I admit, I was kind of disappointed that there was no big trade before the deadline. I had visions of Jefferson and Bosh dancing in my head. I also have the luxury of living in Japan, so I went to sleep when nothing could happen (6 am Portland time) and woke up well after the deadline. Things were quite a bit different for the people hitting the refresh button at whatever site or post you were looking at every 30 seconds. After thinking about the situation I came across some things that made me feel a bit better. Here are a few things that can help you get through the lingering effects of your trade machine overdose.
1. I think the thing that people absolutely must remember is that we weren't going to get anyone that would win us a title this season. Brandon Roy and Greg Oden (and with dissenting opinion LMA) are the foundation to our championship team. They have their faults and critics, but they are our best shot at a title, better than anything out there that we could have reasonably gotten. We have constructed a young team built around those guys. Someone who is peaking now and sinking out of the picture isn't an ideal fit, nor is someone who will only be around for a year or two before they would have wanted more money than we could have paid them. That's what most of the deals seemed to be about. We need someone good and still on their way up. Our window is not yet closed on making a serious move, but had we gotten the wrong guy, it would have been.
2. The media is good at stirring us up. A few months ago a lot more people were on board with the idea that we are coming along fine, and that we didn't really need to make a big change. I know things are a little different, but how different are they really? I know that there have been some sparks from people that we would like to see more of, and some things that we aren't fond of in other players. The players on different teams have their faults as well, and we don't look at them as thoroughly as we do our own guys every game. There were drawbacks to every trade, and if you look at them long enough, I bet you can figure them out.
3. Experience playing and training together means something. Every year there are teams that try and put something together at the deadline to bring a championship to the city. How often does that work out? Having someone who looks good on paper is a lot different than having someone who knows their role on the team and what to expect from the other players, and that same understanding from the others about them as well. I hear it all too often when teams do something that seems good, then they comment that they need more time together to really get to know one another after they fall short of expectations. Any move made, barring a slam dunk deal, would have probably cost us a few months of inconsistent play to smooth out the bumps.
4. We don't know what was actually on the table. As a Blazer fan, you often over value your own players. Everyone does, especially with the ones they like. Why is another team any different? You think you like Wallace? Imagine how much they do too over in Charlotte. On top of that, there is the buy low sell high strategy that always works better for the sellers. People knew the exact cost of RLEC. What we don't know is the future of what they were offering AND the future of the pieces that they wanted. Right now some things may have seemed like a steal, but in the future it could likely turn out to be a big mistake. I know there are struggling owners who would have loved to reduce payroll, but giving up on good investments simply to cut costs is not a sound business plan. RLEC was a big chip, but not something that someone was going to go all-in for like some people thought.
5. We still have options. Granted, we had more options prior to the deadline, but that doesn't necessarily mean we had better options than what we could get by waiting. The Ruffin move allowed us more flexibility come this summer. I am willing to bet that the organization had a few plans, as well as the cost that they were willing to pay for those plans, going into the deadline, and that those criteria weren't met. I give them credit for holding their ground rather than jumping the gun and putting themselves in a hole, especially in this pressure cooker type situation. We've had plenty of that around here, and I don't need to see it any more. Moreover, I would bet that they have at least two fairly solid plans for this summer that are better than anything they dug up these last couple of weeks. That could sure help someone under pressure stick to their guns.
All in all, I still trust that KP and TP did everything they could while keeping the best interests of the team at heart.