Even as much as we've been (stupidly) winning, we're still in line to have the 6th or 7th most ping-pong balls; so I'm going to optimistically assume that we're still able to get a solid big man (Jared Sullinger) in the draft.....forget about free agents because we're not going to have any cap-space (even if we release CV or BG).....and I'm not even going to bother speculating about trades at this point. Starters: C: B. Wallace....................G. Monroe PF: R. Wallace....................*J. Sullinger* SF: T. Prince....................T. Prince SG: R. Hamilton....................R. Stuckey PG: C. Billups....................B. Knight Bench: C: E. Campbell....................J. Jerebko PF: M. Okur....................C. Villanueva SF: C. Williamson....................A. Daye SG: L. Hunter....................B. Gordon PG: M. James....................W. Bynum Reserves: D. Ham, D. Milicic....................B. Wallace, J. Maxiel, D. Wilkins, W. Russell, V. Macklin ***** Thoughts: Surprisingly close. Starters: B. Wallace v. G. Monroe. Overall, Ben was probably a better player in 04' than Greg is now. But Ben was very polished then, and Greg is still very raw. Greg's superior offensive abilities, and his decent defensive abilities almost cancel out Ben's unbelievable defensive skill, and his complete lack of offensive capabilities. It's not completely insane to imagine that a polished Greg Monroe could be a better overall player than Ben Wallace. R. Wallace v. *J. Sullinger*. Obviously, this is pure speculation. Sheed was one of the very best big men in the league in 04. Does Jared have that kind of potential? I certainly think so, but I'm in the very distinct minority there. Not much else that can be said here. T. Prince v. T. Prince. The Prince of '04 vs. the Prince of today? Honestly...not that much difference. Athleticism has never been much of his game. And polish has more or less made up length of tooth. Irregardless, Tay will probably need to be replaced before this team is ever ready for a real run...so unless Jonas or Daye really steps up...the 2013 1st rd. draft pick might be compared here. R. Hamilton v. R. Stuckey. Sort of similar to the Ben v. Greg comparision, but not as close. Rip was a far superior player in '04 to Rodney of today. But again, we're talking about a polished player v. a very raw player. Does Rodney have the potential to someday be as good as Rip? Maybe... C. Billups v. B. Knight. Again, sort of similar to the Ben v. Greg comparision, but again, not as close. Chauncey was a far superior player in '04 to Brandon of today. But yet again, we're talking about a polished player v. a very raw player. Does Brandon have the potential to someday be as good as Chauncey? Maybe... Bench: E. Campbell v. J. Jerebko. Not exactly the same kind of player, but filling (or at least should be) more or less the same role on the team. If you're asking me who I'd rather have, I'd tell you Jonas. M. Okur v. C. Villanueva. Really, very similar players. Very close. C. Williamson v. A. Daye. Corliss in '04 was much more polished than Daye of today. But Daye's certainly got at least that kind of potential. L. Hunter v. B. Gordon. Without hesitation, you'd rather have Ben G. M. James v. W. Bynum. More or less pretty similar players in terms of skill level. Reserves: D. Ham, D. Milicic, etc. v. B. Wallace, J. Maxiel, D. Wilkins, W. Russell, V. Macklin, etc. Who really cares about reserves? Either way, not a drastic difference in talent-level here. ***** Conclusion: Maybe Joe-D's not quite as scatter-brained as we've been suspecting. We're, in summation, talking about a very polished team v. a very raw team. But the potential to at least be as close to good is very apparently there. And the bench might even be better right now than it was back then. The development of G. Monroe, R. Stuckey, B. Knight, and (hypothetically) J. Sullinger is what will ultimately decide how far this team goes. If there's one "missing ingredient"...it's team attitude. That '04 squad was just about the hardest working squad basketball had ever seen. This current squad is very, very far from that. How do you acquire that kind of competitiveness? Good question. Part of it was having a group of very professional players, which comes with age to some extent. But the other side of it was simply a group of ultra-competitive players (led by B. Wallace). Will the current core ever have that? Not under of the leadership of Tayshaun Prince, I don't think. If there's one place to look for a replacement, that might be where it is.