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Check the action, KP. The cards will come.



To make a poker comparison, I think that with our recent attempt and failure to reel in Turkoglu, what we have essentially done is make a big pre-flop bet on a high suited connector, and been called and now it's time to see a flop, and check blind.

I am not one who believes that we have a huge need at SF, at all.

P1

via i.a.cnn.net



In Batum, we have a young defensively talented prospect, that we all seem to agree will improve by some factor for the next few years. This is a kid that beat out a veteran for a roster spot in training cap last year, and then earned a starting (if not primary) SF role via work ethic and desire.

Travis_outlaw_6th_man_medium

via www.all-nba-all-basketball.com


In Travis we have a 6th man of the year candidate and a guy who creates his own shot and rises to the occasion in crunch time. You can no more write him off based on one years playoff performance than you can anoint him the next Robert Horry based on a few big time game winning shots. He is Travis Outlaw, and he has value, whether it be to us or another team... More on that in a bit.

Act_martell_webster_medium

via www.nba.com


In Martell, we have a guy that was the clear cut starter last year until he was injured. I feel like there are a lot of folks in the BE community that have forgotten how much he was showing us at the end of the 07-08 season, and how coach-able and in line with our culture this kid is. He needed to add muscle, and did, he needed to work on his defense, and did, and he needed to be more aggressive going to the hoop, and did. Watch this as a trip down memory lane for where we left off with Marty.

One of these three guys will be our starting SF for many years to come. I believe that this is a position on the floor where we have room to sit tight and evaluate one more year, due to the depth at 3 (remember, Brandon can slide in here, as well) on our roster and the strength of roster at other positions. I still contend that we dodged a bullet with Hedo heading for Toronto, as we eventually would have lost 2 of these 3 guys by signing Hedo. I think a lot of us are relieved.

My primary point is that the dwindling list of truly available FA's just isn't worth tweaking the chemistry of a team that exceeded most everyone's expectations in a year that saw three rookies garner significant playing time, and a fourth stuck in a logjam at PG until the recent release of Sergio. At most we need to get a capable, inexpensive veteran PG to fill a gap between Blake's experience and Bayless' potential, and a role playing. backup PF.

At PG, I am thinking Lindsey Hunter, Tyronn Lue, and Bobby Jackson types, and at PF, I think McDyess or Bass would be a good fit. It's not that I think that any of the players I mentioned are incredible players, so much as I think they fill a need. The ONLY exception to my way of thinking here is if somehow we can get the attention of Lamar Odom, in which case we overpay him to play in our wee little market, and then fire up the trade wagon, and move either Outlaw or Webster for a PG that fits, or package one of them with Blake for an upgrade.

I see moves for Hinrich, Kidd or Miller as potentially lateral or worse especially if we overpay. We nailed the 4 seed this year, and i am not so sure that Artest to LA, or Jefferson to SA is going to improve those teams as much as experience and cohesiveness will improve our Blazers.

Stand pat, KP, and just fill in the holes. One year is too short of a time to start over-tweaking this thing. We should know a thing or two about Martell and Bayless by the trade deadline, and be able to make a more informed and constructive trade. Outlaw's value has staying power, because regardless of whether or not one appreciates his skill set, he does a few things very well, and has done so for long enough to be considered a proven commodity.

Even if we stand pat in Feb, don't make a deep playoff run and decide we do need to fidget, the FA market will be much better next year, but I have a feeling this group will surprise us again, if we let them.

Added late: Many are pointing out that the cap space is now or never, which is true. I guess my point is to be wary of subtraction by addition, and losing the interest of players that are currently happy with their roles, but might not be if a player (like Turk) is added to the team. Again, of the available SF's, Odom and ONLY Odom is worth the shuffle to me at this point. Not having cap space does not render us completely leverage-less.

As for the PG spot, I say lets let Bayless get his 20 mpg for a while before we go and tinker too much. And no matter what you do, DO NOT bring Andre Miller over here, please!

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