In some ways this is probably futile in the sense that Halifax probably already has come to terms with most of the players it wants and simply haven’t announced them yet. But it’s also safe to assume that players won’t show up or will find better deals elsewhere. The lack of news regarding Eric makes this even more of an issue.
Halifax actually signed one player I suggested, just days after I made the post. That’s not to say that I caused it (I almost certainly didn’t), but it is fun to speculate and guess. So I bring you our second installment, and depending on how quickly the Rainmen announce players and how quickly I write my final papers for the semester, this is likely the last installment. If you were following the comments in the thread about KD, you can probably guess who I want the Rainmen to sign.
Tommy Mitchell, along with ABA MVP Anthony Anderson, were the preeminent gunners in the flying circus last year, but the guy also brings other tools to the table. So aside from his scoring, which Halifax already has plenty of, why do I want him in a Rainmen Jersey? Let’s make this simple: if you were to look at what the team needs and make a checklist out of it Mitchell would check off almost all of those needs.
- Starting calibre off guard? Check. ABA all-star and prolific scorer.
- Slasher? Check. Probably the best slasher that Halifax faced last year, Mitchell has a quick fast step, AND1 calibre cross over, and he’s fearless when it comes to take it to the hole. Halifax spent almost all of the season looking for a guard who can drive to the hoop and pick up fouls and force defenses to collapse – well here is one of the best in the minor leagues and he’s still unsigned as far as I can tell.
- First banana? Check. Halifax has a lot of very good players on the team, but no one who is a go to, bonafide minor league super star. Sanders, Jeanty and Silverhorn are all great players – but they’re all second bananas. Mitchell would give the Rainmen a straight up, legitimate alpha dog.
- NCAA Div. 1 Pedigree? Check. 4 years at Siena where he was a key player. After winning the Metro-Atlantic Conferece, they made the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his freshmen year, losing in the second round to #1 seed Maryland.
- Lock down defender? Check. He has the speed to guard elite point guards, and at 6’3 he can handle most minor league shooting guards. He drew lots of tough assignments in college and I’d trust him to do it over anyone currently on the roster.
- Clutch? Check. Dude put up 50 points in Montreal’s play off game against the Millrats. If the game is tied with 12 seconds left, I trust him to take that last shot, and if he’s doubled I trust him to dish it to a wide open jump shooter. He raised his game against teams like Manchester last year, and has tournament experience.
- Provide Spot Minutes at the Point? If one of the two PG on the roster goes down then I feel totally comfortable letting Mitchell run the show for 10-15 minutes a game. He has a serious handle and the speed to guard opposing PGs. His ball handling skills and speed also help the team on the fast break and could give Halifax a chance against teams throwing the full court press at them.
- Public face of the Rainmen? Check. The guy is super driven and seems sincerely nice in his youtube videos. Fans love a guy who is friendly and has highlight real skills, Mitchell seems to bring both to the table. He’s a good looking guy who can sing some R&B – the ladies will lose their minds over him. He’s a quality player who has a very exciting style to him on the court.
Does he have some flaws? Of course he does. He’s a streaky shooter who can have off games and he can take way too many shots – but with a strong supporting cast, like the Rainmen have assembled, he won’t have the same sort of pressure on him which should relieve some of these problems. He’s also still convinced he can make the NBA, and being the leader of a team that wins the PBL championship should at least get him a D-League or Euroleague look, so if he can put the team before himself he can try to make the jumpt to the next level.
I love Eric, but if Andre called me and said I could pick one of those two guys to play on the team I would reluctantly pick Tommy Mitchell – I honestly think Halifax would be in the running for a championship with him on the team. Put both of them on the team and I think the team would be pretty spectacular if everything clicked – though it may be to many scorers.
If Eric isn’t re-signed but they managed to get Mitchell then you’d be looking at a starting line up of:
- C – McNeal. 7′ defensive specialist who has a back to the basket game and can grab boards.
- PF – Sanders. Athletic scorer and rebounder who has a mean streak.
- SF – Silverhorn. 6’6″ lights out shooter and token white dude.
- SG – Mitchell. Slasher and go to scorer who wants to defend the best player on the other team.
- PG – Hammack. Experienced D1 PG who is a utility guy who will knock down shots and run the team’s offense properly.
- First big off the bench – Bailey. Physical rebounder and garbage scorer who likes to mix it up down low.
- First swing man off the bench – Jeanty. An ABA all-star who averaged 22ppg last year and can score in a variety of ways and provide solid rebounding, defending and ball handling. He can potentially play the 2, 3 or 4 if need be. Imagine him providing a spark plug off the bench – he’d run other team’s second units ragged and there is definately 30 mpg of playing time at the three spots where he can potentially play.
- Back up PG – Twyman. Experienced and versatile he can play either guard spot and gives you another high quality shooter and ball handler.
You can’t tell me that that wouldn’t be the ideal line up. I’d take that team against any team I’ve seen assembled so far in the ABA, CBA or PBL this season. It’s a dream come true. C’mon Levingston – you took KD away from us, now bring us Tommy Mitchell. A winning season will fill the seats.
Now if Halifax could just kidnap Will Voigt…