In the wake of the Zach to NY trade, I've read a LOT of bitter complaints on this site about the low quality of player that your Blazers got in return for a 20/10 almost all-star.
Since the consensus here is that Francis will never play a minute in a Blazers uni, the trade (as of this point) essentially boils down to Zach for Channing Frye. The recognition of this fact has led many posters to this site to bash Frye, disparaging him as little more than a "mediocre bench player."
While it's certainly likely that Frye will find himself in a bench role here in Portland, I thnk the excessive bashing of him on this site is more than a little absurd. As I noted in yesterday's Zach Trade thread, in a post entitled A Knick Fan's Perspective, Frye was highly regarded during his rookie season and was considered by Knick Brass to be "untouchable."
But things around here start getting really, really silly when many of those same Frye-bashers lavish their uncritical praise on LaMarcus Aldridge. Umm, people: Aldridge has played one season in the NBA. Yes, it was a good one. And yes, he showed a lot of promise, offering high hopes for the future. Kind of like... oh.... Channing Frye following his own strong rookie year!
Think I'm tripping? Check out each player's rookie year stats:
Mins Pts Rebs Ast Stl Blk TOs FG%
Aldridge 22.1 9.0 5.0 0.4 0.4 1.2 .68 .503
Frye 24.2 12.3 5.8 0.8 0.5 0.7 1.5 .477
Now, based on that comparison of their respective rookie seasons, how can anyone in their right mind anoint one player a superstar-in-the-making and the other one a lowly scrub? (And, remember: LaMarcus got to put up his numbers without enduring a season's worth of sick & twisted mind games from Larry Brown)
I personally believe that of the two, Aldridge will have the better NBA career. However, Pritchard obviously saw that in the right situation, there is not much separation between the two and that Frye would be a more than capable replacement for Aldridge in the event of injury.
Look at it this way: If you're excited about the prospect of LaMarcus replacing Zach as Portland's starting power forward, you don't really have much call to be disappointed in the player that Zach was traded for.