FanPost

Peeking into Olshey's mind (for this trade deadline)

There have been about as man trade drawers, roster posts and comments regarding what the Blazers should do over the next month as there are waxy mustached men with pants too tight, smokin american spirits strutting up and down Alberta st.

As much as I love the idea of us finding that perfect piece that puts us over the top this year, I don't see it being at all as easy as some have alluded to. If we have learned anything from Neil Oshey over his two year tenure, its that he doesn't destroy the long term plan for a shiny new toy.

If we look back at the moves he made I find a few clear trends...

1) He is building this roster to be at peak flexibility for the 2014-2015 offseason. The only player on the roster (without a team option or non fully guaranteed contract) is Nicholas Batum. Keep in mind that his contract is the lengthiest only due to Minnesota forcing our hand. We can assume Olsey will try and extend both Lillard and Aldridge before then, making these three players locked in to his plan. All of the other pieces on this team (Matthews, Lopez, Williams, Wright, Freeland) clearly seem to be bought into the culture of the city and team and would hypothetically be more likely to sign another reasonable contract going forward if offered.

2) The only big splash attempted was for a big name defensive minded center. The first big move of his tenure was to try and steal Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers. He did everything he could and succeeded in getting HIbbert to agree to sign the offer sheet. - Side note, can you imagine Hibbert starting next to LA? - Olshey's plan could certainly have changed since then, however I still see us going for a big name free agent center in 2014-15 as there will be a decent amount to choose from that offseason.

3) Olshey is capable of signing serviceable vets to small, efficient contracts during the offseason. Mo Williams and Dorrell Wright came out of nowhere and could have taken "better" contracts for other teams. Neil was able to convince them to be a part of this culture. I am going to assume he can do this again, especially with this years recent success as another tool of recruitment.

Extracting these trends allows me to make a couple of assumptions...

1) Olshey would rather not trade for a player whose contract lasts past next season. I really don't see him hamstringing this teams future flexibility, especially due to our recent success, for any player outside of a bonafide star.

2) Value is placed on rookie scale contracts due to the financial flexibility it gives us relative to the investment. The fact we didn't trade Will Barton or Meyers Leonard last off season shows that Neil will allow young talent to prove their merit before trading them away. I believe after the first half of this season, we can reasonably say they have shown to a greater degree that, at best, the investment will take a lot longer to find value. The same cannot be said about CJ or Crabbe. They both still need time to prove their worth. I personally don't see him trading either of these two for anything outside a bonafide star. The previous two, plus Claver are a different story.

3) Neil will not trade for a player on an expiring contract using anything but our verifiable trade pieces. Example, I really don't see us trading CJ for Spencer Hawes. CJ's long term potential + valuable rookie scale contract is of far higher value than Hawe's half season worth of minutes.

My conclusions...

1) Neil will attempt any trade using a mixture of Victor Claver, Meyers Leonard and Will Barton.

2) Neil will try and trade for a backup big that has one and a half years left on his contact. One that along side Lopez, Freeland, and Robinson can (by the sum of their parts) equal what Neil wanted in Roy Hibbert.

(Under my thoery) Any player we trade for would have to meet the following qualities...

1) 2 year contract

2) PF or C

3) Salary of less than 6.5 mil a year (Claver, Leonard, Barton 150% + $100,000)

4) The team is either tanking, needs salary dumping, not a divisional rival, has a disgruntled player.

All of that being said, here are a few players in the Association who meet the above.

Player

Team

Position

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Comments

Brandon Bass

Boston

PF

6.4

6.9

Bismak Biyombo

Charlotte

PF

3

3.8

Timofey Mozgov

Denver

C

4.4

4.6

John Henson

Milwaukie

C

1.9

1.9

*2.9

Team Option

Johan Petro

New Jersey

C

3.2

3.5

Glen Davis

Orlando

PF

6.4

6.6

Channing Frye

Phoenix

C

6.4

*6.8

Player Option

Amir Johnson

Toronto

PF

6.5

*7

Not Fully Guaranteed

Enes Kanter

Utah

C

4.5

5.6

Kosta Koufos

Memphis

C

3

*3

Not Fully Guaranteed

Now I turn it over to the masses. Are there any names on this list that you feel we could conceivably get? Any teams up there willing to take Claver, Barton & Leonard?

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