(This is really just a follow-up to my previous post, but it was getting long so I just did it here.)
When I made the point that no one can break into the line-up next season, it's because the Clippers really DO NOT have a gaping hole at any position...so why bother picking up anyone from picks #3-#10 if there's a way to convert the pick to multiple first-round and multiple second-round picks?
Try to follow my reasoning:
1) The Clippers starting line-up is pretty much set in stone. (Davis, Gordon, Thornton, Randolph, Kaman)
2) Retained players (MTaylor-PG, Novak-PF, DeAndre-C) RickyD but he should be bought out & I won't count him...
3) Collective bargaining agreement dictates: MINIMUM # of players on an NBA roster = 14.
4) 14 - 8 = We need another 6 players.
5) Rookie salary depends on their draft position.
6) Incoming rookies will not pull an EJ and break into the starting line-up.
6a) The pecking order of a team is usually pretty simple to figure out. Look at the Lakers. It begins with Kobe. Followed by Gasol. Maybe Bynum. Then Odom. Maybe the last two can be switched, but the pecking order is clear. Portland is Roy and Aldridge. There's LeBron & Mo. Carmelo & Billups. Our pecking order is far from obvious. EJ is supposed to be the best player we have…but when Baron is healthy and motivated, it isn’t so clear. If Zach comes back healthy and motivated… If Thornton comes back stronger and smarter… If Kaman comes back healthy and motivated… If Mike Taylor comes back more disciplined and stronger… If DeAndre comes back and becomes a force in the low block… You see what I mean? Each and every single one of our starting five have the potential of making the claim that they are THE MAN. Adding another one into that mix could be disastrous—I’m sure Thornton feels slighted that he’s been forgotten one year after being drafted by the Clips. See what I mean?
7) Take non-#1 pick and trade down to get multiple picks from a team for THIS DRAFT....
8) Pick up potential diamonds in the rough (Kobe was drafted #13, I think)--not wallflowers (Sam Young, Greg Monroe may still be available. Short PG's like Lawson may still be available in the middle of the draft).
9) Make sure you draft players that have the following mixture of characteristics: 1) Character 2) work-ethic 3) team-mentality 4) hunger.
10) RESULT: a) We get what we NEED—multiple guys who know they have to be the bench players but have the talent (and the luxury of time) to develop into solid bench players.
b) By using the draft to get closer to the minimum 15 players, we save money$$$: Lower draft picks are much less expensive and better for our bottom line. Also, some more talented ones can be packaged with one of our vets so we can get out of bad contracts (double-bonus!!!!)
11) We still have multiple #1 picks coming in a future draft when there is more talent out there… 2012, here we come!
BOTTOM LINE: WE NEED SOLID CONTRIBUTORS—NOT SUPERSTARS.
There are ways to contribute to the team other than being the starter and being the go-to scorer. We have plenty of those guys, at this time, though it seemed many times that we didn't have two... Teams need role players too...!