Monday, February 20, 2006

What If Rosters: Atlantic Division

How good would Toronto be with T-Mac?

You ever run into an old acquaintance from high school or college and he/she brainlessly decides to fill you in on how happy your ex-girlfriend is with “Glen”? Well that same “shot-in-the-nuts” feeling is very similar to my sentiments regarding the last ten years of Boston Celtics basketball. Poor management, poor coaching, the Bias/Lewis curse, Antoine Walker, etc. But even more traumatic is seeing those players that used to play in Beantown lighting it up in other cities (ala my ex turning smoking hot after I unknowingly dumped her for someone with the clap). So it got me thinking, I’m sure I’m not the only fan out there that imagines these “what if” scenarios. I bet Hornets fans wonder where they would be with Kobe, Raptors fans with T-Mac, Warriors faithful with Arenas, and all of the "what if " questions that follow. What if the team had more money to spend? What if this guy didn't get that huge offer from that other team? What if they didn't give up on this guy and trade him away? Thus, for the next few weeks I’m going to be taking a look back over the last ten years and show you what each team’s 15-man roster could have looked like today if things were handled differently. It might make you smile, it might my you laugh, but in all likelihood, you’ll end up as pissed as I am. Should be a lot of fun…


1) Trades: I have just completed a useless, hour-long search in hopes of finding a site that provided a season-by-season log of all the trades that have gone down. To save you the time, one does not exist. Thus, I need to make trade details irrelevant. In other words, some final rosters may be impossible because some of the players may have been dealt for one another (e.g., Ricky Davis and Wally Szczerbiak in Boston). And while I certainly know the details of that BOS-MIN trade, I may not have the same facts behind a deal that occurred in say, 1997. So rather than throw in the facets of one trade and not the other, I thought it best to be consistent. Thus, if you know damn well that Player A was in fact dealt for Player B, use your wonderful imagination to filter the former/latter off of that roster.

2) Free Agency: A team not having enough money to sign a free agent (e.g. Toronto and T-Mac), will not factor in here. I’m imagining as if each team had the checkbook of Isiah Thomas.

3) Contracts: I’m ignoring contracts altogether, so if three max players end up on one team then so be it. That’s pretty much the fun of this whole exercise, isn’t it?

4) Active Players: Players who are retired, in AA, or looking for other work to feed their children will not be considered.

I'm pretty much ignoring everything here and just letting you, the fan, take a look at all of the players your teams got rid of. At least it will help me feel better...


Current Roster
Tony Allen
Dan Dickau
Ryan Gomes
Gerald Green
Orien Greene
Al Jefferson
Dwayne Jones
Raef LaFrentz
Michael Olowokandi
Kendrick Perkins
Paul Pierce
Brian Scalabrine
Wally Szczerbiak
Delonte West

Come & Gone
Antoine Walker
David Wesley
Chauncey Billups
Bruce Bowen
Damon Jones
Mike James
Danny Fortson
Adrian Griffin
Milt Palacio
Joe Johnson
Darius Songaila
Tony Battie
Dahntay Jones
Ricky Davis
Gary Payton

What If 15-Man Roster
PG-Billups, Payton, West, James
SG-Johnson, Davis, Wesley
SF-Pierce, Bowen, Szczerbiak
PF-Walker, Fortson, Jefferson
C-Perkins, Battie

Analysis: It’s difficult to really bitch about the team trading Billups for Kenny Anderson because at that time, the C’s were in desperate need for a veteran PG. And after all, Anderson did lead them to the Conference Finals, while Chauncey was bouncing around the league faster than Danny Schayes. In a similar move for veteran leadership, Boston dealt the rookie Johnson to Phoenix for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers. I could be wrong, but at the time I don’t recall many Celtics fans being very upset with this trade. Looking back it may seem like a terrible deal, but don’t forget that Delk and Rogers were huge assets on that ECF team. Finally, it would have been really nice for the defensively challenged Celtics to hold onto Bowen. Imagine if Pierce didn’t have to guard the best 2 or 3 but instead could focus primarily on his offense? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? (They would have at least probably won that 2-OT game vs. Cleveland last week)


Current Roster
Vince Carter
Jason Collins
Marc Jackson
Richard Jefferson
Linton Johnson
Jason Kidd
Nenad Krstic
Jeff McInnis
Lamond Murray
Scott Padgett
Zoran Planinic
Clifford Robinson
Jacque Vaughn
Antoine Wright

Come & Gone
P.J. Brown
Sam Cassell
Jim Jackson
Kerry Kittles
Tim Thomas
Keith Van Horn
Stephon Marbury
Earl Boykins
Kenyon Martin
Aaron Williams
Stephen Jackson
Brian Scalabrine
Dikembe Mutombo
Alonzo Mourning

What If 15-Man Roster
PG-Kidd, Cassell, Boykins
SG-Carter, Marbury, J. Jackson
SF-Jefferson, S. Jackson, Van Horn
PF-Martin, Brown, Scalabrine
C-Krstic, Mourning, Mutombo

Analysis: That Kidd/Marbury trade must make Nets’ management smile every single day. It’s amazing to see the other PGs this team went through before landing #32 (I honestly have no recollection of Boykins in New Jersey, do you?) In analyzing this dream squad, I’m not sure how many teams could keep up with their inexhaustible fast-break and physically dominating frontcourt. Plus, could a bench with Cassell, Marbury, S. Jackson, PJ, and ‘Zo be any better? That team could probably be a 6 seed in the East this season.


Current Roster
Trevor Ariza
Jackie Butler
Jamal Crawford
Eddy Curry
Channing Frye
Anfernee Hardaway
Jerome James
David Lee
Stephon Marbury
Quentin Richardson
Nate Robinson
Jalen Rose
Malik Rose
Maurice Taylor
Qyntel Woods

Come & Gone
Marcus Camby
Kurt Thomas
Othella Harrington
Nene Hilario
Shandon Anderson
Michael Sweetney
Keith Van Horn
Tim Thomas
Nazr Mohammed
Antonio McDyess
Dikembe Mutombo

What If 15-Man Roster
PG--Marbury, N. Robinson
SG--Crawford, J. Rose, Richardson
SF--Van Horn, Ariza, S. Anderson
PF--K. Thomas, Frye, McDyess, Nene
C--Camby, Curry, Mohammed

Analysis: Hmm, we might be on to something here. One thing I failed to consider is that this might be an accurate way of determining how a team has been run over the past ten years. Here is cold hard proof of how badly the Knicks have been managed, Isiah or no Isiah. Look at this roster, only two of the starters would be from the “Come & Gone” bin, and that Thomas/Frye swap might not even be fair. Camby can’t stay on the court for more than 65 games a year, Van Horn becomes a liability after playing more than 15 minutess (same for McDyess), and who knows what to expect now from Nene. All in all a rather poor team, but keep in mind that many of the marquee players NY owned in the mid-90’s are now retired: Ewing, LJ, Oakley, Starks, etc.


Current Roster
Matt Barnes
Michael Bradley
Samuel Dalembert
Zendon Hamilton
Steven Hunter
Andre Iguodala
Allen Iverson
Kyle Korver
Jamal Mashburn
Lee Nailon
Kevin Ollie
Shavlik Randolph
John Salmons
Chris Webber
Louis Williams

Come & Gone
Jerry Stackhouse
Keith Van Horn
Jim Jackson
Theo Ratliff
Tim Thomas
Joe Smith
Eric Snow
Larry Hughes
Nazr Mohammed
Bruce Bowen
Speedy Claxton
Raja Bell
Matt Harpring
Kenny Thomas
Greg Buckner
Brian Skinner
Marc Jackson
Corliss Williamson

What If 15-Man Roster
PG—Iverson, Claxton
SG—Hughes, Bell, Stackhouse
SF—Iguodala, Bowen, Korver, Van Horn
PF—Webber, K. Thomas, J. Smith
C—Dalembert, Ratliff, Mohammed

Analysis: I don’t know about you, but I love the make-up of this team. There’s an excellent mix of scorers: Iverson, Webber, Hughes, & Stackhouse, and defenders: Bell, Bowen, Dalembert, & Ratliff. Mo Cheeks could almost set his squad up like a hockey team and have shifts of offense and defense to keep their opponents honest. Imagine a 2 and 3 of Bell and Bowen? Who would be able to score? Which begs the question, why wouldn’t an NBA team get two guys like Bell and Bowen, load up their frontcourt and acquire/Draft a playmaking PG? Isn’t this a surefire way to win today?


Current Roster
Rafael Aruajo
Matt Bonner
Chris Bosh
Jose Calderon
Antonio Davis
Joey Graham
Mike James
Darrick Martin
Morris Peterson
Pape Sow
Charlie Villanueva
Alvin Williams
Eric Williams
Loren Woods

Come & Gone
Damon Stoudamire
Marcus Camby
Tracy McGrady
Chauncey Billups
Vince Carter
Corliss Williamson
Carlos Arroyo
Voshon Lenard
Rafer Alston
Kareem Rush
Jalen Rose
Donyell Marshall

What If 15-Man Roster
PG—Billups, Stoudamire, Alston, James
SG—V. Carter, Lenard, Rush
SF—McGrady, Peterson, Rose
PF—Bosh, Marshall, Villanueva
C—Camby, Davis

Analysis: Wow, what the hell have the Raptors done to themselves? Looking at their current roster, has Toronto received even 30% of the returns from their fictional one? Okay, perhaps the Carter picks will someday amount to something, but as far as I can see the Nets are a likely Playoff team for the next three years. On top of that, management let McGrady walk in order to keep Vince. If that isn’t a slap in the face then I dunno what is. On the other hand, letting Stoudamire go wasn’t the end of the world, and the same could probably be said of Camby. But not giving Chauncey more than 29 games to prove himself will go down as one of the worse decisions in franchise history. You know, along with those choices they made regarding Carter and McGrady. Let’s just hope they don’t make the same mistake with Bosh.


At 6:14 PM, Blogger xtremecelticsfan said...

Come to its a chat that i have created in my blog for Celtics fan to come. You can come doring games an talk about whats going on. Or you can come in the chat at any time an talk about what needs to be done to get back on track. SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

heres one...

what if the damn ping pong balls fell the right way...Starting at the Power Foward for the Boston Celtics from Wake Forest....Timmmmmm Duncannnn

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

i thought marc jackson was on the current roster for the sixers

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had Ben Wallace


At 9:04 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Will, Marc Jackson is on New Jersey. C's, the Celtics never had Ben Wallace. They offered him multiple try outs but never signed him.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger c-los said...

Only thing that makes this hard is that certain players like Wally wouldnt be on the Celtics because he basically got dealt for Ricky Davis. You have to take into account trades and draft pick trades. Cool idea though.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

C-los, I think it's time to get an eye exam. Did you just completely ignore my rules? Or did you read them and decide, "I bet I could really piss him off if I wrote this"?

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: raptors & McGrady - IIRC his problem was he was feeling overshadowed by Vince and wanted to go somewhere he would be "the man". Hard to fight that.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger donthaveablog said...

trading Mr. Glass brought in Charles Oakley and that was the best thing that ever happened for the Raps franchise and Vince Carter. Other than that, Billups was a mistake, but he's a LATE bloomer. It was clear that TMac was the better player when he was in Toronto, but how could you have possibly go against the pinnacle of Vinsanity and all the "next-MJ" hype fest.

I actually like this topic and was mulling over it the weekend....

PG - Arroyo
SG - Iguodala
SF - Villaneuva
PF - Bosh
C - Darko

Wouldn't this have been one of the most young, athletic and exciting teams to ever watch?

Yeah, Raptor fans have alot to cry over.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

oh whoops my bad...
i don't know what i was thinking when i thought jackson was on the sixers. heh i guess my head's still stuck in the Summer

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

to comment on the previous commenter
PG - Arroyo
SG - Iguodala
SF - Villaneuva
PF - Bosh
C - Darko

i dont think that would be much of an exciting team at all. look at it. none of them can shoots. Arroyo isnt that great. In fact hes kind of an annoying kid. Darko hasnt really shown he can play. the only exciting players on there are AI, Vill, and Chris. If i was a raptor fan i wouldnt "cry" over the "loss" of Darko and Arroyo.

And no, it wasn't clear that Tmac was the better player in Toronto. In fact, he didnt show much signs of life until his final year in Toronto. he was benched behind VC.

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous ET said...

Picking Araujo over Iguodala was a big mistake by Toronto ...

How do you know Arroyo's an annoying kid? Do you know him? All I know is this is the guy that tore it up against the US in the Olympics, and is a deft scorer and passer. Right now probably one of the more underrated guards in the league after sitting behind Billups in Detroit.

Look for Steve Francis to get traded and for Arroyo to get some real minutes.

That team would have been a joy to watch on the break. As long as they can conform to playing solid defense, this team could be a nightmare matchup for a lot of teams. That strength on the perimeter and the quickness in the post is just scary.

Darko ... not so scary ... but I'm still betting on him averaging 10 points a night from here on out.

On another note, you know what team has a lot to cry about? Philly. Look at the roster! It's friggin STACKED with offensive and defensive players. Heck, in that situation I'd probably bench Webber and wait for him to exercise his player option to get outta there.

But Philly fans won't have to worry long. Everyone the Sixers trade, sooner or later, comes back to them. Derrick Coleman. Van Horn. Tyrone Hill. Kevin Ollie. Brian Skinner.

At 1:03 AM, Blogger larry bird said...

Another great article Anth. I was just thinking how stupid the Raptors have been while watching Vince and T-mac gaurding each other in the Allstar game.

As for the Celtics. Johnson, Billups and Bowen would be nice to have but who could have predicted that they would have become this good. I like a lot of the young players they have now and hope they keep them. The whole Antoine thing has been one of the biggest mistakes.

I'm looking foward to seeing what players struggling teams such as Orlando might have had.

At 2:24 AM, Blogger donthaveablog said...

I mourn the loss of Darko simply because he represents hope for the future. Everyone is quick to point out that he's a bust but how can anyone who averages 5 mins a season be a complete bust? Remember this is a guy who most GMs had pegged second (behind franchise conerstones like Wade and Bosh). Had the Raptors been bold enough to take a gamble, Raptor games would be worth watching to see what he and Bosh could do together. But alas, he's with Howard and I just pray he's the bust of all busts.

As for TMac, I forgot to add "in my opinion". This was based on the fact that TMac had VCs jumping and shooting abilities BUT he also played defense (ie. blocked shots and steals). TMac filled up the boxscores while VC had a few zeroes here and there.

Orlando would be interesting as well. That franchise must have the highest number of the "Greatest Players of the 90's and on" come and go. Shaq, Penny, Grant Hill, TMac, Howard.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

In remembering that 2003 Draft, let's not forget that no one expected Wade to be this good, I mean no one. The basic consensus was, how good could a kid from Marquette really be? A starter, yes, a superstar, no way.

Bosh was also a question mark. Many of us expected big things, but it was tough to accurately predict what type of player he would be since he only played one year at Ga Tech.

And so initially, that Darko pick was only criticized for overlooking Carmelo. Now that Wade and Bosh have developed into (super) stars, it's easy to look back and rip Joe Dumars. But I think those of you who remain patient with Milicic are taking the right road. We cannot label him a bust in any way at this point. Let's see what he can do in Orlando.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger c-los said...

@Anthony...Hahaha..You're absolutely right. My ADD and excitement made me just skip down to the teams without even reading the rules. You know guys are with rules. It's like being a kid and getting a new video game. You never read the instruction manual first unless you're stuck. My bad

At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that gets me about your articles ( I like them by the way, being an infrequent visitor and from Australia not getting the greatest coverage of the NBA) is that it seems there isn't a player (kevin bacon 6 degrees style) that hasn't played for every team?

It seems that way to me, though I may have had a few drinks tonight.

Is there a player that can't be linked to a team and or other player in the NBA today?

Sorry couldn't identify myself. Anon seemed to be the easiest option.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On reflection in the glory of the morning after, I had further thoughts about my post. Surely a guy like Shawn Marion can't be linked by trades and draft deals to a guy like Iverson. But of course they can be linked through players they have played with playing with the other team. Is anybody following me or do I still appear drunk?


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