It's Trade Deadline Day! Stay tuned for the latest news about the Portland Trail Blazers' moves, or lack thereof, during the league's mid-season internet Jeudi Gras party. In the meantime here are even more trade suggestions and questions from the Mailbag inbox to keep you occupied.
I always thought about trying to get Asik without giving up RoLo. After using the trade machine i came up with Asik and Casspi for Mo, Meyers and Dorell Wright. I truly believe this trade should happen, we get a great defensive center in a culture and locker room that would inspire him to play hard, and Casspi would be a serviceable back up small forward. The Rockets get a good young center that McHale and Dwight could really groom and get the best out of his potential, while Mo fits their good ball handler/veteran combo guard that they are lacking as well as a great back up small ball 4 in Wright to back up Terrence Jones.
Portland says: Ding! Ding! Ding!
Houston says: BZZZZZT.
My trade proposal is this: Mo Williams, Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe, and a future 2nd rd pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for Chris Kaman and Steve Blake. What do you think?
I think the Lakers do it for the two young prospects they receive in Crabbe and Leonard. Mo Williams has already said he is going to opt out of his contract so that can be treated as expiring. The future 2nd rd pick is the icing on the cake. I also believe that both Kaman and Blake would be much happier finishing their contract year out up in Portland on a contending team and the Lakers would take that into consideration.
The Blazers do it to add the veteran presence of both players, the defense and offensive ability each would bring. Plus, they would fit perfectly in Stotts' system. I think the two of them could push us back into the top 4 and not to mention, both contracts expire after the season.
It'd make some sense from a "right here, right now" perspective but the Blazers won't want to give away youth and their 6th man for two players who probably won't stay past the year and whom they'd have only mild interest in re-signing. At this point Kaman seems like one of those old, southern hound dogs from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. He's OK when you get him moving but mostly he looks all droopy sitting on the porch. Blake's having a good year and would make a fine back-up point guard but the Blazers would consider that price steep. (Keep in mind they drafted Leonard and Crabbe and have reason to value them.) As you mentioned, both contracts expire at the end of the season but even losing the outgoing players and not re-signing Blake or Kaman the Blazers only end up with mid-level cap space. Since they get a mid-level exception anyway if they're over the cap, the next flexibility gain is zero. They'd get farther away from the luxury tax threshold but they won't approach that next year anyway.
And besides, as I was typing this the Warriors got Blake.
What do you think about signing Beaubios? Then maybe we could package Mo and Meyers for Mozgov?
Roddy was an exciting prospect a couple years ago but injuries and inconsistency took the wind out of his sails. For Portland's purposes he doesn't shoot the three well, isn't an efficient scorer, and doesn't look much like a true point guard. Signing him would be taking a huge flyer. I don't see them doing it. The likelihood of him reaching any measurable upside promise is too small.
Mozgov would be a good get if the Blazers could pull it off. He's young enough and rebounds well enough to back up Robin Lopez and his guaranteed money ends in 2015 with a team option for the year after. He wouldn't revolutionize the team but he'd be a nice block to stick in the wall.
What are your thoughts on Slava Kravtsov of the Pheonix Suns as a possible solution to our need for a defensive minded big?
Not a ton of evidence to base this on, but from what I've seen (shot blocking, good off the pick and roll) from Slava he has the makeup to be a solid player, he just happens to be stuck in an unideal situation. Considering our position in the West I'm not sure if Pheonix would even want to trade with us but if nothing else he seems like a good example of the type of player we need.
Yeah. I like the way you think. I don't think the Blazers would (or should) trade one of their first-round bigs for Kravstov but if Phoenix was willing to consider a lower-priced, little-used reserve for him the Blazers might want to explore that. The guy only makes $1.5 million. It's not like they'd be going out on a limb for him. I'd like to see Kravstov try to fill a Lopez-like role.
People get carried away with the trade talk. They start with a small trade and the next thing you know they're talking about trading Batum. I assume you don't agree with that. Can you explain to some foos why Batum's not leaving?
Whatever you think of Batum, including his ups and downs, you have to remember two things:
1. The Blazers aren't breaking up their starting core at the trading deadline for anything less than a knee-slapping hoedown of a deal. The premise of making a mid-season trade is getting better for the stretch run. Throwing a new guy into a system that's worked pretty well so far would not make the Blazers better.
2. You have to understand Batum's particular role on this team. He defends the toughest opponent assignment. He facilitates the offense, taking pressure off of the guards. He passes. He's so unselfish it's almost selfish. And he can hit a three. The Blazers need all these things. Even if you could replace or augment Batum's talent level and impact you'd never replace all those skills. Losing Batum, the Blazers would have to change their approach at small forward, trickling down to the guard positions. This makes Batum uniquely valuable to Portland at this point despite his faults. He's more valuable to the Blazers than he'd be to any other team.
If you're going to think about trading Batum the summer makes far more sense. You can institute a new system in the fall, compensate for his loss, work in the new players. Until then the only way you could convince me the Blazers were considering moving Batum would be showing me a done deal.
Stay tuned throughout the day for more news and rumors!