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How the Clips Can Win a Championship Next Year

I will give some free advice on how to assemble a championship-caliber team.  You never know, Mike Dunleavy might be a secret fan of this blog site.

Point Guard:

We have just signed the best point guard in the league in Baron Davis.  When healthy, nobody is better than Davis.  Davis can shoot.  Davis can run the offense.  Davis can dunk.  Davis can post up.  All the other great point guards lack one or more of these qualities.  So we automatically have an advantage over the rest of the league by just having Davis. 

One suggestion I have for this position is to trade Tim Thomas + 1st round draft pick (and maybe a second round pick too) for Leandro Barbosa.  The Suns are shopping Barbosa right now and I think he can be a major spark plug off the bench and play either the point or SG.

We should also consider signing Mike Taylor and Livingston to minimum contracts.

Shooting Guard:

If one analyzes all the championship teams, one realizes that they all have a dominant All Star at either the 2 or the 3.  Think Kobe Bryant or Paul Pierce or Manu Ginobli or Michael Jordan or Dwayne Wade.  The Clippers lack a dominant SG/SF.  One perennial All Star that might be available is Vince Carter, due to the fact that the Nets are restructuring and are about to relocate.  So I suggest trading Mobley and Knight and Powell and a draft pick for Vince Carter.  He may not be the player he used to be, but he can still make big plays. 

Of course, our sharpshooter Eric Gordon would be a perfect backup to Carter.

Small Forward:

While the PG and SG positions are now stacked with All Stars, the SF position  belongs to Al Thornton, who will act as a role player and a 4th option for this team. 

We also need a capable glue guy at the SF position who can play defense.  Eduardo Najera would be a good choice.  We should spend the MLE on him.  As a bonus, he can play the power forward position as well, and he has improved his perimeter shooting.  Marcus Williams should also be given a minimum contract.

Power Forward:

This position is currently our biggest hole, and in order to stay competitive against Duncan, Stoudamire, Boozer, and others, we need to fill this position with a defensive presence.    Emeka Okafor fits the bill perfectly.  He defends and he rebounds well.  He can play center too when Kaman gets tired (Najera can slide over to PF in his place).  We should give Okafor a 13 million per year offer immediately.  He wants out of Charlotte.   

As a backup, we can sign Paul Davis to a minimum contract.

Center:

Kaman is one of the top centers in the league.  And if we get Okafor, we'll be set down low.  We could also sign Fazekas and Jordan to minimum contracts. 

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Conclusion:

Take a look at our championship-caliber roster.  It has all the necessary components of a great team (dominant PG, dominant SG/SF, spark-plug guy, sharpshooter, glue guy, athletic wing, lockdown defender, shotblockers, dominant big men, etc.):

 

Baron Davis  /  Leandro Barbosa  /  Mike Taylor

Vince Carter  /  Eric Gordon  /  Shaun Livingston

Al Thornton  /  Eduardo Najera  /  Marcus Williams

Emeka Okafor  /  Paul Davis

Chris Kaman  /  Nick Fazekas  /  DeAndre Jordan

 

Another beautiful thing about this team is the number of "interchangeable parts" (if I may borrow a term from Avery Johnson) due to the versatility of Barbosa (PG/SG), Carter (SG/SF), Najera (SF, PF), Okafor (PF, C), and Livingston (PG/SG/SF).  With such a roster, we can play any style: small ball, half court, all-defense, perimeter shooting, etc.

If I were Dunleavy, this would be the team that I would construct.  It is a perfect mix of being a win-now team while also developing the superb young talents of Thornton, Gordon, and possibly Jordan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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