If the Trail Blazers want a back up for Oden and Aldridge and the real insurance that you have someone who can play big minutes at two positions, I don't know if there are two better candidates than Cousins or Monroe. I don't see many bigs in future drafts. And there was one report that the Trail Blazers might move up.
I reckoned that if the Trail Blazers had any chance of moving up it had to start with the Wolves falling out of Evan Turner's range. The Wolves need talent period but Turner was the money pick who had the talent and filled their most pressing need. Rudy would be more valuable to them than anyone. So alas its something that I considered. Would I trade Rudy for Cousins? What if I had to sweeten it with Cunningham, or straight up Rudy for Monroe? My instincts say yes. Post haste in fact. You always trade big for small if the talent is relative. Oden is going to need a backup sooner than later and unfortunately he may need a backup that can really play and if that player can really play he is going to want to play so they might as well find a C/PF that can play a lot of minutes and Cousins fits well. So does Monroe but then I pause..........
On the other hand I'd say there isn't a Trail Blazer with more potential than Rudy. With Oden's per-minute numbers its obvious he just needs to be on the court. He doesn't need to improve that much so while his potential maybe easier to realize we have seen Oden dominate for at least a half of basketball while we are not close to seeing what Rudy can do. I know its been said a few times that we probably wont see it too. Here is where my take it is a little different. I think its Rudy's fault.
Why?? Because I believe Nate's offense is perfect for Rudy. Rudy has a strong feel for the game and a good basketball IQ but I often see him being directed where to go or thinking about where to go with and without the ball. He moves like he believes the movement doesn't matter. He doesn't look lost he just doesn't look committed which is a common NBA look but rarely under such conditions.
Its seems like the prevailing wisdom is that Rudy wold augment an offense with more off ball movement so he has to move less with the ball and is more likely to get room without having to create it off the dribble himself. Thats true. If you take a closer look at the Trail Blazers offense you can see how Nate has tried to accommodate Rudy but its subtle and Rudy certainly isn't buying into it. If he did buy into it I think he would surprise himself because after all contradictions are so difficult to guard. Its like if you put Alex Ovechkin in a possession offense. Imagine the anxiety until he realized that yes he will get less chances but the chances he gets will be unexpected, they will come from difficult angles and furthermore once he learns the system and how teams defend then he will have opportunities to improvise and it will come natural.
When Rudy is playing they run Flex isos instead of 1-4 isos, they send him off picks more than Brandon. Its adjusted for him but he hasn't mastered it. Until he is able to read the defense and improvise naturally I don't think he is going to feel comfortable and I'm not sure he believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel especially if he wants to leave. I don't know if he understands just how great he could be coming off the bench with Nate McMillan coaching him.