I wanted to make sure that I waited and read all of the talk coming out of the Blake/Outlaw for Camby trade so I didn't post anything too redundant. But from what I've seen there is one thing that is really being underplayed here, and that by acquiring Camby the Blazers significantly boost their chances of making the Playoffs (not to mention competing when we get there) which will provide the Blazers the continuity of making the Playoffs again, and giving much-needed playoff experience to our young core.
It was a good trade for us - actually the perfect trade for us. We get the help inside that we've desperately needed since Oden and Pryz went down, without having to sign anyone long-term. When they were talking about Brendan Haywood I was a bit freaked because he would have demanded minutes, etc. next year, but it also is hard to let a younger guy with that kind of ability go. With Camby, at age 35, we get exactly what we needed for the rest of this season and playoffs, without any obligation past that, for 2 guys who had expiring contracts and were probably out the door at season's end anyway.
I like Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake as much as any other Blazer fan, but it just wasn't going to work out. Travis wanted to "get paid like outta this world", and while he's a good player and might get that cash elsewhere, the Blazers weren't going to pony up. We already have Nic Batum and Martell Webster at the 3, but to me it has been the emergence of Dante Cunningham that gave the Blazers the confidence to make this deal. His ability to defend/rebound/hit the mid-range J replicated a lot of what Travis can do. Dante isn't anywhere near as athletic or as good a shooter/scorer, but he's good enough at those other things to make Outlaw expendable. Blake has visibly lost a step, and while still a good shooter, we weren't going to re-up him for any kind of serious money when we have Rudy/Bayless/Miller already on the roster (and with us probably needing to find a younger 'Dre replacement in the next 1-2 years). So we really lost nothing in the end, and gained a shot at the playoffs this year and a chance to really compete when we get there.
Look, I don't think we should be under any illusions that Camby will resign with us in the offseason. I highly doubt that with Oden, Pryzbilla, Pendergraph, etc. back that we will be willing to pay $8M+ for a backup big man - I just don't see it happening, and that's if Camby actually wanted to re-sign here. And that's fine. What his being here gives us is the chance to get to the playoffs and really do something when we're there - which is really important for our team.
To start, the departure of Outlaw and Blake really gives our younger guys a boost in playing time and clears up our rotation a lot. Rudy and Bayless will definitely get more run in Blake's absence, and Batum and Webster will be more comfortable in their roles knowing that they are our 2 guys at the 3. But this is MOST IMPORTANT in the playoffs. I don't think Blazers management is expecting us to win the title this year, but you can't put enough value on the experience that actually being in the playoffs gives a team. Brandon Roy has eluded to that experience several times (from last year), and how it will make them better in the playoffs this year. I think the biggest fear of the Blazers brass is that by NOT making the playoffs this year we would actually take a step back in our end-goal pursuit if a title. If we're not frontrunners, we might as well get all of our young players another year of playoff experience, working in a 7-game series against tough competition, on the road, etc. All of that will only help us over the next few years as we chase the NBA title. And I think in the end, that was the real goal of this trade.
What do ya'll think BEdge?