Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com takes a closer look at Hedo Turkoglu's situation, acting under the assumption that he will opt out once the Lakers finish off the Magic. Hedo has had a phenomenal run in the playoffs this year and is a name put forward by a few people, most notably Mike Barrett, as someone that the Blazers might target.
Sheridan runs through each possible suitor (teams with enough cap room to make him a better offer than Orlando might be willing to pay or teams that might be interested in a sign-and-trade with the Magic) and Portland makes the short list.
Here's Sheridan's analysis regardind the Blazers.
Because Darius Miles went back on the Blazers' books for $9 million midway through the 2009-10 season, their cap space for the upcoming season has shrunk to somewhere around $7-9 million, depending on whether they renounce their rights to overseas players Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland.
Some sources, while cautioning against Portland's proclivity for subterfuge, are saying the Blazers covet a point guard upgrade from Steve Blake more than they covet a small forward upgrade from Nicolas Batum. If that's the case, they might decide to swing an uneven trade, salary-wise, in which they use their cap space to bring in a top-tier point guard rather than Turkoglu or another small forward.
I wouldn't break the bank for Hedo although he would be a noticeable upgrade at the 3 and would certainly provide some starting lineup clarity. You can maybe shift Batum to a reserve role but it's Martell that really complicates things. Webster would be seeing negative playing time in that scenario, unless you can trade him, which would require convincing another team to take on 3 more years for a guy that hasn't stepped on an NBA basketball court (except to seriously injure his foot for the second time in 3 months) since the Spring of 2008.
At this point Hedo feels like a longshot. Indeed, just about any move for a big time 3 seems like a longshot given Webster's (questionable) health and Batum's publicly-discussed role in the Blazers future.
Draft a project 3 and stash him deep on the roster, in Europe or in the D-League? Sure, I can see that. But insert someone above Batum and Webster on the depth chart and marginalize those two guys? I won't complain if it happens. But I also won't be holding my breath.
On the bright side, it's good to know that the previously-discussed lopsided trade (uneven trade) is still in the mix. And Sheridan's line about upgrading the one is a life raft.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PS Here's Appleby_15's fanpost and accompanying discussion on the same article.