Why would you trade a guy you already have, who fits great with the Blazers, for a guy who is practically the same player, at twice the salary? Kirk's numbers when he was a starter were about the same as Blake's this year. This was Blake first year as a full time starter, because while Hinrich went to an awful Bulls team and got to start right out of college, Blake was stuck behind star Gilbert Arenas at the start of his career. Blake will surpass Hinrich's numbers easily when the Blazers gat an inside game, just like he dropped 11 dimes on Kirks Jayhawks, and got the amazing defender Kirk to foul out with only 5 assists, when they met in the Final Four. Blake went on to win the NCAA Championship, while Kirk's coach Roy Williams cried like a baby on National TV. The next year, the Jayhawks made it to the finals, and got trounced by Freshman Carmello Anthony.
All the knocks on Blake are BS, from people who don't know the game. I've even heard a few people say we don't have an inside game because of him, or we don't ever get fast breaks because of him. Unfortunately one of the problems with Portland basketball fans is their lack of knowlege about the college game. It's an NBA town. Their are no other pro sports, and no major college programs in the area. Well, maybe you think Hinrich is so great because you watched his team destroy the Ducks in the Elite Eight, and stopped watching before seeing the Jayhawks destroyed by Blake's Terps in the Final Four. Anyhow, The Terps were THE running team of college basketball, and THE tough inside team as well. They went to the Final Four two years in a row, and they had something the Blazers don't. Big guys who cut to the hoop, and could catch the ball and finish. They also had lots of guys who got out on the break and ran the floor. Notice how when Lamarcus started running the floor toward the end of the season we started blowing out teams like the Spurs, Lakers and Nuggets. Blake is a great long passer as we've seen, when he has someone to pass to, but he smartly pulls up for a half court set rather than turn it over, when no one flashes to the basket. When Oden learns to catch the ball and convert, Blake will average 8 assists at least.
Then people say Blake can't play defense. It's called a pick guys. Most teams run it like every play, because it works, like almost every play. You have a big guy slide up behind, and stand in the way of the little guy playing defense on the other little guy with the ball, and he runs into the big guy when the little guy with the ball cuts past him too close for the little defensive guy to get between them. On teams, who play better defense than the Blazers, one of the big guys in the middle of the defensive team steps out on the other side of the pick to deny penetration, and buy the moment his teammate needs to fight around the pick. The Blazers choose to play matador defense in the paint instead. All point guards including Hinrich, Chris Paul etc get screened off on picks. It's Basketball 101 guys. The rules make it an offensive game. Blake is actually a tenacious defender, but he doesn't get much help. He gets beaten sometimes just like Hinrich or any player. He has trouble stopping taller players from shooting over him, when he gets stuck with a mismatch, just like most players. To say Hinrich is a much better defender is a real exageration. I think it might be more acurate to say he plays on a team that plays better team defense, but most teams in the NBA play better team D than the Blazers.
Blake hasn't been given the chance to run a team for a few years the way Hinrich has, because he didn't go to a lottery team. If he gets the same chance Hinrich did with the Bulls, he will help his team win it all, somthing Hinrich failed to do in the NCAA, but Blake succedded with. A winner is a winner. Blazer fans don't know what they have with Steve Blake, let's hope KP does.