OK, here's the last gasp before we start getting hardcore into the draft. (Notice: GM selection for the Blazersedge mock draft will begin tomorrow. Be on your toes if you want to participate.) As we've wandered through the team needs and trade possibilities we've bumped up against this issue many a time until finally now we're flat-out addressing it.
Let's assume for the sake of the conversation that the Blazers desire to make at least one reasonably-sized move this summer to acquire some prime-veteran talent with an eye towards filling a starting role. Throw in any reasonable name you want...it really doesn't matter. Let's also assume that as fond as we are of Travis and Steve and a couple other guys who are easy trade speculation fodder, that alone isn't going to get it done. Our trading partner for the Guy We Really Want is coming back hardcore. "We need Travis or Steve or one of those other guys, sure, but we want one of your three young players with promising talent in addition."
The three guys in question are Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, and Jerryd Bayless. The Blazers are going to be keeping two of them but one goes into the trade.
1. Which one of the three do you think the Blazers would be most willing to part with and why?
2. Which one of the three would YOU be most willing to part with and why?
3. If your answer to both those questions is an absolutely firm, unbreakable "NONE OF THEM!!!" then tell us why...remembering that the premise of the question is that the Blazers want one veteran starter to add. In other words give us a reason beyond, "The Blazers don't need a veteran." Give us things intrinsic to each player that makes each absolutely indispensible no matter what the team wants otherwise.
This is somewhat similar to the "Batum vs. Fernandez" conversation we had a few weeks ago but it's different in a key way: this is not hypothetical. We're not comparing them just against each other. This is for real, considering all of the factors involved with these players, the team, and their trade value.
With the pulse taken here, I believe our early off-season main page trade talk is completed until more solid rumors come out. But I'm thinking this very question will play a key part in the trade buzz that surrounds the team this summer.