Another question I'm getting asked a fair amount concerns the Blazers acquiring San Antonio point guard Tony Parker. I'm going to address this in an upcoming mailbag but before I do I want to throw the question out to you. Unlike yesterday's discussion on Luol Deng, I'm going to ask you to take a more complete view of this trade, really convincing us why and how it would work.
I'm setting the bar high here because of an age-old peeve I have with Knicks fans. I haven't seen quite as much of it lately but once upon a time you could count on New York fans to walk into any given online site (particularly their own) and claim with a straight face that every free agent in the universe was dying to come to their team and every GM from every other organization in the league outside of L.A. would be flattered to hand over valuable pieces to them because they were New York. Tell me now...what's the last guy you remember actually volunteering to go to the Knicks? Warning: if you say Stephon Marbury that's exactly like me asking what celebrities you've dated and you proudly exclaiming, "Paris Hilton!!!" Who's the last guy you remember staying with the Knicks in the absence of an Isiah Thomas retirement fund contract? How about those GM's tripping over themselves to trade star players? Seen any of those lately? Warning: if you invoke Zach Randolph that's like me asking you if there's a doctor in the house and you saying, "No, but I got tested at a free clinic last month."
Now...if this ain't gonna fly for Knicks fans it's sure not going to fly for Portland.
The first thing you have to do is riddle me this: If Parker is so amazing that he's going to provide the undeniable A-Level lift that the Blazers need, why is San Antonio going to trade him? Keep in mind here that he's 28 and has some years left. But if San Antonio doesn't really value him that highly, why would the Blazers want to spend a fortune on him?
And speaking of valuing highly, what do you propose the Blazers send south to get him? Nic Batum is going to be an appetizer in that deal. What's the entrée? Monsieur Parker makes $13.7 million next season. That's getting pretty close to $11 million in salary Portland needs to send out. If the Spurs dumped every cent of Parker's salary for no obligation at all they'd still not be far enough below the cap to make any revolutionary move so you can't count on expiring contracts alone to seal this deal. What are you going to give up that doesn't hamstring or unbalance the lineup?
Finally, assuming you get Parker, what qualities does he bring you that overshadow the cost you paid to get him?
I'll be curious to read your thoughts.