Let’s talk about the draft, J.R Smith, Brandon Wright and Patty Mills
There are a plethora of acquisition strategies to consider when going into an off-season, especially if you’re a Blazer fan in 2013. I don’t claim to know even half of them but I have eliminated the idea of going for a superstar or overpaid want-to-be superstars such as Al Jefferson. These guys cost too much and will destroy precious cap space ($12m) that we need to build our second team.
I don’t believe we need to trade much, or at all, to acquire team assets that enable us (Blazers) to be playoff bound next year. We have a better core than what most people give us credit for and we have an opportunity to build that core in this draft.
First and foremost the Blazers (us) need to build a defensive core. This is going to require us to bring in new talent, coaches and a different mindset. I personally believe this is the most important attribute of a team. Defense wins games, sends teams to the playoffs and wins championships. Most defense-minded teams have a “bad guy.” We don’t have one. We have strayed away form bad guys in order to not create another Jail Blazer scenario. We had a lot of bad guys then… I only want one. Sure, the average Joe can worry about the toxic nature of a bad guy. Although, that’s what coaches are for. And honestly, we have great characters on this team that either need some bad guy influence or have enough good sense to make the right character building decisions in the midst of a “bad guy.”
With that being said we should highly pursue J.R. Smith. I don’t know how much he will be worth this summer. I hope he is in our range. I also feel that he is better defender than what he gets credit for and builds a type of defensive/offensive energy that is hard to measure and put on a stat sheet.
With defense in mind I also believe Brandon Wright would be a great addition for us. After coming off a great year his price tag is going up and it’s hard to project what he will cost. But with J.J. on the move we might be able to fill that hole and get some better defense as well.
In the end… if we can get these two players in the off-season I would be excited. However, I think we can add a couple of small contracts as well. We’ll need a back-up PG as well. The question is if we only get one of them, what do we do with the rest of the cap space? There are a lot of scenarios. I look forward to seeing what BE has to say about it.
I personally believe this draft has a lot of value near the second half of the projected first round. The blazers need to find a way to get 2 draft picks in the later first round with one pick being near the 15th spot. With their first pick they should get a shot-blocking center (Gorgui Dieng) or NBA ready defense/rebounding big man or best SF available. With the second pick they should get Giannis Adetokunbo. Granted, he might be moving up the board substantially in the next months and won’t be available. Either way, there is still a lot of talent at the later part of the first round, including Lucas Nogueira.
Do I want Patty Mills back? Yes please. Can we get him on a small contract? I hope so, but probably not. Elliot Williams? Most have given up on the idea of having him back. I’m not one of those people. He’s a gamble but the ceiling is still really high. As far as the other PG options, I’m OK with all of them except Nate Nobinson. I say this because Nate and J.R. on the same team could be toxic. I also think Jamison might have some value with us. What do you think?
We, us, Blazers… Portland, should have an active off-season. My perfect scenario has us getting J.R. Smith, Brandon Wright, Patty Mills, Dieng and Giannis. I’d be happy exchanging some of that for a veteran center.
So… should I go back to my land of unicorns or put a stamp on this and send it to Blazer management?
(Obviously dollar values are not exact and may need adjusting)
Patty Mills $1-3m
Eric Maynor $3.4m
Nate Robinson $1-3m
Darren Collison $3.3m
Gerald Henderson $5-7m
J.R. Smith $5.5-7m
Elliot Williams $700k-1.5m
Not much available here
Draft Giannis Adetokunbo $1.5m
Antawn Jamison $800k
Brandon Wright $4m
Chris Kaman $4-5m
Samuel Dalembert $4-5m
Draft Gorgui Dieng $1.5m