I got another trade/plan for you guys. What do you think about trying to trade for another 1st round pick? There are many players in this draft that we could use, and having two picks could help us fill some holes in our roster.
This trade I am about to propose would be to any team that we think will fall in that bottom 5 or bottom 10 range in order to get a pretty valuable draft pick in return. We would make the deal around the trade deadline.
Trading Partner Gets:
1st Round Pick
Expiring Big Man
Now I know what you are thinking. Why would we trade our last two lottery picks for a future lottery pick? I don't see Fredette or Robinson as being good fits with our roster.
Fredette could be a good off-ball guard off the bench, but should he really be starting next to Evans in the future? I want someone with size who can handle, pass, knock down threes, and play defense next to Evans.
I still have a lot of faith in Robinson, but I don't have faith that he can be the right type of big we need next to Cousins. I think he could be a great 3rd big in a "Thompson" like role on our team.
In the end, I think Fredette and Robinson's future on our team would be viable backups. This is the reason why I would be okay with them being traded. The good thing is they are still very early into their careers which allows people to still label them as having potential giving them more value in trades. They are both known for their work ethic so it shouldn't be too risky of a trade for our trading partner as both will most likely reach (or get close to reaching) their potential.
After this trade, our lineup would look like this for the remainder of the season:
Cousins/Expiring Big Man
When the offseason hits we should be looking to cut some salary. We should let Johnson and Garcia walk (or resign him for the veteran minimum as a locker room guy) and amnesty Salmons. I'm guessing Brooks will opt out of his contract in order to get a higher paying contract or to just get out of Sacramento.
Next, we pick up the options for Thomas and Honeycutt and extend Evans. For this scenario, I am going to assume we give Evans a max deal. This leaves us with a roster of Thomas, Evans, Thornton, Outlaw, Honeycutt, Thompson, Hayes, and Cousins.
When the draft comes, we should look to draft a PG, SF, or shotblocker. Unfortunately, I don't see many SFs that would fit in with our team so we should target a PG and big man.
Depending on how we do the remainder of the season, we could have two top 10 picks. I recommend we go after Smart and Gobert.
Smart is a very interesting player. He is 6'4" and 220 lbs. His athleticism is good not great, but his strength is outstanding. He is a great defender who takes pride at working very hard on that side of the court. He also is very good at getting steals and blocks. He is a great rebounder for his position who can battle it out with the bigs. His passing and court vision is superb which goes nicely with how unselfish he is, and he is a great shooter from midrange and from beyond the arc. He's also very good at shooting off the dribble and with his feet set. What might be his most valuable attribute is that he is a born leader who can help get this team on track. We've all talked about trying to find someone to lead this team. Well Smart would be a good candidate.
Gobert is another interesting prospect. He is listed at 7'1", 235 lbs with a 7'9" wingspan. He is a very athletic big man who is a great shotblocker. His rebound skills should continue to improve considering how long and lengthy he is. I think he would be a good compliment to Cousins. He might need a year or two to blossom, but I think he is worth it.
When free agency comes, we need to target a SF and another big man. After taking into account how much Gobert and Smart's contracts would be, we would have around 10-11 mil in cap space. We should target D. Wright for 4-5 mil and Dalembert for 5-6 mil.
Wright would immediately come in and be our starting SF and help spread the floor with his great 3pt shooting. His defense won't be at the level we were hoping for, but he is still and adequate defender who has legitimate size at the SF position.
Dalembert would start along Cousins once again and push Thompson to the bench where he would excel at being a 3rd big. The Cousins/Dalembert/Thompson trio worked before. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work now.
After the offseason, our lineup would look like this:
Smart (25 min)/Thomas (4 min)
Evans (37 min)/Thornton (30 min)/Garcia
Wright (28 min)/Honeycutt (20 min)/Outlaw
Dalembert (25 min)/Thompson (25 min)/Hayes
Cousins (35 min)/Gobert (11 min)
Some might be surprised with me giving Honeycutt 20 min next season, but I think he is going to put it together by the start of next year. He's going to have an entire year of having a personal chef and weight lifting to try to increase his weight, and his play in the D-League has been good this year: 30 MPG .476 FG% .500 3PT% .778 FT% 10.2 PPG 9.4 RPG 1.6 APG 2.6 SPG 1.0 BPG 3.0 TOPG. He definitely has the capability to fill up the stat sheet which fits perfectly with our need for a glue guy at SF.
With Garcia and Hayes being the veteran voices of the team and with M. Smart's leadership skills, I think the puzzle will start coming together.