When Troy Weaver spun some magic to claim three first round picks I thought there was some glimmer of hope that this franchise wouldn't continue to flounder. IMO, making a trade for an injury prone star player (Griffin) would be a very short lived strategy for SVG without a nucleus of up and coming young players. Obviously, that wasn't the case with Stanley Johnson being the poster boy for the lost cause. So I hoped that Weaver could put together some young talent to knock on the door of success. I was even more hopeful when he signed Jerami Grant. If he land some other star level player, just maybe, we'd be soon seeing a real winning team.
Fast forwarding a few seasons we are back in the floundering mode. Rather that adding better emerging or star level veteran talent, he's relied on salvage projects that have proven to be the down fall of this administration. Plumlee to Bagley to Wiseman - I just don't see this as being the type of proven veterans that change the direction enough to give the team's young players stability and a boost. Probably the only great move was the Jerami Grant signing, but losing him has doomed the team's fortunes once again.
So here we are again at the draft and pinning all of our hopes on rebuilding once again. Does Cunningham blossom over the next two years? If so, does he elect to stay long term or move on to being much more in the NBA limelight? Does Isaiah Stewart really warrant being a core piece of the puzzle, when in fact he probably should be a very good 6th man? Losing Saddiq Bey seems like foreshadowing as to what the future will bring, and it's foreboding.
Killian Hayes will need to move to a back-up role, but frankly he's just not the type of player I dream of coming into a game to reignite the offense or thwarting the opposition's scoring. James Wiseman might improve a bit, but just how much did we see Marvin Bagley improve over one off season? Do we pin all of our hopes on a healthy Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks? This entire group, although somewhat good, just won't raise the team up to be championship quality before another rebuild ensues.
As I have said, I see this team stuck in the mud for probably at least another 10 years. Cunningham and Ivey will be good together and tease us with lots of scoring, but producing a championship is only going to elude us. No top star will come. And, it will get harder to draft the top talent needed as we go lower in the draft with mediocre success. Weaver may stay on as the GM for a few more years, but this will not prove to be a time of glory.
Tom Gores is struggling to make a decision on a new coach I think in part because he doesn't see any way up. He's tried getting some high IQ basketball men to help make decisions, but they're just as lost as he is. No one sees the franchise making a run at the championship for a long long time. So why would a great coach embrace such an opportunity?
2023-24 will have PG Cunningham, SG Ivey, SF rookie, PF Stewart, and C Wiseman/Duren, and probably win 35-41 games at best. Then, there will be more back-up turnover and probably the loss of Wiseman. 2024-25 will be PG Cunningham, SG Ivey, SF '23 rookie, PF Stewart, and C Duren, for about 35-41 wins at the very best. 2025-26 should see turnover to start the next rebuild. 2025-26 will be PG Ivey, SG rookie, SF '23 rookie, PF '24 rookie, and C Duren - good for probably 25-35 wins, if we are lucky.That's four years into the future, and it just doesn't look that bright to me.