As the Blazers season rolls on the flaws in our current system have begun to show up in small ways. We need another big man off the bench, and maybe one more sharp shooter to take the pressure off of starters that are already carrying heavy loads. The following may include a way to fix that.
Many Blazer fans have attributed the 25-2 run by the Mavericks second unit to the fact that there wasn't a strict ball handler on the court for the Blazers. While this may have been true to an extent, if you were watching the game you would have noticed, like me, the feeling of panic that was obviously present even when C.J was making sufficient passes to break double teams.
Our Trading Assets
For this specific situation, it's easy to point fingers at the ages of the players on the court. Meyers, CJ, TRob, Will Barton(Why don't we have a cool nickname for him yet?)- are all very young players. There's obviously reason for their meltdown - but there is one player that's performance can't be blamed on immaturity. Dorell Wright.
In a season built around the "now," it's tough to give a sharp shooter that can't play defense minutes when he can't do what he is supposed to be good at. Providing minutes and more shots in a real game atmosphere is generally the way to solve a shooting slump, and like I just pointed out, he's not getting many of those.
So, if we can get somebody better, there's no need to hold on to Dorell Wright.
Here's his salary situation : 2 years : $3,000,000
Unless he plays up his value dramatically, re-signing him in the off season wouldn't be too hard for a potential suitor. Also, a team that needs a bit of shooting to spread the court may be willing to provide him the minutes needed to break out of his little funk.
I'm going to start by saying that I'm not completely sold on the fact that we need to trade Mo Williams despite his short comings so far this season. However, with that being said, I don't see many teams accepting an offer with our current assets. Mo Williams, as horrific as he's been lately, is still seen as an asset for a team that's struggling to come up with offense. He too seems to look less comfortable coming off the bench and not being able to take on the offensive burden that he's used to, so finding him a home on a another team that would allow him to do so could potentially up his value.
Here's his salary situation : 2 years : $2,652,000
Unless we get a player than can exponentially improve our chances in making a deep run, keeping Mo might be the best way to go. However, like I stated earlier, he could be an asset in a larger move.
These are all young guys that obviously haven't played out their full potential yet. TRob is getting more minutes and a few highlight plays, but is still yet to really be an impact player on the court. Meyers, as it seems, is going in the opposite direction. Every time he comes into the game I cringe and hope that we can maintain that 8 point lead that the starters had provided. Most times, regardless of which mix of these guys are on the court, we can't. I'm all for development and am not excited about the idea of tossing TRob onto yet another roster, but trading a mixture of these guys to a team that is willing to take a chance on them may be something that we need to capitalize on.
Thomas Robinson : 3 years : $3,526,440
Meyers Leonard : 3 years : $2,316,720
Will Barton : 2 years : $788,872
The "Long Shot" Trade
I hesitate to add this part, because it's a little out there and hasn't even been put on the table yet. However, if we make enough noise here on BlazersEdge, there's a possibility we could get someone to hear us out on this one. Know that this isn't the only option to make the Blazers a better team, and if you have any better ones feel free comment.
Players given up (POR) : Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright
How/Logistics : There's not a whole lot of logistical issues with this trade scenario. No restrictions blocking players, and plenty of cap space being left for both teams. No issues here.
Why(PHX) : The Suns are a team, like Portland, that are beginning to look at themselves as contenders for a playoff spot in the west. The early showing of their pair of guards (Dragic and Bledsoe), has quite possibly been the second biggest shocker in the western conference this season. The fact remains, however, they lack a player off the bench that can set up other guys and really impact a game. Mo Williams could start alongside Dragic until Bledsoe returns, and then take a spot in the second unit with a little more freedom in his game then he has in Portland, maybe bringing his numbers closer to his career average. Dorell Wright could serve as a spot up three guy for the Suns, and potentially get the minutes he needs to re-shape into the good player he has shown in the past. The adding of T-Rob would be another young, athletic member of the Suns' built-for-the-future squad. With this team, because they have 3 capable big men to step up in Channing's absence, I see the suns reclaiming the 8th spot in the playoffs. Even if they don't, they have draft picks aplenty and a better team than before.
If Wright can end up averaging 7 PPG, Mo 12-14 + 6 APG(an added bonus), and T-Rob 6 for the Suns with potential for more, the suns would come out positive points wise. (These are reasonable numbers considering averages and potential ratings)
Why(POR) : If you have any concern about chemistry being broken up with the Blazers and the meshing of the two new additions, don't be. Could you imagine how good of friends RoLo and Channing would be? Anyways, this trade, obviously, would be dependent on the ability of either C.J McCollum or Gerald green to be able to run the point in the second unit, something in which could be had with the tweaking of a mindset. With one of these guys being off ball accompanied by a starter as well as Freeland and Frye, the Blazers have turned into a solid 9 man rotation of guys that can do it all. With a such a scoring threat on the second unit, the Blazers starters may even be able to come back into the game still with a lead. Wouldn't that be something? Gerald green, Nic Batum, Channing Frye, C-Mac and Joel Freeland as a first quarter close-second quarter opener doesn't sound too shabby to me on the offensive OR defense side of the court.
Do I really have to explain the numbers on this side?
It was almost bed time when a wrote this one. Maybe this trade only happens in my dreams.
Players Given up(MEM) : Kosta Kofus & Tayshawn Prince
Players Given up(POR) : Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe, Dorell Wright, Victor Claver
I felt the need to add this because it's a much more mundane offer, that seems much more possible. The Grizz are in dire need of some long ball shooting, and have already said they'd be willing to give up a big guy to get some. Despite how much we all admire Crabbe, Memphis has shown interest in him before and I believe he's somebody they'd insist on having if this deal would go through. Kofus, on the other hand, could be the 8 PPG 7 footer that we need coming off of the bench. Claver needs to be thrown in for salary reasons.