How a team starts a season and how it finishes can be very important. For a very young team (such as ours) that will really come into play. I think that it's obvious that we will likely not start very well. Even wit a healthy Andy V back, we do have to bring in two more young rookies. As much as I don't care for his "production", replacing Jamison's 16 shots (at 40%) per night will have to fall to some other guys. Also gone is Anthony "Veteran Presence" Parker. Little by little, the team is taking on a whole new look.
Naturally, as FA takes place and we actually start signing people (and we will, because we have to) things can take on a whole new look. But if the CG plan goes off as is presented, the core of our team is already in place. With that being said...To finish the season (and hoping/praying/assuming health) we will likely still look like:
Kyrie - Waiters - Casspi - TT - Andy as our starters.
Boobie, Gee and Zeller are still likely to be bench guys with Luke H getting some "bigs" minutes.
Why this? Well, I am hoping that Waiters shows enough aggressiveness to have supplanted Gee in the starting lineup...and I really think that Coach Scott wants Casspi as a veteran wing on the floor. Gee can then get starters minutes backing up both Waiters and Casspi. Zeller is a big man. He will take time to develop and I'm not sure that one training camp and most of his rookie season will be enough to supplant Andy in the starting lineup (though I would love to see Varejao coming off of the bench again.) That being said, I can see Zeller getting about 22-25MPG by seasons end as he figures out his role.
I think it's obvious that Kyrie and TT are going to be starters...and so it's not really necessary to expand on their roles.
One of the biggest questions asked is what do we do with Jamison's 17/6 production. It's not that hard really. Last year, he took over 1000 shot attempts (at 16.1 Shots per game). That was easily the most on the team. Not only that, but we do need to account for Anthony Parker's 6.4 shots per game as well. (Yes, he really did take that many.) The breakdown of shots per game is as follows for the players currently on the roster:
Varejao: 8.8 (though only over 25 games)
Gibson: 7.1 (over 35 games)
Given the current makeup of the team, it's not unreasonable to think that Tigger will see a slight bump in his production...and that Varejao and Gibson will absorb some of those shot attempts as they were both injured for significant portions of last season.)
Also, Dion Waiters was brought in to score. He is a scoring shooting guard. He will get his shot attempts. Tyler Zeller is another guy brought in because he can shoot the ball. The majority of those 22 shot attempts are likely to be sucked up by these two guys, with a few others (such as Tigger and Gee) being asked to step up their game just a shade more. I'm not asking for Gee to take 14 shots per game, but is it so unreasonable to ask for one more attempt?
There's also free agents to think about. There's the possibility of trades (especially if Zeller looks like he is starting to "get it" near the trade deadline...we might very well move Varejao.) All in all, this is a young team, an athletic team and one that I think can make some serious noise in the not so distant future. I don't know that we actually make a low seed playoff spot this year, but I can easily see us competing for the 8th seed (again.) The last couple of years, we tanked AFTER Varejao got hurt. It's not a coincidence. He really is that good and that important to us. However, if Zeller can develop and Tristan Thompson has developed half as much as Byron Scott would have us believe, I think that this is a much stronger team than most realize.
By seasons end, I can see us being behind in the playoff standings...and making up ground...but it being too little too late. Especially with what appears to be the moves made by Indiana (possibly losing Hibbert), Atlanta (though they are now an 8th seed type of team in the East...because Joe Johnson wasn't THAT good IMO.) NY can't be counted completely out...they do have talent...even if none of it knows how to play defense outside of Tyson Chandler.