FanPost

Crystal Ballin' Summer 2014

Portland has a pretty darn good starting five: It appears as though GM Neil Olshey knows it, and wants to keep these guys together and see what they can do. The team's mediocre (at-best) defense and poor bench play are the weaknesses, however, that will keep the Blazers from making noise in this year's playoffs. The front office's job is to address these needs over the summer. Here's how I see it playing out:

1) Earl Watson's contract expires, and the Blazers convince Mo Williams to exercise his player option--then let him walk. The Blazers consolidate these two roster spots into one, and sign a better defender and/or facilitator at back-up point guard in the free agent market. Targets include Shaun Livingston, Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks, Toney Douglas and Brian Roberts.

2) Victor Claver gets traded for a 2nd-round draft pick, roster flexibility. Olshey is probably not going to admit a mistake at this point in his career...so will not look to "dump" anyone he has drafted, traded for, or signed in free agency. This leaves Claver and Freeland. Freeland has proven useful this year, though, while Claver really hasn't. His relatively cheap contract and upside are enough, however, to merit a future second-round draft pick. Dumping Claver provides an extra opening in the roster, and allows Olshey to make one more move while leaving one open roster spot going into training camp...

3) Blazers use MLE to sign free agent big for the rotation, a guy to protect the paint and rebound. Targets include Chris Andersen, Emeka Okafor, Kris Humphries and Ekpe Udoh

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