- First off, carrying 11 guys again is just plain stupid for a team that is only going to be spending 3/4 or so of the salary cap, so that should be ruled out from the get-go.
- You'd have to seriously look at Will Hudson. Known quantity, in his prime and surely affordable. However I think there is a lot to be said about having a frontcourt that can shoot from deep, especially when you are building a roster on the cheap and are looking to create as many sneaky mismatches as possible (look at Wollongong, or what Atlanta had when they nearly knocked off the Pacers).
Conklin was a flat-out competitor, but I think you'd be better off going with Hudson (similar but bigger) and then getting a 4 who can also shoot the triple, like some sort of poor man's Shawn Redhage.
- Steindl is a must-get. Guys with his athleticism and shooting ability in that height package are rare worldwide, let alone in the NBL. I don't care if he goes missing for stretches and couldn't handle the ball in a B-grade social game. Get him. Low-risk, high-reward. Mackay is a couple of hours down the road. Blanchfield is a Mackay boy. Tell him he can shoot every time he catches the ball. Get him.
- Jacob Holmes is only allowed back with the following incentives built into his contract: shoot a single 3 all season and it's void. Shoot more than 6 times a game even once and it's void. Do anything except rebound, run and win possession and it's void.
- I'd be starting a 2 PG lineup with lots of versatile 3pt shooting wings off the bench. I think that's gonna be the easiest way to be competitive when you don't have much to spend. If you want to win on a budget: get a fast roster with plenty of shooters and run people out the gym. You ain't gonna win a title, but hey, you never were going to win a title. No need to try to beat the title contenders at their own game. They will always have marquee players. Try to base your success on your defensive schemes like Townsville did last year and you will fail.
I'd be going:
Markovic / Djeric / Kenny*
Blanchfield / Steindl / Wing 3^
Conklin# / Holmes
* Kenny only allowed back if he improves his ball-handling drastically and his face stops making me want to punch him on sight. Both are unlikely. Minimum salary only. And actually run some plays for the poor bastard. He's going to shoot it the second he touches the ball so at least make sure he gets an open look curling off a pin down instead of hurling a contested 25 footer with a hand in his face. The skinny prick loves running around screens. Give him some.
^ Will have to be a college returnee as I don't know of any Aussie wings who are available. Probably a pipe dream.
I'd be playing tonnes of small ball with big wing guys at the 4. Lineups like:
...will stretch the hell out of any opposing defense, even if they give up tonnes of points. Who cares. Who wouldn't want to watch a lineup like that run up and down the floor launching long-bombs and dunking over everyone and getting dunked on by everyone?!
Pat Reidy really f'd PC over last year, which really sucked to hear about, so it pains me to say that he doesn't make my hypothetical fantasy land crazy fan squad. Sorry PC. We'll have that number in the rafters shortly.
On another note: can someone tell me why the hell Steindl is getting Boomers camp invites when Todd Blanchfield isn't?