I have to applaud Jason Quick's latest article: Trail Blazers roster appears headed for overhaul
It looks like it was written based on an outline from my comments yesterday. Of course it wasn't, but clearly Jason and I are on exactly the same page (for the first time ever I think). Read the article and see. Here are my comments from yesterday:
It's up to the Front Office and Paul Allen now.
There’s nothing Nate or any other coach is going to do with this group. They not only lack talent but they have lost their heart too. I thought the addition of Crawford and Thomas would get them into the playoffs. Now I wouldn’t even bet on that.
Hang onto LA and Batum. Beyond that it doesn’t matter who goes. If you can get one good player for any combination that would be great, otherwise let them go. I don’t want to see another 1st round and out. I’d rather have a lottery pick.
Priority: Trade Wallace before he changes his mind and we are stuck with his $9.5M contract next year when he realizes he can’t afford to opt-out. His free-agent value (and trade value) could drop like a tock in the remainder of this season.
It starts with a lack of talent. Then the talented player (LA) gets frustrated because he doesn’t have a PG and doesn’t have shooters to keep the double team off him. So pretty soon the players start pointing fingers at each other and the coach to get off the hook. Winning becomes less important as the players on the last year of their contracts realize they aren’t coming back to PDX and start thinking about how they can earn their next contract more than how they can win."
Jason's key points (below) mirror mine above -
"But the real problem is more simple: The roster is probably not as good as we all thought. ... Camby ... has deteriorated right before our eyes." "Wallace has become so inconsistent" "Felton has become ...so twisted and angry that he can't get out of his own way" "Wesley Matthews, hampered by his inability to handle the ball in the open court, has been exposed as a good bench player but not a starter."
1. Yep, lack of talent - check
2. Yep, Matthews isn't a starter - something I've also said for weeks - check
"He [Camby] is either not trying hard enough or his age has caught up with him." "Wallace ..., judging from his locker room demeanor, I'm not sure how much the losing is getting to him." "Felton has become so consumed at placing the blame of his poor play on anyone but himself that he has become a mental pretzel"
"The more immediate concerns are why this team has such a hard time playing hard, and such an indifferent attitude toward losing . Wallace has smiled and joked after losses. Felton has defended a near-.500 record." "I don't know if some of these guys are trying to get McMillan fired or if they are just sick of Portland and want out. "
3. Yep, loss of heart - check
"It's why Aldridge was as down as I've seen him after Thursday's loss to Miami." "Aldridge said "I never saw us being in this position."
4, Yep, LA's frustrated with his teammates - check
He had an all-star year and is ready to take it to another level. But he has no PG or shooters to get the double team off him, and in his first year as the team's uncontested leader is headed for the lottery or barely makes it to the playoffs to be destroyed in the 1st round. Either way it will be said he wasn't enough of a #1 Guy to get it done.
"Wallace ... likely he will opt in, considering the unlikelihood of finding a team willing to pay $11 million a year for a 30-year-old player who produces 13.4-points, and 6.3 rebounds."
5, Yep, one of my biggest worries right now is that we can't unload him before the trade deadline and he won't opt out, costing us cap space and forcing us into a fire sale give away next summer. - check
As I said at the top, It's Time For the Front Office and Paul Allen to Act. They have 2 weeks until the trade deadline. Get it done.