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Over the past few games, we've seen this as the basic rotation (of course it changes a bit from game to game, but on average, this is what we see:

PG- Hinrich 40, Brunson 8, Crawford ~
SG- Crawford 36, Gill 12, Dupree ~
SF- Gill 8, Robinson 20, Dupree 20
PF- JYD 28, Blount 16, AD 4
C- AD, 24, Curry 24

On the Bench: Fizer, Jeffries
On IR: Pippen, Chandler, JWill

Some observations:
* The point guard spot still seems to be very weak. I'm sure they'd like to rest Kirk a bit more, but they can't afford to play Jamal at the 1 much because they need him at the 2, and because as might be expected, Brunson isn't all that impressive. And perhaps they want Jamal as focused on the 2 as much as possible. If there is something we could really use, it's probably a backup PG who could play a solid 15 minutes and not make Skiles regret giving Kirk a rest. Maybe this will be Pippen, but I get the impression (from remarks made when he took over) that Skiles sees Pip at the 3. So I'd say this is the biggest need (short of the obvious big league consistent scoring threat).

* At the 2, Jamal's got the major minutes. Gill is the only depth, however, and if he's hurt or one of the two is off- Gill's been lackluster lately- they are in bad shape. They seem willing to try Dupree at the 2 a little bit, but they can't have a huge amount of confidence in the newcomer despite his strong start. He's a hope at this point, but not someone you want to rely on.

( At the 3, there finally appears to be some consensus emerging. Gill will eventually shift back to the backup 2, or play spot minutes. ERob is getting a consistent 20 or so a night, maybe more, and Dupress has been getting about the same. When Pip returns, if he's healthy, we can probably expect to see him as the man here, with him getting 24-30 minutes and then Erob and Dupree fighting for the rest.

The problem is, that won't get us very far. At this point, we need another consistent perimeter threat. ERob and Dupree aren't very good outside shooters, and Pip, for all his experience, never has been. And at this point, he's not exactly a first option on offense anymore. It'd be nice if we could get a top flight guy here, but I don't see how it will happen unless Curry or Chandler get traded. If that did happen, you could expect to see ERob get moved in the deal as well, and the SF minutes get split between Pip and the new guy, with Dupree getting the scraps (and maybe a few more if they use Pip to shore up the point).

* Up front, we actually look pretty solid. Davis and Curry have been splitting the 5. Davis has been banged up, and is not what you want as a scoring threat, but is good for a double double and a lot of defense (although against players that are too much bigger, he can be overmatched. Curry continues to be vastly inconsistent, but given that we don't have to rely on him as much since he's paired with AD and on the court with a vet like JYD.

* At the 4, we're solid with JYD and Blount, although offensively challenged. AD gets a few minutes here at his natural position as well. When Chandler returns, if he's healthy, we can expect he might take Blount's minutes at first, and then cut a bit into JYD and AD's minutes. JYD might make up a few at the 3.

PG- Hinrich 36, Pippen 6, Brunson 6, Crawford ~
SG- Crawford 36, Gill 12, Dupree ~
SF- Pippen 20, Robinson 18, Dupree 14, JYD 4
PF- Chandler 30, JYD 18
C- AD, 24, Curry 24

On the Blount
On IR: Fizer, Jeffries, JWill

When I look at this lineup, it's potentially pretty improved. Chandler might provide another scoring threat. Pippen will have to at least be accounted for, and he will grease the weels in other ways. We will still be short at the guard slots,and short a consistent go-to scorer.

At this point, I see a couple ways we might improve without giving up our core players. Chandler's successful return has the possibility of putting Blount back on the bench. Blount has been solid this year, and even if they are unspectacular, playoff teams like to have solid big men. Another guy who could have value is Kendall Gill. It's kind of counterintuitive given that our shortage seems to be for guards, but I'd argue that if we could get a decent PG back in a trade, it'd be a better fit for us because Brunson really doesn't cut it. We could, if worse comes to worse, try ERob and Dupree at the backup SG slots. Anyway, Gill would provide a nice vet to a playoff team. Marcus Fizer's play has been atrocious, but he represents a significant expiring contract.

Blount, Fizer, and Gill are the most obvious guys we have to give up in this scenario.

What do we want? Guys who are veteran enough to help but young enough to fill a role for a while. Obviously we'd have to give up more than I mentioned above to get a real star player, but we might be able to get something useful for these guys. Short of giving up on the 3Cs, we should set our sites on a combo guard and/or 3 who could be a consistent scoring option and hit three point shots.

My choices:
* Antonio Daniels or Brent Barry (the backup combo guard). The Sonics need inside help pretty badly, and they might be interested in an expiring contract like Fizer or Blount. I doubt they'd give up both AD and Barry (as this would make them short at the 1), but one can probably be had. AD is probably more likely to go, given that Barry is a better player, but I don't know how a deal would work out.

* Hedo Turkoglu (the 3 point shooting 3). He's looking better and playing more with Manu hurt, but you wonder if the Spurs wouldn't be happier with a couple more veteran dudes like Blount and Gill after Manu gets back. That might sap them of some youth, but it'll make them tougher in the playoffs.

My ideal:
1. Gill and Blount to the Spurs for Hedo. Neutrual salary cap effects. Spurs get two tough older vets for one younger vet at a surplus position.
and
2. Fizer and ERob to Seattle for Barry, Calvin Booth. We take a bit of a cap hit by adding Booth, but with the luxury tax unlikely, this appears to be a very acceptable risk. The Sonics get rid of a surplus center they don't like, get a potential PF of the future, and some more cap relief (which gives them more flexibility even if avoiding the luxury tax isn't an issue).

New Bulls lineup:
1- Kirk 36, Barry 12
2- Barry 20, Jamal 28
3- Hedo 30, Pip 18
4- Chandler 30, JYD 18
5- AD 24, Curry 24

Bench: Dupree, Booth, Brunson
IR: Jay

* Yes, I think Barry would start, if not immediately.
* This seems like an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary lineup, but I'm not yet convinced it wouldn't be the best possible. We still have our big chips in Curry, Chandler, and Crawford
* But in the meantime, we've created a good support system of useful players around them. Barry and Hedo aren't going to be superstars, but they can at least be consistent options, a fact that will make Jamal, Kirk, and everyone else look better, and give more time for Curry to develop (more time being good, because it reduces the pressure to DO SOMETHING!!! right now.

I think if we could pull off these moves and stay healthy, we might make a playoff run yet.
 

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it sounds like the kind of moves that pax is looking at and if he does anything it will be moves like this like it or not..
 

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I agree. I think Paxson is right now building around Hinrich/Chandler and seeing if Crawford/Curry are worth what Pax is going to have to pay them, but basically trying to fit in role players to complement our 4 core players. Problem is, not one of these guys has shown that they are anything more than role players so in the end we have 15 role players on a squad that needs a star or somebody to become a bonafide #1 option, then we can fit in the role players.
 

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Mike, we can't trade Blount for Hedo, because Blount has another year on his contract. Hedo's contract is up, and the Spurs will be add nothing to their salary mix next year so they can ensure they can resign Manu, who does not have Bird rights.
 

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Me lose brain? Uh oh!
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Originally posted by <b>Darius Miles Davis</b>!
Mike, we can't trade Blount for Hedo, because Blount has another year on his contract. Hedo's contract is up, and the Spurs will be add nothing to their salary mix next year so they can ensure they can resign Manu, who does not have Bird rights.
I thought Blount had a team option for the 2nd year?
 

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Originally posted by <b>ViciousFlogging</b>!


I thought Blount had a team option for the 2nd year?
In the Hoopshype salary section, they have Blount's second year listed as guaranteed. That's what I was using for reference, but you may be right and they could be wrong.

Any links with clarification appreciated.
 

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Me lose brain? Uh oh!
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Originally posted by <b>Darius Miles Davis</b>!


In the Hoopshype salary section, they have Blount's second year listed as guaranteed. That's what I was using for reference, but you may be right and they could be wrong.

Any links with clarification appreciated.
I don't remember where I read that it was an option year. I'll see if I find it...

after lunch. :)
 

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Originally posted by <b>Mikedc</b>!
Hoopshype lists it as guaranteed, Patricia lists it as a team option.
http://www.dfw.net/~patricia/contracts

I'd guess the latter is right, but who knows.
Thanks, Mike. I've seen some funky stuff on Hoopshype, but their layout is so nice and clear! Maybe I'll have to start frequenting Patricia's page.
 
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