Wildcats changes for next season?
Thought I'd get this in before the focus turns completely to the MU v 6s GF, and the inevitable off-season lull.
Naturally I have no real insight into what the Cats will do, and won't have a clue until they announce it, but It's always fund to speculate.
Lets start with the imports.
I think the pattern is clear and set with the 2 & 3 spots. They'll go for a combo and a (s)wingman. I reckon they would keep Cotton and Tokyto if they could, but as always those guys will be chasing bigger dreams in the mean time, however I think they will continue to look for similar players.
Cooke & McKay were supposed to fill similar roles, but has that requirement changed post Knight? Cats have looked undersized against some teams this season.
I think it's a given that they will go for a front-court player, but will they stick with the athletic 4/5 type, or try for a genuine big. I wouldn't mind seeing an older guy who maybe split playing time with Brandt.
On to the locals:
Brandt is contracted, and just needs a bit more support inside. Unless he got a really lucrative offer elsewhere, he'll stay.
I don't know whether Walker is contracted, but I think both parties would have to be happy with his season. Only way I'd see him leaving would be if they secured a massive local talent from somewhere.
Wagstaff continues to play a valuable role off the bench, but he is slowing down. People speculate about retirement, but he's contracted and I see no reason for that to change.
Hire is out of contract, and despite being Vice-Captain, a loyal stalwart, and the resident "character" I wonder if patience will finally run out. His defensive effort is unquestionable, but offensively he's become a liability. They used him as a 3 and even a 2 in recent seasons, not a good fit, but he also can't dominate inside. As somebody quipped, he's a stretch-4 that can't actually stretch.
This isn't the salary and points constrained league of but a few years ago. The Cats need to bolster their front court, and if there is local talent available they need to go for it. Maybe that means that one of this trio is squeezed out?
Steindl is probably worth persisting with, but only one of he and DKD, who after a year as a TP and 2 regular seasons, just hasn't come along.
Talk about "depth", and whatever your definition the one place they are sorely lacking is the backcourt. Kenny was a great pickup at the time, but now he and Damo are two years older. Attempts to find. Finding a young PG or combo could become a priority.