C: A. Drummond (19, 2.5-4.4m, 4y), V. Kravtsov (25, 1.5m, 1y) PF: G. Monroe (22, 4.1-5.5m, 2y) SF: J. Jerebko (25, 4.5m, 2y), T. Prince (32, 7.2-7.7m, 2y), K. Singler (24, 1.0-1.1m, 2y), K. Middleton (21, 0.8-0.9m, 2y) SG: R. Stuckey (26, 8.5m, 1y), K. English (24, 0.8m, 1y) PG: B. Knight (20, 2.9-5.1m, 3y) Team Salary: $33,828,675 Salary Cap: $58,044,000, Tax Level: $70,307,000 (*Based on 2012/13 Figures) Cap Space: $24,215,325 Max Salary Levels: $13,668,750(0-6), $16,402,500(7-9), $19,136,250(10+) *I'm assuming we amnesty C. Villanueva Right now, we're ranked 30th (i.e. dead last) on ESPN's power rankings, released today - NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN. The #1 overall pick (Shabazz Muhammad) would be an absolute god-send, but I don't think we're that smart. I still think we're going to get a top 10 pick though, so let's subtract additional Drummond and Middleton-level salaries from that number; $24,215,325 - $2,500,000 - $800,000 = $20,915,325. So, we're going to have about 21 mil in salary cap space. That's enough to sign one max-level contract player, or enough to sign two solid players. Let's talk about it.. What do we have? #1) 19 year old center Andre Drummond. It's looking like it's going to be a long-ish development process with Mr. Drummond; and that's okay. He's not at all a Dwight Howard-like athlete, and he's probably never going to be, but he moves around well enough, he's got good hops, he's tall, he's big, he's strong, he's got long arms, etc. With hard work, attitude and coaching, he could become an excellent paint defender and rebounder inside, there's little doubt about that. Offensively, is he ever going to be a dominant go-to low post scorer? Way too early to make a prediction, but I lean towards no. I see primarily an alley oop man, put-back dunker, short-shot maker. I could be wrong. Either way, I think we've got something good in him. A championship team starting-quality center. #2) 22 year old power forward Greg Monroe. Greg, like Andre, is not a high-level athlete..and even less so. He too moves around well enough though, is big, strong, long-enough, etc. The bright side with him is that he's smart and a hard-worker. When it's all said and done, when we get to where we're going, I think he's going to be at least an average to above average defender at the 4 in this league. Offensively, again, I just don't ever see him becoming a dominant low-post scorer. He's got a little range. He's a little more clever around the basket. He's a good passer. He's got some versatility to his game, and you can do some things with him offensively for sure.. but not a go-to scorer of a great team. Still, a championship team starting-quality power forward. #3) 20 year old point guard Brandon Knight. Brandon is an excellent, almost Derrick Rose-level athlete. He's a great ball-handler. He's a terrificly creative passer. He's smart. He's a hard-worker. He doesn't really "get it" yet. But I think he's going to. I think he's going to be a solid floor general for us, who's able to push the ball up the court with great speed, who will make good decisions, who will run whatever offense it is we're running, and who will be a coach of sorts on the court. That will take time. He's got the size, frame, athleticism, smarts, etc. to be developed into an above average NBA defender at the point. Offensively, he's limited. He can't really take it to the hole in the half-court offense, and he's probably never going to be able to do that with much consistency. He's got a decent enough outside shot, but again, it's inconsistent, and I'm not sure it will ever be that reliable. Certainly not the go-to scorer of a great team. But a good distributor. A championship team starting-quality point guard for sure. #4) 26 year old shooting (combo?) guard Rodney Stuckey. Stuckey, Stuckey, Stuckey.. Still waiting for it to happen, but definitely has the size, strength and athleticism to be a plus defender at the 2-guard position in this league. It needs to start happening, soon. He's not 21 anymore. That's a matter of effort and focus on his part. Offensively, he can get himself good looks at the rack as good as about anyone in the league. Still waiting for him to become a consistent finisher there. Again, time's running thin. Outside shot still hasn't come around either, and I'm starting to think that it's never going to. Didn't really seem to have the "feel" of a point guard when he was at that position, but it's certainly a bonus he can provide as a backup. Not sure that I see him as a championship team starting quality shooting guard. If we somehow added an elite 3, we could get away with him as a starter I think. If not, he's, at worse, a solid first guard off the bench for a good team. #5) 25 year old small (combo?) forward Jonas Jerebko. Like Stuckey, if we somehow added an elite 2, we could get away with him as a starter. If not, he's at worse a solid first forward off the bench for a good team. Defensively, he's above average. Big, strong, athletic enough, hard-working, smart, dog, etc. Offensively, again, a dog with a decent shot. That's about the extent of this man. #6) 32 year old small forward Tayshaun Prince. Tay's basically still here for one reason - he was a part of our championship team and Joe-D believes he somehow transcends that team's attitude onto this one's. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Either way, when we're good enough to seriously compete, he's going to be too old to help us. At this juncture, I think he's getting too much PT and hindering the development of our more important younger players. I'd like to see him included in a trade of some sort to get us SOMETHING useful for our future. Probably never happens. #7-10) K. Singler, K. Middleton, K. English, V. Kravtsov. Young bodies. 10-15 types most likely. Some might pan out. Some might not. Probably all pretty irrelevent in the long-run. Though Singler looks like he may have the potential to be a rotation player on a good team. We'll see. Too early to say with all of these guys.