The season is less than two weeks away, but most of the rosters are set, barring the requisite Michael Jordan comeback rumor (just kidding, but only a little). We have an idea where our team stands, but we can't really know unless we discuss everyone else. In that spirit, I'm going to throw up a "competition discussion" thread for each of the other 29 teams over the next month or so. We'll go in alphabetical order from A to Z. Today's team: Milwaukee.
Last year's record: 28-54.
In: Desmond Mason (free agent), Yi Jianlian (draft), Michael Ruffin (free agent), Royel Ivey (free agent), Jake Voskhul (free agent).
Out: Ruben Patterson (free agent), Earl Boykins (free agent), Damir Markota (Europe), Ersan Ilyasova (Europe), Lynn Greer (Europe).
Projected starting lineup: Maurice Williams, Michael Redd, Bobby Simmons, Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bogut.
Bench (in no particular order): Royel Ivey, Charlie Bell, Ramon Sessions, Desmond Mason, Awvee Storey, David Noel, Yi Jianlian, Michael Ruffin, Jake Voskhul, Dan Gadzuric.
So what do we think? To Yi, or not to Yi? Was last year just a product of injuries? Did it make sense to re-sign both Mo Williams and Charlie Bell? Can they get something out of Villanueva this year? Desmond Mason? Really?
You look at this team, and you wonder why they aren't better. There are some talented players on this roster. Michael Redd is one of the best 2-guards in the league, and Mo Williams is highly underrated playing alongside him (they were right to ditch T.J. Ford). Inside, the trio of Bogut, Villanueva, and Yi, on paper, sounds fantastic. They have a couple decent role players alongside their stars, with Charlie Bell, Bobby Simmons, and Desmond Mason.
So why aren't they better? Simply put, that defense puts the Wizards' to shame. Have any big guy who can play? Use them against Milwaukee, and you're all in the clear. Bogut essentially gives his men free paths to the basket, and Villanueva doesn't help there either. That's why it made no sense to me that they drafted Yi. Forget all the off-court problems with his handlers, how does he solve their interior defense problem? At best, he's a tremendous offensive player that's too small to play a power position. Don't they have enough of those already.
They'll be exciting enough offensively to be a tricky foe, but I can't see any better than mediocrity for this club, even if they stay healthy.
Therefore, I say 33-49.
Other CDs, with mine and Jake's projected record alongside. Yours, of course, are in the comments of those posts.
Charlotte: 42-40/39-43. Of course, this news changes everything. Now, I say the Bobcats finish 35-47.
Golden State: 36-46/35-47.
LA Clippers: 23-59/19-63.
LA Lakers: 42-40/42-40.