I was wondering this morning what this team would look like if no significant signings and/or trades are made. I know there is a lot of doom and gloom out there about how the offseason has gone, but I think the team actually looks pretty good.
Here's what I would do:
Smart, Brown, Nesmith, Tatum, Timelord
Pritchard, Richardson, Langford, Horford
Dunn, Parker, Williams
Initially I thought Horford would start (and I understand you don't wholesale swap out these guys, by starter and backup I'm really talking about who would play the most with each other), but looking at a starting lineup with Nesmith I felt like the second unit could use Horford's shooting and occasional post up more than the first unit. Timelord would provide enough spacing for JB and JT because of his lob threat, but all the other starters can shoot 3's so I don't really need that from Horford with that unit as much. Looking at the bench... I do need his spacing.
(Optimistic) word on the street about Richardson is that he struggled the last two seasons because he was miscast in a spot up shooter role. Well if that is the case, I'd be hesitant to put him next to JB and JT where he will likely spend a lot of time spotting up. I'd happily move his ballhandling to the second unit, where he would be playing next to Pritchard, who is a much better spot up shooter than Smart, and hopefully Horford as well.
Alternatively, if you're trying to start Richardson to have a killer defensive starting 5, I'd probably start Horford as well so the first unit has better shooting. In that case, it would be: Smart, Richardson, Brown, Tatum and Horford. I'm not particularly in favor of that since the shooting around JB and JT gets pretty rough. Smart and Richardson basically shot the same from 3 last year, about 3% worse than league average and Horford shot league average. I don't think you're swapping out Pritchard for Smart, but Nesmith for Richardson seems to me to keep enough shooting on the floor.
Essentially, I'm saying that Richardson should play most of his minutes with Pritchard and Smart should play most of his with Nesmith.
Also, looking at the second unit with Richardson and Langford, I see them both as slashers who aren't great shooters. I had thought that if the C's are looking for one taxpayer exception guy they'd want a PG. Now I'm thinking perhaps a SG/SF who can shoot. Problem is, everyone wants those. Looking at who is available... Danny Green? Maybe it would take a trade. Or there seems to be more PG depth, maybe you get a shooter there that you could potentially play alongside Pritchard or Smart if you needed extra shooting?