Hopefully we can get this thread rolling and get some positive and realistic input here but these are the things I think we need to succeed.
First off, let's assume that Eric Bledsoe is going to be traded. As much as we'd like it to be DJ instead of Bledsoe, in a trade that gives us cap relief and the ability to say sign Bledsoe to an extension, I think DJ is here to stay, at least temporarily.
Let's also stipulate that Crawford, no matter what is coming off the bench. Crawford is extremely talented on offense, his ball handling skills and ability to isolate and score are almost the best in the league. He seems content with his role here and serves a giant purpose off the bench. Seems his role has been solidified over the past few years in Atlanta and Portland.
But what do we need?
We need CP3 to sign a long-term deal with this team, yeah I'm no idiot that's priority #1. We should also be looking to ink Matt Barnes to a 2-4 year deal. If we can't find a solid SG or SF to start for us next year, Barnes can play either position, or be the "7th" man for us. He seems to be a big fan favorite and he played very well this past season.
And I'd hate to see Caron here and he starts over Barnes. Butler to me, at least at this point in his career has lost his ability to get assists on a regular basis, he lacks intensity to get to the basket and wants to spot up for 3PT'rs or jumpers. That kind of player who is nearly immobile on offense needs to come off the bench.
So far, we've got CP3 to a long-term deal, we are keeping DeAndre and we've locked in Barnes for at least 2 more years.
We need to secure a SG or a SF that can start by shipping off Bledsoe. Caron Butler also must be included in the deal as there aren't many starting SG's or SF's out there that make Bledsoe's salary or less that teams are willing to part with.
I am just going to go simple here and say we make a deal with Orlando for Arron Afflalo. That fills a need at SG and allows us to use Willie Green, whose done well here to come off the bench, or spot start if need be. Giving us 4 of our starting 5 for the season, a 6th man in Crawford and a 7th man or possible starter in Barnes.
After all the trades and the re-signing of CP3, I am not sure if we will have the money, but I'd really consider going after a guy like Kyle Korver on a 2-3 year deal. He can play SF and although he isn't a defensive monster, Afflalo and CP3 can take over defensive duties on the tougher PG, SG and SF's that other teams may have. Nobody really has all 3 of those positions that require spot on defense that would expose Korver's lack of solid defense too much.
Korver is a 3PT machine, and also a scoring machine as well. Combined with Afflalo and CP3's ability to score from just about anywhere, it should open up the post a lot more for Blake, and allow DJ to slip in unnoticed for easy dunks or layups. Another guy to go after would be someone like J.J. Redick, who will probably get a 7 mill a year deal from a poor or mid-level team. But, we can dream can't we?
I think for the SF spot ( again, assuming we trade for Afflalo ) should go to either a 3PT specialist/offensive dynamo, or to be given to Matt Barnes. This leaves us with open spots on our bench...
Lamar Odom should be in the mix as a returning bench guy if he can take a pay cut. Odom hasn't played well at all his past 2 years and the dreams of making the All-Star team are way behind him. However, he can still play all 5 positions on the floor and seems to be in a better place back home in Los Angeles. Odom is a solid rebounder, great passer for a big man and in a 8-21 minute a night role, can provide Blake and DJ with relief, and allow us to utilize his abilities as a great big man passer that KG was in Boston under new coach Doc Rivers. Question is, will he take less money to stay home and contend for a team, or will he take more money to potentially play for another playoff team and get a bigger role?
After CP3 though, I really feel that our biggest need is a bruiser down low. Or at least a bruiser or dirty player on the wings. I'd prefer us to get a tough guy who doesn't take crap to play in the paint. I want this guy to have little to no offensive ability at all, but be a punisher in the paint. Someone who is going to hard foul those weak little guards out there that step into his perimeter known as the Clipper paint. We need a guy whose physical, will fight for rebounds and help give this team a reputation like the 70's Philadelphia Flyers, the 90's Knicks and Dennis Rodman himself.
I am not sure who is out there that would step into this kind of role, but we need someone who isn't a wuss to be down low. Someone who will give flying elbows like Charles Barkley when he rebounds, to chatter on defense to get inside the heads of opposing players. Someone who gets technicals and isn't afraid to get fined. This is where we really miss Reggie Evans.
The rest of our bench needs to be filled out with complete specialists who are 1 or 2 dimensional at best. If the team and Chauncey himself wants to come back, he should have a very limited role in 8-15 minutes a night, as a floor general and a spot up shooter from mid/long range. If we don't bring back Chauncey, get a PG who can play good defense and pass the ball well, who won't need shots to feel he's effective. This is where I miss players like Eric Snow, or could use a guy like Eric Maynor or Earl Watson.
Guards and Small Forwards who excel at perimeter defense and/or 3PT shooting are a must. Get at least 1 guy whose basically our Steve Novak to bomb 3PT'rs if we don't get a guy like Korver or Redick. Get a guy who can play good defense to play the 2 or the 3.
I'd also like to fill out the team with at least 1 other, defensive-minded PF/C. Ronny Turiaf can be looked at to fill this spot. Although under-sized, he's a good blocker and can rebound.
The team needs to realize, Miami, the Bulls in the 90's, the Spurs and other teams in the past had guys on their bench that weren't just overall OK at everything, but had specialists to fill their team. The Heat have guys like Juwon Howard who are clearly leaders to their team, Shane Battier and Mike Miller who deliver corner 3PT'rs like daggers, Chris Anderson and Joel Anthony who are primarily there to block shots and clog the paint.
Don't go after around average, or average players who can do a little bit of everything, that's what Crawford, Odom and Barnes can do with their respective positions. Specialists is what it will come down to come crunch time.
Would you rather have a guy who can score when needed, play defense when needed etc etc or would you rather have a 2nd unit of guys who know exactly what their jobs are, and are out there for specific purposes, who allow the team to run certain plays and go under a certain strategy?
Lastly, any new players we bring in must hit at least 60% of their free throws minimum. We suck at free throws. Outside of 3 guys ( CP3, Chauncey and Crawford ) I'm petrified when anyone goes to the line, literally.
Long I understand, but hopefully it's a solid post.