‘Zers interested in Salmons

 Interesting rumor floating around Salmons.  Haven’t seen him play much – he is in the midst of a career year putting up good numbers this year on a bad team.  Looking at this year’s stats, he certainly would fit in well with the Blazers.

 According to Hollinger’s scouting report, Salmons is an athletic, versatile 6’7” wing player who can defend multiple positions well and is a slasher offensively. 

 From what I’ve seen from his stats, his offensive game has flourished this year.  He gets to the line at a good clip and his shooting a respectable 48% from the field and 42% from three-point range.  In comparison to another wing player the Blazers had strong interest in at one point, Danny Granger is shooting 44% from the field and 40% from three-point range, although he gets to the line at a better clip.  Salmons also turns the ball over a lesser rate than Granger.

With regards to fitting in with the Blazers, he has the ability to start right away at the SF position.  He is a better all around player right now at the 3 spot compared to Webster, Batum, or Outlaw.  More polished offensively (slasher with the ability to hit the 3 ball) and with his defensive prowess, he would be give the Blazers a nice lift.  He gives the Blazers another athlete along with Roy and Batum that we could throw at Kobe and Manu.  At the end of games when we need a defensive stop, we could slide Roy to PG, and put Batum and Salmons in the game to defend the wings.  And offensively, outside of Roy and the little used Bayless, he is the only player that will consistently take it to the hole and draw contact.

Sounds good so far…

 Now comes the negative side. 

-Playing time for Webster and Batum will be tough, and I certainly would like to see these guys get more experience

-His numbers suggest that he is having a big year on a bad team, which brings about questions of how truly effective he would be on a good team with other good players around him (ala Donyell Marshall with the Warriors– somebody has to score points and put up stats on a bad team right?).  In all fairness, his percentages are pretty good offensively, so this may not be a big issue.

-While he has improved year over year throughout his career which is good to see, he has not played at a consistently high level for very long.

The big question is if he is a good cultural fit.  From Chad Ford of ESPN:

“Despite his talent, he's never really been known as a chemistry guy in either Philadelphia or Sacramento. His versatility, defense and ability to handle the ball have attracted a number of suitors. But buyers beware -- this guy has to start. Take him out of the starting lineup, and his numbers drop and his pouting increases.”

Portland has come such a long ways from a cultural and chemistry standpoint, and with such a young team starting to gel together, I think it would be hard to justify bringing over a talented player if there is any truth to Chad Ford’s report.

Sound off fans…yay or nay on John Salmons?

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