The Downside of reaching your Upside?

    Is it too early for me to start obssesing about "problems" that might develop from The Blazers success? Is this just an interaction between Prilosec and daytime cold medicine? Yes probably but humor me a little if you would...

   Batum, Webster, Outlaw, Fernandez-Miller, Blake, Bayless and Patty Mills...not to mention Pendergraph and Cuningham. On another continent, Claver, Freeland and Kopponen. It has been discussed and debated the concept that The Blazers need to make the fabled Consolidating Trade.

   That's such a difficult thing. Do you give away multiple starting quality players for singular bench/role players? Do you trade great talent for equal great talent thus not solving the roster depth problem you assumingly are trying to address? Then it becomes an exercise in simply changing the names and the people in the uniforms.

   Once upon a time this franchise was burned by trading a young Jermaine O'Neal away right before he blossomed into an All-Star. Since then, we've held onto young potential like everyone putting on a Blazers jersey was automatically headed towards greatness.  For example, I think the best time to of traded Sergio Rodriguez would of been after his rookie year. Rumor had it many, many teams were highly interested. We kept him and all it caused was chemistry problems and a slow decline of Sergios value.  But that's fine. That's okay. It happens. When you are dealing with young players and potential you have the Jermaine O' Neals, and the Sergio Rodriguez's and everything inbetween, and I don't think The Blazers have been any better or worse in handling these decisions than most teams.  Create any revisionist history you would like where The Blazers keep a Jermaine O' Neal and he blossoms here in Portland, but who can really say our present would be any better or worse, or even the time period inwhich it happened would of been much better or worse? Go back through the mists of time and imagine a Blazer team that keeps a Walton and a Moses Malone? Waltons foot goes south? Hmm Lucas and Moses sounds like a viably championship core to me.

   But sorry, I've gotten off track. My point being to those thinking we NEED a consolidating trade I ask you what if we are succesful from now through most of this season? Are we going to be petrified with the idea that we might make a move and destroy the chemistry? Is it going to be the conservative, if it isn't broke don't fix it approach? I'm really afraid that might be the case. If McMillan and Brandon can get this team to buy into the concept of T.E.A.M. , together everyone achieves more....then if we are succesful, it's going to be hard for KP to pull the trigger on any consolidating trade, or any trade.

   So you are stuck. What are you in it for? Success is success.  Could the real problem become the team buying into the team concept better than some of the fans buy into the team concept? Could we become so nervous or conservative about our team that we never ice the cake?

   The Blazers seem to have excellent scouting and talent evaluators. But conversely I think The Blazers also have great confidence in the players we obtain, and that's good and bad.  The Blazers sign players based on unseen or unreached potential, in the case of Batum, great. In the cases of Pendergraph and Patty Mills? Who knows? But it becomes difficult for a franchise to make a trade when every asset it obtains get's filed under "Potential Future All-Star or at least Starter".  Maybe it's not suprising that fans do this, but what is a little suprising is it seems the franchise itself does this as well.

   I'm forgiving, I'd rather error on the conservative side, but IMO we held onto Sergio for about a season too long. I have grown to hate the analogy, but it works so often. KP has shown that he was bold and skilled and maybe a little lucky in putting together the ingredients for The Blazer Cake.  As this team evolves and progresses, the icing becomes more and more important.  Do we need a certain cutthroat boldness eventually? Is KP willing to trade good maybe even potentially great players at some point? Or are we too afraid of losing a Fernandez and seeing him on another teams highlight reels? Or trading a Webster and seeing him blossom as a starter for someone else? Or a Batum becoming a future All-Star but not for The Blazers.

   Or are those that demand a consolidating trade just totally wrong? Can we keep all the talent we have, and can we take that talent to the Championship level? Can The Blazers talent continue to be like a "Whack a Mole" game? Where you never know who's going to pop up on any given night and give The Blazers a lift to a win?  

   I kind of think eventually things settle down. I think eventually The Blazers need to make some decisions about our depth. PLEASE NOTE: I'm not even saying this needs to happen this season. But someday I fully expect to hear about the departure of a Blazer I like, a Blazer I think might have a great  career but now for another team.  That could be the downside of reaching your upside.

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