First time Fanpost… Here goes nothing!
I’ve been a long time lurker here at Blazersedge, and recently I’ve noticed everyone has been playing GM. Then, yesterday, I read the article about Victor Oladipo and they Blazers’ interest in him. So I decided to sum up my courage and join in on the fun! Here’s what I think the Blazers should do this offseason.
Step 1: Trade with Phoenix
PDX trades: Wes Matthews, Meyers Leonard and #10 pick
PHX trades: Marcin Gortat and #4 pick
Why PHX does this trade: The Suns are in total rebuilding mode, and Gortat doesn’t fit in that window. Also, they gain a solid vet on a reasonable contract in Wes and a center with upside in Meyers. They only move down 6 spots in a weak draft that has depth.
Why PDX does this trade: While Portland does lose a valuable asset in Wes, it fills its biggest need: a solid defensive center. While Gortat is not a premier shot blocker or a huge space-eater, he plays solid P&R defense, rebounds the ball well, and is a presence down low both offensively and defensively. While I hate to give up on Meyers this early, he will most likely have to be thrown into the trade in order to make PHX bite. In addition, the Blazers move up 6 spots in the draft in order to…
Step 2: Draft Victor Oladipo with the #4 pick
I’m a huge fan of Oladipo, and I was very pleased to hear that NeO is as well. I’m sure you’ve all read this article, but I’ll link it here anyways. http://www.blazersedge.com/2013/5/18/4343640/haynes-blazers-eye-trade-up-for-indiana-g-victor-oladipo
Oladipo could fill the void the Wesley’s departure creates. He is a blue-collar, hard-working player – exactly the kind of player that the Blazers are looking for. While he isn’t a creator on offense, he can still space the floor extremely well and is a great hustle player. Also, Victor has the defensive versatility to guard all three backcourt positions. A Blazers backcourt of Lillard, Oladipo, and Batum would allow the Blazers to “hide” Lillard on the opponent’s weakest offensive player.
Victor is also an articulate person who speaks well in front of the media. He has the star potential – similar to what Damian has – and could be a future face of the franchise. Here’s his Draft Combine interview as reference to what I’m talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3Oc5_rGNTo&list=PLGbx-x-czRRce5odfSkK4e5ml4c6BygZz&index=3
Step 3: Trade with Utah
PDX trades: Will Barton, #40 pick and 2014 2nd rounder
UTA trades: #21 pick
Why PDX does this trade: The Blazers do this trade to draft a center. I know, drafting for need usually backfires (see: Nolan Smith/Kenneth Faried), but this draft is loaded with good, defensive centers, and I think the Blazers should try their hardest to snatch one up. Dieng, Adams, Gobert, and Withey are all solid options at the center position, and I think one of them will be available at #21. As of right now, DraftExpress only has Withey going after the 21st pick, but there’s always a center who drops (see: Tyler Zeller).
Why UTA does this trade: The Jazz acquire a young SG in Barton, and two second round picks. Utah also has the 14th pick, so that may make their second pick more expendable.
Step 4: Trade Freeland, #45 pick and $3 million to any team
This step is mainly for a salary dump. While I hate to give up on Freeland his salary is too high. The second rounder is to sweeten the deal for the team receiving Joel.
Step 5: Draft a solid backup 4 with pick #39
Options here are: Trevor Mbakwe, CJ Leslie, Kenny Kadji, and Mike Muscala
Let’s take a quick intermission here and look at what we have for our roster.
PF: Aldridge/#39 pick/________
C: Gortat/#21 pick/_________
Now let’s take a look at the salary situation.
Before PHX trade: 43,240,658 in payroll, 14,759,342 in cap room
After PHX trade: 45,081,978 in payroll, 12,918,022 in cap room
After Utah trade: 45,659,178 in payroll, 12,340,822 in cap room
After dumping Freeland: 42,594,138 in payroll, 15,405,862 in cap room
So we have the roster shown above and over 15 million in cap room to work with. Now we enter free agency. This is where the real fun begins!
Step 6: Offer Tyreke Evans a 4 year, 48 million dollar contract
I know that a lot of you fellow Bedgers don’t like Tyreke, but I do. I’m a huge fan of his talent and I think that he would be the perfect fit for the Blazers. His ability to slash and attack the lane is what this team needs. He has elite talent ad I think that he would be a great fit. He can be a secondary ball handler to Lillard and a creator on offense. He also has the tools to be a great defensive player he just hasn’t had proper coaching in Sacramento. I think, at 12 million a year, Sacramento will let him go and will try to build around Demarcus Cousins.
Step 7: Offer Branden Wright a 3 year, 6 million dollar contract.
Wright is a solid backup 4/5 who plays nice defense in spot minutes. He won’t be relied on too much in our rotation which will hide his offensive deficiencies.
Step 8: Use remaining 1.5 million on a veteran backup wing.
I don’t really know any good options here, maybe Brewer but I doubt he would sign for that little.
Step 9: Sign Jermaine O’neal for the vet minimum
I agree with the majority here at Blazersedge in thinking that JO will be a nice addition. He can backup Gortat in case our rookie center doesn’t catch on quickly (see: Meyers this last year).
Step 10: Use the exception to resign Eric Maynor.
I didn’t know much about Maynor until he put on a Blazers uniform, but I liked what I saw out of him. He is a good pass-first PG who can set up his teammates while also managing to score himself.
Step 11: Resign Elliot Williams for the minimum.
This guy is electric. I don’t think he’s injury prone, I just think he’s been bitten by the bad luck that’s been hovering over the Blazers these last few years. Hopefully he can return to his former self, because he was one of my favorite Blazers to watch.
Now, let’s take a look at the roster after Free Agency
SF: Batum/Claver/Vet Wing
PF: Aldridge/Wright/#39 pick
C: Gortat/#21 pick/O’Neal
Looking at that roster, I can easily see the Blazers making the playoffs next year, then having home court advantage the year after that. There’s a good balance of both offense and defense at almost every position and the depth of this line-up is solid. I think that you could start Oladipo and bring Tyreke off the bench as a super sub. Tyreke would have total command of the second unit, and would also get some burn with the starters as well.
Well, if you managed to read the whole thing, I thank you. I hope I did all of the salaries/cap stuff correctly, but if I messed up somehow don’t feel shy to correct me. After all, this is my first Fanpost.
So, Blazer fans, whaddya think??