You guys ready for craziest #!@*% rebuild story of all-time??

Most summer scenarios I've seen around this site seem to involve trading for Gortat, signing Tyreke Evans, or JJ Redick, Jermaine O'Neal, and or/drafting CJ McCollum, Steven Adams, or KCP. Too this I say, poppycock. I had been one that was on the Gortat/Evans bandwagon, and would still welcome it, however the more I've thought about it, the more I don't see it happening. Many perceive landing Gortat will take sending the #10, Freeland, cash, and some 2nd rounders to get it done. However, Gortat is very attractive trade chip for the Suns. A starting C in the last year of a very reasonable contract, should fetch tons of interest around the league. Why would they want to pick up the 10 pick in a poor draft, and take on a project big man, when other teams could throw much better assets to get Gortat? Bottom line, I think it's going to take more than what Olshey is willing to part with to get Gortat.

On Evans, I like the dimension he brings to the team. He's versatile and can give you time at the 1, 2, or 3 spots, and his ability to get to the hoop is a desperately needed weapon for the current make up of the team. His age fits into the core, and he has potential to become a really good defender. With the shooters we already have around him, he would seem to fit right in, driving to the hoop to finish or to kick out to a Dame/Wes/Nic to drain a 3. Now the rub. We've taken our lumps in the past with RFAs. And this appears to be another sticky situation. I have no clue as to what the new SAC ownership group has in store for Evans. I'm sure of the several teams with 12+ mil in cap space, there are plenty who will be lining up to offer him a deal after the dreams if landing CP3 and D12 are dashed. Will SAC end up matching those? How many teams will make a run at him? Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Phoenix to name a few potential suitors. Last time I checked, all of those destinations were more desirable to the typical NBA player than Portland. So for now, I'm off the Evans bandwagon, due to there being too many complications to make it happen.

Turning attention to the 10 pick, man, what a bad year. In a buyer's market I see a tough time trying to make a desirable deal. So many teams are trying to move around, that this most likely isn't going to bode well for the Blazers. I think they can score a player who could develop into a rotational guy at that spot, and it wouldn't shock me if that's the route they take because all of the offers stunk. So if we stay at 10, I predict we'll draft CJ Zellbazz-Pope. You get my drift.

So a summer where everything is a man will be searching for the!!!

So here's a fresh take on a wild summer:

Olshey has got to be BOLD while staring in the face of a weak draft and a mediocre FA market. So that leaves one option to go big or go home, and that is through trade.

MOVE #1: We put our best chip on the table to obtain a glaring hole in the lineup and roll the dice on a youngster.

POR trades Nic Batum, Joel Freeland, and #10 to WAS for Omeka Okafor and #3.

Portland proposes this because Olshey knows that to get this team better he has to give up something of value. It hurts on the surface because Nic is tenured, multi-faceted, and part of a perceived core currently. Yet, while he improved in some areas last season, his inconsistency is ultimately a fatal flaw in the progress of this team. Olshey moves him now, while Nic's reputation is still high for being a young player with an all around game. The salaries match almost to a tee, and Portland still keeps its 11 mil in cap space, while addressing the immediate need for a contributor at center. Okafor makes $14.5 next year by opting into the final year of his deal. The guy is a double-double, can block some shots, and is decent rim protector. Plus he's on a one year deal, which gives you flexibility next summer. And in the new CBA world, financial flexibility is king! The Wizards accept this deal because they are looking to rid themselves of this contact. They have two centers making over 13 million. Nene is the clear starter, so paying a back up that much is ridiculous. Nic gives them an upgrade over Ariza and Vesley, and would be a nice fit with the Wall/Beal backcourt. At #3, all of the best talent are wings, and they don't need to roll the dice on another unproven one. Nic is young, but a vet, and they need that aspect added to their team. At #10, they could draft Zeller, and then you're talking about a pretty nice core of Wall/Beal/Nene/Batum/Zeller. That would be a fun team to watch. I'm actually jealous of this.

Move #2: with the number #3 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown. Tough, prototypical size at SF, can do a little bit of everything, great intangibles. Neil Olshey presents him his jersey at the Oregon Zoo and immediately declares him the franchise small forward. Plus the last time we selected a guy named Porter, that turned out alright. Summer League dominance and a ROY campaign ensue.

Move #3 POR sends Sasha Pavlovic, Will Barton, 39, 40, and 45 to ATL for #18.

Portland has a player they want in that range, and is trying to clean out the basement to obtain the pick. A fair price in a draft where mid range picks have as much value as a Big Mac on the set of Project Runway. ATL can cut Sasha if they choose, and Will is an extremely cheap option to keep, given they plan to be incredibly big spenders in free agency this offseason. In this draft, Will would be probably lottery or about mid 1st round, so, the deal should seem to fit for the Hawks. POR does this deal because,

Move #4 With the 18th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select, Jamaal Franklin, SG, San Diego State.

I'm soooo bullish on this kid. You're basically replacing Will Barton with a bigger version, who has a wider range of skills, especially defensively. We're talking a guy with a relentless motor at 6'5" with a 7 foot wingspan!!! Plus, he's nasty. He plays with swagger and a confidence, and to me projects as the perfect type of guy to anchor a bench long term or eventually move into the starting lineup.

After we make these moves and sign Porter and Franklin, I'm ballparking our cap space to be around $7 million- Porter around $4mil, and Franklin a wash with sending out Sasha and Barton's contracts.

Onto July 1st. With $7 million and a not to sexy market, looking at 3 moves.

Move #5- Sign Carl Landry, PF to a 2yr/$10mil deal. A perfect back up for Aldridge and capable of providing spot starts if needed.

Move #6- resign Eric Maynor to a 2 year/$4mil deal. Steddy Eddie, not gonna do much better for a backup PG in FA.

Move #7- using the small exception we have, bring back Jermaine O'Neal on the vet minimum and let him finish out his career here.

4 scrub fillers to be determined later

2013-14 roster



Okafor/Leonard/O Neal



This team probably doesn't bode well for keeping LMA long term, but you've gained a young cornerstone in Porter, given yourself more financial flexibility next year when Okafor's $14.5 expires, and if Franklin and Leonard develop nicely, they give you two great pieces to add into the core. This team should be improved defensively, but may take a small step back with shooting. But it's got good character, some attractive young pieces, and flexibility to enhance further through trade. Is it making the playoffs next year? I don't know, but this seems like a realistic team to put together. Portland's really in a tough spot to do anything significant. I think the big piece here is gambling on Potter's upside vs. what room Batum still has left to improve. Porter seems like the only real can't miss prospect in this draft.

Now with all of this rambling coming to a close, I hope we land Gortat and add Tyreke Evans to our existing team without losing any core.

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