I think it's safe to say all hail Masai! For as much as we gripe about Lowry's impending free agency, JV's progression (or lack thereof), Casey's coaching flaws, and Demar's legitimacy as a superstar nobody could have ever foreseen this team as the no.3 or 4 seed in the east to begin the season (in spite of the current tank-a-thon happening). As we know it all started with Masai pulling off twin coups unloading Bargniani and Gay's contracts freeing up a ton of cap space, adding roster depth, and providing future financial flexibility. Whether or not he intended to tank is irrelevant now because it ended up being a complete win/win situation for him and us. If we tanked then great, hopefully we'd pick up a top 5 and be in a position of flexibility next yr but instead we started winning which was also great because we started building a winning culture along with allowing our younger players (DD, JV, TR) more playing time to become seasoned. Regardless of how far we go into the playoffs this experience will be priceless for them and we'll still have that flexibility next year (although like everyone I'll be a little disappointed if we don't advance to the 2nd round). The bottom line is we really couldn't have asked for a better season, or to be in a better position going into next year. Thank you Masai!
However that brings me to my actual question, what will Masai do next year? Like the majority on here I believe that Lowry, Patterson, and (most probably) Vasquez will all be re-signed. After making these moves he will still have money to play with and again like the majority I feel that money should be used on signing a true backup center for JV (Is Zaza on the market?) along with signing a backup SG for DeRozan (maybe Salmons will re-sign for a reduced price or perhaps everyone's Vince Carter fantasy will finally come true). But If Masai does make these minor tweaks in the offseason I think it will be a great move in a less is more type of way. He allows the team nucleus to remain intact and to build off the success of the prior season but he also still retains a great mix of desirable players and expiring contracts to pull off a blockbuster at anytime if he so chooses. And if that doesn't happen prior to the trade deadline he'll have all of those expiring contracts in his back pocket to work with (Fields, Hayes, Johnson, Hansborough) which provides a lot of options. Here is where I'm stumped though, like the upcoming draft I don't know what position he'll go after or who he'll make a run at. IMO of all the starters that could be upgraded I'd go with Amir at PF, this makes sense for me because of his combined age, injury history, and contract status. Amir is the perfect backup if he were to re-sign at say 4-5mil per year but I believe plugging in a younger all-star at that position would take us to the top of the east where we could be competitive for years with our youth & talent.
Then I've also heard the KD conspiracies, that Masai is linked to him and will be trying to lure him here in 2016 by retaining Vasquez (his old alumni) and Vince Carter (his idol growing up). So maybe he does nothing major next year and just waits for his messiah to arrive, personally I love this theory but I'm not sure how much weight it holds. Anyone have thoughts on his future moves?