In the midst of a losing season, I think most fans aren't realizing how big of a factor that injuries have played in our decline. Prior to Bledsoe's injury, we were definitely having a rough stretch and were playing too much isolation ball. But this was only a short stretch as nearly all of our previous losses came from close losses decided by only a few possessions. At the same time, I think a lot of fans are forgetting how well we were playing in the beginning of the season while Knight and Bledsoe were looking like a top backcourt. I think the main reason that we did end up losing games was because down the stretch we didn't have a go to scorer who we could use to create mismatches. Ideally, Kieff could easily have been that guy, but he obviously didn't embrace it.
Ultimately, I think what a lot of people are not realizing is that it has actually been unbelievable how well McDonough has put together this team for the future. Just think about it. As of now, we potentially have a cornerstone at every position except for power forward.
I also think that people criticize McDonough for mishandling his players, but if you look at it, almost all of the players who have had a problem with the team (except for Thomas) have been players from the Lance Blanks era (ie Morris twins, Dragic, Frye). It seems pretty much every significant player McDonough has signed will have a lengthy future here.
More importantly, after the upcoming draft, we could potentially have two future stars at every position.
PG:Look closely and you'll realize that our guard positions are beyond deep. We already have two borderline all star point guards in Knight and Bledsoe.
SG: Booker (enough said). Then longterm we probably have one of either Bogdanovic or Goodwin.
Goodwin could either become very good (as he has shown in flashes) or become a super athletic sub.
Meanwhile, I actually like Bogdanovic a lot more. I think that he plays with the same fearlessness and craftiness that Dragic played with, while having great size for a wing. What I like about him the most is his how good of a passer and ball handler he is. A lot of people have criticized the two point guard theory, but ultimately the theory behind it is unquestionable. Shooting guard is one of the weakest positions in the league as a lot of two guards are one dimensional shooters. In an offense you want both guards on the court to be able to initiate offense, not just one of them. With Booker and Bogdanovic, we essentially have two big point guards who can run the offense and initiate pick and rolls without sacrificing height. I prefer this greatly to having 1 point guard and one traditional shooting guard (aka Bradley Beal).
SF: Warren has shown he can be an elite scorer without a doubt. Now that he has improved his three point shooting to around 40%, he has no real weaknesses on offense outside of his ball handling. Also I'm not too concerned about his defense because he has active hands and a nose for the ball, now its just more about effort. Same goes for his rebounding. There are times when I have seen appear out of nowhere to get rebounds, so its just more about consistent effort and physicality in that area.
Meanwhile, in this draft we have an opportunity to get an even better SF than Warren. Ingram or Simmons(depending on if he plays the 3 or 4) would give us a superstar wing. Meanwhile if we instead got Jaylen Brown, we would essentially have a player who does all the things that Warren doesn't do well right now (defend, rebound, super athletic). In addition, we could end up using another pick in the draft on a player like Denzel Valentine who would give us super versatility at the small forward position and add another player with great IQ.
PF: This is the one position that we have the biggest hole in right now. However, in the draft, if we pick Ben Simmons, we immediately have a cornerstone at the position. We also may have an opportunity to pick Bender who I am not quite sure about because he is just such an unknown. But I think the question with him is really how long it will take him to become good because he has such a light frame and his moves don't seem quite as polished as Porzingis's were right now, but he moves and defends so well that it is hard to believe he won't succeed at some point.
However, if we don't fulfill this need with our top pick, we can still get a player like Rabb or Ellenson who both give us physical and versatile looks from the PF position.
Additionally, with our last pick we could pick someone like Taurean Prince from Baylor who reminds me a lot of Draymond Green since he's a late bloomer. He's also super physical and aggressive on the boards so he might be the type of guy who gives the team that edge a few years down the line (I liked Bobby Portis and Montrezl Harrell for the same reason last year, but we didn't have a late first rounder to use on one of them).
Not to mention there aren't a whole lot of better 4s in terms of shooting the 3 than Teletovic.
C: Len / Chandler
I think it's safe to say that we are set for now with Len and Chandler. Len seems to have put it all together and continues to improve with each game. Meanwhile Chandler's contract looks big, but he is quietly playing well while consistently racking up double digit rebounds. At the end of the day, there aren't too many deeper center combos (especially since its a weak position) in the league than Len and Chandler. In terms of the future, we should probably look to draft another young center in a few years when Chandler is close to retirement.
Just imagine a team like this three years from now (combined with even more draft picks in the next few drafts)
**I bolded players with all star potential**
Warren, Valentine / Prince
Simmons / Ellenson / Rabb , Teletovic
+ future picks (potential loterry picks depending what happens with the Heat), free agent signings, and either a Goodwin or Bogdanovic trade
Just imagine that a few years from now, we could have a team with around 6 potential all stars. Not only that, but we would have I would say that McDonough has done a pretty good job.
Let me know what you guys think below, as I am very optimistic for the future!