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Strong Off-Season: Would Blazers be Contenders?


Common opinion (which is probably correct) is that we are a few years from contention, and that is if things go well for us. Unless of course, we pull off a miracle off-season (Dwight!).

But if we pull off the following moves, at least semi-realistic and mentioned often on BE, could that get us close?

We have to make dare-to-be-great moves. Of course we need depth, but you can build a good bench without any cap-space. Just look at all the good veterans on minimum contracts.

Gortat

Claver, #10, #40, and #45 to Phoenix for Gortat and conditional pick. Freeland, #41, and cash would go to Cleveland for salary purposes.

Phoenix gets a second lotto pick and extra 2nd rounders (and save about $6m) to get a good start on their needed rebuild. Cleveland gets a player with potential for free and a pick for their trouble (they're unlikely to make a big free agency splash anyway.

Tyreke

Not exactly original ideas, Evans is the dare-to-be-great move we need, and Gortat is a starting center cheap enough to allow it.

Because the Kings won't (or at least shouldn't) let Evans go for nothing, we offer them a sign and trade. The conditional pick, two 2nd rounders, and the rights to Papanikolaou so they won't match.

Backup PG

We can re-sign Maynor and I'd be cool with that. One another option could be Mario Chalmers. Miami is going to be paying a HUGE luxury tax penalty and have a team option on Chalmers. They can probably find a substitute for the minimum while we'd offer the room exception.

Chalmers brings slightly better shooting and already has a title under his belt.

Finish strong with veteran minimum signings

Jermaine O'Neal is another popular name in discussion, giving us more interior defense, big-man depth, and experience.

Antawn Jamison as a stretch four. Keith Bogans as a 3nD who doesn't need minutes. Bring Patty Mills back for energy and an emergency third PG. An aging Rip Hamilton as a locker room presence and solid vet with championship experience. Luis Amundson for big man depth.

Make Tyreke the super-sub and here is your depth chart;:

PG: Lillard/Chalmers/Mills

SG: Matthews/Evans/Hamilton

SF: Batum/Barton/Bogans

PF: Aldridge/Jamison/Amundson

C: Gortat/O'Neal/Leonard

All our needs are filled and we have great depth. Also, we have a ton of playoff/championship experience while retaining a lot of upside in Barton, Leonard, and Lillard.

Could this lineup (with minor changes if you don't think we can get all those guys for the minimum) contend?

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