Overall I would have to say I am pretty happy with the way the offseason went....
At first, I was really upset about the Hinrich trade because the $8 mil owed to him next year. It seemed like we could take on a much less contract in order to obtain a draft pick in the top 20 (see OKC taking on Daquen Cook's 3 mil expiring and the #18 pick). While I would have preferred OKC's move, I am coming around to our trade. Grunfeld has stated that his goal was to make this team tougher, and add more character and Hinrich, while expensive, adds exactly that. He brings playoff experience and veteran leadership to lead by example with these young guys. While I am still not thrilled with the trade I am okay with it because it fits the get tough plan.
Drafting Wall, Seraphin, Booker, and N'Daye was also Okay in my book. Wall was the obvious no brainer and our BIG offseason acquisition. When we took Seraphin at 17 I wasn’t too happy about taking a frenchy. However, after learning he was 6'10" 260 with athleticism who apparently likes to bang down low and has a mean streak I was once again okay with it because we were getting tougher down low, it fit the plan.
I got to say, going into the draft I was hoping we would pick Booker with our second round pick at #35. I loved his toughness and grit at Clemson; he was exactly the type of player I wanted on this team. I wasn't too excited about trading up to get him but whatever. He is another tough guy added to the roster.
I like the resigning of Howard at a 1 yr deal. He is definitely our best wing player when he is fully recovered. He is another veteran to add to the young guys. Once he is ready to go he will definitely be the starter at the 3 spot. Signing him at a 1 yr deal gives us options. If he does not really recover and performs poorly then we cut ties with him at the end of the year. If he does perform he could be used as a trade asset around the trade deadline. He is the type of player who could be a good final piece for a team looking to make a deep playoff run. In return we might have to take on a little longer term salary but we could also get a draft pick out of it. The trade would fit Ted's plan of trading an asset for a "player and a prospect". This same situation applies to Gilbert Arenas, if he performs well he could be another piece a contending team is looking to add. I like the fact that we are setting ourselves up with options without really hurting ourselves long term.
The re-signing of Howard however really makes me question the trade of Ross for Yi. How does Yi fit the plan at all? Sure he has a little talent and is another 7 young footer, but that addition seems completely random to me. We gave away a 1.5 mil contract with Ross for a contract close to 5 mil with Yi. It would be one thing if Yi was a center who could provide minutes in case McGee doesn’t work out but he is a stretch 4 who doesn't fit our plan at all. His contract is expiring but so was Ross's. This move makes no sense to me. Right now we are going into the season around 5 mil under the cap which is nice bcuz we have some flexibility but if we don’t make that trade we are going in around 8.5 mil under even after the Howard resigning. Not to mention we drafted Booker and Seraphin to become role players and develop who play the same position as Yi. Where will the minutes be for those guys? I would hope we just sit Yi on the bench unless someone’s injured but then once again, why did we make that move? That pisses me off.
Another move that is questionable to me is not addressing the backup center position. I definitely do think McGee needs a large majority of the minutes and it certainly appears he will get them which is great. However, adding Hilton Armstrong just seemed like a "whatever we'll just take this guy" move. I guess Seraphin and N'Daye will provide some insurance too but the Center position is definitely the biggest question mark going into the season which is alarming because Center is a very important position. We are really going to need McGee to deliver, and I really hope he does.
I think we should sign Cartier Martin to fill out the roster and play him as a guard so that we can still go into the season around 5 mil under the cap.
Once again, overall I am happy with the offseason. The only move we made that will put any restrictions on us next year is the trade for Hinrich and who knows maybe next offseason someone will be looking for a complimentary piece and could use a guy like Hinrich with an expiring contract. He could bring back more assets for us. I am not saying that is likely but you never know. We have given ourselves options as well as assembled a team that could possibly compete. I have to say I would not be completely surprised if we end up being in contention for those final 2 or 3 playoff seeds. If we do wind up getting into the playoffs, you cannot discount the invaluable experience it would bring for these young guys, especially a guy like Wall. If we end up 10th in the East or something which is totally possible then hey, we end up with another lottery pick to continue adding pieces. Here is what I think the final roster will look like:
PG- Wall, Hinrich
SG- Arenas, Young, Martin
SF- Howard, Thornton, (martin)
PF- Blatche, Booker, Seraphin, Yi
C- McGee, Armstrong, Ndaye, (Seraphin)
Not bad, go wiz.