I am writing this in the open rather than comment because I want everyone to read this. Mostly, because alot of people have the opinion of Maggette being a reaction signing, and Turiaf being a bad get.
Maggette was a good get. Was he Brand? Hell, NO! and he doesn't fill our major needs, rebounding ,defense and a post presence. Problem is, who does, especially in this free agent market. Brand WAS IT and there are only 10 guys in the league that can do everything we need. We haven't had a top Power Forward since the year we had C-Webb. We haven't had a great center since Big Nate. You get lucky, like the Blazers and draft one, or you are LA or NY and court one. Every great big has ended up in a major market through trade or free agency or stayed where he was drafted cause it was home or he loved it. We are NEVER, gonna sign a Shaq or a Kareem like player.I can run off every great center or every great big that left his original team through trade or free agency and they all went to a major market. Bill Russell, Wilt, Shaq, Moses Malone, Kareem,Parrish and even our own Nate Thurmond. We will never get a great big unless we purposely lose and end up in the lottery 14 years straight and pray we get the next Shaq, and it looks like the Blazers already did that.
So what do we do now? We build a team the best we can and hope we're onto something with this run and gun thing. We are (at my house at least) always complaining that Baron won't go to the rack. If he drove everytime he settled for a 3, he would be one of the 5 best point guards of all time. Instead Baron got lazy and settled, sometimes it worked out, quite often it didn't. We just got a guy who never settles in Maggette, he goes to the hoop everytime. We complain about not attacking the rim or getting to the free throw line and in Nellie's system he will do that alot, maybe even lead the league.We are always hearing Fitz talk about our need for a Paul Milsap type player. Defensive toughness and a rebouders mentality, and that is Turiaf to a "T". We didn't overpay for Turiaf and Magette's contract isn't a burden. These are building blocks, young and old, that can put us on the right track. Turiaf isn't gonna take all of Wright's minutes and Nellie was never gonna play Randolph any meaningful minutes this year. All that youth talk you can chalk up to the same sort of talk last year, when Nellie said" Belinelli, will be our starting SG and Monte will come off the bench". That was hype and him pushing Monte, Nellie knows talent and never once hesitated to start Monte but sure as hell hesitated to start Marco.
Don't get me wrong, I will miss Baron he was great and so much fun. His swagger is something we haven't had in a along time, not since Tim Hardaway. And I am disappointed in not getting Elton, he was exactly what we needed and what we may never have, a dominant BIG. But now, we trade for a PG (I like Hinrich's "D" and he is a great distributor but there is Josh Childress or taking a chance on Livningston) and we move Al's contract to free up space. We just added a hustle player and rebounder ( if the Lakers don't match, and all signs point to the no, but that's what they said about Baron and Brand too, right?) and a slasher and driver in Mag's. We lose no speed in Mags(very fast at his pisition and Baron had lost a step, he was pushing guys around rather than going around them) and get tougher in Turiaf. This looks like a team who will either add a star and be a contender or develop a star, if either of our last 2 picks grow like Monte did. I know we haven't seen a guy develop and become a star, not since Richmond, who we lost anyways, but it happens. We got A.I. 2.0 and this one can shoot for percentage.
So buck up, we are on the right track finally, not crippling ourselves with a long term contract with Baron, mostly young guys with some real talent that will flourish in a Nelli-ball system and hope in Monte that we got a star for the future and it is starting to look like Mullin actually has a plan.