As of 10:23am Friday July 12th, 86% of the Blazersedge readers believe that we will at least make the playoffs this coming season! This is probably the greatest level of contrast between the readers and the writers that I have seen on this site. Even John Canzano over on Oregon Live is excited about the moves that the Blazers have made so far this summer.
I have been reading this site for several years now. (Finally stopped missing the old format by the way). During that time I cannot recall the nature of the articles seeming so pessimistic about our future as they have recently. I am not certain why that is? Were these folks expecting NO to make bigger deals than he did? If so, who? Should we have gone all in for Al Jefferson? Andrew Bynum? Was anyone really that much more excited about adding Marcin Gortat than we are about drafting CJ McCollum?
It seems to me that we did a pretty good of adding a much more solid (and promising) bench while replacing JJ with Lopez - giving us a comparable scorer and a better interior defender. Maybe not leaps and bounds better, but who else could we have added? Kamen? All I have read about most of the potential big men free agents and draftees is how none of them, who were available to us, would really fill the bill.
It seems that a lot of the focus on this site has been around getting Asik. Is Asik really THAT much of an upgrade over Robin Lopez?
The element that I find missing and most exciting here is the development of 1st and 2nd year players. Meyers Leonard appears to be putting in the work to improve his game. Even if he comes back this year as an 8ppg 5rpg, 1.5bpg reserve it would make him one of the best (and most sought after) back up bigs in the game. Thomas Robinson might never be the star that he was projected to be but what if he at least gives us 7ppg, 6rpg off the bench. If we are getting 10 points a night from Dorell and CJ, we suddenly have one of the best young benches in the game. Take a look at the rookie years of such former Blazer All Stars as Jim Paxson and Clyde Drexler. Judge them by there first year do you?
Is the pessimism centered around the potential trading of Aldridge? It appears to me that if Aldridge is traded we are going to get the very best mix of young players and picks that we can. NO passed on the Cleveland deal at the draft because he knows we can do better.
For now we have a multi-All Star power forward under contract for 2 more seasons. We have one of the hottest young point guards in the game. We have a couple of decent support players in Batum and Matthews. And we have 2 potentially decent sophomore bigs and a potentially great young combo guard coming off the bench.
I, for one, am excited to see what this group can accomplish. I think it is too soon to pronounce this new squad DOA. I wonder if that great move that everyone thinks we failed to execute ever existed and if so what that move might have been.