I almost want to renew now. Sigh.
Decisions, decisions. Even with the prospect of a BG team next year, I somehow still think I will be able to get better seats for less than STH prices if I wait and go single game. What do you guys think?
Anyhow, on to…
The Effects of drafting Blake Griffin at #1
1. Novak is a goner.
According to Hoopshype the Clips will take on a cool $5M to add Young Grif. Playing in the same position and taking that much money, I doubt the Clips can afford to keep the fan favorite, "Buy Season Tickets" commercial, 3 ball, Net killer Novak.
He got far too much attention from other teams for his sharp shooting last season. He will be offered something the Clips won't match.
[6"10" white guys who could stroke a three but can't defend? Vlad Rad, Novak - one and done.]
2. Style of Play - What is it?
Dunleavy always liked to tell interviewers that the Clippers could play both uptempo AND halfcourt. They could run "selectively" when the opportunities arose but dump it in the post when needed. But how will Griffin fit into Dunleavy's system? What is Dunleavy's system? Will he bombard Griffin with a gigantic playbook? Or will Dunleavy adjust to Griffin? Will he even start him?
3. Randolph or Thornton Will Not Be Happy
If the Clips play Young Grif Laker/Thunder style, as a big 3 (Odom, Durant - tall SFs) Thornton will see less playing time and probably be pretty unhappy. If the Clips try to play faster, playing Young Grif at the 4, Randolph will not be happy coming off the bench, not to mention the fact that he makes far too much money to not play big minutes.
4. Griffin Will Not Be Happy If He Doesn't Start
So if the Clips decide to start Thornton and Randolph and bring in Griffin to spell both of them, will he be happy? The Heat brought Beasley in games off the bench, but I think Young Grif is a far different player than B-Easy. Grif's game seems far better suited as a starter than Beasley's laid back, jacking up jumpshots game.
5. If I Was GM & Coach
Next seasons lineup at this point would be...
PG: Baron Davis, Mike Taylor, Eric Gordon
SG: Eric Gordon, Fred Jones, Mardy Collins, Ricky Davis
SF: Mardy Collins, Al Thornton, Blake Griffin, Ricky Davis
PF: Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman
C: Marcus Camby, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Kaman
Gone: Skinner (buyout? - he has a player option according to ESPN), Novak, Acker
Forced to Keep: Ricky Davis (possible buyout? - also has a PO)
I would definitely try to keep Jones as you need someone behind Gordon who can make big shots (remember all those clock winding down 3s Fred hit?) He shouldn't cost too much and hopefully no one else in the league knows how serviceable he still is.
I would definitely try to get rid of Zach Randolph, even if it meant losing Kaman to get a decent SF. Why? Zach fit well into Dunleavy's super slow throw it in the post boring EB offense. But according to our conference call today, next year's team will be uptempo. That means less Zach and Chris (slow and slower) and more Griffin and Camby/DeAndre.
Shawn Marion, Ron Artest, Anthony Parker, Marquis Daniels, Trevor Ariza may all be available. A decent SG/SF/PF could make this team complete.
Conference Call Thoughts
Although I missed a large chunk of the call since my phone kept cutting out, the parts I heard seemed to be the same message over and over.
1. Dunleavy is staying.
The Clips regret bringing in so many new people last year. Too much change was no good. (Olshey kept saying "15 new guys") So for the sake of stability they want to keep as many of the same people around for next year which means sticking with Dunleavy.
2. They Are Not Looking for a GM at the Moment
They said they feel Dunleavy can do both as of now but will keep evaluating it and if it seems like there needs to be a separate GM in the future they are open to it. Blah blah blah.
3. Vague Promise To "Do Something" Next Season
If after everyone is healthy and had time to gel and learn the coach's system and the team is not performing up to expectations of "entertaining and competing every night, and SUCCESSFUL" then Andy Roeser will "definitely do something about it". I took that to mean that when Dunleavy runs out of the "too many injuries - not enough time together - too many new guys" excuses they will fire him. But again they did not specifically say that.
4. Next Year's Team Will Be Uptempo
Roeser repeatedly promised a "young, exciting, uptempo" team. I hope he told Dunleavy that. When asked about Dunleavy micromanaging Baron and not letting him play a more freestyle game, he once again brought out that MDSr and BD have talked and are on the "same page". More vagueness. What page are they on? Is Dunleavy gonna take a trip to India, smoke some pot and come back a changed man? Or are we going to see the same old, stubborn, coach - screaming at everyone the whole game? Once again - blah blah blah.
5. Season Ticket Prices May Be Negotiable?
At the end of the call he asked all STHs to call their reps to see what they could do "depending on where their seats are" to make sure they had the best seats at a price that is affordable to them. I took that to mean if you have good negotiating skills and any amount of leverage (many years as an STH, higher priced seating) you should call your rep and work out whatever you can (most likely better seats at the same price, who knows? - maybe a discount).
Me? I'm still done.
Drafting Blake Griffin is nice but not enough for me to renew. I'll be waiting for Website Wednesdays and Fastbreak Fridays so I can start laughing at all those STH suckers.