There’s a lot a talk about the downfalls of shooting for the stars – that we have no more assets for the future. Not that many of you brought it up before this season started, lets dive in to it now. Let’s go all the way back to the 2010 NBA Draft – we get Derrick Favors to pair with Brook Lopez. Instead of taking the risk on Deron Williams, let’s assume we took the draft and develop mindset.
Next year, in the 2011 draft, I can only speculate. With us set at PF/C, I don’t think we would have taken Enes Kanter with the number 3 pick. Although he fell to number 8, I’ll slide Brandon Knight in there to fill the theoretical PG slot since he was the first perimeter player off the board after Kyrie went number 1.
Well assume ended up with the number 6 pick in 2012 draft lottery and the team, as was reported, was set on Harrison Barnes.
And for this most recent draft, it wouldn’t be fair to assume we’d have a high pick. But I do think Ben McLemore at number 7 is reasonable had we went with the collection mentioned above.
So with the past 4 drafts we’d be left with a lineup of:
PG: Brandon Knight
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Brook Lopez
So the question I ask – is this a more desirable collection of players and assets than what we have currently?
Brook Lopez is the bright spot in the lineup as all of us could easily see. After that, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
Favors hasn’t taken the step forward like most thought he would. His per minute numbers are actually down this year since taking over the starting job in Utah. What makes matters worse – his $12M/yr contract begins next year.
Knight hasn’t played enough games this year to conclude anything. But with no improvement from year one to year two in Detroit I don’t have much hope this year will be much better. And with a .02 WS/48 min (league average is .1), I think the numbers can back up the fact he’s not a starting caliber PG.
Barnes is a good role player, but he doesn’t have the star potential that some Nets fans like to believe. But his WS/48 has increased from .06 to .09 this year and PER from 11 to 12.4. So although he is still below the league average in both of those categories, I still think he can improve to be a good role player.
McLemore has the least amount of time in the league but we know he can shoot from distance. Has a .05 WS/48 but the book is still out on this kid.
Overall, the total WS/48 between all 5 of them this year is .381. Our current squad is playing at .311 so yes it paints a better picture than what we’d be watching currently. But to give you something else to base it one, last year’s starting lineup had a WS/48 of .644. With this theoretical squad, we’d be looking at 28-32 wins this year. Yes we would have some youth and a little potential to improve, but nothing in the collection put together would make me think we have a chance to win it all down the road. We’d be stuck in the bottom of the lottery if not getting knocked out by the Heat each year.
Our current squad has not played to its potential. There’s no way Kevin Garnett will allow himself to play this bad much longer. Paul Pierce will start knocking down shots at a much more effective rate. The offense will go through Brook and Deron much more as the season wears on. Give it time. More important, to me at least, please don’t say we traded away our future. Don’t start complaining that we’re doomed for the future. The grass is not greener on the other side had Billy King played it more conservatively. And in the event our starting 5 is not cutting it this year, he has given himself the flexibility with the Celtics trade to keep making moves until the unit does click.