- Joel Anthony to Miami for Josh McRoberts and a 2nd round pick.
As SVG's regime has shown, the Piston's are always open to taking advantage of other teams in an attempt add valuable pieces when the opportunity presents itself. I'm sure there will be a number of unforeseen situations to capitalize on in the future, but the most attractive and realistic option that I can see at the moment exists with the Miami Heat.
Hassan Whiteside was arguably one of the best big men in the league this year, and will absolutely get a max contract offer this offseason. Whether or not that will be offered by the Heat is debatable, but I think it's safe to assume that Pat Riley will do everything he can to at least be in a position where he could potentially offer one. As things stand now the Heat will not be able to do so unless they plan on moving on from D Wade and the majority of their other FA's.
As a result of all of this I think it's safe to assume that Miami would be open to shedding a bit of salary, which is where I think we step in. McRoberts is on a reasonable contract of 5.5 mil per season over the next 2 years. He's a fantastic playmaker, an average defender, and good enough shooter to keep defenses honest. At 6'10' 240 he offer a bit more size to defend the PF or C positions... assuming he's 3rd on the depth chart at 4 and 5 I think he'd be a fantastic addition to our bench.
- Draft a PG in the 1st round.
I am a fan of all 5 of the top 5 point guards in the draft this year. I realize that Dunn and Murray have no chance of falling out of the lottery, but it's a toss up as to which of the next 3 may be available.
Wade Baldwin offers the most versatility, best outside shooting and the highest ceiling. I'm a little concerned with his personality, but we're not exactly talking about a Demarcus Cousins here.
Demetrius Jackson can be a pit bull on D while already being proficient in the P-n-R. He also possesses an outstanding character. Do yourself a favor and read up on his background...hard not to buy into this guy
Tyler Ulis makes me a bit more nervous than the other two, but he was clearly the best player on the court in the handful of games I saw Kentucky play. Those games consisted of a dozen or so prospects rated higher than him in this draft. I have my doubts, but I also think a thousand other people have said that at every level he's played.
Regardless of which player is available, I'd be thrilled with any of those guys backing up Reggie.
- Package Miami's 2nd rounder with our own to move up and draft Jake Layman.
I realize that 2nd round picks seldom make an impact in the NBA, but history has shown that it's usually upperclassmen who have at least one legitimate NBA skill but may not be a prototypical position. Layman seems to be exactly that. He's big enough to play the 4, but barely strong enough to make it at the 3. He may not be the best playmaker or ball handler, but he's got NBA athleticism and a terrific outside shot... I think that sticking him in Grand Rapids for a season to focus on strength training would allow him to be a legitimate stretch 4 in time.
- Sign Marvin William's to a 4 year 60 million contract.
Yup, contracts are definitely going to be getting out of hand this summer... but Marvin Williams would absolutely be worth this deal. He's slightly bigger, stronger and longer than either Tobias Harris or Marcus Morris; as he's also a bit more athletic he also the ability to switch between guarding the 3 and the 4, which is something SVG clearly values.
While Williams may not be as good of a playmaker or shot creator he has proven over the past couple season to be a more consistent threat from 3. When you consider how he thrived as a small ball 4 without a dominant center in Charlotte, I have to believe he's take yet another step forward when complimenting Andre and Reggie.
- Re-sign Steve Blake to mentor/back up the rookie PG.
Given that the majority of our cap space would be spent on Williams, I think the best we can hope for afterwards is a veteran minimum contact. While Blake was horrible in the playoffs, he actually held his own during the regular season, and I would only imagine him playing in a worst case scenario next season. His experience and understanding of his role would make him an invaluable role model for both Reggie and a rookie PG.
- Starters - Reggie Jackson, KCP, Stanley Johnson, Marvin Williams, Andre Drummond
- 2nd unit - Baldwin/D.Jackson/Ulis, Hillard/Meeks, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Aaron Baynes
- Depth - McRoberts, Layman
In my opinion, promoting Stanley Jonson to starting lineup over Tobias and Marcus is the most unlikely of all of the scenarios i've outlined so far, but hear me out... Johnson had a decent rookie season, but only started to make a name for himself when he was "challenged" by LeBron in the postseason. All of the national media had a ton of fun pointing out how many points LeBron scored per game, but in re-watching those games afterwards it was clear that Johnson was the only one on our team that could physically match LeBron from a strength/speed combo. He's got a lot to learn, but he has the type of mindset that allows him to play his best when challenged. By giving his the responsibility of starting each night I think we'd do just that.
The other benefit to adding Johnson and Williams to the starting lineup is that it allows Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris to feast on opposing team's second units. Given that our bench scoring was one of weakest elements of our team last year I can't imagine a better solution to balancing out our team. Those two showed terrific chemistry this season, but were undoubtably overmatch on defense against a number of teams across the league. Johnson and Williams would absolutely improve our versatility and effectiveness on D. While they may also hurt offense a bit, I can't imagine it would outweigh the benefit of having Harris and Morris on the second unit.
OK then, this is the internet after all... feel free to lemme know why I'm wrong.