FanPost

No rental

I confess to not understanding at all the perspective (put forth mainly by Dave in a couple post-trade posts) that Camby won't likely be around next year because all the minutes that he would get will go to Greg and Joel.   Let me just quickly outline the reasons that I don't see this as completely obvious.  (Polite way of saying I disagree.)  

First, Marcus Camby, unlike Greg or Joel, can play either the 4 or 5.  So if we expect LaMarcus to play around 35 minutes per game (which would be much preferable to the 42 minutes or whatever we're expecting him to play now), then we would expect that Camby would get some burn at the 4 with the other big fellas.  If we track Oden at between 20 and 25 minutes per game (which he got this year before the injury) and Przy less than 20 minutes (again, reasonable), then Camby could expect some burn at the 5 as well, totaling probably 20 mpg.  Again, this is under the assumption that everyone is healthy, which is frankly not realistic.  Yes, we've had unprecedented injury issues this year, but does this mean that we won't have any injuries next year?  Between Aldridge, Camby, Oden and Przy, we should expect to be with less than four of them healthy for some not insignificant stretch of the season, even it is just short stretches off with typical bumps and bruises.  None of these guys is an Andre Miller style iron man.  If Aldridge goes out for a week or two with some little thing, Camby starts at the four and plays 30 minutes instead of 20 for that stretch.  Oden or Przy go out, same deal -- Camby steps up his minutes as needed at both the four and the five.  Frankly, we haven't had a genuine 4/5 with the versatility of Camby, and it will serve us well, in the course of even a typical season of injuries.  

Three final thoughts on this issue.  First, Dante Cunningham -- whose time may be squeezed if Camby's the primary backup 4 -- is different from some of our other young players in that (IMO) his progress won't be stunted in some critical way by playing behind other veterans.  Dante's game is really pretty mature and if anything he will benefit from having such a group of veteran savvy players around him, much as he and Pendergraph have benefitted from having Juwan Howard around this year.  Also, Camby will likely be signing his last substantive contract, and the Blazers could probably manage to give him a contract that would make him happy while letting him compete for a championship on a team he digs.  Finally, between Oden, Camby and Przy, It's not clear to me at all that, in a minute crunch, Camby would be the one riding the pines.  We should put the best team we can on the court, and Camby may very well take minutes from one of the others (likely Przy).  If he can, is it a bad thing if he did?

In sum, far from not seeing a role for Camby next year, I say: let's make it worth his while and keep his versatility and savvy right here.  We'll likely need it.

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