Bored as frick on a Friday night (friends want to go out tomorrow, but I'll be too hungover), so why not. By "dream" prediction, I don't mean Rivers+Ryno+Lopez for Lebron type shit, make it realistic. Will bookmark thread for "what will happen" predictions so as to compare them to what DOES happen. Dream:
draft: Olidipo. I think he'll end up being a superb backup to the 2/3 for a few years while he develops his offensive game. There are no great PG's in either FA or the draft, and we're going to roll with a Ryno/AD frontcourt at the end of games, so we just need an adequate starting center. Dipo had a small sample size when he drastically improved his FG%, but I think he can become a ~38% 3pt shooter on 4 to 5 attempts per game while defending the best PG, SG, or SF on other teams. Yeah, the likes of Lebron will have weight advantages, and Durant or Paul George will have big height advantages, but you can't convince me that a typical good-not-great SF like Parsons, Brewer, or Budinger will do a significantly better job 2 years from now than Dipo will if we have to play him on one of those elite scorers.
1) With our backup 2/3 locked down, we sign Iguodala at 4 years, $40m. Everyone is terrified of that 4th year, but I think, if (Rita?) Benson isn't willing to eat the tax to keep the team competitive, Iggy will still be a good enough player to dump to a team in 2016/17 that is like the current Pelicans team (look at how many fans are interested in the Marion+13 for a ham sandwich deal). Competitive teams offer 3/$30m, but Iggy takes the extra cash and goes to be the vet leader on the team that has a lot of potential. Everyone thinks that we need scoring, but with Iggy, we're upgrading from one of the worst offensive 3's in the NBA to a mediocre one. We were middle of the pack in terms of offensive efficiency, so we'll be fine there. What Iggy brings defensively (IIRC, they were something like the 7th best defense in the NBA when he was on the floor, and dead last when he was off) more than makes up for the mediocre scoring, which, again, blows away Aminu.
2) Rondo is injured and MAY miss a month or two of next season. We've seen that Roberts has shown flashes. We're sitting right at the cap with Iggy, but we can take back 150% of the salary we send out, so we go over the cap with a Vasquez, Lopez, 2014 top 5 protected pick for Rondo. After Boston deals KG and Rivers, I think they'll be in full blown tank mode anyway. Even with the Iggy addition, the Celtics think that they have a top 10 pick in a loaded draft from the Pelicans to go along with their own pick (just like the Hornets in 2012).
3) Vet min on Aaron Gray for C depth
Leaves us with:
Leaves us really thin at C, but we fill that with the MLE next offseason. My best guess at what will happen:
Dreams of landing Porter, McLemore, or Dipo fall short. Pelicans pick Burke (whom I certainly don't dislike, will be an above average PG) and hope he is the PG of the future.
Pelicans trade 2014 top 15 protected pick and Jason Smith for Luol Deng.
Chicago's owner Reinsdorf has been cheap as frick, so he chooses to dump Deng for a moderately valuable future pick and a cheap big man that's a significant upgrade over Nazr Mohommad.
Deng eats up all of our cap space, leaving:
Leaves us thinner in the frontcourt, but I'm not so sure that this team is THAT much worse than my dream team considering that you're still starting Lopez instead of hoping that Smiht can handle ~25 minutes as a starting C.
This post was edited on 6/22 at 1:20 am