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Jason Quick says the Blazers are Not targeting a Free Agent Center.  Rather...

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[From time to time Blazer's Edge likes to promote our readers' thought-provoking posts to the front page. We may do minor editing to clean up the original Fanpost, but the content won't change. Today, renaissant uses a recent Jason Quick interview as a springboard to discuss one possible Blazer move this summer: Using their cap space to target teams willing to trade their upper-tier Center for strategic reasons. -- Tim]

In Jason Quick's "Insider" info, he learned who the Blazers are targeting. He says we should look to "team's with a player left out in a philosophy shift, willing to unload that player for a draft pick".

Here's a clip of Quick on yesterday's Flight 750 with Chad Doing on the The Game radio. It may take a couple minutes to load. Advance to the very middle of the bar for the Quick interview.

Quick goes on to say "Think of teams that want to make a run at LeBron, Cleveland, Clippers and who they have at center Varejao, DeAndre Jordan". And the Blazers using their pick and cap space in a trade for someone's starting center. Using the pick to entice a trade, the Blazer's then would have the full $13.5 mill in cap space, less the price of the new center, and alleviate getting caught in bid wars and overpaying for FA's. Quick says he will report more in a two part article at the end of the season.

Until then: here's a reduced list from top 25 starting centers that are not free agents.

  • Al Horford (ATL) -- 3 yrs / $36m
  • Marcin Gortat (PHO) -- 1 yr / $7.7m
  • Joakim Noah (CHI) -- 3 yrs / $36.7m
  • Tyson Chandler (NYK) -- 2 yrs / $28.7m
  • JaVale McGee (DEN) -- 3 yrs / $34m
  • Kosta Koufos (DEN) -- 2 yrs / $6m
  • Omer Asik (HOU) -- 2 yrs / $16.7m
  • Anderson Varejao (CLE) -- 2 yrs / $18.7m ($13.7m guaranteed)
  • Spencer Hawes (PHI) -- 1 yr / $6.5m
  • Kendrick Perkins (OKC) -- 2 yrs / $18.6m (+$1m likely incentives)
  • Jonas Valanciunas (TOR) -- 1 yr / $3.5 + 2 yr / $8.3m (Team options)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (SAC)-- 1 yr / $4.9m (then RFA)
  • Andrew Bogut (GSW) -- 1 yr / $14m
  • DeAndre Jordan (LAC) -- 2 yrs / $22.4m

Who else should we include?

Quick says he cannot reveal the "Grand Plan" who they are targeting, but names Varejao and Jordan. Those two seem secure in their teams "philosophy", yes? And, when he says think "teams looking to make a run at LeBron", I think he means that as an example for teams going after any big name FA. But the question begs: What team would risk trading a needle mover on the chance that L James or D Howard leave Miami or LA? What other non free-agents might various teams deem worth the risk of clearing a needle mover for?

Others that seem hard not to eliminate are Chandler, Bogut, Horford and Noah as they seem well entrenched with their teams, and/or are too expensive for the Blazers unless they can get those teams to also take Freeland in the exchange (fat chance).

BEdgers have theorized these moves already, Quick is confirming you are on the right track. Please offer thoughts on these and other possible scenarios, keeping in mind using the pick and cap space, and, "Rim Protector". Multi-player trades too. Is there a needle mover center available for trade? Here's how I'd rate the possible trades after crossing off the names that the Blazers would be interested in, as reasoned above.

Needle movers:

JaVale McGee, 7', 252, 25yo: 15th rated. He only avg. 15 min in 25 games. 9ppg/57%,60%ft, 5reb, 2blks. This is a Loooong Shot. The anomaly that makes him possibly available is Koufos has better stats all around, and $8 mill cheaper than McGee. MCGEE seems too expensive, but also too expensive for Denver to keep maybe (Denver will start 2013 at $67 mill). He better work out for the Blazers, we would have him for 3 yrs at 11 mill. And, if he wasn't a big risk for the Blazers, would the Nuggs trade him to us for a pick?

DeAndre Jordan, 6-11', 265, 24yo: He doesn't make the Dime Mag top 20 preseason centers, but probably would for 2013. In 78 games he's 9ppg/64%,39%ft, 7reb, 1.3blks. I rate him ahead of Var because he appears the better rim protector. Anomaly: The Clips are bidding for Bynum. or Howard?

Anderson Varejao: He's #20 rated center by Dime Magazine. He only played 25 games this year. He avg 14 ppg/48%/75%ft, 14 reb, .6 blks. Anomaly: The Cavs are bidding on Bynum or LeBron? Just humoring Quick here, or so I thought. If Cavs are seeking to bring James back I've been seriously out of that loop.

Needle Rattlers (but are bargains that leave cap for other players):

Spencer Hawes, 7-1", 245, 24: He's not rated in top 20 in 2012. 11ppg/46%,78, 7Reb, 1.3 blks. 78 games, 27 mins. Anomaly: The Sixers have Bynum now and will be bidding on him for future. Though wouldn't it be foolish to not have a solid backup to AB? They do still have Kwame Brown to back.

Marcin Gortat, 6-11", 240, 29: 11ppg/52%,65%, 8.5reb, 1.5. 61 games, 31 minutes. Anomaly: Phoenix has the worst salary mess in the West. Here's what Bleacher Report divines for Andrew Bynum: "Predicted Landing Spot: Phoenix Suns. The combination of cap space and desperation is always a bad mix, and the Phoenix Suns are one team that possesses a bit of both. In order to make this work, Gortat's $7.7 million expiring contract will need to be unloaded (possibly to Cleveland), and Shannon Brown and his non-guaranteed contract will have to be waived". I don't buy all this but it's amusing.

Omer Asik, 7', 255, 26: He's not rated. 10ppg/54%,56%, 12reb, 1.1blks. 78 games, 30 mins. Anomaly: The Rockets will be bidding on Howard? They said so. I think it more likely that they will keep Asik and bid on another scorer to share Hardin's load, with the generous cap space they already have.

DeMarcus Cousins, 6-11", 270, 22: He is rated the 12th best center by Dime Magazine. He would get the top rating by me, but his anomaly is the LOOOONGEST shot of all: Sacramento would have to be a don't-wanter of a top 10 center that's cheap cus his attitude is poor? Or, they know something the police don't? The teams above would be trading to gain almost like an amnesty for a salary they would rather use for other players, and getting a pick to boot.

[Note: Edited to clean up the post, content is the same. I also removed a comment thread discussing how to fix the text mark-up, for sake of on-topic discussion. --Tim]

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