Reading through some of the blogs over the past week, I am noticing a lot of players are coming out as options to either replace Wesley Matthews as a starter at shooting guard, or back him up at that spot, or bring in a back up small forward to put behind Batum. Though some of them are more realistic then others, I combed through some restricted and unrestricted free agent lists to lay a few more out there as well as my opinion on how each of them could affect the Blazers next year if we picked them up. The shooting guards and small forwards will be mixed in together, as I believe behind a starting reliable center, is our second biggest need. One can be filled with a solid vet, while the other spot can have a little money thrown at it for someone a little more long term. Here they are
Tyreke Evans-Now he is probably the single most talked about option I have been reading about lately. He is going to be a restricted free agent this year. I am sure the kings are going to offer him an extension, however I would not have thought they would have traded their fifth overall draft pick this season either so who knows, maybe he will want a change of scenery. Him and Lillard would be decent combo as Tyreke's best asset is attacking the hoop, and though DL can do that, he is also an excellent spot up shooter as well. He can also handle dribble duties if they want force the ball away from DL. As for price...This is where it could hurt us. I am thinking he can get anything from 6-8 million a year. He is 23 and definitely can improve, so potentially unloading Freeland along with a draft pick or two with cash considerations might be the only way, or possibly even giving up Matthews, though I don't know if I would really want to do that. I really really like Wes. I would have him start over Wes though.
Keven Martin-I actually haven't heard anything about him, and it is going to be very interesting what OKC does with him. They were definitely overpaying at 12+million this year, however he is going to be an unrestricted free agent, and I am guessing he is going to drop down to the 6-8 million a year as well. Regardless, I do not believe he will get picked back up by OKC. This would be risky, spendy, and I would not do this. He is 30 years old, and will likely get one more big contract, and the team that gives it to him are going to regret it. in the past five seasons he misses an avg of 20+ games a season. I would pass on him.
OJ Mayo- He had a revival party of sorts in Dallas for the first half of the all star break. He kept Dallas in contention for an 8th seed while Dirk was hurt, but when he was no longer the first or second option he regressed on all aspects. Offense and defense declined leaving coaches and teammates frustrated. With the people we have now I do not feel OJ would be a good fit. He wants to start and be one of the main factors in offense. I would have him behind Wes in the depth chart because he is a better passer and individual scorer then Wes and could help the second unit out better, however I do not believe that is what he wants as a player. Though it has been stated that he has a strong connection with NO, I do not believe that would be enough. If we talk with him though and we can get him between 4-6 million and he willingly excepted that role, I would pull the trigger. He is currently stating he is going to opt out, however Dallas seems to be in the lead for his services again next year.
JJ Redick- He has carved a nice little niche in the league where he has been a reliable SG for Orlando the past few years, and has greatly improved his defense and ball handling where he now isn't just known for his range. JJ's ball handling is now compared to a solid point guards ability, and would be a good asset for Portland to have. a shooting guard who can shoot, score, pass, and play team defense would be a great asset. Either him or Wes could start. I do not know how much JJ is going to command, however I think he would be a solid option if we could afford it.
Tony Allen-He is going to be one of the older guys on this list, so he will only regress overtime, but he is what he is. A defensive specialist. Well known through out the league he could give Portland 20-25 minutes a night of solid D at multiple positions. He however would not help the bench score as he is not reliable in that aspect. To balance things out I would have him start over Wes, however Wes would play more minutes. I would give 20-25 to Tony, and 30-35 to Wes. Portland would have a wicked small line up of Lillard Matthews, Allen, Batum, and Aldridge. Though obviously not on the same caliber of Miami's small ball line up, that would be a fun game to watch as they would win at SF and SG, but I believe we would have them at the other positions. Another thing about Tony is he was paid a little over 3 million last year, so we could get him to something similar to that, it would be great.
Shawn Marion- He has an Early termination option so we will see what he does. Though not the same plaer he was a few years ago, Shawn would add a solid veteran presence at the SF spot. He is going to be 35 by the time next season starts. The cool thing about him is he can play both foward spots. He is a good defender, who does not take outside shots, has an extremely awkward release, but still manages to put the ball in the whole. His big upside for Portland would be his defense, veteran presence, playing either forward spots, and his absurd rebounding numbers; the best in the league for a SF. I do not believe he will utilize his ETO as he will get paid north of 8 million, however stranger things have happened, and he is someone we can keep an eye on.
Martell Webster- He actually had somewhat of a rebirth last year in DC. He finally started putting up percentages that reflected his perfect stroke. He sht over 40% last year from deep and played in 78 games after having a few years of injury issues. He is an unrestricted free agent who DC will probably try to get back however he is someone who we can look at. I know it didn't really work out the first time, but it seems like he is finally coming into his own. You also must realize he was drafted in 2006 out of high school, one of the last players to make that jump, so he is starting next year at the age of 26. He is definitely coming in to the age of where he could be topping out his potential, and someone the blazers can look at to get behind Batum.
Corey Brewer-he is going to be an unrestricted free agent next year as well. I am thinking denver is going to push to get Iggy back though and may have to let Brewer go. He is on the last year of his 3 million dollar contract. Brewer is extremely fast albeit an extremely bad ball handler. He is also a very good defender who could help us in that aspect. I think he would be a great fit with Maynor in the second unit. To bring up the pace as well as play some defense while the starters get their second wind. if we can get him in the 3-4 million range, I would pull the trigger. Another option is sense Javale Mcgee seems like a target for the blazers this year, getting him and Brewer in a sign and trade somehow could be an option.
Kyle Korver- He is going to be an UFA and would definitely help out our needs in bench scoring. He is not a great defender, however he is arguably the most consistent deep range threat in the NBA over the past few years. He is coming off a pretty hefty contract but starting next season at the age of 32, maybe we can snag him a little cheaper. Korver started most games for Atlanta last year, but generally is used as a 6th man, and as Portland's possible main scorer off the bench, could go for 6th man of the year honors.
Anthony Morrow- he is my final guy on this list. Another extremely dangerous three point shooter, he could add a scoring punch off the bench at the SG position. Though not a great defender, he is serviceable, in that aspect, but sense he had such a horrible year for Dallas last year, we may be able to get him dirt cheap for a couple million and get solid production out of him for a year or two. When he is healthy he is an extremely legit deep threat who would help our second unit. He is young though at 27 and could be a cheap positive asset for portland.
There you go. Those are the main options I see for Portland and their second biggest need this off season. Thoughts? Who would you like? Who do you think is the most realistic options for us? Do you think After Getting a center this is the second biggest need? Thoughts please!