The Future of Each Player, and the coach

As we get into a time when trade talk seems to heat up every player on the Blazers has a certain role to play.


We will start with Luke Babbitt, the 1st round pick for the Blazers last year hasn't lived up to his hype in the NBA, mainly due to his lack luster defense. While being sent to the D-league he has performed well, but still hasn't shown he can play good defense. It is safe to say Luke could be thrown as a filler in a deal to make the numbers match, however other teams probably wouldn't want him. He will stay through this season, and probably next season, but after that it remains to be seen.

Elliot Williams also was seen to be a high flier aggressive player taken in the second round, yet a season ending injury is cause for concern, and more than likely he will stay with the Blazers this season, as teams don't like to acquire an injured player.

Armon Johnson has been the best player from last years draft, as his aggressive Defense and good shooting ability has earned him some minutes, the blazers are very high on him for the future, as he learns to not turn the ball over as much and become a smarter player. More than likely he will be with the Blazers a couple seasons for sure, and after that it hinges on how improved he becomes as a point guard.

Sean Marks, will probably stay with the team this year and then get let go.

Patty Mills is outplaying his contract with his inspired play with smart passing and above average Defense and his smart shots. His playing has become more controlled and because of that he has had fewer turnovers. It is likely at this point, if he continues his strong play that he will stay with the blazers next season, unless another team really wants him. 

Dante Cunningham is a player that has a good mid range shooter, and is a smart player that wont hurt you on offense. His defense isn't that great, mainly because he is small for his position, and because of that he will never be a starter in the league. If he wants more money he is expendable, however he is a nice player to have off the bench, but he will never score you a lot of points. He could easily be gone once is contract ends, but only if the Blazers have someone to replace him with.

Rudy Fernandez is an interesting case. He excels in the open floor and doesn't know how to play with slow pace basketball. Offensively he well rounded, and exceptional at threes. However he has expressed his desire to leave, mainly because he doesn't fit the style of play. If his value gets high enough he could be traded, but the Blazers want a top 10 pick for him. Rudy could break out and could get that value in return, or he could stay with the Blazers. His status is up in the air, and is contingent on his play and the value the Blazers can get for in return.

 Batum was once thought to be invaluable, his long wingspan and his exceptional defense was something that couldn't be taught, but he has sense then checked himself mentally out of games and the starting lineup. If Batum could get a stronger mentality he could be great, but he could easily be someone who is traded this season. His play most of this season has left little to be desired, but keep in mind he is only 22, and the Blazers are hoping he will improve, as are other teams. He could potentially be one player that wont be in a Blazers uniform by the end of this season.

Joel Przybilla who started this season injured is slowly coming back to form. He so far has been a shell of himself though, as his shot blocking and rebound has virtually been non existent because he doesnt have the movement that once had. His expiring contract however is something of great value and can be of great use to teams finding themselves wanting to shed some money. Joel most likely will be traded this season, especially if we get a Center in return.

Brandon Roy, was once thought as untradable, however his injury concerns, as well as his lack of leadership and cohesiveness with Andre Miller has left little to be desired. He can still shoot, but he isn't the teammate he once was. He is a liability on defense as he drags his left leg around. From the look of it, it doesnt seem like he will get much better with time. There isn't anything to operate on and his attitude has only gotten worse because of it. The problem is that his contract is huge, as in 82 million dollars huge. However other teams may take a shot at him as trades to swap large contracts hoping Roy will improve. I think he is more likely to be traded than Miller, but his contract makes it hard to do so. If he stays with the blazers  though, he should be regulated to the Bench unless his condition improves.

Greg Oden, the player the blazers hinged their playoffs on, has to this point become a bust. While on the court he has been dominate, it is getting him on the court that has been the problem. Other teams may offer him a contract, but few teams would want to offer him a contract above our qualifying offer. He could likely be with a team that would take a flier on him, but from what Larry Miller said it seems they will probably offer him a one year qualifying offer (8.6 mil) with a second year team option. I think it would be nice to hand Oden over to another team, but i think the blazers are out to prove he can still play and may try to keep him. I see him in a Blazers uniform, unless someone offers more,  which i feel is doubtful 

Andre Miller has been floated has trade bait, but only in order to get a point guard in return. He and Joel could easily be paired for Gortat and Nelson in orlando, or Mo and Varejo in Cleveland. The deal would have to be right to get rid of him, and i dont think that deal will exist. Miller has been the most invaluable player to the blazers just because he hasnt been injured. I dont think he will leave this season unless they get a PG in return.

Wesley Matthews might as well be the next Brandon Roy. He will probably take over Roy's spot when Roy gets benched or traded, however there is no way Matthews gets traded unless he gets injured. Couple that with Matthews contract (it is front loaded) and it is the best signing the Blazers have made in years. 

Marcus Camby has been another invaluable player on this team that the blazers wouldn't know what to do without. Even though he is 37 he is still an amazing rebound, a good passer, and holds the Blazers interior together. He will more than likely end his career in a Blazers uniform unless a trade comes along the Blazers pass up. Even if he becomes the back up later down the road, he is a Blazer they cant afford to lose.

Lamarcus Aldrige is the safest person on this list. He has improved his defense this season, he has improved his interior shot and has become the #1 scorer in Roy's absence. His contract is just getting started and there are few Power Forwards in this league that play to his level. Barring a decline, or injury Aldrige will probably be a blazer the rest of his contract.

Nate McMillian is a different story. Some players dont like his half court style of coaching, and i tend to agree it doesnt fit the style of the players talents, but more of that of Dallas. The players have a hard time adjusting to it. Nate however has dealt very well though the face of adversity, and being able to adapt to different rotations. However alot of pressure is on him to get to the playoffs. this year however i think the organization realizes that it is out of nate's hands. Injuries to Roy and Oden have derailed this season, as well as front office moves, and getting rid of the Bench, (Martel, Bayless). Nate could become the scapegoat, but more than likely, in reality the blazers will probably give him a new contract, mainly because there isnt any other coaches to hire. 

From this we can deduce that Joel, Miller, Rudy, and Roy are the most likely to be traded ( in that order) and that Nate might find himself without a Job but it is unlikely.

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