With the signing of Paul Milsap entirely up in the air for the next 48 hours, I’m going to base this off of the common assumption that the Jazz are going to match, then trade Boozer afterwards.
The more the Free Agents begin to fall around the NBA, the more I get convinced that there is not a player out there, who can be acquired for a reasonable price, who will make enough of a difference to justify using the Cap Space the Blazers have so meticulously created.
A look at the roster as is:
PG: Blake/Bayless- Blake is still a solid, if unspectacular, starter right now, but would anyone really be surprised if Jerryd is starting by the last part of the season? And once Bayless takes that role, is there anyone good enough to take it from him?
SG: Roy/Rudy/Martell- A point of interest is how Nate divides the minutes between Rudy and Martell, and also how Martell is used, is he a 2 or a 3 mainly? Either way, there is a lot of talent at this position, a strength.
SF: Batum/Travis/Martell- Another position ripe with talent and depth. The divide of playing time depends greatly on Batum’s development. If his development continues there may not be enough minutes to go around at the 3.
PF: LaMarcus/Pendergraph/Cunningham- LaMarcus is developing into a 4 as good as any in the league, but the depth here is really the only sticking point on the roster. Travis can play here in a small lineup but the rebounding usually suffers in that lineup.
C: Oden/Przybilla- There is only one worry about these guys. The I word. If they both stay healthy the 5 is solid.
That is 12 players, with room for a free agent or two to fill the roster, but not take a big role, but I tend to be more enamored with signings like the Sean May reclamation project. Low cost, low risk with a potentially high reward. Back up 4 is the only position that would be worth something like that, too much talent and depth elsewhere.
But that brings me to my point, is there really a free agent out there worth the cost? The Blazers are already too talented to waste their cap space just to make a move. Being one of the only teams with cap space could be a huge boon when the trade deadline comes. Might New Jersey want to give up Rafer Alston or Devin Harris for some cap relief and young talent if they’re out of contention come February? As many players as are untouchable now, there will be that many come available by the trade deadline. There are talented 1s and 4s on teams going nowhere that could be had for a price less than they’d command on the free agent market.
Now, all of this becomes moot and I look like a fool if the Jazz don’t match on Milsap, which solves the lack of depth at the 4, emphatically, and makes the Blazers solid enough to stand pat at the deadline.