Taking Olshey’s words and actions at face value: (With notes regarding the Non Free Agent Center Poll)

There will be a Non Free Agent Center Poll Part II, after the playoffs.

Players to watch in the Playoffs:

There are those that feel that in today’s NBA (as always) a tough, long, defensive minded center is the shortest path, not just to the playoffs, but getting deep in the playoff’s. When Olshey wishes for "a Rim Protector", he’s thinking of someone to compliment the skills of our roster, and the coach’s style of play.

Asik and the Rockets.

McGee and the Nuggets with Koufos. McGee has had some monster playoff games, and averages 3 blks /playoff game.

Hibbert with Indiana. Although his numbers have fallen this year, remember how he elevated in the playoffs in the past.

Al Horford with Atlanta.

DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers. How he performs in the playoffs could also spell his availability this summer.

Consider Olshey’s words and past actions at face value. Olshey has said that the center position is the priority for this summer. That we also need two more bench players to contribute. He has made clear that, "at the end of the day" it’s your starting five that takes precedence. That Olshey backed those words by offering a max deal to Hibbert exposes his deep intent to get the best center that the Blazers can, everything after that is secondary.

After nearly 800 votes, Gortat, Varejao, and McGee are just one vote apart at 98 avg. and 12% of the total votes apiece. It really is hard to disseminate of them who is the better. Even more specific; who is the better center for the Blazers?? Above them, Omer Asik comes in with 17% of the vote, and DeAndre Jordan with 24%. I wonder, if just those two were on the poll, who would win, and of those voting, how much of the vote is influenced by what we think are the chances of getting one player over another. I think a lot of the thoughts about these top 5 choices will be altered and sifted as the playoffs take course, and so lets wait till then to pare down the candidates and have another poll. Horford will definitely be included in that one and maybe Pau Gasol from so many comments toward them. Although like Aldridge, Gasol has only played center, to my knowledge, in the injury absence of Laker all star centers (Shaq, Bynum, Howard).

Some BEdger responses from the first Poll:</p>

Gosh, with this theory out there now, I certainly wish I had been promoting the idea of using cap space to make an uneven trade instead of seeking to use it to sign a FA. Oh, wait, I have been…… by Storyteller

[LOL. Was wondering how many votes registered before storyteller spoke up? 750. Now what, cry to Quick for cred? Ha. As mentioned, a lot of these trade ideas have been previously promoted by BEdgers. Wish I could give credit to you all by name, sorry ;-)]

These players aren’t scraps, these teams don’t want to lose them. Losing them is a necessary evil of going after a superstar and we are talking about putting ourselves in position to benefit from that. I see this as a great thing. I’m not sure I even like Quick divulging this much information about our strategy. by sammymohawk

On Jordan

Jordan also has a trade kicker. So his salary would jump to over $11 Storyteller

On McGee

-Mozgov is receiving a qualifying offer from the nuggets. -Javale Mcgee makes 11 million a year (too much for a back up center). -If they trade Mcgee they can match any offer for Mozgov, giving the nuggets flexibility. -Iggy may choose to opt out and if Denver hopes to resign him, they will need additional cap space - With Galllo hurt and Corey Brewer being an UFA, they will need to make sure they resign IGGY (Plus, when you realize Denver gave up Afflalo to get IGGY, makes it even more likely they seem him in their long term plans). This greatly increases the odds of Mcgee being traded. All other trades for a center are dependent on Dwight/Andrew Bynum. Trading for Javale will be a strong possibility this offseason. by Reeser32x

[Good post. How do know that Moz is being QO’d? Link?]

On Horford

…ask yourself where would Howard consider going…Lakers, Knicks, Houston?, Chicago, Brooklyn, or…wait for it…home to Atlanta. The Hawks have known interest in Howard and have some significant cap space this offseason, but not quite enough to sign Howard. Plus their one remaining valuable player under contract after this season plays the same position as Howard…Al Horford. Horford is one of the best defensive 5s in the league, great rebounder…and, in the end, the logical choice for the center the Blazers covet this offseason. by Puddyknife

[At $12 mill/yr Horford is affordable]

You have to figure they will not likely keep Smith because he is going after big money, and with him gone the team is just no where near a contender. they may have to hit the reset button. by skott75

And for those that thought he was washed up, He’s been ballin as of late, two triple doubles in a row! He may not have the same timeline as Aldridge, but he’s got the skill game to keep it up at a high rate for at least a couple more years. He would also be a perfect mentor for Leonard. by Batumshakalaka

He duplicates too much of what Aldridge does without bringing different skills. by dpnim

[The same be said for Pau Gasol, yes?]

On trading Freeland

-Trade #12 for Spencer Hawes [or other] -Trade Joel Freeland + 3 million + (2nd rounder if needed) for Cap Space -Use roughly 11.5 million to sign best available SG/SF -Use BE to resign Maynor. by Reeser32x

[For a team with cap space and rebuilding, stockpiling picks, your 2nd step may fly]

On Gortat

Give Dalembert or Zaza Kaman’s 1 yr 8m deal [and use our pick] and chase Gortat when he leaves Phx in FA. I’d rather take a long shot on a young big that will hopefully be there on the upswing. Gortat is a nice place holder but he’s not the center for a title winning Blazers. by Deltr0n

[But Gortat is $7.7 mill this year, next year will be a bidding war. Trading now we keep his Bird Rights allowing us to go over the cap to resign him next year without paying tax, I believe]

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