There seems to be a division among those who think a trade is needed to thin out the ranks in the backcourt while adding a center and those that dislike the idea of an in-season trade. Antonio Harvey on the post-game show ( I also heard him say the same thing earlier in the day) was ranting that the only teams that make in-season moves are bad teams and championship contenders... and we're neither. Antonio is a likeable guy, but I think he's dead wrong here. If we assume, however, that he is correct in his belief that we are a good team, but not a title contender this year... then you have to re-assess what are your goals are for this year??? What should the goals be???
1) Develop the young guys - Is that what we're doing? Does anybody believe that Jerryd isn't headed to 3rd on the PG depth chart unless a trade is made? If Jerryd takes some of Rudy's minutes at the backup 2... aren't we trying to develop Rudy's NBA game at his natural position also? DC and Pendy are getting some floor time to develop, but are arguably not a big key in the Blazers move from "good team" to "title contender". Martell is developing really nice right now and Nic will be back soon. Continued development of Jerryd, Rudy, Martell, Nic and to some degree LaMarcus should be a big goal. Anything DC and Pendy give us is gravy.
2) Make the Playoffs and try to position yourself to get out of the first round of the playoffs - It seems like we can make the playoffs standing pat. We've played well enough since Przy went down to feel confident. At the same time, we look ill prepared without a center to win in the playoffs. Will Juwan hold up for 41 more games and post-season? Plus, there are some teams making a hard push for our playoff spot right now (OKC, Memphis, NO). It wouldn't take much of a drop off to find ourselves on the outside looking in. I'd like our goal to be getting deeper into the playoffs, despite our injury issues. That experience is key for going from "good" to "title contender".
3) Don't trade key players for the future to get marginally better this year - Remember Antonio's assumption we're not a title contender this year, but KP should look hard into the future. If there are players on this team that are not part of our future and have trade value, we should look to move them if it helps us.
So if these are the goals (and I say the should be) this is a trade proposal to achieve those goals. I want to come clean that I didn't come up with this trade on my own. This was suggested by a moderator on a different site (maybe someone has suggested it here and I've missed it). I give him credit anonymously (I don't want to plug another site on BE). I think it's the best suggested trade I've seen. It's a 3 team trade and those never seem to happen but I think this would benefit all 3 teams...
1) Portland trades Outlaw to Memphis for Denver's pick and a 2nd round pick
that gives portland about 5 million in cap-space.
2) The Blazers then send Blake & Mills + Denver's pick + the 2nd to Washington for Haywood, Oberto, and Crittenton. Portland would simply cut Crittenton before he left DC.
This would give the Wizards and extra 1st, an extra 2nd, a young prospect, a PG replacement (will Arenas play there again?) on an expiring contract, and save them 10 million this season in salary and tax. It would also be a first step for the Wizards in 'cleaning house' as they would have traded Crittenton and got rid of his salary.
Why for Portland? Outlaw is expiring, expendable and may not be in the long-term plans. Yes he's our backup 4, but it doesn't seem many love him in that role. It has also been suggested that Batum and/or Martell could fill that stretch 4 role. I know Outlaw has never rebounded like we've seen Martell do over the last few games. I just don't see him being resigned in Portland. Blake is expiring, expendable and moving him gives Jerryd an opportunity to develop. If our GM sees Jerryd as the future starting PG, we have to let him play. We actually get 2 big bodies in this move which could help us cope with possible future injuries or foul trouble. We could resign Haywood or let him walk.
Why for Memphis? It seems their GM has liked Outlaw for a long time. It is very unlikely they find a better talent late in the 1st round than Outlaw. They are making a playoff push for this season and Outlaw should be healthy for a stretch run. I think Memphis is the team in this deal that may find something better. There are many teams looking to shed salaries and not many teams able to absorp them. They also may not want to help the Blazers. Could be a little bad blood still over the D Miles episode and we could be one of the teams they are hoping to leapfrog to reach the playoffs.
Why for Washington? They are needing to start over. Way over the cap and in complete chaos. They are not going to get young talent IMO for Haywood. Serviceable veteran (EC), cheap young prospect, picks and $10M in salary relief seems like it may be the best offer they get. It seems they would like to dump an ugly contract with Haywood, but I don't think there are many takers for ugly contracts right now.
What do you all think? Are Blake and/or Outlaw in the long-term Blazer plans? If not, does Haywood and a thinned out PG rotation give us a better chance to achieve our goals this season?