2015 - I'm so excited! (the master plan)

Shout out to 52therim -- this fanpost (my first) is just an extension of this one:

Question: What would be better than trading for Omer Asik this offseason?

Answer: Getting Omer Asik, Roy Hibbert, or Marc Gasol without giving up any assets.

This, my friends, is the master plan.

Of course, if Asik becomes available this summer (for Matthews, Leonard & a '16 #1, for example), well, the Blazers will jump on that.

But if not, no reason to panic. The Blazers' needle-moving center is just two summers away.

In the summer of 2015, the Blazers will be approximately 32-35 million under the cap. Their current salary commitments will be: Batum (11.9), T.Rob (4.7), Lillard (4.2), Leonard (3.0), and McCollum (appx 2.8). The cap will be somewhere around 60 million.

The Blazers' biggest need -- the elusive needle-moving center -- will be available in 2015. And the Blazers will have the cap space and talent to attract him to Portland.

In 2015, Omer Asik and Marc Gasol are unrestricted free agents. Roy Hibbert will likely exercise his player option and become a UFA as well. Asik will be 29, Gasol 30, and Hibbert 28. Tyson Chandler, D'Andre Jordan and Brook Lopez (if he opts out) will also be available -- though Chandler will be too old, Jordan too inept at free throws, and Lopez too soft to be our first options.

Why would Asik, Gasol, or Hibbert leave their current teams to play in Portland? It is highly unlikely that the Grizzlies (with only Mike Conley under contract in '15-16) or Asik's future team will be as talented as Portland. The Pacers will be good -- Paul George, George Hill, and David West will be under contract -- but they may not be willing to match dollars with Paul Allen given their salary commitments and less-wealthy ownership. The Blazers will be able to offer all three max contracts -- which is certainly more than their current teams will want to pay.

The Blazers, of course, will have Aldridge's bird rights. Do you think that Aldridge would leave the Blazers and a max contract, after Portland signs the center of his dreams, and has a core (Batum, Lillard, McCollum, T.Rob & Leonard) that's ready to compete for a championship for years to come? Neither do I.

This year and next, the Blazers should be focused on winning, first and foremost. But they should also focus on developing and maximizing Lillard, McCollum, T.Robinson, Batum, Leonard, and any other inexpensive, young players they acquire (i.e., Crabbe and next year's 2nd round picks). Because it's creating a winning culture with those players (or whichever assets we get for them), that will determine how successful the Blazers are in the summer of 2015. Personally, I'm optimistic.

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