Lockout is kinda sorta over. Players have yet voted on the new CBA but the NBA world (mainly the blogging world) has roared back to life. Sites are posting rumors and trade ideas. It’s like it’s the off-season. It is the off-season. Everybody is getting pumped up. I did think that the season was not going to happen for a moment. It would have been foolish to kill the season right after having the greatest season in a long time. What can we expect to see this season?
In a short yet more active season, teams will need good depth to stretch out resting time for their starters. Teams like the Miami Heat are in trouble there. They don’t have much depth. Last season, their trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh scored almost 70% team points. James Jones, Udonis Haslem, and Mario Chalmers are three other players that, while are good players, could not seriously keep the team afloat if James or Wade goes down. They’re starters and first off the bench anyway. If you can live on just 6 players, fine. But I don’t see it that way.
Sixers have two of the the top bench players in the league. Because of that, Sixers’ bench was the best in the NBA. Sean mentioned that the Sixers were looking at a Holiday-Turner-Iguodala lineup; with Brand and Hawes filling out the paint. Let’s say this happens. Who is on the bench that can contribute enough to give the starters (especially Brand) rest? Thad Young and Lou Williams will do some scoring. Meeks would add a nice shooting punch too. Big men? It’s going to have to be the rookie getting some playing time. It’s do or die for Speights. Why? I don’t want Brand playing Center too much this season. Preserve him. Going up against bigger players than you night after night at his age isn’t good. And if Speights still doesn’t get it: goodbye. Maybe the Suns will take him; I don’t know.
This is a season that will either be the start of major moves by new ownership to show where they want to take the team, or it could be a audition of the players. Nobody knows just what the owners think about the players since the lockout prevents them from talking about them. Do they want Iguodala or are they really going to trade him? They think the combo of Jrue and Evan could work? This season may answer some of these questions.
And that’s really what it comes down to here. I’m looking at the owners. They already said they love Collins so are they willing to listen to Collins and give him what he wants? Coach doesn’t want to trade Iguodala so that may not happen.
Should we expect any moves at all from the team? I don’t. I think next off-season the owners will make it clear what their goals are. Both Brand and Andre will be on their last years of their contracts. Andre has a player option at the end of his though so he could take it or leave it. Owners will have to wait for his decision. Perhaps we should televise it. As for Brand, they can use him as trade bait to get something of return, or just re-sign him to a much smaller contract. I talked about this before. If Brand is still a decent player maybe keep him on the team after his contract is over. I think that I would like to trade him and see what can be returned. The return might not be so grea though. I really wanted him traded this past season. I’m sure that was his last season of very significant productivity. I still think he can be good but his trade value is close to nothing, even with the expiring contract.
Don’t be surprised to see a “part two” of this. I’ll probably end up thinking about more stuff. Until then, when can the players vote this thing in already? I’m 10% nervous and antsy.