In the wake of the 2012 NBA playoffs and the quest for the O’Brien Trophy, I decided to attempt to assemble an NBA squad that would be realistic, stay under the salary cap and immediately contend for the title. Obviously, the first and final aspects of the aforementioned expectations are subjective by nature, but I tried to come as close to imaginarily fulfilling them as possible.
I also invented a few guidelines pertaining to specific player pools that I couldn’t draw from, such as LeBron James, Jeremy Lin and Kyrie Irving. I felt it was unfair to consider these types of players because of their unique circumstances.
James represents the class of underpaid superstar who elected to take pay cuts in pursuit of a championship—Dwayne Wade also falls into this category. Lin represents the group of breakout players whose efforts this season are almost guaranteed a large pay out come this offseason, therefore their 2011-2012 salaries aren’t a fair indicator of their worth. Lastly, Kyrie Irving, very simply, embodies the young-ins who are still on their cheaper rookie contracts.
Despite removing several significant players from the applicant pool, I still felt that I conjured up an affordable, competitive, well-balanced, veteran-laden cast headlined by three stars.