I feel like i've been seeing a lot of the same ideas be floated around to the point of stagnation. However, one thing that rubs me the wrong way about a lot of options are that they don't really net us more assets to work with in the future. here is an example.
Freeland + cash + #10 for Gortat This one is not so bad as we kinda unload freeland but honestly we kinda give up 2 players for one and spend about 2.9 mil in doing so. Even so we can add another piece, lets say JJ. Reddick, Jarett Jack or (unlikely) Evans.
I like this better
Get Mozgov, O.Neal, and JJ. Reddick through Free agency and draft someone at 10 (maybe Adams). This way we get 4 players, 3 of which might have a nice trade value later. We don't get way better but we do increase the overall talent. Our center position still is subpar and our defense has only marginally improved. However I think it's better overall than the other popular ideas i'm seeing. This idea also seems a bit easier for me to swallow because I do think Batum will have a really good year next year. I think that is one aspect that we underrate in its importance a little bit. If Batum can really make a jump I think it gives leonard, potentially Mozgov, or even more theoretically Adams time to fit into a starting center role. Along with that I think Mathews and Aldridge can maintain while Lillard and the rest of the rookies improve (Barton and Claver I think the other guys are gone). We still miss post presence and slashing to the rim but we get a little better with ball handling and bench production from Reddick.
So hey, doesn't this just lead us to mediocrity? No I don't think so. If we sign our free agents to good deals they could be great trade chips next year if we do decide to trade Aldridge and hit the youth movement switch. But say things do work out and the team maybe gets like the 8th seed next year. I think you still have room to continue to make more small moves and continue to climb from there. Not just stall out. More and more I feel like 3 years from now I could actually see a big three of Lillard Aldridge and Batum being part of a championship team. It would just take some serious individual improvement from everyone on the team not named LaMarcus. Anyways I got side tracked. What I really wanted to say is if this piques your interest try proposing an off season plan where the only outgoing pieces are either second rounders or Freeland and the rest of the signed scrubs (are there any besides freeland that we could actually trade?). Try looking for multiple cheaper free agents to help fill out the roster (maybe T Rob).
Just a P.S. I was actually at the last Blazers game of the year and although it was pretty much all garbage time I do remember noticing Freeland has a few nice post ups and one really lame offensive foul called on what would have been an and 1. I know he is not worth 3 mil but are we writing him off too early? Also Leonard played a few really good individual defensive possessions on Al Jefferson during a Utah Game mixed with some really bad ones. I think he could at least be a good individual defender. Random stuff, but just things I had not seen talked about for a while.