Okay, so I know this is not set in stone, and there's some work to do, but in all the crowing about the Felton trade, I don't know if people are stepping back and really looking at the Blazers' new line-up.
Check out our starters:
PG - Felton
SG - Matthews
SF - Wallace
PF - Aldridge
C - Oden
Yes, yes, yes, Oden's a big question mark, but step back and look at that. That is a pretty kick-ass starting five! One former All-Star with at least a few productive years left in Wallace, Aldridge is Aldridge and will be an All-Star next year, Matthews has proven his effectiveness, and Felton may be a lateral move, but we just got younger. Oden may or may not come around, and that's the big question, but come on, I think we've got a lot of reasons to be excited.
Now check out the bench:
G - Roy, Mills, Williams, Diebler, Smith, A. Johnson
OK, we've got a glut here for sure. Two or three guys will have to be cut or traded, most likely Mills and Johnson. But Diebler could be the sharpshooter we haven't had since Rudy's rookie year, Roy has shown he still has magic left, Smith looks potentially great, and Williams...well, we'll see. There's a lot of potential here, and, in Roy, some top-flight talent.
F/C - Batum, Babbitt, C. Johnson, Camby, Barron
Obviously a weak spot. But check it out - Nic Batum off the bench! Not bad at all. Clearly, the team could use one or two solid contributors here, but as I said above maybe the guard glut can help with that. Taking Faried seemed like a no-brainer, and maybe a missed opportunity, but maybe the team can put together a trade or two to help out, and who knows, maybe Babbitt will start to come around- the darkest hour comes right before the dawn. Johnson showed he has potential to be a solid back-up, though, and I look forward to him being a Blazer for a while. Marcus Camby is still Marcus Camby, no slouch even though his career's winding down. I doubt Barron will be around next season, and he was barely here last season.
What I'm trying to say: I really don't think Blazers fans have reason to be down on this move. Last season, the team seemed one or two players short of legit. Now, with Roy and Batum as bench players and solid starters replacing them, they may be those two players. All they need is some front line help. Luckily, they have the extra players to deal; if the team can turn a few of those guards into one or two solid reserve big men, and--the big one--if Oden does indeed manage to play, we have got a team on our hands!
What do you think?