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Answering My Own Questions

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Earlier in the week we did a relative trade value post and a "Where does Zach fit among the greats?" post.  You all weighed in but I never really shared my thoughts.  Since a couple folks wrote and asked I'll do it now.

First of all...the relative trade value of our guys.  Remember the goal here is to be realistic about what they'd be equivalent to on the open market.  Also these are not actual, proposed trades.  It doesn't matter whether we'd actually exchange any of these players, nor that they play different positions or styles.  The idea is, "If Player X were available for trade I'd be this enthused about getting him (or value him this much).  That's about how people feel about our player in reverse."

Since the draft is upcoming I've also included a first round pick equivalent.  This is approximate.  A team that really valued the player/position might well trade a higher pick.  But in general, considering this is a deep draft, this would be about the level of pick I'd assume I could get for our guys straight up.  (Note that nobody could get the #2 or #1 picks this year.)

Here's the list:

Zach Randolph    8th pick, Richard Jefferson-Antawn Jamison  

(Talented players with questions about their health, playing style, salary, or winning ability.)

Brandon Roy    5th pick, Gerald Wallace

(Not a superstar but a good, young talent who would draw interest almost anywhere.)

Jarrett Jack    17th pick, somewhere between Luke Ridnour and Nate Robinson

(Budding point guards, possible starters, but they have holes in their game.)

Travis Outlaw    17th pick, Mo Peterson

(Talented, but kind of a wildcard.)

Lamarcus Aldridge  3rd pick, Al Jefferson

(Hot young talent that would be welcome almost anywhere.)

Ime Udoka   27th pick, Gordon Giricek

(Has some good qualities but not going to be worth much on the open market.)

Martell Webster    20th pick, Luke Walton

(There's not much comparison between Webster and Walton but Martell's tantalizing shooting ability and youth make him equivalent to a more experienced, mid-range player in value.)

Freddie Jones    30th pick, Tyronn Lue

(Nothing to write home about value-wise.)

Raef LaFrentz    Not Tradable

(The contract sinks him.)

Sergio Rodriguez  13th pick, a recovered Shaun Livingston

(I'm assuming Sergio's raw talent would make him attractive.  Livingston would be worth more normally but with the injury...)

Dan Dickau  2nd Rounder, Pick any throw-in

(No explanation necessary.)

Joel Przybilla    25th pick, Flip Murray

(Joel gets value above his production because he's a center and he's relatively cheap.)

Darius Miles    Not Tradable

(Again, no explanation necessary.)

Now how Zach rates in the Blazer pantheon.  When we did this post a couple people asked why players like Buck Williams, Brian Grant, and Arvydas Sabonis weren't listed while guys like Strickland, Wicks, and Natt were.  I determined the list by criteria that applied to Zach, since he was presumably somewhere on it.  You might say, "Rod Strickland amassed stats but he played no defense and had a questionable off-court reputation."  That's true, but that same argument would possibly prevent Zach from coming under discussion.  So for these purposes we kept Rod in.  Similarly the fan favorites without stats were left out as it was too much apples-to-oranges.

Here's my list:

First Tier
Clyde Drexler
Bill Walton
Maurice Lucas
Geoff Petrie

Second Tier
Terry Porter
Rasheed Wallace
Cliff Robinson
Kiki Vandeweghe

Third Tier
Jim Paxson
Lionel Hollins
Zach Randolph
Calvin Natt

Fourth Tier
Sidney Wicks
Rod Strickland

Zach has talent but he hasn't been with the team long enough nor had enough impact to make the list of ultimate greats.  He is a productive star and that can't be ignored.  I don't think he's in the basement but given our winning percentage during his tenure plus the other stuff he's a lot closer to Strickland/Wicks territory than Drexlerville.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)