2 on 5: 5 Blazer Questions of the week.
Yes or No: Would you be willing to bundle Batum in a trade for someone like Rojon Rondo?
M: Yes. When people start to argue his worth because of his attitude, they are way overreacting. His contract is a steal, he regularly gets triple-doubles, and he is an elite defender. He wouldn't be the return of the Jail Blazers, he'd be a return to the second round of the playoffs. Ainge would be wrong to get rid of him, even with his baggage.
D: YES. My argument here is that you need 3 pillars to build a championship team. It was going to be Roy, Oden and LA but things have changed. I think Batum could be one of those pillars however for the sake of this argument I like a Rondo/LA/Wallace combo instead of Batum/LA. Batum is one of my favorite players in the NBA but with investments you buy low and sell high. Batum's value is HIGH, could fetch a Rondo to pair along side LA, but D. Williams and Rondo would be the only ones I'd give up for Batum.
Fact or Fiction: Will Nate be fired before the start of the next season?
M: Fact, but not because of disgruntled veterans. He will be fired because of Batum and post season success. Many of the guys who are having problems with him (Crawford, Felton) will more than likely be gone before next year, so they won't impact the decision much. But Batum and his agent may still be angry enough with the organization, and with how Batum and Nate have got along, that he may not want to come back if Nate is still there. If LaMarcus has started to lose faith in Nate as well, then he will be gone.
D: Fact. Nate was brought onto this team to correct the jail-blazers era. We needed a Sargent to come on and instill discipline and along with Roy and LA, they turned this team and city around to being a respected franchise again and in the process reviving rip city. Nate prides himself in that he signs only 1 year deals and re-evaluates every summer. This summer will be an evaluation like none other. As a defensive minded coach in a system revolving around defense you cannot be successful if your team isn't playing defense. This shortened season, lack of practice time and injuries could be culprits for lack of consistent success but in my book this team needs a revamped offense with movement to fully utilize Matthews, Batum, Wallace and LA. Nate isn't the answer and may benefit from taking on Charlotte or DC who need a sarge, we don't anymore.
Wesley Matthews: Future starting SG, or future 6th man?
M: Starting SG.Wesley seems to have hit his ceiling this year. I would love him to come off the bench as a three point specialist/ defensive specialist. But who would replace him, and how would that happen? I can't see it, and I don't think its a luxury we can afford. I'm willing to wait and see if he can get his shooting % back up, and continue to defend. I'd rather use our assets to fill other holes in the lineup to get a young Center who can rebound and set pick's, or find another PG.
D: 6th man. This ones tough for me because I cannot seem to place the culprit for Matthews poor play this season. He did a great job stepping in for Roy but struggles severely in Nate's system when it comes to isolation plays. He's great for defense and running off picks but I think his services would be better utilized coming off the bench, especially if he can bring energy and keep the pressure defensively on the opponents guards while the starters rest.
New GM or Coach: Which is more important?
M: New GM. It's not that Paul's Bestie hasn't done a good job or anything, he went out and got some good free agents, he wheeled and dealed. They didn't work out. Of course, people in Portland's front office have been fired for less. Portland needs to find a GM with experience, that can be around for 3-4 years so they can find a Coach ( if its not Nate), put together a few drafts, and make trades that they see fit. You can't have 3 different GM's drafts, the Old GM's coach, and the new GM's free agents thrown together and expect complete fluidity. GM first, then let him decide on the coach.
D: New GM.I don't know how you can possibly court a decent new coach to this wonderful city and team with the front office in turmoil as its been the last few years. They need a new GM and more importantly they need to KEEP them here. From there you court a coach. Both GM and coach can then be on the same page and can draft or make trades to fit the new system. With the blazers recent front office history, this is much easier said than done.
Finish this sentence. In the upcoming draft, the blazers should...
M: Trade up. I would like to see them trade Felton and Crawford, even Wallace for draft picks. I'd rather keep batum, and get some first round picks. Then, bundle a few together and trade up. There are some good big men coming out of college in the next 2 years. See if you can get another inside presence.
D: ...draft ANOTHER PG like they have every draft! j/k I'd go for either a strong back up PF or a C.
Feel free to copy down the 5 questions, your opinion's, and post. Or send in more questions for next week.