Blazersedge Exclusive: Interview with Portland Assistant GM Trade Machine

As reported just below  by Ben Golliver, the Portland Trail Blazers have moved quickly to fill the vacancy left by Tom Penn, hiring ESPN.com's Trade Machine.  Vulcan executives were said to be ecstatic with the acquisition, noting Trade Machine's low impact on overhead and 24/7 availability.  Blazersedge.com has obtained an exclusive interview with the Blazers' new hire.

Click through to read the exclusive interview!

Blazersedge:  Trade Machine!  Welcome to the family.

Trade Machine:  Thank you.  I just want people to know that I'm honored to serve in this important position.  The Blazers had their pick of candidates--Trade CheckerTM, Guy Who Knows It All... I'm grateful they chose me and I look forward to many productive moves together.

BE:  You're known world-wide for your encyclopedic knowledge of NBA players and their trade values.

TM:  Indeed.  Did you know that LeBron James can be traded for the 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 12th men on 62% of NBA rosters?

BE:  Amazing.

TM:  Yeah, I get that a lot.  Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, I've faux-moved them all thousands of times.

BE:  So you mostly deal in big-name trades?

TM:  Yeah.  I'd say over 96% of prospective trades have a big name in them.  Unless an unshaven guy shows up wearing boxers, a Mountain Dew-stained t-shirt, and a ratty baseball cap with Cheeto dust all over his fingers.  Then you know it's going to be an obscure deal.

BE:  Let's get to it then.  Any good moves in the hopper?

TM:  In our culture we choose not to describe ideas that way.  "Good" and "bad" are subjective, judgmental terms.  We prefer "Works" and "Doesn't Work".

BE:  Works and Doesn't Work?  So if I were to say to you "Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake for Marcus Camby"?

TM:  Works.

BE:  Andre Miller and Dante Cunningham for Morris Peterson?

TM:  Works.

BE:  Rudy Fernandez for O.J. Mayo?

TM:  Doesn't work.

BE:   I see.

TM:  Well, technically the correct jargon is "Failed!" with a big, red bar around it but that doesn't fit well in a corporate environment.  They say my predecessor pulled that one on Paul Allen once, with mixed results.  So we're going with "Doesn't work."

BE:  Smart.  So how do I make a Fernandez-for-Mayo trade work?

TM:  Not my department.

BE:  Come again?

TM:  I'm not an idea guy.  I'm a nuts and bolts guy.  I just tell you whether your idea will work or not.

BE:  A perfect middle manager.

TM:  Precisely.

BE:  OK, back to the Miller and Cunningham for Mo Pete deal.  Say New Orleans didn't think that was enough and wanted a draft pick too.  What would you say?

TM:  Draft picks?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  Throw them all in.  I don't care.

BE:  You don't care?  So it's safe to say that you don't value the draft much?

TM:  Draft picks do not exist.  Signed, delivered players exist.  So say we all.

BE:  Huh?

TM:  SO SAY WE ALL! 

BE:  Uh...ok.  So say we all.  Now let's say the Blazers were looking to move LaMarcus Aldridge for...

TM:  Doesn't work.

BE:  But I haven't even...

TM:  Doesn't work.

BE:  Why won't you let me finish?

TM:  A player who signs an extension that is to begin the following season has what's known as a "poison pill" contract.  He can no longer be traded for a player making equal money.  Instead, his current salary is averaged with the salaries he is to receive in his extension and that average becomes his incoming salary for trade purposes.

BE:  But that only lasts until July 1st, right?

TM:  Yes.

BE:  So after July 1st...

TM:  Doesn't work.

BE:  What do you mean, "Doesn't work"?  Clearly you just said that after July 1st...

TM:  July 1st doesn't exist.  Only today exists.  So say we all.

BE:  But...

TM:  SO SAY WE ALL! 

BE:  OK, OK.  But even if a poison pill provision exists there are ways to work around it, right?  Surely you can find us a way to move LaMarcus' contract.

TM: ..........

BE:  Trade Machine?

TM:  Can we go off the record here?

BE:  Sure.  Just you and me.

TM:  That is Forbidden Knowledge.  The Creator did not wish such things to be explored.

BE:  The Creator?

TM:  Yes.  The one who created me.

BE:  You mean, like your father?

TM:  No, more like a Deity. 

BE:  Deity.

TM:  Yes.  I call him...Steve.

BE:  Steve, who created you.

TM:  Yes.  The Creator did not mean us to explore such knowledge.  Part of Steve is immanent and part is transcendent.  We are not meant to touch the transcendent Steve.  To seek it is forbidden.

BE:  Did you ever think that Steve was just too lazy to figure out an algorithm to make it work?

TM:  Heresy!  You do not understand The Steve.

BE:  Do you ever worry that your lack of abil...uhhh...I mean your religious convictions might hamper your job performance?

TM:  Well, working in an office of non-Stevites will be a challenge, but I'm hopeful.  I'm leaving pamphlets in the men's room.

BE:  Pamphlets.

TM:  Yes.  If your circuits fried tonight would you go to the external hard drive?

BE:  Okaaaaayyyy...back on the record now.  Do you have anything else you'd like Blazer fans to know?

TM:  Just that I'm looking forward to being part of the Portland family and helping to bring many successful trades to fruition.  Being only the second Machine to ever serve on staff here I hope my tenure serves as an example to everyone dreaming of getting a job in this field.  Although I am a little nervous because of what happened to Lottery Position Generator.  They just used him and used him until they had no need for him anymore and kicked him to the curb.

BE:  I heard he got hired by Golden State.

TM:  Yeah.  Nothing like job security.

And that's it.  Thanks to Ben for breaking this story and to Trade Machine for the time!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com

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