This is a little early but Morrison looked to be the best wing-player on our bench in our first pre-season game. He certainly was a better offensive spark than Nolan or Babbitt. Defense was meh, but he didn't look out of position or lost.
Let's say he continues to outplay the rest of the bench. Should Portland retain him?
The first factor to look at is what do we gain, what do we lose. We obviously lose his salary. We would also have to waive another player (Williams, Babbitt or Pavlovic) being the obvious candidates. This means we would be spending between $2.1 - 2.8 million on Morrison, depending on who we waive. In terms of waiving players, I believe none of these players are likely to be factors in Portland's future(Babbitt hasn't shown he's better than a D leaguer, Williams has been perpetually injured and Pavlovic was looking at a bunch of DNP-CD's anyway).
So is it worth it to spend $2-3 million on Adam Morrison? We would looking at Morrison being in essence our 6th-8th man. He would be getting probably about 12 minutes a game playing as a wing player in various lineups. Using Storytellers site, this is not an unreasonable price for a 7th player. This was just cursory and the methodology is slightly in doubt but the 7th highest paid player on most teams make's around $2.8-3.5 million. (That's obviously not the 7th best player on every team, but it's a decent way of measuring what 7th best should cost). He would cost about the same amount as most 7th players on the team, and in his second year on the contract we would be getting a massive savings if he continued to be productive.
The price is fair; Do we want to buy?
The argument against retaining Adam is simple: we are not a playoff team. We are a team that is developing our core. We will always be able to pick up a decent 7th player once we are worried about our 7th player instead of our starters. Why buy fancy rims for our tires when we're still working on the engine? In practical terms, this move won't make Portland much better. So is there any reason to spend an additional $900,000 to upgrade our bench?
But, there is one reason: It makes a great story and it gives us fans something to root for. Adam would go through one of the canonical arcs. It's the classic rise->fall->redemption, with Adam coming back humbler and smarter. It would show some heart in the front office. And it would add to the character of our Blazer's team.
I think if he continues to play well we should add him to the team. This year we aren't going to be rooting for a place in the standings or playoff showing. We will be following the Blazers to watch the story of a team being rebuilt.
--A rookie point guard developing
--Foreign players adapting and flourishing
--A center showing signs of being a long-term solution
--A player who was a small town hero and then became a joke, becoming a savvy bench veteran leading the youngsters