I see a lot of talk about how Oden and Roy were our "Building Blocks" (or *are* to some.) Why do we need to have shoe contract-worthy players to win a championship? Is the foundation of a team the egos that think they are above team play? I'm not looking to Blazers specifically with this postulation, as I'm no fan of anyone else's stars either.
My favorite championship team in recent memory was the 2004 Pistons. I wish I had a Blazer team to point to, but I am too young to know much of any of the Blazer teams that have made it to the Finals. If you look at that team they even had an offensive liability at center, but they overcame their lack of superstar power by executing superb team play. I don't know if Nate is the coach that can take us to that point, but I have been proven wrong re:McMillan on enough occasions that I wouldn't put it past him.
If we can develop the pick 'n roll and the pick and pop with Felton and Aldridge to substitute for the lack of Roy iso plays we will have an incredibly tough team. Assuming Camby doens't get traded we will continue to have a high-low game at post, a crashing slasher in Wallace, and some streaky shooting at the three. There are wholes in the Blazer offense, but I feel like the front office is addressing them since the Felton trade. I loved Dre for his mid-range game and consistancy, but his playing to the post on so many occasions allowed the defenses to pack the paint. I could be wrong on this call (as I am on so many others) but I believe that his lack of perimeter shooting (in addition to our streaky SGs in Matthews and Fernandez) hurt the spacing on the floor. If there is one thing I think Wallace and Aldridge would benefit from it's more room to work with.
Wallace, Aldridge, Felton, Matthews, and Batum are all either in their prime or are soon entering. This is a fantastic core. I believe that our position at SF makes the need for a trade for a big pretty desparate. Batum is an awesome assett, but having a backup that is nearly as good as the starter is a luxury when there are gaping wholes still remaining in the roster.
The addition of Smith is a positive in my opinion. He's an upgrade to Patty. We needed someone to run the second unit with less of a dropoff in talent.