With our team in a state of flux right now where anything is possible I have been thinking about how to assemble a team if you were to start from scratch. I mostly mean what to do with positions 6 through 15. In the simplest terms starters need to be able to play and defend their position against the best in the NBA, they need to be more or less in the prime of their careers, and they need to fit together in a unit that plays a particular style that works for all of them. Given a cohesive starting five, what do you do with the other 7 to 10 players. I, like most posters here, tend to think of five reserves for five starters, even three deep at times, as if all these guys are going to play and have an impact in most games. But what is really the best number of players to get significant minutes? A little simple math tells me 5 players times 48 mins. equals 240 total mins. If you have 8 players you want on the floor as much as possible they could play 30 mins per game and use up all 240 mins. This tells me you want to pay players 9 through 15 as little as possible and concentrate as much salary cap as possible on the 8 guys who acually play, that would give the maximum amount of dollars on the floor at all times. Paying guys to sit on the bench is a waste of money, the NBA minimum salary is enough to get some vets, some rookies, and some free agents to fill out the empty seats. So, what kind of players would we want for positions 6, 7 and 8? Position 6 is a third guard who plays like a starter (think Vinnie Johnson), if any one of the three guards can switch between the 1 and 2 this can work. Position 7 is a third big and again only one needs to be able to switch between the 4 and 5 spots. If everyone averages 30 mins/game this covers 90 out of 96 total mins at guard and at C/PF. Position 8 I see as kind of a wild card, the third guard and third big need to fit in with the style of play of the starters for the most part so the team can maintain a consistent pace and flow. Player number 8 needs to be able to change the pace and flow of the game with some kind of unique personal talent, whether that is defense and hustle (Rodman), low post scoring (Corliss Williamson), three point shooting, or anything that can disrupt what the other team is doing when it is working. Ideally, player number 8 would be a back up SF but he could play any position depending on the ability of other players to shift around enough to cover the SF position. Position 9 is a fourth guard who doesn't have to play much but is reliable. Position 10 is a fourth big, ditto. This leaves a third point guard, a third center, and a backup at SF for positions 11 and 12, whichever two are most needed. Positions 13, 14 and 15 are either young players who will be better next year or placefillers with useful contracts as bargaining chips, they are not going to play at all. I realize there is probably some kind of standard structure that all real GM's follow but I don't know what that is, I'm just making this up. Any comments?