you can tell the old Juice is in there somewhere.
SF: Martell Webster; steadying presence as said, long-range shooter.
PF: Was going to go with Donatas again, but I'd rather steal away Patrick Patterson; more of a physical player and ready to play right now.
C: Greg Oden; with so many outside shooters (Martell, OJ, Augustin) you need a dominant big man to clean up the boards and anchor your defensive efforts.
As far as bench players a quick run-down would be;
PG; Patty Mills, could be a great value back-up, and a great locker-room presence.
SG; Brandon Rush; plays good D, appears on the way out in Indiana.
SF; Donte Greene; underrated in Sactown, solid bench player.
PF; Earl Clark; played hard when he got minutes, and could work his way into the starting lineup, never felt like he got a chance in either Phoenix or Orlando.
C; Hassan Whiteside; secondary C who will block shots and that's about it. Great size and is good injury insurance if Oden goes down again.
I've tried to include mostly high-character guys, as locker-room distractions would be poisonous for such a young group, worst is Brandon Rush, and even he keeps his nose relatively clean lately.
For this group I'd change my coach to Mike Woodson; he can connect with a young team and is a great developmental sort of guy who can hand the reins over to a Larry Brown or Phil Jackson type when the team is more prepared for success.
The team is probably still going to lose a whole lot of games, but when you're drafting castoffs and potential players you won't be successful right away.
You Lost me when you said JR Smith puts folks in the stand...LMAO!! Nobody goes to a game just to see JR Jack up 3 pointers...JR on an expansion team will be a distaster..He's a hot head and needs to be around a veteran team and veteran coach...He's had a decent career,but if he had went to college it would've taught him how to play the game the right way..With his skills he could be an all star..But Instead he goes for the spectacular play every possession...
And historically most expansion teams never sign big money free agents...Most new teams try to build thru the draft and are willing to deal with the 1st 4 or 5 years of losing...
Not sure if I'd qualify J.R. Smith as a big money FA to be fair. But yeah, I regret that "puts people in stands" comment, you guys were right to call me out on it. Sad to see all that talent gone to waste, but some people just can't figure it out.
I'd take a gamble on Marvin Williams. I believe a change of scenery would benefit him. I can still see him being a 16-18PPG scorer.
Wait, Rick Adelman's not a player?
Some players I like who haven't already been mentioned who would possibly be left unprotected if there was an expansion draft would be Goran Dragic, Ben Gordon, Mickael Pietrus, Carl Landry, Patrick Patterson (If Houston likes Montie better), Jason Thompson, Ian Mahinmi.
PG- Aaron Brooks
SG- Rudy Fernandez
SF- Michael Beasley
PF- Jason Thompson
C- Greg Oden
Bench: Eric Maynor, Brandon Rush, Earl Clark, Patrick Patterson, DeAndre Jordan
I'm trying to realistically pick players who would probably be left unprotected
Jeff Pendergraph: He is coming off a major injury, but if he is healthy, he could be a hard-nosed post player who rebounds, defends, and provides efficient offensive production.
Luke Babbitt: Another Blazer, as the Blazers are very deep. He could develop into a Rashard Lewis-type player in the best case scenario. Not a bad piece for an expansion team, and at the very least he could provide floor spacing.
Terrence Williams: Maybe a stretch, but could be a point forward on an expansion team who brings great athleticism and defense.
Rudy Fernandez: Wing scorer with an all around offensive game. Remains to be seen if he can become a great shooter in the NBA or contribute with a complete offensive game in the NBA.
Chris Singleton: Athletic defender with some potential to improve on offense.
Earl Clark: I'm not really a fan of his, but he would probably be left unprotected, and, if he improves his shot, as is likely given his reputation as a hard worker, he could be a solid face-up 4 off the bench.
James Anderson: Shooter who can hit shots coming off screens and has excellent scoring instincts.
Beno Udrih/Shaun Livingston (Whichever, if either, is left unprotected): Both could start and be productive and Milwaukee has too many pgs anyways (JK).
Whichever T'Wolves forward is left unprotected.
I probably took this a little too seriously, ha ha.
Javale McGee is a guy you might be able to build around. Great size and length. AWESOME athlete and a sick dunker. If he figures it out he is one of the non-allstars that I would think about building around. He's young, and if he can figure it out he could be one of the top 2 or 3 centers in the league. With his shot blocking ability and high flying dunks he can also put fans in the seats.
His new teammate Jan Vesely sounds like another young guy you might try to build around. He seems very aggressive and fearless with great flair. His highlights are great and he looks like an awesome dunker. He looks like a guy who can put fans in the seats with his dunks, energy, and potential.
In fact, I want to see the Wizards when they come to Memphis so I can see Vesely and McGee (along with John Wall) in person.
I know the jury is still out on this guy considering he has yet to play an NBA game (same as Vesely) but I might take a chance on Kemba Walker. Great player who had an awesome year last year winning the Maui Classic, the Big East tournament, and the NCAA tournament. He isn't very big and is not a true point guard, but he seems like he can get his shots, get to where he wants to go on the court, and can be the focal point of the offense. With his talent and leadership abilities I think that Kemba Walker is the kind of guy you can build a team around. I can see him being the face of a franchise.
If I could have a list of role players that I would like to start a team around (an entertaining team who would be a playoff contender) I would go with Mario Chalmers, JJ Barea, Tyler Hansbrough, Shannon Brown, Taj Gibson, Tony Allen, Hasheem Thabeet, Brian Cardinal, Shawne Williams, James Jones, DeJuan Blair, and Omer Asik. No superstar but a bunch of great role players who would be a lot of fun to watch.
Can anyone recall how many players each team were allowed to protect in the last expansion draft?
A fun idea might be to do a reprotection of current rosters and see what we come up with as some teams may look to shift salaries or older players in favour of keeping younger talent and might some teams maybe put up a starter or two who they may want to move?
I think you have the right idea, picking guys that might be available in an expansion draft.
Based on that I would look at Joey Dorsey, Luke Harangody, Daquan Cook, Sam Young, Josh McRoberts, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Byron Mullens, Devin Ebanks, Goran Dragic, and Ian Mahinmi with Chris Duhon and Jason Collins being the two veterans. I would start Dragic, Young, Cook, McRoberts, and Mahinmi.
I think the last expansion draft was in 2004 for the Bobcats. They were allowed to choose 19 players. I don't know what the rules where on who they were allowed to pick.
For expansion drafts, all the teams protect 9 guys on their roster. The rest are eligible for the
expansion draft. So in 2004 the Kings left Gerald Wallace unprotected and the Bobcats picked him
up in the expansion draft. Great pickup by the Bobcats and a big loss by the Kings. I remember when
he was on Sacramento and he showed a lot of promise.
Usually older veterans are left unprotected since they sometimes make too much money. Greg Anthony and
Gerald Wilkins were picked in the expansion draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies.
When the Timberwolves entered the league, the Bad Boy Pistons left Rick Mahorn unprotected and the T Wolves picked him
up. However, Mahorn never played there and I think he spent the next season in Italy.
Anyone who thinks DeAndre Jordan would be available in an expansion draft is kidding themselves; Clippers are very high on him.
good idea for a post but i donno how you expect to just sign/draft most of these guys? you really think the Spurs are gonna give away James Anderson? How do you expect to get DeAndre Jordan??? Javale McGee??? c'mon sonnnnnnnnn....
memphis madness is the only one with a realistic roster
"Based on that I would look at Joey Dorsey, Luke Harangody, Daquan Cook, Sam Young, Josh McRoberts, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Byron Mullens, Devin Ebanks, Goran Dragic, and Ian Mahinmi with Chris Duhon and Jason Collins being the two veterans. I would start Dragic, Young, Cook, McRoberts, and Mahinmi."
Derick Caracter and Luke Walton would be left unprotected before anyone on LAL.