I think for the mini-MLE I'd target just the most talented/youngest guy I could find. Here's some of the young FAs I think fit that mold:
Darren Collison, DJ Augustin, Wayne Ellington, Gary Neal, Wesley Johnson, Randy Foye, Nick Young, Tyrus Thomas, Jason Maxiell, and Byron Mullens.
A few aren't that young, but most of these guys I'd take a chance with my mini-MLE on. A guy like Nick Young or Wesley Johnson who's very talented, but missing a mentor like Kobe to turn them into a well-rounded player. One or two of these guys might be minimum contracts, who knows?
If I could get Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, or Byron Mullens for the mini-MLE I wouldn't hesitate. That's a steal.
Then with minimum contracts I try to get to guys like:
Cartier Martin, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Wayne Ellington, Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Delfino, Francisco Garcia, Sam Young, Chris Wilcox, Jeff Pendergraph, DeSagana Diop, and Jason Collins.
If our team next season looked like one of these:
I'd have some fun watching those teams. They wouldn't be great, but they'd have heart. And hopefully what you find with the mini-MLE is a diamond that can be shaped up and given a better contract eventually. I think those three could really be that although Johnson might be out of our range, and I know he likes Phoenix.
Anyway. That's what we've got to look forward to from the free agent pool this summer. At best.
Stu : "Yeah, that's an old fashioned whoopin'."