Cho said he felt the Blazers were at least one player away from a championship team. Nate said he wanted shooters on the court. Everything has led us to believe that something big was coming. But, we're now getting down to weeks before training camp, and no trades from the Blazers. For me, that's frustrating.
I agree with a lot of people on this site that the Blazers' roster is very close to championship caliber. Many say "just leave it alone for now" and let these guys get a chance to play together, and see what they can do. I agree with that, with just one exception.
Obviously, the most significant intangeable is the health of Greg Oden. If we can assume that Oden stays healthy, what a lineup. Oden, Camby and Aldridge in the front court, with an assist from Cunningham. Roy, Batum and Matthews playing the wing positions, with an assist from Cunningham and Bayless. I like Bayless as a backup point guard. It all works for me, except for the starting point guard.
The Blazers have eight pieces to a championship nine-man rotation. I just don't see Miller as the ninth piece. I like Miller's game - but his effectiveness is when he has the ball in his hands. He can create for himself, he can create for others. But the championship Blazer team is going to have the ball in Roy's hands, and Andre Miller doesn't help anyone on the court when he is playing off the ball.
I think the starting PG for the Blazers should be able to play off the ball. He needs to be able to stretch the defense with an outside shot, not turn the ball over, make free throws, and most of all - guard the smaller, quicker PG's.
For me, the only player that fits that description that could be available is Kirk Hinrich.
Interesting enough, I was surprised at how comparable Miller and Hinrich's career stats are:
Min 34.5 34.0
Avg 14.5 13.5
Asst 7.2 5.8
Reb 4.1 3.4
St 1.4 1.3
TO 2.6 2.2
FG 45% 42%
3pt 21% 38%
FT 80% 81%
Statistically speaking, a move from Miller to Hinrich looks like a lateral move. But I pick Hinrich. I don't think you give up much going from Miller to Hinrich, but with Hinrich you gain:
a. He's younger.
b. He can get comparable stats playing off the ball.
c. He can make the outside shot.
d. He's an excellent defender.
Plus, like Miller - he's experienced, durable, makes free throws, and takes care of the ball. And .... I think the contrasting styles of Bayless and Hinrich is a plus.
Finally, one would think he would be available without giving up too much. Miller/Rudy? Pryzbilla/Rudy?