I'm curious people talk about winning now but, what does that mean exactly? Does that mean winning more than last year? Breaking .500? Making the playoffs? Getting past the 1st round? Also is it compatible with winning a championship in the foreseeable (7 years) future?
I would contend that to win NOW would jeopardize our ability to win a ring. I just cannot foresee any realistic scenario in which the Blazers even get out of the west in the next 5 years, let alone put up a serious effort vs. the Heat
whom I expect to come out of the East for the next 5 years at least. The fact is a very frustrating thing has happened. Much like with Jordan and Shaq a transcendent talent has emerged who appears to my eyes to be UNBEATABLE during his prime that being obviously James. People don't seem to recognize that or are willfully trying to block that image out.
Have we all forgotten Jordan's reign? I sure haven't. That guy was good for 8+ rings (I'm counting the two he would have won if he hadn't retired for baseball and the real possibility of one more if that team had been kept together after his sixth). Nobody was going to beat Jordan and based on what I saw yet again last night we have a new guy who is going to win 6+ rings. I'm sorry guys but LBJ is simply unbeatable right now and for the foreseeable future. He also never seems to get injured, not that I would want that, so I don't see him fading much for at a minimum
five more seasons and that might be optimistic considering his age and seemingly non-existent ceiling.
So sure, we could "win now" we might be able to cobble together an also ran. If things really broke well for us then we might even get out of the West, but even that looks like a HUGE stretch given OKC along with the rising GSW and MEM teams, not to mention the CLEARLY
who obviously don't have to concern themselves with aging like a normal team. Both LA teams are dangerous. The Lakers
have this SICKENING habit of magically reconstituting themselves like some kind of horror movie villain just when you thought they were dead so I would never, EVER count them out. There are also borderline teams that are already better than us HOU, DEN etc. That's a pretty tall order to get past all of those teams when ALL of them are better than us right NOW by doing nothing but standing pat.
So then how to win a RING, not an also ran, and certainly not a win now 1st round and done effort.
Free Agency perhaps? Oh really? Who? CP3 negates our best player so that's pointless also I doubt Paul would come here. D12?...I'm not sold on that guy after his rather incredibly BAD 2012/13 outing with the Lakers and he seems like Locker Room poison so no. Who else is available that's gonna help us compete with LBJ? The correct answer is NO ONE
A trade? Who? Who is going to put us over the top that is even conceivably on the trading block? I can't think of a single guy. We need top 10 players in the league talent to challenge LeBron and I'm just not seeing anyone who would want to come to P-town and who we could get without trading both LA and Batum which would leave us basically at moderately better than we are now.
That leaves us with one option. It's grim, it sucks, but I'm afraid it might be our only hope at a championship between now and 2023+
We need to build through the draft. Fortunately, the coming drafts are looking to be amazing with the 2014 and a few in the coming years as well based on some notable high school players.
This means we need to look long and hard at trading Aldridge and likely Batum.
Aldridge is getting sick of losing and you can’t blame him. Batum might be in that camp as well. I think the play is to make a trade with Charlotte for their pick and the 2014 unprotected for Aldridge. LA is a good enough player that it is worth considering for the Bobcats
. They have had nothing but bad luck with picks for years now so a trade for a known quantity might be appealing and something they would consider. Even if they wanted to top-3 protect their pick that might be worth doing as it is another asset and as I explain below...we might be in contention for the #1 pick next year anyways.
Also, talk to the Cavs about their pick for Batum. If we managed to get both you could then use our #10 for one of the centers Gobert or Adams and look at getting some back up PF’s and SF’s. We are gonna get crushed next year and that is actually a good thing
in this scenario as you want a shot at Wiggins.
You would end up with something like:
C – Leonard/Gobert or Adams
PF – Noel (from Cleveland’s pick) /FA signing to start while Noel rehabs and then come off bench. I think of Noel as a defensive PF. To me that is a bit more reasonable given his weight then as a C. If you see Noel as a Center fee free to plug him in above and instead look for us to have a placeholder at PF that we deal with with either FA or a draft pick. I'm keen to hear your ideas.
SF – Claver/Babbit/FA signing look to fill this with Wiggins next year no sense drafting Porter if you are hoping for Wiggins in 2014 if you fail on that, you can go for one of the other SF's in the 2014 class or you can go for a FA in the rich 2014 FA class.
SG – Oladipo (from bobcats pick)/Matthews
PG – Lillard/Maynor
I realize that team gets absolutely curb stomped in 2013/14 but that’s actually not a bad thing in this scenario. In fact the bigger the crush the better the pick in the 2014 draft.
It sucks to take it in the shorts again but I think Lillard’s window is the one we should be looking at. Our chances of building a Championship caliber team around LA are slim to none.
I would love to hear about your rebuild ideas, your roster ideas, potential FA's to fill in gaps that would come from this maneuver and also reasons why you genuinely think we have a legitimate shot at winning a title in the next 3 to 4 seasons and a path to getting there that is REALISTIC.