This year's offseason is likely over for Blazers GM Neil Olshey and the front office, and it has been described many ways by fans and analysts. One common theme is that the signings of free agents Steve Blake and Chris Kaman were underwhelming. I decided to take a look at five players that signed this summer for a price Olshey could have afforded to offer.
1. Spencer Hawes, LAC (4 years, $23 million) -- Once NBA teams were allowed to meet and negotiate with free agents on July 1, Portland was reportedly aggressively courting Hawes. The "stretch big-man" was reportedly being actively pursued by the Trail Blazers, Clippers, and Phoenix Suns. Both Portland and Los Angeles offered Hawes the MLE, but the Clippers won out.
2. DJ Augustin, DET (2 years, $6 million) -- Augustin played as a backup guard for the Chicago Bulls last season and performed well in his role. While Portland was supposedly not pursuing him, he would have fit nicely. He can both score and facilitate, and given the price he signed for with the Pistons, he would've been affordable. At $3 million per year, just above the value of the Bi-Annual Exception and below that of the Mid-Level Exception, the structure of Augustin's deal would not have jeopardized the cap flexibility next summer that Olshey values.
3. Vince Carter, MEM (3 years, $12.2 million) -- As was the case with Hawes, Portland reportedly actively pursued Carter early in July. Should he have signed with the Trail Blazers, he would have strengthened Portland's small forward depth. Forwards Dorell Wright and Victor Claver both underwhelmed last season in Portland, and Carter would've been a very good upgrade. The structure of the contract itself would not have harmed future cap flexibility all that much. I'd imagine the only fear in the Blazer front office was offering Carter a 3-year deal, like the one Memphis extended. Carter, now 37, would next be a free agent at the age of 40.
4. Thabo Sefolosha, ATL (3 years, $12 million) -- Near the end of the season, I mentioned my fondness for Sefolosha on Blazers World. He is a solid guard that can come off the bench and provide scoring if needed. While shooting isn't his calling card, he can knock down the occasional three-pointer. He would've been a nice fit on Portland's roster, and his contract would not dealt damage to future cap flexibility.
5. Rodney Stuckey, IND (1 year, $1.2 million) -- At the veteran's minimum, Stuckey is an excellent pick-up for the Pacers, who lost starting guard Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets last week. He will provide both scoring and facilitating for a team that lacked just that last season. Portland could've easily signed him using the BAE, but there were no reports of the Blazers pursuing Stuckey.
Who would you have liked to see Portland sign this summer, keeping into account what salary the free agent signed for this summer? Weigh in below.