Hopefully we still have a way to go before our playoff run is over, but our needs should be pretty apparent by now. Here's what I see our needs as -- 1) Shooters. I doubt we'll have to many more nights like Game 2 vs. Dallas, but we have no real threat from downtown. There's Kobe when he gets hot. Fish and Ron every now and again. LO has hit a timely 3 once per blue moon. Blake has been inconsistent since arriving. Barnes isn't a real deep threat. And Brown either turns it over or misses. 2) Bench Scoring. We are currently six deep, seven if/when Barnes is 100%. We can't sub all of our starters out, cause no one off the bench can score consistently. Forcing us to leave one of the bigs and then they don't run the offense through them when Drew/Gasoft are in the game. We have to get some firepower. It's embarrassing watching our bench run around like a chicken with it's head cut off. 3) Contributing Bigs Who Aren't On A Retirement Home Waiting List. I'm all for getting savvy vets who know how to play the right way. Who are battle tested, yada, yada, yada. But Theo and Joe have been zero use to us. I think Theo could've helped out had he not gotten hurt, but that's a very real risk when the player has that much mileage on their body. We have other needs as well and I'll take a look at other players as well, but those are what we need to focus on first. So with that in mind, here's my realistic wishlist (in alphabetical order):
Chris Douglas-Roberts - The kid is an idiot. He should not be allowed to use his twitter account, just makes himself look dumb. But he can flat out score. He went on quite a tear late last season with NJ before he headed to the Bucks where he wasn't properly utilized. He managed to put up two 20+ point games and had two 30+ point games when he got starters minutes earlier in the season. Milwaukee has a Team Option on him, if he's made available, I think he's worth a look.
Jeff Foster - He's teetering on the retirement home list, but is still active on the boards and not afraid to mix it up, that was obvious with the two elbows he threw at the Bulls.
Chuck Hayes - He'll probably want more than he's worth since he's coming off a career year. He's an ox and a workhorse, never seems to take a play off. That goes a long way when you have a team of guys sleep walking through the regular and post-season.
Josh Howard - Between injuries and lack of focus, he's not the same player he was in Dallas. He can still score the ball and rebound fairly well for a SF. Should equate him into being a bargain bin type of player.
Kris Humphries - I'll admit, this one's a little unrealistic. Only reason I included it is the Kardashian factor. He had a hell of a year in Jersey, averaging a double double, making his asking price out of our ball park. But wouldn't Khloe and Kim want to be closer? Having two Mr. Karashian's on one team. Let them dream up yet another reality show on E! to makeup for whatever coinage he loses in his contract.
Carl Landry - If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. NO wants to keep their core intact, but with West returning Landry won't be getting starters minutes anymore anyway. He's going to get paid, I'm just not sure how much. I could see some teams overpaying for him. If he's not out of our price range, I'd gladly welcome his toughness and offense (giving us another look inside and a mid-range option).
Roger Mason - Cheap 3 point threat. And unlike Shannon, rarely ever turns the ball over.
DJ Mbenga - If all else fails, bring back Congo Cash as a practice body/emergency big. Rather have him than Joe or Theo, at least he can get out there and contribute. He at least knows the players, the system, and is a fan favorite.
Troy Murphy - He provides us with the 3 needs. While he hasn't done anything with Boston or NJ this season, his final two seasons in Indy were his prime years. I don't think someone goes from prime to useless that fast. He still can stretch the floor with his J, is a very adept rebounder, and has some 3 point range. While I typically don't want a big that far from the basket, it's a start. Defense is a problem, but if he's out there with Drew, that could mask that weakness. Since he thought he could hop on the Celtics and get minutes and a shot at a ring, we should meet his criteria next season. We'll have some backup minutes to give away and still will be contending for a trophy.
Michael Redd - He's obviously a shell of his former self. That should lower his price tag enormously. I'd bring him in for a workout first. See where he's at after a summer of getting back into basketball shape. He's probably going to be a couple steps slower, but if he can still hit the J, he might be worth a look.
Shawne Williams - Kid has a lot of baggage, but seems to be turning it around for the better with his time in NY. He can stroke the ball and has good size. Even managed to go 7-8 from 3 point land against Utah this season (25 points).
Not a whole lot to be excited about. A few of these guys mean rolling the dice, either on attitude or an injury riddled past. I'm not all that worried about past attitude issues cause even if we have Shaw (rookie coach), we're a veteran team with a couple of the best veteran leaders you'll find in Fish and Kobe, and a veteran coaching staff (assuming most of the staff is held over).
I know a lot the new CBA could play a big factor in what options we have, as will our new coach, as will how the next month or two play out. If we lose, we're more likely to see more changed and bigger changes. If we manage to crank out another title, we'll see stopgap changes like some of the ones mentioned above.
Some other names in free agency were worth noting, but I ruled them out cause they'll likely want more money than we can even think about offering:
J. Crawford, T. Chandler, Butler, K-Mart, JR Smith, Yao, J-Rich, Dalembert, AK-4.7.
Teyshaun Prince would be repetitive. How many Odoms do we want on this team? Left Battier off cause we already have two defensive SFs and he loves Memphis. And I left Baby Davis off well, cause he's a Celtic and I hate him.