Its going to be a long off season. Lets talk improving the team, who & why. Whether it be Draft, Free Agency or Trades. Whats the weakest part of the team? Which positions can we stand pat at this off season? Lets take a look at the team as it currently stands...
- PG: Andre Miller(17.9PER on 32.7mpg)/Patty(13PER on 12.2mpg) - I love Miller & what he brings to the team. If at all possible keep him to mentor a young player, but we can't be afraid to give him up for a quality young point guard. Patty is a below average backup, could certainly be upgraded. Armon's training camp should be a sink or swim type of situation. Either show us you can go right & show some development with your shooting or we need to find our PGOTF if he is not the guy.
- SG: Wesley Matthews(15.6PER on 33.6mpg)/Roy(13.94PER on 28mpg)/Rudy(13.48PER on 23mpg) - Wesley is young, a good player with a good contract. Roy at best becomes a Mariano Rivera type of closer for the Blazers, 25mpg late game assassin. For that to happen we need someone else besides LA to contribute points in the paint & bigs who set meaner picks to create space. Roy's status on this team may hinge on whether an amnesty provision is written into the new CBA. The Rudy experiment has failed, time to move on & find a shooter who can shoot.
- SF: Gerald Wallace(16.3PER on 35mpg)/Nicolas Batum(14.85PER on 31mpg)/Luke Babbitt(1.02PER on 5mpg..) - One of the best SF duo's in the NBA. Batum looks less comfortable off the bench. Hopefully Wallace rubs off on him. Speaking of Gerald, next year, besides Durant what other small forward is going to be an All Star? Wallace could be that guy. There are very few players I would consider giving up Batum for, but they are out there. Babbitt doesn't even look like an NBA player in the small sample size we have saw.
- PF: LaMarcus Aldridge(21.57PER on 39.6mpg-Too Much)/Chris Johnson(10.19PER on 10mpg) - Aldridge is our franchise player & stepped up huge for us last year. But we can't afford another year of him being exhausted in the playoffs. Must find big bodies to keep him on 4's & Gerald Wallace on 3's. I love Chris Johnson & the energy he brought. I hope we keep him on the team to play spot minutes but he will be best as part of a rotation, not the second big man coming off the bench.
- C: Marcus Camby(14.85PER on 26mpg)/Greg Oden*(DNP)- Camby. Love his veteran presence on this team. However, he should not be forced to start another season at center. He will do best when he doesn't have to worry about fouling out because he is the only player who can defend the paint, as part of a big man rotation. *If we resign Oden, I'll support him just like any other player. He just needs to be healthy, he averaged 23.14PER on 24mpg in the 2009-2010 regular season. But if you could get another team to jump on his upside, while sending a healthy quality player Portland's way, you have to weigh that possibility.
- Coach: Nate McMillan(Career totals 458 Wins - 429 Losses. 14 Wins - 20 Losses in the playoffs) - He has done an admirable job overcoming injuries. I believe Sarge can put together a championship defense. He needs help on offense. This is where former Warriors coach(2010-2011) Keith Smart comes into play. He attempted to fuse Golden States notorious tempo(after being an assistant under Don Nelson for several years) with a auxiliary assault plan of Sloan-esqe half court offensive sets. Very creative, would love to see him be McMillan's offensive assistant & replace Bob Ociepka. Smart would also help with self-scouting, as his team were 3-1 VS the Blazers last year & did one of the best jobs defensively on Aldridge all year.
Kyrie Irving - PG - Duke(32.5PER on 27.5mpg) A true lead guard. Best player in this years draft. Great scorer. Improving play maker, committed to playing good defense & has the NBA ready body to back it up at a young age. Read more about him here.
Darius Morris – PG - Michigan(22.5PER on 35mpg) – My #2 PG after Irving. He is far more proven the the Duke phenom as a distributer as well, Morris is likely the best in that category in the entire draft. He reminds me of Andre Miller in that he is a true point guard, a fairly thick one but he doesn’t have a deadly shot from the out side(but of course he is very young so he can work on that). He is 6’4" so he would at least have a shot of competing against the likes of Westbrook & Rose in the future.
Reggie Jackson - PG - Boston College(27PER on 34mpg) Has an athleticism advantage over Morris, he is more comfortable as a scorer too. Looked deadly from 3pt range as he took 5 shots a game and made more then 2, good for 42% on the season. Not quite the passer that Morris is.
Julyan Stone – PG - UTEP(17.2PER on 36.5mpg) Big point guard at 6’7". Perhaps the most intriguing PG of this years class because of that size. Efficient scorer in the limited shots he takes. Had a lot of experience at the college level. If he could manage to stay in front of NBA point guards I see no reason why he couldn’t be a Nate McMillan style of point guard. He is a good passer but is not a guy you would look to go to for buckets. I want to see him in camp to see how he compares to Patty/Armon.
Free Agency Prospects:
Tyson Chandler - C(18.5PER on 28mpg) Probably will resign with Dallas but this guy showed us Marcus Camby would be much better as a part of a big man rotation, rather then the only big man coming off the bench. Chandler is still young, plays tough & as an added bonus would have no problem coming to a team that relies heavily on alley oops.
Thaddeus Young - SF/PF(18.5PER on 26mpg) Extremely efficient scorer. Young, quality role player. Sign & trade required as he won't take the MLE imo.
Nazr Mohammed - C(16PER on 17mpg) Not sure if OKC keeps him but he would add size, positional defense & some rebounding.
Chuck Hayes - C(16PER on 28mpg) The definition of scrappy. You have to be if you want to play center in the NBA at 6'6".
Leon Powe - PF(15PER on 11mpg) A season removed from his knee injury he could be ready to return to being an impact role player in the NBA next season.
Carly Landry - PF(14.9PER on 26mpg) I don't think the Hornets have bird rights on him. That means unless a team under the cap wants to go and sign Carl Landry, he will be choosing which team to take the MLE from. I'd expect him to go home & play for the Bucks if that was the case. Although he would be a great fit in Portland.
Kenyon Martin - PF(14.2PER on 26mpg) I know, I know. He is a head case but he would add toughness. We definitely could have used him against Dallas. He scores efficiently. Its pretty obvious he doesn't fit into Denver's long term plans. He is good friends with both Marcus Camby & Andre Miller. Could be a darkhorse MLE option for us this offseason.
Samuel Dalembert - C(14.1PER on 25mpg) I am expecting him to sign with the NY Knicks or Miami Heat this offseason. However his game fits our needs perfectly. Showed the last couple of months of the season he can still be one of the best at defending the paint, pulling down rebounds & getting efficient buckets down low.
Kwame Brown - C(13PER on 26mpg) Quietly having a resurgent season.
Reggie Evans - PF(12.4PER on 26mpg) A true banger. Experience with McMillan. Would keep Wallace off of PF's. Sets nasty screens.
Alexis Ajinca - C(12PER on 10mpg) Can't teach height. A young raw project.
Luc Ricard MBah A Moute - PF(11.5PER on 26mpg) A decent, young NBA role player. Limited upside, but plays hard.
Joel Przybilla - C(6.2PER on 14mpg) Sign him for the BAE. He wants to come back, we want him back. Will definitely look better next year after an offseason of recovery.
Jason Richardson - SG(15PER on 34mpg) Not the same player since leaving Steve Nash like a lot of players. Good 3pt shooter. Not sure he fits with the Blazers.
Wilson Chandler - SF(14.7PER on 33mpg) Would have to ask for him in return if Denver wants Batum. Has said he won't resign with Denver. Wonder what he thinks of the young talent in Portland, would he be interested in coming here?
Jamal Crawford - SG(14.3PER on 30mpg) Has been outstanding in the playoffs. Likely won't take the MLE & with his performance as of late I think Atlanta may show him the money.
Grant Hill - SF(14.8PER on 30mpg) Not really room for him as the roster is presently constructed. Has found the fountain of youth in Phoenix. If anything bring him to show our training staff how they do things in Arizona.
Reggie Williams - SG/SF(15PER on 20mpg) Excellent 3pt shooter & scorer. Worked his way into the NBA, through france & the d-league. Would be a great MLE pickup with the uncertainty of Roy/Rudy's future.
Shane Battier - SF(12.4PER on 29mpg) If he takes the MLE, why not just stay in Memphis who is looking good in the playoffs?
Gary Forbes - SF(11.7PER on 13mpg) You have likely not heard of him before. There were multiple instances this year when he was forced to play & he looked like a good NBA player. Sleeper FA pick up.
Mickael Pietrus - SG/SF(10PER on 20mpg) Has looked terrible since leaving Orlando. Good defender & 3pt shooter, would be a perfect Rudy replacement.
Michael Redd - SG(9.7PER on 13mpg) Career has been derailed by injuries so not really a fit in rip city but when healthy he is one of the best from deep.
Rodney Stuckey - PG/SG(18.5PER on 31mpg) Good for 15ppg, 5apg & 3rpg, only 25 years old. Likely will get more then the MLE from Detroit.
Earl Boykins - PG(17.6PER on 15mpg) He showed me that he can still play in the NBA & run a team with success. Would be a nice quick veteran waterbug PG to compliment Andre. Still a defensive liability, but he would be better then Patty & TJ Ford!
JJ Barea - PG(14.8PER on 20mpg) Lightning fast. Annoying player to face up against for any defense. Pesky in ways we know all too well about.
Aaron Brooks - PG(13.2PER on 22mpg) A down year after winning most improved player. Deadly 3pt shooter. The question is his price, the Suns are probably more willing to let go of Nash & build around Brooks. Sign & trade required most likely because I doubt he takes the MLE.
Goran Dragic - PG(13.2PER on 22mpg) I don't like Dragic & McMillan as a PGOTF fit going forward. Conflicting styles.
Pooh Jeter - PG(11.1PER in 14mpg) I just want to see Patty VS Pooh in training camp.
Mario Chalmers - PG(10.3PER on 22mpg) Heat can go over the cap to sign him thanks to bird rights. I expect him to stay in south beach, even though he had an off season.
Earl Watson - PG(10.2PER on 20mpg) Veteran. Not Patty.
TJ Ford - PG(9.9 in 19mpg) He was mentioned as being a player who the Blazers were interested in after we acquired Gerald Wallace. He is terrible. Might as well sign..
Steve Nash - PG(20.8PER on 33mpg) Going after Nash would send us into title now mode. Would need to keep all our perimeter defenders intact to mask Nash's defensive negative impact. I know one thing, the team would be damn fun to watch with Nash running the show. However Nash probably isn't the piece that gets us over the top & in that scenario you have to ask "is it worth it?".
Nene - C(20.5PER on 30mpg) There has already been rumors drummed up this offseason, that Portland would be interested in a center like Nene. Duh. He would be an awesome addition to the team the question is the price.
Stephen Curry - PG(19.5PER on 33mpg) Good up & coming point guard. Great on offense who would be an ideal PGOTF to add to a core of Aldridge & Matthews. Golden State would start by asking for Batum, I'd do it - some Blazer fans are reluctant to do so.
Ramon Sessions - PG(19PER on 26mpg) He is essentially Andre Miller Jr, in a good way. If the Cavs go after Kyrie Irving, Sessions could be on the block.
Ryan Anderson - PF(19PER on 22mpg) 39% from 3, 5.5 rebounds per game. Solid role player.
Marcin Gortat - C(18PER on 25mpg) Efficient. Produces a solid 10ppg, 8rpg & 1bpg in only 25 minutes per game ! Had experience of guarding Dwight Howard every day in practice for multiple seasons.
Greg Monroe - PF/C(18PER on 28mpg) One of my favorite young big men prospects in the NBA. Excellent passer, would be a great compliment to Aldridge. Likely untouchable, but you have to wonder.
Rajon Rondo - PG(17.1PER on 37mpg) Would be tough to get Danny Ainge to even think of moving his one young player who is actually producing. I would be willing to let go of any player not named LaMarcus Aldridge. They would start by asking for Batum, Matthews(allowing them to transition from Pierce/Allen smoothly) & Greg Oden. I would kindly oblige. Rajon Rondo is one of the best all around point guards in the NBA.
Raymond Felton - PG(16.7PER on 36mpg) Looked his best when he was playing in D'Antoni's up tempo system. Hit a high % of 3's during his time in Denver. He is young, fairly paid & a good point guard. Have to wonder what Denver asks for him.
Emeka Okefor - C(16PER on 32mpg) Solid reliable veteran center who still has some quality years left at 28 years old. Still averages about a double double & 2 blocks a game.
Roy Hibbert - C(16PER on 28mpg) 7'2". Productive. Healthy. Trained with Bill Walton on his post game. Nuff said.
Brandon Bass - PF(16PER on 26mpg) Averages 11/5 in 25 minutes. Would be a nice backup to LaMarcus Aldridge but he seems a bit like Aldridge lite, not the banger we are looking for.
Jrue Holiday - PG(15.5PER on 35mpg) His size, length, commitment to playing defense & overall production at a young age(20!) have drawn comparisons to Gary Payton. Which says all you need to know as to why I want him on this team. Similar to Rondo, I'd give up anyone not name LaMarcus.
Robin Lopez - C(14PER on 15mpg) Perhaps the odd man out of the Suns Center Trio? Young, 7 footer. His twin brother can clearly play but he hasn't fit with the coaching staff or the style of play. Again, whats the price? We need big men.
Channing Frye - C(13PER on 33mpg) The buffet of goodness. He loves Portland. I wonder if he could reproduce the numbers he is putting up in Phoenix for Nate McMillan if he came back? If he did, him & Aldridge would make a nice tandem with his ability to clear out to the 3 point line. Have to wonder what Phoenix would ask for him.
Ben Wallace - C(12.3PER on 23mpg) I think its Cho's duty to talk to Wallace's agent and ask him if he is done for good or not. Because if not I can't see him staying another season in Detroit. I know he wouldn't have took any noise from Chandler. A Rudy for Wallace swap would be welcomed. They get a guy who can sell tickets & jerseys, we get a thick body, former defensive player of the year.
Hassan Whiteside - C(N/A) So he apparently doesn't take to coaching well, or something along those lines. With them looking to build around Cousins & Thompson down low, where does Whiteside fit? Send him to Portland, Sarge specifically. Sink or swim young man.
OJ Mayo - SG(12.7PER on 26mpg) Memphis tried to offload him before the deadline. If he is still available we could have the pieces to land him. He is a deadly 3 pt shooter. Has been said that he wants to spend some time at point guard(If he could learn from Andre he has a chance to be really good), he is a good floor spreader/PGOTF project/Rudy replacement.
Christian Eyenga - SG(9PER on 21mpg) Had a trial by fire year in Cleveland. Has a young Mickael Pietrus type of pure raw athleticism & strength. Does a good job of using that defensively. A project type of player.
Rashard Lewis(12PER on 32mpg)/Lottery Pick - Wizards - Plain and simple, the only way this gets done is if Washington sends us their first round pick this year & we send them Miller/Camby. We take his albatross contract in return we get their lottery pick.
Baron Davis(17PER on 28mpg)/Antawn Jamison(16.9PER on 33mpg)/Anderson Varejao(15.2PER on 32mpg)/Lottery Pick- Cavaliers - They have 3 big contracts that don't fit at all into their future plans. I personally would like to see Daniel Gibson in a Blazers uniform simply because of his shooting from deep. Their "Big 3" of expiring contracts don't do them much good as its not exactly enticing for a FA to come to Cleveland, we could take one off their hands in return for one of their 1st round picks? Could be an opportunity to move up in this years draft.
feel free to post your trade ideas, draft prospects or free agents ! I hope to be able to continue to add to this, with enough new content to eventually repost so we can corral all the player personnel threads into a few giant discussions. One love.