There have been many threads started over what the Blazers should do this coming off season in regards to both their first round draft picks, as well as cap space and the free agent market, and resigning current talent to the roster. There are talks of rebuilding and talks of reshaping to stay in contention. An area of major concern to me though, and where I see the Blazers potentially being stuck for sometime to come is in the age of their current all star LaMarcus Aldridge. Lets look at a couple scenarios the Blazers are kicking around and you will see where my concerns are.
First, let's say we decide to do a complete rebuild of the team, by keeping our picks and acquiring young talent that could be molded in to potential NBA all stars. This process alone will take a minimum 4-5 years (look at Durant and the Thunder as a best case example). If we are talking about being contenders in 4-5 years, you now have LaMarcus at age 31. Most people consider an NBA players prime to be between the ages of 25-29 which puts LA past the mark. Basically we lose out on LA's potential window of his best production when he could really benefit us.
Second option, is to regroup around LA and add immediate talent to try and make a run. Let's be honest here...and this comes from a die hard Blazer fan who feels every super star should kill for the opportunity to play in P-Town with it's die hard fan base...but Portland is not a major contender this year and hasn't been for a while so the thought of someone like Dwight or D-Will wanting to come here only to have to wait another year or so while we rebuild around them and get things working smoothly, is pretty far fetched. Hate to say it, but I am being honest. It would take a heck of a salesman to pitch it to these guys in a way that makes them really want to come here. Not impossible, just find one of those guys that could sell a freezer to an eskimo type salesman.
Third option appears to be a combo of the two where we sign some big name older talent like Steve Nash and pair him with younger draftees with potential talent to give us some veterans, some rookie potential, and current all star talent all in one. This appears to be the best option up front, but keep in mind we want to think long term and this option only works for a year, maybe two at most. (Nash will be 40 years old in 2 seasons).
People will hate me for saying this, but I am not seeing an option that really allows us to use LA to his fullest potential during his best years in this team's future plans. For that reason, I honestly feel that if we plan on doing a rebuild from the ground up, he could potentially be our most valuable trade asset to bring in younger talent to match our new draftees and Batum in age a little better. Now you are talking about a team of guys who came up together and in 3-5 years could potentially be full of all stars and contenders (a la the Thunder, or what the Blazers could have been if Oden and Roy stayed healthy).
What do you all think, am I just being a Negative Nancy, or do any of you agree that we may have lost out on really using LaMarcus's best years to our fullest advantage? Either way, I am excited to see where the Blazer organization goes from here. Go 'zers!
What should we do with LA?
Trade him while he is at his highest value and we get the most for him, and he can play his best years for an actual contender. (58 votes)
Keep him and hope the rookies we draft step up faster and can manage to play with him in his prime. (64 votes)
Sign other current talent in the hopes we can make something happen this year or next. (25 votes)
147 total votes