This is my first FanPost, so go easy. I've been thinking all weekend about how to make the Blazers much more competitive again without having to give up Batum and without being completely dependent on the re-emergence of Roy and Oden, which frankly seems unlikely. I'm also loath to let Miller or Camby go in the short-term unless a real home-run trade came along, which does not seem likely. Keeping those points in mind, here are my trade ideas, with explanations to follow:
Trade Oden to Cleveland for Varejao. http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4eo3fdn
Trade Przybilla and Matthews to Philly for Andre Iguodala and Rudy and the rights to Victor Claver to the Bulls for Ronnie Brewer and the Bulls' 1st round pick in 2012. http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=473cqjp
Now, I realize the Oden for Varejao trade would probably have to happen next year, as both players are out for the season (Varejao tore a tendon in his ankle). To me, the value to Portland is that they get an elite defender and all-around pest who can keep the defensive intensity up when Camby is out and ably take over that role when Camby retires. He clearly does not have Oden's offensive skills in the low post, but with the emergence of Aldridge this year I would argue that's less of an issue. Varejao does have a bit of an injury history, but he's played 60 games a season on average, which is about what Camby has averaged over his career. Cleveland gets either a former #1 overall pick who still has lots of potential, along with a little buzz to help excite the fan base, or a way to clear Varejao's long contract off their books. I would argue that Oden could still become a very good center for them once out from under the pressure of failing to live up to expectations in Portland, as Sam Bowie was somewhat able to do after being traded to New Jersey.
My thinking in trading Matthews and Przybilla for Iguodala is that the Blazers get a guy who is better able to create his own shot in the event Roy never returns to his former level. He's a slightly worse 3-point shooter than Matthews(.358 this year versus .377 for Wes), but is an equal or better defender and is a much better rebounder and passer. Iguodala is also still relatively young (turns 27 this year, compared to Matthews' 24) and has had very few injuries over his career (he's played in all 82 games in 5 of his 7 years in the league). The benefits to a Philly team still saddled with Elton Brand's massive contract are that they can cut a lot of salary while getting a younger player with somewhat comparable skills. The concerns for Portland are Iguodala's $12 million a year contract (which still has 3 years left after this season) and that his production has been declining over the last few years, which John Hollinger attributes to settling for more outside shots. I'm banking on the idea that playing with Andre Miller again will have him taking the ball to the basket more, as his best years occurred when Miller was in Philly.
The point of the Rudy trade is really to get Chicago's 1st round pick in 2012 as another asset. I'd even take back Bogans instead of Brewer, although in that case I'd probably ask for Charlotte's 2012 pick, which the Bulls received in the Tyrus Thomas trade. Bogans is far the inferior player, but can defend and hit the occasional 3 and has a much smaller contract. I can't see the Bulls not doing either of these trades, given Rudy's inexpensive contract and their need for a good-shooting guard to play next to Rose. I throw in Claver as additional enticement to get the draft pick.
With two picks in this draft and two in 2012, the Blazers have a lot of assets to use in trying to obtain a long-term solution at PG. My first idea was that they could try to move up in the draft to grab a guy like Kyle Irving from Duke. However, that's contingent on Irving declaring for the draft even with a lockout looming and Portland being able to move up high enough to get him. There's also the small detail of Irving actually becoming a franchise PG, which is far from certain. A more realistic option might be to use those assets as pieces in another trade for a PG, probably during the offseason. I have to think a lot of teams would be intrigued by a package that includes multiple 1st round draft picks and expiring contracts; maybe even the Hornets. And if worst comes worst and nothing happens this offseason, they still have Miller as PG for next year, keep both their picks in this year's draft, and have two 2012 picks to use in trades next year.