I know its only the Hawks who are bottom of the ladder (the only team below us), but i hope this shows Marty we only need 8 man rotation, especially with a young team they should be able to log good minutes.
I hope next year they sign 8 main guys and 2 minimum guys, with the 8 main guys playing atleast 90% of the minutes.
Ballinger being off contract should help us with cap room to re-sign Simpson, Johnson and Creek. I would offer Ballinger a new deal but reduced greatly in minutes and he plays 15-20 mins a game off the bench backing up Pf and C.
I would basically keep our main 8, its a good young core and guys like Johnson, Simpson, Creek, Warren, Weigh will be some of the top players for years to come, and Herbert is a solid role player and Ballinger and Crosswell can give us some experience off the bench.
If Ng and Helliwell accept minimum $$ and minutes, i dont mind them staying, if not give those spots to young guys like Daly or guys doing well in ABA/SEABL/NZBL looking for a shot and happy to play the role as 9th and 10th man and prove themselves if they want extra minutes.
I think a rotation of the following would be strong for the next few years and we could still finish the season strong even if we dont make playoffs.
The rotation being
C Johnson (30)/Ballinger (10)
PF Simpson (30)/Ballinger (5)/Weigh (5)
SF Weigh (25)/Creek (15)
SG Creek (15)/ Warren (10)/Herbert (15)
PG Warren (20)/Crosswell (20)
That to me should be a playoff team, and for the next 5-10 years given our young squad.
Johnson and Simpson are great scorers and quicker and more athletic than most opposition they will face and have good complimentary skill sets,
our SF are 2 of the best young ones in the country, if Creek develops a half consistant jumpshot watch out! I would currently get Creek watching video of a guy like Darnell Mee, use him as a defensive stopper and develop a good all round game like Darnell had, then his jumpshot wont be the be all and end all, he can still have a great game without scoring much ala Mee and Damian Martin, Mackinnon, Saville, etc.
our PG combo should be as strong as anyone,
SG is probably our weakest spot but Creek, Warren, Herbert should be able to handle it by comittee and if we have any spare $$ we could possibly look to upgrade our SG, maybe we offer say Newley Ballingers $$$ and see what he says, (if we have enough to re-sign Creek, Johnson, Simpson without spending it) short of that im happy to let Creek, Warren, Herbert share it.
Basically our 9th and 10th man dont play, just in blow outs, foul trouble and injuries, unless they train the house down and earn there spot over one of the main 8.
Its been along time since we have had such a young talented core of players, no matter where we finish this season, we dont need to blow up the roster, which is a nice change especially given some of our old rosters in the past when we had an ageing Timmons, Wheeler, Copeland.
Aslong as they stay competitive and he adjusts his game coaching a bit and retains the young talent he has recruited ie Johnson, Simpson, Creek, this should be enough to keep Clarke for another year, (i know that wont be a popular comment on here).
Clarke has been far from perfect but has done some good things.
1. recruited some of the top young talent including our imports.
2. we are not great defensively but we are a tougher team, we dont back down to physical intimidation against teams such as Perth which some of the past line ups would have.
3. I assume he has contacts with some of the top young aussie talent in college ball, so hopefully we will see some of the top returnees coming to Adelaide if we have the $$ to fit them in. He has already shown this with Creek, Weigh and Johnson 3 of the top young talents in the league, also i imagine Simpson and Warren came through college coach contacts, with Simpson coming from StMarys. Hopefully this continues for years to come. Guys like Goorj and Bevo stay at the top by continuously recruiting the best young talent, Clarke seems to have a good ability to do this, better than Smyth and Ninnis showed.
4. He coaches a high scoring up tempo game, which i personally like from a fans point of view, scoring is no problem, we just need to get a bit better definsively, playing guys like Creek more will help this and guys like Johnson have to continue to work and develop in this area, we dont need to be a great defensive team but atleast a middle of the league level defensive team should have us in the playoffs with our offensive talent.
There are many flaws, including rotations, but if he uses the 8 man rotation i have suggested that will be alot better IMO.