Nicolas Batum has all the potential in the world. We hear this all the time, yet he has never fully blossomed into the player that we all hope he can become. Part of that may have been the system he was in under Nate, and a big part can be credited to how good of a magician he is with his disappearing act. Whatever it is, if the Blazers are ever going to really contend, we need Batum to step up and play like he can, and here's the team that I think he would do that on.
First off, we keep Lamarcus Aldridge. In my last post I said to trade him, now I am taking that back and praying that we keep him. He is a two time All Star and one of the top scorers in the league. Also, we bring back Maynor to backup Damian. When we have a competent backup PG, our offense can still function and we won't have to make Dame be the most played player in the league again. Next I would try to throw the #10 pick, Leonard, Barton, Freeland and our 2nd rounders at Houston to try and get Omer Asik as they try to land Howard. If they don't bite then offer the same deal to Phoenix for Marcin Gortat. Either one of these centers would be what we need down low and I think the perfect complement to Lamarcus, I would prefer Asik, but either would work. Then I say NO sits down with Batum and tells him that he's moving him to the SG position, and when Wes comes in he can swing to the SF. I think that Batum would like this and flourish in this role, kind of like a Paul George type player. Like T Darkstar has said, he plays the 2 on the French national team and I think his ball handling is sufficient enough for the starting SG spot. This would make Wes our 6th man, a role I think he would do well in. To fill the SF spot, we sign Earl Clarke, who is a 25 year old defensive specimen.
He can guard PG-PF positions, and won't demand the ball much on offense. Think of Clarke guarding LeBron or Durant, and Batum gaurding Wade or Westbrook. I think we now match up a lot better with the top teams in the NBA. We then sign Jermaine O'Neil, Paul Millsap, and Dejaun Blair as our backup bigs. Our team then looks like:
Asik or Gortat/O'Neil/Blair
I believe that this team would be competing for a championship next year as we would have the offense and defense to take on the big teams like the Heat, Thunder, Spurs and Pacers. Yes? No? Tell me what you think!