In years past we have always ended the season with a lot of hope and promise and saying "wait til next year" but Im sensing that's not the vibe with the season ending. The sense is that our best opportunity as slipped by.
I get this feeling certainly, I mean after all there has been countless articles about our age and every key old player (Sheed, Kidd, Camby) gave us nothing in the playoffs for various reasons.
But, I'm optimistic! Here's why.
1. There are a couple of role players we are gonna bring back that I think will be huge!: Copeland will be back and will be playing for a contract, look for his D to improve this off season too. Kmart will be back and with a full training camp I like what he will bring. Priggs would be great and do not sleep on Q Rich
2. Shump: remember that playoff experience we all cried about him missing last year because of his knee? Well he got it! Shump was huge in our last game against Boston and Indy, those are huge confidence boosters! He has regained form on D too! He is over that huge psychological hump (I know from doing the same thing) that comes with this injury, it takes about 6 months after being cleared to be comfortable again and Shump is there...again all he needs to do now is just continue to rehab it to get it back to full strength
3. 3 million dollar exception: our core is locked up with Melo,Stat,Tyson,Felton,Shump, this may or may not be our starting 5 opening night, yet it represents a nice foundation to build around. Now players like Kmart and Q Rich get the vet minimum, Copeland and Pablo get Qualifying offer, then 3 million is a nice chunk of change to add a role player. This is not superstar money but its steady contributor money. Backup Center?
4.Continuity: This is huge! Felton is not out to outplay Lin anymore, that battle has been either won by him or is simply done being discussed, either way its a plus for us. Raymond is 1 more season removed from Portland too so no trying to put that to rest. We do not have to cap for major moves and that is good, the past 3 seasons it has been about making pieces come together and coach adapting to players, Players know each other and Woody!