This post assumes that Jonas Valanciunas will not be joining the team this season, and assumes there will be one, someday. My guards are Jerryd Bayless on the point, DeMar DeRozan at the 2, Andrea Bargnani is my small forward (not a typo; more to come), Amir Johnson is the power forward, and Ed Davis jumps centre.
Why is this lineup the best we can do? As fans, we need to accept the fact that there's no quick fix for this squad. They won't be veterans tomorrow, and we won't have a .500 season. The most we can hope for is significant progress from the guys with the most upside, and that's who I've got on the floor. We'll know these guys are improving when the following things happen: Bayless starts distributing the rock more, rather than bombing away from outside, or trying to drive through the opponent's entire frontcourt; DeRozan becomes a legitimate 3-point shooter; Bargnani improves his shooting percentage, and his PPG spikes to 25 (his defence is less obnoxious if he's away from the bucket); Amir can put the ball on the floor with some success; and Ed....well, Ed just needs to play. All his numbers should leap, even as an undersized 5.
I hope we keep Reggie the Rebounder around. James Johnson is a useful spare part, Jose has a lot to prove, and may do it, and Barbosa is a guy to feature, then trade at the deadline. The rest of the roster is dreadful.
I'd love to read your reaction to what I've written, so please respond.