So, It's that season of "Trade/Don't trade Aldridge" once again. Up until this year, I've been consistently against trading him, mainly because I haven't believed he had reached his peak of potential, and maximum trade value. At this point, I believe he has. I love what he did this last season, don't get me wrong, I just don't think he's going to progress any further. Thus leading to the question: Is what he's got gonna lead us to a ring in Coach Stotts' current system? I think he's functional and effective in Stotts' gameplan, but I don't believe he pushes the potential as high as it can go. The high pick-and-pop style of plays gave teams some fits this season, when Aldridge was hitting his shots. And even though he showed considerable improvement at attacking the basket, he managed to lead the NBA in mid-range jumpers. I'd just like a little more versatillity to improvise when stuck out there on the wing. The guy that comes to mind immediately is Carmelo Anthony. Now before I get the heated comments from Blazer Fans telling me how he'd just decimate the locker room, hog the ball, etc etc... Please let me play out a scenerio that not only takes Stotts' plan to the next level, but actually works financially. Blazers trade Aldridge and Batum to New York. (possibly a future draft pick, or Will Barton) New York trades Melo, Iman Shumpert, and Jeremy Tyler to the Blazers. I throw in Batum here because the Knicks are gonna need to fill the SF position, and need something a little sweeter than a straight up Melo/Aldridge deal. And Batum's about peaked as well. He has some mind-blowing moments, and within seconds he'll do something that makes you want to blow your own mind right out of your head. And simply put, it just helps the deal work financially. What does Portland get here besides Melo being a future H.O.F.'r in his prime and desperate to win a title and seal his legacy? Shumpert: A) A player who desperately needs to leave NYC to fully realize his potential? B) Someone able to score in bunches off the bench, and in a variety of ways. C) Athleticism (he can jump really high) D) A mini contract that's up in 2 years E) All of the above Answers may or may not be graded. And then you have this guy named Jeremy Tyler, who I believe has enough talent and potential to work his way right up into that starting PF posititon. If anything, it would be interesting to see T-Rob try to beat him out of it. My overall view is this: You have a Dame/Melo/Wes combo that would put fear in the hearts of NBA defenses on the perimeter. You still have low-post options. And now you have two guys (T-Rob and RoLo) who clean up the glass like Windex. Then throw in a bench that features Shumpert, Mo, Wright, Tyler, Barton (if not traded), and Freeland. Not only can I live with that, but there are your future NBA Champs.