I read on oregonlive the other day that Charles Barkley, attending a golf tournament, said the Blazers won't even be close to contending for a championship next season. The good news for Blazer fans is that Barkley said all last season the Cavs were going to win the championship.
In the same article my favourate player of all time Drexler, also attending the same golf tournament, said the Blazers are one veteran away from contending for next season's title. I agree. And it got me thinking of which veteran the Blazers could realistically add that would do that.
The only two players that came to mind were (1) Jamal Crawford and (2) OJ Mayo.
Jamal is my prefered player by far. He's a pacific northwest guy. He's great friends with Brandon Roy, they train together off season and have been talking about playing together for years. The Hawks aren't going anywhere. They won't be a top 4 side in the east. All Jamal needs is a few whispers in his ear from Roy (ala Wade to Bosh and James) to ask management for a trade. He only has one year left on his deal and has been asking for an extention. If he leaves next season the Hawks will likely receive nothing whereas a trade with the Blazers will get them quality players in return.
(1) Jamal to the Blazers for Pryzibilla, Fernandez, and either Elliot Williams or Jared Bayless. The Blazers could even throw in Claver and some cash. Paul Allen can afford it. We don't need Claver. Small Forwards in the NBA are a dime a dozen and the Blazers have heaps. I also think Jamal, Andre and Roy would make a sick three guard rotation.
What we don't want to do with Rudy is trade him for a first rounder. We grabbed two this draft, three are overseas and we'll no doubt have another next draft. Plus we have four second rounders from this draft and last. We need veterans not picks.
(2) I'm not as high on OJ as I am Jamal but the guy can shoot and score and would also make a great three guard rotation with Andre and Roy as he can play both backcourt positions... although he isn't adept at point guard just yet.
I'd trade Bayless, Rudy, Elliot Williams, and even Claver for him. The Memphis bench is their weakness. Rudy can slip right in at the two, plus they add quality young players to their team.
Who knows. I just hope this Cho guys makes some moves soon and they are great moves.