With John Henson and Doron Lamb joining the Milwaukee Bucks last night, I thought it would be interesting to see how much time they might be able to get on the floor. The best way to look at this is as if you're constructing a rotation on NBA 2k12 or something similar; pick your starters and assign minutes from there.
You already know that we're heavy on forwards and light on guards, but as with any team, the distribution of minutes will determine who sees a lot of floor time and who gets mop-up duty. With the pre-draft trade, we lost Shaun Livingston, Jon Leuer, and Jon Brockman, none of whom took up that many minutes. So let's see who's left.
Here's a table of the roster as it stands right now (with my own interpretation of how different players fit in at different positions):
L. Mbah a Moute
A few details before I get started...
- I'm penciling in Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Drew Gooden based on Skiles' preference for starters he's comfortable with at those positions. We all know LRMaM (and maybe Tobias Harris as well) will play a fair bit of the 4, but with the current depth at that spot, I didn't feel like going 6 deep right away.
- We're only considering current players, i.e. under contract. Ersan Ilyasova, Carlos Delfino, and Kwame Brown? If you want in, you'll have to get signed first.
- Minutes will be distributed based on last season's usage, players' career averages, players' current trend (in terms of their own career arc; for example, Tobias Harris should be trending up while Drew Gooden should be trending down), and (obviously) depth at any given position.
- I won't get into lineup combinations here; I'll leave that to someone more qualified. You can probably figure out the best lineups on your own.
- Too many PFs. Shocking, no? But with Gooden, Udoh, Sanders, cameo's from Mbah a Moute and Harris, and now Henson, there's simply not enough time to go around. None of these players are particularly effective at center (see: Milwaukee Bucks 2010-11 season), but what's worse is that they all do pretty much the same thing. Save for Gooden, they're all defensive specialists with shot-altering abilities, but little offensive contributions.
- Door shutting for Ersan. Pending any deals between now and Ersan signing a contract somewhere, there's just no way to fit Ilyasova onto this roster, no matter the price. He's good, but he's not good enough to merit taking minutes from everyone else on a consistent basis. All of our current PFs range from average to slightly above-average, and Ersan's presence would serve to stunt the younger players' growth.
- PG depth? After Jennings and Udrih, the cupboard is bare. Sure, Ellis could probably handle point guard duties, and between him and Dunleavy, there's decent passing ability on the perimeter. But if Jennings or Udrih get hurt, there's a problem. Udrih is a great bench PG, but he's underwhelming as a heavy figure in the rotation. And Jennings has proven the ability to handle a heavy workload, but he needs a breather just like everyone else, and Udrih serves as a Luke Ridnour-esque safety net.
- Potential deals coming soon...I hope. With the way the roster is set up right now, I see definite improvement from last year. I think this team can handle Detroit and Cleveland, as well as compete with Indiana and Chicago (sans Derrick Rose). But that's if everyone stays perfectly healthy and plays to their potential, and with all of that the ceiling for this team still isn't terribly high. One deal I'd love to see is shipping out Drew Gooden for a lower-priced guard or wing player, which could also free up minutes and dollars to re-sign Ersan, or another offensively skilled PF (like Antawn Jamison or Carl Landry). This would better balance out the roster for a run at the playoffs, if that's what the team wants to do.