After my last failed attempt at engagement I thought I'd just outline how I'd approach the offseason.
I think we need an identity and agreed with Adam and Matt on locked on that it was "family" but thus far that hasn't been much of a two way street. We pay our guys more than they'd otherwise get we pay them early. We look out for ours and get their ok for trades. This is all well and good, but what's the message you're sending to the league? Give or take it's we'll overpay you and right now it seems to me we've been overpaying and running down our assets. I can recall 2 times that it's mattered and that's Barton and Craig reportedly taking less to stay(curiously Indiana both times).
So if that's family and it results in overpaying and "losing" trades and over time decreasing performance how can we use it to increase performance?
I think we do what families do and we sacrifice for the little guy. We compete for the best vet minimums going around and MLEs and increase their value and make our business sign and trade and extend and trade and we're happy for every Jerami Grant who passes through. We shouldn't be upset that he goes and the media shouldn't be saying he's overpaid, and we should end up with a first or equivalent value every time it happens. In this way we end up with ever increasing value.
What does this look like on the court. I know this year is something of an anomaly, but we were way too heliocentric around Jokic and in the past it's been Murray and Jokic...I don't think this is fun. I wouldn't like to play on that team all else being equal. Of course winning makes up for a lot.
The other issue is teams and guys giving out awards are looking at ridge regression stats to see who is good, and playing with Jokic in the fashion we have been will say one of two things about our guys either they stood on the court while Jokic dominated or they were on the court when he was off and get punished with their on/off.
We fix it in three ways.
Jokic especially has to become far more Chris Paul. Steve Nash etc uber efficient facilitator. In most schemes the first option is the dunker, I think we should do the same and use that gravity to open up the court.
Jokic has to stagger heavily.
Finally we have to more proactive on D. As much as we want Jokic to facilitate he's the best scoring option so if guys want production it's going to have to come on D.
I suppose 4th we need to be dynamic and give other guys good shots at assists. Look to dunk on fast breaks. Get into a broken floor offence without Jokic getting up the floor.
Flowing on from these how should the rotation work?
It would need to be as far as possible from earn your garbage time, earn your bench time and challenge the starters. This is where the FO and coaching need to work together and not get anyone who is purely a garbage time player. Also work on stability. Don't throw out units where 3 guys can't be relied to know the plays and schemes we're running. The scheme should run fine and there should be enough guys on the floor to give shape and limit mistakes.
We shouldn't have a rotation where guys don't get 500 minutes. The basic structure you'd be looking at would be 2 max contracts, 6 MLEs, and rookies scale and mins to round it out. The minute breakdown is likely 2500 for maxs 1500 for MLEs and 750 for mins. Of course that doesn't have to be strict on either count.
Remembering you're trying to sign and trade and extend and trade into value so you're going to end up with some mixed contracts.
2 maxs...it's really hard to earn value with 3 maxs. A quick glance over the high value guys should demonstrate why. There is only one ball. You maximise value by staggering so your maxs don't share the floor. Where you can add a third max is where they offer something that isn't scoring. Gobert, Draymond.
Most of our contracts should be 3 years to give us bird rights and enable extend and sign and trades.
So who do we get? If we're looking at increasing value, then it's young guys and reputation rehab. You'd also hope that if everything goes according to plan a guy might come through on a min leave on 20 mil and come back on MLE. The other point would be inevitably as much as you want your maxes to be facilitators they are still going to have the highest usage, so most guys you want their value to be efficient scoring, passing and defensive production. Which is also fine as they'll lend themselves to high energy roles.
Personality matters. Accountability more than anything else. You can have quiet guys and flamboyant ones, but there shouldn't be any doubt as to their effort.
Offensively I think we're moving the scheme in this direction anyway. We've moving towards cutting even when the defence isn't asleep, we leaned heavily on Jokic moving and catching on the move vs GSW, we were moving towards MPJ and Murray taking more attempts off screen and on DHOs.
Defensively we're looking to deny the paint and contest shots...this would need to change. We need to really get up and into guys and hassle them. They should walk away bruised and we should be aiming to lead the league in steals and Orebs.
Drafting? You're looking at fewer freshmen and more upper class men. Remembering you need guys who from very early on can be trusted. You're looking at moving guys on in their 3rd or 4th year.
FA never bid for anyone. min, MLE, Max. Others name your price for good value and walk away otherwise. There are no essential pieces outside of your max guys.
So moving onto what might be of most interest to folks here, who does that mean we grab/target/look at in the offseason?
The list is long and the names have been mentioned before. I think there are infact so many that you take whoever is cheapest in terms of trade. At worst you drop everyone expiring MLE Cousins and grab vet mins. What might that look like?
Murray Monte Bones Barton Jeff Jamychal Gordon Porter Jokic Cousins Zeke
Likely mins. including RFA who somehow fit.
Queen, Hinton, Dotson , Key, Culver, Okogie, Bradley, Claxton, Reed, Forrest, Carter. I've tried to keeper it to the younger guys, but if solid vets want to come then you don't say no.
Trading I don't disagree with anyone that you put Monte Barton Green and Green out there. I'd add Gordon. At which stage I realise it's everyone not named Jokic if we can find value.
Jeff is the only guy I'd even go so far as waiving if I had to.
If you move on from boogie and start talking MLE again there are a bunch of guys who could be added.
Other thoughts, size and speed don't matter. You can do what you can do. Also ignore positions 1,2,3,4,5 with the right guys you can get away with all sort of random things. CP3, Lowry, Bam, Draymond, Jokic is arguably 1,1,5,5,5. Who says no?
I'm most concerned about coaching and that doesn't mean we need a coaching change, but I think we need to be more active and wear a few more mistakes for an increase in positive plays.
DJ Murray Give them anything they want not named Jokic, yes including Murray.
Haliburton don't include Murray, anything they want.
R. Williams. No Murray anything they want.
D. Sabonis same
After that it's much more murky and too much back and forth. I think Thybulle, Reed from Philly, K Williams and Roby from OKC, Toppin from NYC, and all of Memphis's bench might represent good value. I've always liked Otto Porter, Delon Wright, Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones, but they require getting under the apron when the music stops which likely means Gordon and though perhaps worth it we won't do it. I'd throw Vando and Hartenstein in there, but no way they'd want to come back. It's really about identifying what you want and then not spending assets to get it.
The thing to remember with my list is you want guys that give you production on a stats sheet or tracking sheet, and you want to build those into positive impact by doing things like lifting their shot attempts and efficiency. give them freedom to gamble and cover up behind them, live with the fouls that don't result in shots. Grab guy who draw fouls so your stars can live at the line down the stretch and key opponents are in foul trouble. There are likely better players out there, but they don't necessarily fit this plan.
Finally keep Jokic happy. If he wants someone go and get them and make them fit.
If it's me I likely keep Murray, Facu, Bones, Porter, Jokic Cousins and Gordon(it's just not sensible to think the FO moves him)
Which gives me Vlatko, Forbes, Rivers let go
Monte Zeke Barton Green and Green to trade.
I'd work hard to turn that into either Thybulle and Reed, or Melton and Tillman.
Maybe Barton and Zeke for Thybulle Reed and Green, Waive Green.
I'd also work quite hard for K Williams, Roby and Toppin.
Maybe Monte and Jamychal for Roby and Williams and our first for Toppin
Which gets us under the Apron, full MLE for Otto. BAE for Boogie.
I'd ask about G League RFAs in order, Queen, Hinton, Dotson, Key.
and hope to end up with something like
Murray Bones Facu
Thybulle Williams Hinton
Gordon Otto Porter Toppin
Porter Roby Key
Jokic Cousins Reed.