Assuming we are going to match Batum, we have two more days left to use our cap-space.
There are some decent role players left on the market, but probably nobody that will move the needle much. They are primarily power forwards (and I don't think we need any more of those) and wing players. Depending on how confident we are in our current young players, and if we are going to match Batum, another wing player might be useful. Not completely necessary though.
There are probably only three remaining non-power forward free agents that could command more than the mid-level: Javale McGee, Courtney Lee and O.J. Mayo. We can discuss the relative merits of free agents as well, but my point is that the trade market may be the best place to strike next.
Using this post, Portland could have about $11 million to spend between now and Batum-day Wednesday. I don't think the trade with New York will change that much, assuming we waive Gadzuric. Jeffries' and Thomas's salaries are pretty similar. There are a trade few options I could see if we act fast.
Calderon may be perfect to share the point guard spot with Lillard. He is pass-first and is not an old-timer, but still a veteran. I think it would be good to give Lillard some competition.
After the Raptors acquired Lowry, Calderon and Toronto might be ready to part ways. Sending him to Portland would free up space if the Raptors are looking to acquire someone like Andre Iguodala or Rudy Gay. We could send them a couple of 2nd rounders in return.
No, I am not saying we should pursue the big waffler in trade. But with some cap-space available, we could swoop in for a piece of the action. Especially if Houston is involved.
I've lost track of all the picks they've acquired, but I know they have several. Pair that with four high potential incoming rookies, and a truckload of young players acquired over the past couple of years and they have all sorts of pieces to throw around.
The Blazers could take on a contract or contracts of guys like Chris Duhon (bad, but not huge or long), Quentin Richardson (a little overpaid but serviceable) or Jason Richardson (overpaid, but not terribly). I'd take on one or two of those guys for a pick(s) and a player(s). Atlanta is another team that could get involved here. The L*kers too, though it would have to be four teams because they don't have anything that helps us.
This is where we take on a short-term bad contract for an asset or two. Similar to what the Thunder did to acquire Maynor, Aldrich, and Cook. A few contracts that could be candidates:
Chicago: Rip Hamilton
Washington: Andray Blatche
Any of these players could fit in to our cap space and all of these teams have assets they could offer to entice us.
Which trades can you guys envision?
Portland Should Pursue:
Mayo and Lee in Free Agency (8 votes)
Other Free Agents (6 votes)
Jose Calderon (26 votes)
A Piece of the Howard Action (7 votes)
Assets for Taking on a Contract (11 votes)
Nothing (12 votes)
Other (specify) (1 vote)
71 total votes