(I originally posted this as a response in a game recap, but the laptop that I'm dealing with made it difficult to correct typos, etc. So I'm reposting it as a seperate thread.)
I don’t mean to pick on Travis, this speculation can be applied to any of the Blazers who aren’t part of the “core” (like Sergio, etc)
I like how Outlaw is willing to take big shots at the end of games. He is fearless and runs to the ball instead of away from it in late-game situations. OTOH, the mistakes he makes throughout the game have to be balanced against his late-game heroics. Missed defensive assignments, missed free throws, shot selection and lack of BBIQ could catch up with him and cost the Blazers playoff games.
If this happens, Pritchard will have to weigh the pluses and minuses during the off-season and come to a conclusion re: Outlaw’s fate.
Travis does not rebound like a power forward, but Nate gives him minutes at that position. Stronger players (like Lamar Odom) will exploit this matchup. Ideally, the Blazers need a backup to LMA who can bang, and this hypothetical new player will cut into Trout’s PF minutes, even as the return of Webster and the emergence of Batum take away PT at the 3. Do you see the (potential) endangered species that TO could become?
Roy and Travis are good friends. It would have been brutal for KP to deal #25 in February. A draft day trade would be "easier" on Brandon, as he would have all summer to prepare for “life without Trout” in the fall.
All of this speculation could swing the other way if Outlaw has a great playoff series or three. Travis could cement his standing in the Blazer rotation for the duration of their championship “run” with a good showing this April/May. But if he doesn’t “show” more on the court than he did last night, he could be a post-season “causality”--this is the NBA, nothing is guaranteed--I hope Travis plays like he understands this...