Predators Off-Season Recap
- By John Miernicki, Day 1, 2023
DALLAS - A quiet offseason in Dallas might not have been what the fans wanted, especially with a new GM at the helm. Adopting a conservative approach, the Predators did not make much noise during the off-season frenzy of activity. They selected two players during the draft and signed one free agent. Heading into year three, it seems clear the franchise has adopted a patient approach to team building.
Looking ahead to the 2023 season, here is a snapshot of the Predators.
PG: First round draft pick Keyon Butler will be trusted to run the offense in 2023. Barber, a 6’2” phenom from Louisville will be counted on to get things moving and liven up one of the league’s worst offenses. Predators management didn’t think he would last until the #9 pick. The team was thrilled to see him available once they were on the clock. Barber should be an upgrade at the point over last year’s starter, Jermaine Wade. Seth Knar was signed in free agency to be his backup. Any type of substantial minutes for Knar in 2023 likely means the Predators will have really good odds to secure the #1 overall draft pick in 2024.
SG: Speaking of Jermaine Wade, he will move over to shooting guard this season. Free from annoying responsibilities such as dribbling, sharing the ball with teammates, and running the offense, Wade is expected to just bomb away all season long. Wade averaged just over 25 points per game last season, team sources would not be shocked if he averages over 25 shots per game in 2023. Heath Bruton will move from starter to backup.
SF: A pair of 6’10” players will man the SF position. Kellen Chambers is the starter with Dakari Savage functioning as his backup. Chambers has started every game in Predators history. Savage, the Predators 2nd round pick in 2022, is tall.
PF: 7’0” Marquis Davis is the starter at PF. Some describe him as arrogant. He’s pretty much an offensive liability but offers some defensive skills. Robert Weekes is the backup. A six-year veteran, his role will be to collect rebounds and foul the opposition.
C: Deandre Stackhouse, a 7’1” C/PF will man the five spot. The Predators’ 2022 first round pick is frequently described as a workhorse. He put up decent numbers as a rookie (11.9ppg, 8.6 rpg), but will need to grow up quickly if the Predators hope to do anything this year. Somewhere along the way, the team will try to find some minutes for second round pick, Jackson Farrior. The 6’10” rookie will be spotted as a defensive specialist.
In 2022 the Predators won 25 games and finished last. In 2023 they will likely win around the same amount of games and still finish last. But with a young core of Barber, Stackhouse and Chambers, there are flashes of potential. The team has cap space available and isn’t too locked in with contracts, so there is flexibility to make moves throughout the season if the younger players gel quickly.