"Who is Chris Kaman?"
"Who is DeJuan Blair?"
"DeJuan Blair, right!"
NBA.com's John Schuman wrote today about the current Spurs big man, who saw a diminished role once Boris Diaw started wearing silver and black late in the season.
So what would you say about the idea of paying $1.1 million for a big man who played almost 1,400 minutes for the best team in the league last season?
DeJuan Blair was a feel-good story for the San Antonio Spurs. He was taken 37th in the 2009 Draft and quickly became a contributor for a title contender, despite his lack of ACLs.
But Blair was replaced in the Spurs’ rotation by Boris Diaw late last season, and he played just 77 minutes in the playoffs. Then, there were reports that the Spurs might bring over Slovenian big manErazem Lorbek next season, possibly pushing Blair further down the depth chart.
Lorbek looks to be re-signing with FC Barcelona, but Blair still thinks his days in San Antonio are numbered.
Slated to make $1.1 mil next season, off of a rookie contract, this could be the bargain move the Blazers can hope for, since the reported loss of the Roy Hibbert chase with Indiana. He was a steal for the Spurs in the second round of the 2009 Draft.
There are already some prospects to fill the much needed 5 position, with bigs like Chris Kaman (Hornets UFA), Zaza Pachulia (Hawks), Patrick Patterson (Rockets), Jason Maxiell (Pistons), Timofy Mozgov (Nuggets), and Nikola Pekovic (Wolves), all with a small price tag. With the loss of the Hibbert chase, free agent centers are in limited supply, so the Portland front office is left with trade scenarios.
No doubt the organization, with or without now former president Larry Miller, have prepared at least somewhat for what some thought was a given in the Pacers matching the Hibbert offer. Combine that with the numbers RFA Nicolas Batum is reportedly receiving from Minnesota, it was possible the cap space could have all but disappeared. General consensus having mixed feelings on the authenticity; the Wolves seem unable to offer a reported $45 million amount with the signings of Brandon Roy, and the current status of contracts without waivers or amnesty.
For less than $2 million, you can have a more than serviceable big man, athletic and powerful. At a mere 23 years of age, Blair can grow with the Trail Blazers roster and organization, and be a big contributor alongside the current Blazer big men of Meyers Leonard, and potentially returning Joel Przybilla and 75 year-old Kurt Thomas.
What do you think BE readers?