This needs to be done now so it doesn't seem like some revisionist history or 20/20 hindsight thing when I get mad about it again after free agency, after the trade dead line, and again at next years draft when we are still trying to fix it and are twice as desperate because LMA's contract is a year older.
First I'll give honorable mention to a couple of possible mistakes that Idog has mentioned.
1)McLemore and Noel were there for the taking if the Blazers had only wanted them.
2)We could have done the same thing as Minny (who generally graded out as an A in the draft BTW) and basically gotten twice as much talent than we got with #10 by itself.
Neither wins because they are both so debatable. I have a sneaking suspicion that #1 would have never really penciled out in terms of cost/benefit/timeline ratios if I even knew what it would have taken to get either of those guys in the real world. If we would have gone the Minny route, it would have cost more cap space and affected our ability to sign free agents. I agree there's no guarantee with any of the free agents, but once again the debatability prevents this from being the "definitive" worst mistake of the year.
That honor resides in the great "not getting Kosta Koufus when he was available" debacle.
Exhibit A: His stats; (rounded and per 36) 13 points, 11 rebounds on .580% shooting. He gets 5 fouls a night in 22 minutes. Let me ask you this, if you were George Karl
and yout center position was 3 deep....Would you be afraid of fouls, or would you tell them to just go ahead and use those babies up? He is 24 years old and has been in the league since he was 19. He has shown consistent steady growth every year, and shouldn't even hit his prime for another 4 years. He has one of the top 5 (I say top 2) most desirable contracts based on production and position in the entire NBA. The only problem with his contract is....that it isn't longer. It runs out at the same time as LMA's. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's a minor concern either way. BTW he's 7' and 265 pounds. (all stats from basketball reference.com)
For those of you that say, "I just don't get excited about Kosta Kufous". I say, "Would you be excited about Nikola Vucevic
from Orlando?" He's young, has a nice contract, and has killer stats. Right?
Exhibit B: Nikola Vucevic stats; 6'10" and 240 pounds (I'm out already BTW) 2 years younger. has been in the league for 2 years. 14 points and 13 rebounds. Only shoots .520% from the field for a center. I'd give a slight edge to Vucevic here if he weren't smaller than our power forward. Now imagine getting Vucevic for Darrell Arthur
and The NBAs own version of MR. Irrelevant....the 55th pick in the draft. Woohoo! It would be the heist of the century. Right?
Just a little side note. We are talking about a 16th pick and a 23rd pick. So how good does Meyers Leonard
(#11?)need to be in 4 (I'm feeling generous today) years to make sense? But I digress, back to the case at hand.
I challenge all of Blazers edge to find me a better target that would ....
1) Cost less to aquire
2) Have better stats
3) Be AVAILABLE
4) Have a better contract
You know what, let's just skip #4 I'll keep it as my ace in the hole if anyone even gets close. I honestly don't think I'll need it anyway.
Exhibit C: The field;
? I don't think so.
Gortat ? Eff that.
Cousins? I'd definitely take him over Koufus. I'm a gambler and we have no crazies right now.
Ruling on this matter....not available.
Asik ? I am going to keep living this dream for awhile, but the more I look at it I just don't see us having the proper assets for this deal if it even happens.
McGee? I love McGee...See Cousins.
Come on Blazers edge who you got? I'll swat them all down like flies. If you have more than 2 "IF's"....they better be good ones.