Translated from the french site Basketsession.com
Portland was one of the great actors of that day with the acquisition of Gerald Wallace. We called our blogger Nicolas Batum who gave us his impressions.
Nico and his teammates have learned in particular circumstances that Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and Sean Marks would leave Oregon, since the team was in one these meetings organized 3 times a year by the league to educate players on certain issues (investment, management of post-career ...). And of course Nicolas was sad to learn the departure of guys he considered more than just teammates :
"We've learned the trade during the meeting, so we were kind of shocked. They called Joe, Dante et Sean to tell them that they were traded to Charlotte. It feels wierd to lose people from your team, to see them leave like that, all of a sudden. Joe was here first day I arrived, he's someone we've liked very much. Sean is the ultimate pro, we call him Kiwi. He's really classy, he's never mocked me about New-Zealand... [France lost to them in world cup] Dante is a real friend, a guy who was in the same fun mood as us. It feels weird to see your friends leave like that all of a sudden while this morning we trained as usual. In the end we had a shooting contest between us, it was nice, and then 3 of us got traded all of a sudden."
While disappointed, Batum remains positive and knows that Wallace may bring to the Blazers, although they both operate at the same position :
"Gerald Wallace's arrival can be a good thing for us. He was an All-Star last year, he's made a big season. He's a player with great qualities, sturdy, very consistent. It can be really good for us.
Sure he plays my position but now the only bigs we have are Aldridge and Camby. And now the thing that have been working well for us for several matches is when we play small-ball. It's working well. Well I don't know yet how we'll play because of course I haven't spoken with the coaches but there's a possibility for us to be together on the court with one playing 4 and the other 3. We can both do it in small-ball. I've often played 4. I did it against the Lakers last game."
The reinforcement is useful especially because, despite departures, the West is dense :
"It will bring size and experience, points in the wing, rebounds. It can be good for us. Especially with what's happening in the Western Conference. Because even if some players are leaving to the East, the West still remains strong. Just look at the trades there were. Shane Battier will reinforce a competitor, Memphis. Brooks is going to Phoenix. Oklahoma is setting in mode NBA title. For me, the big winner of the day is Oklahoma."
And like everyone else, Nico was a little surprised by the trade conducted by Boston. When asked if he understands :
"Vaguely. This morning I was watching NBA TV, they talked about a surprise in Boston. Troy Murphy would make a buyout or the surprise comeback of Rasheed Wallace. But I don't know what's happening. We'll see what happens. "
Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge will be the only big man available to face Denver tonight, and Nicolas could taste again the joys of position 4 and endure Kenyon Martin or even Nene when LA needs a rest or if he's in foul trouble...