Updated wish list for this offseason (draft and free agency)
I'll continue to preach the idea that we can make many solid improvements to this roster going the smart, cost-conscious route. If the name of the game is improving this team ten-fold without depleting our major cap flexibility (cap flexibility I feel we should carry over one more season to the summer of 2012 for obvious reasons), these are all players I'd consider. Let's put it this way: if I worked for Donnie and he told me to go put together a list of potential impact players for reasonable/marginal money where we'd have a shot at keeping the bulk of our cap flexibility intact, these are the players I'd be prepared to talk to him about:
• Kemba Walker. Either trade up a few slots to get him or take him at 17 if he slips. He's a longshot for us but top of the list if we can get him.
• Invite 6'3" Ben Hansbrough to training camp or grab him in the 2nd round. I like him better than Fredette. I personally thought Fredette was awful his last game against Florida, at least down the stretch of that game. Just because you hit one 30 footer Jimmer, doesn't mean you keep looking for it with the game on the line. Abysmal shot-selection in BYU's most important game of the year. He shot them right out of that game. Not only that, he came off selfish and displayed no PG skills down the stretch of that game whatsoever. Hansbrough's a much better get with better value much later in this draft. I think he's the better all-around player -- just as good a shooter, better athlete, with more PG tendencies.
• Immediately sign 6'3" Curtis Stinson of the Iowa Energy for training camp.
• Invite 6'1" Curtis Jerrells to training camp (very similar game to Brandon Jennings).
• Invite 6'1" Tyrese Rice to training camp. Another lefty PG similar to Jennings. Had a standout career at B.C. Signed a 1-yr deal to play in Germany last year (and played well there) but should be available now.
• Like another poster just brought up, I like Charles Jenkins too, I'm just not sure about him at 17. I like him better if I can get him lower.
• Acquire a mid 2nd rounder and target 6'3" Demetri McCamey (rich man's Chris Duhon/poor man's Chauncey Billups).
• Sign Patrick Mills if we can get him cheap.
• Invite 6'0" Sherron Collins to training camp. Cut by Charlotte, finished up the season playing in Lithuania. Should be available.
• Bring in 6'2" Pittsburgh guard Ashton Gibbs for a private workout and see if he can actually play the point. If he can, consider him with a deep 2nd round pick we acquire somehow. Kid can definitely shoot the ball. Might be a better alternative over Rautins; TD too maybe (esp. if either gets dealt). Probably goes back to school but if he stays in the draft, bring him in for a closer look.
Wings (looking for upgrades & insurance in case Shawne Williams & Bill Walker don't return and Landry Fields bolts in FA the following year a-la Wes Matthews Jr.)
• Draft 6'5" Marshon Brooks at 17. As if his stellar season wasn't enough proof, he's really starting to turn heads now in workouts. Just jumped up 30 slots in Chad Ford's top-100 list to 22. I've been talking about this kid as our 1st round pick ever since I saw him destroy Notre Dame for 52 points back in February. He'd be awesome firepower off the bench next year. I'd have no problem taking him at 17 and never looking back, even if we still didn't address size, rebounding and/or the PG position yet. That's how much I like this kid's NBA-ready talent.
• Sign 6'8" SF/PF DeShawn Sims.
• Sign 6'8" SF/PF Joe Alexander.
• Sign 6'5" SG Matt Bouldin.
• Acquire a high-mid 2nd rounder and target Florida's Chandler Parsons.
• Invite 6'6" SG Sylven Landesberg to training camp.
• Acquire 6'6" Ohio State sharpshooter Jon Diebler, either deep in the 2nd round or bring him to summer league/training camp if he goes undrafted.
• Invite 6'8" Notre Dame SF Tim Abromaitis to summer league/training camp. I'd like Donnie to come up with a lights out shooter for D'Antoni somewhere -- Diebler, Abromaitis, Ashton Gibbs maybe. I think Abromaitis is underrated. He one hell of an outside shooter, has more-than-adequate size for a SF & he can even put it on the floor and rebound a little bit. If we somehow knew about & liked Abromaitis and were looking to add this type of player (a wing that can really fill it up from the perimeter), I might just pass on going after a guy like Parsons who's rated higher and target this kid much lower or after the draft. This guy might be an even better player than Parsons, who I like btw, & right outta left field too. Bottom line is someone will take a chance on him and add him to their summer league roster and I betcha anything he impresses and turns some heads.
• Invite 6'6" SG AD Vassallo to training camp.
Bigs (in addition to 7' C Jerome Jordan)
• 6'10" Jordan Williams at 17.
• Ken Faried at 17.
• Tristan Thompson at 17.
• Trey Thompkins at 17.
• Grab C Marcus Cousin in a nano-sec if Houston ever cuts him loose. Daryl Morey just signed him to a 3-yr deal a few weeks ago. Non-guaranteed though, so he may become available at some point. This guy was the best C in the DL this year imo.
• Sign Jeff Adrien if he doesn't return to GS. I wouldn't be as interested in drafting a guy like Faried at 17 if I knew I could grab this guy.
• Acquire a 2nd rounder and draft Nikola Vucevic. Good size at 6'10" 240+; nice offensive game that's pretty polished and he can rebound. Wouldn't surprise me if he went in the 1st round actually. Wouldn't surprise me if he turned out to be just as good a player as Jordan Williams in the NBA, a player some have rated higher at the moment, including me. Very good value late in this draft.
• Acquire a 2nd rounder and draft JaJuan Johnson.
• Acquire a 2nd rounder and draft Keith Benson. I like the upside but he needs more work than I first thought a few months ago. Tristan Thompson, a player a good 3-4" shorter, gave him a ton of problems on the block in their tournament matchup.
• Acquire a 2nd rounder and draft Rick Jackson.
• Sign Sean Williams.
• Sign Chris Johnson if he doesn't return to Portland.
• Sign FA C Dwayne Jones.
• Acquire a late 2nd rounder and draft 7'1" C Mike Tisdale or invite him to summer league/training camp if undrafted. Good shooting touch for a guy that big. Nice pick & pop option a-la Michael Doleac. Not a standout shot-blocker or rebounder but he's got a lot of size/length that could be put to use in these categories.
• Acquire a late 2nd rounder and draft 7' C Robert Sacre or invite him to summer league/training camp if undrafted. He's got size and he's a very underrated scorer down low, facing up & with his back to the basket. Even found a way to get to the line a ton this year (nearly 200 times). Like Tisdale, he's no standout shot-blocker (although quite decent actually at almost 2 blks/game two years in a row) or rebounder but he posesses the ability to contribute some in both areas.
• Earl Barron most likely is one-and-done in Portland. Bring him back if all else fails.
• Sign 6'10" PF Jermareo Davidson.
• Sign C Courtney Sims. A bit of a plodder but he's got some skills, namely scoring 15' and in and rebounding. There are far worse options out there for backup 4/5 if we can't come up with anything else.