In an interview with Isaac Ropp on 1080 AM The Fan, ESPN.com's Ric Bucher discussed the latest Portland Trail Blazers trade chatter. You can stream the audio here.
In a follow up to comments he made in an ESPN.com chat last week, in which he said seven or eight teams had inquired about Blazers guard Brandon Roy, Bucher explained that those calls were more background calls rather than active trade pursuits. "Some of that is obviously exploratory rather than, 'hey, let's go get this guy.'"
Bucher did say, though, that Roy's tension with Andre Miller is fueling these discussions. "There is a feeling out there that this situation his condition with his knees is amplified by the fact, 1) he's frustrated playing with Andre Miller and 2) playing with Miller takes him off the ball. And a guy with knees in his condition, it's harder to play without the ball, you have to cut different, you're playing at someone else's speed, and it makes it more difficult for him to be effective."
Last week, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard wrote that Roy might or might not have approached Cho requesting a move of either himself or Miller. Everyone involved denied it, but Bucher appeared to co-sign a willingness on Roy's behalf to leave town. "Looking at the market," Bucher said, "from everything that I had heard, Brandon Roy was not opposed to going some place else. And I wasn't certain what you could get for Andre Miller. The general feeling seemed to be that Andre was playing very well for Portland, so from what I was hearing there was some question, this Andre Miller / Brandon Roy thing is not working. What could we get for Brandon Roy? Or do we move Andre Miller and hitch our wagon to Brandon, questioning where his knees are.
"I believe this has been written about in the Portland area, Brandon saying some of the things he's said, has not sat well with the locker room in general. The question is, if you do move Andre Miller, can Brandon regain the confidence and the faith of that locker room and be the leader that he's long been there? That would be the number one question that I would have, in terms of moving Andre Miller."
Portland's goal, Bucher said, is to reach the playoffs. "The Blazers are very eager at this point to improve their chances of making sure they make the postseason."
In terms of specific trade proposals, he didn't offer anything concrete, but did float one scenario involving the Blazers and the Magic. "One of the deals, just in discussing with GM's, Orlando obviously with the trades that they've made are looking for another big man. I don't know if they could unilaterally trade for a guy like Marcus Camby, but say if you put together a package of Jameer Nelson and Brandon Bass for Marcus Camby and Andre Miller, I believe the numbers work, I'd have to go back and look. I think JJ Redick's name was thrown in there. The feeling is that Jameer Nelson would actually operate better playing alongside Brandon Roy if you decide you're going to continue to go down that path. You'd resolve the issues between Andre Miller and Brandon Roy. You'd get some additional toughness on the front line with Brandon Bass. I don't know if that's necessarily ideal, but that's one of the type of deals that's out there."
He then went on to question the decision-marking authority of Cho. "It remains to be seen just how much flexibility Rich Cho has as the GM, in terms of doing what he wants to do rather than doing what Paul Allen, Bert Kolde and the very top of the organization wants to do. I don't know that Rich has unilateral authority to do whatever he chooses."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter
PS Thanks to sammymohawk (here) and Nick Van Excellent (here) for getting to snippets of this first.