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Rearranging the Trail Blazers Lineup

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If the Blazers weren’t Blazers, where would they fit?

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Minnesota Timberwolves Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This time of year we go into speculative Mailbag questions. Here’s one for your perusal. If you’ve got a question for the Mailbag, send it to blazersub@gmail.com.

Hey Daivd,

Out of our starting line up: Dame, Cj, Turn, Aminu, and Plums where which team do you think each would fit best on and why! This question excludes Warriors and Cavs for obvious reasons. I know this question may be some-what blasphemous but interesting none the less!

Thank you!

-Dom

That is an interesting question. I’m likely going to get in trouble no matter what I say, but what the heck. Why not?

If I had to disband Portland’s starting lineup and, like Glinda the Good Witch on a Jack and Coke bender, send each member to a different team that fit them, here’s where they’d go.

Damian Lillard—Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota has not appreciated Ricky Rubio enough. If they don’t want a fantastic pure point guard who can defend but not shoot, how about a fantastic new-breed point guard who can shoot and score but not defend? Lillard would immediately turn the ‘Wolves into a wrecking ball, drawing enough attention from opposing defenses to let Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns go crazy. Or...err...crazier. I can’t imagine anybody trying to game plan for Lillard and Zach LaVine in the same backcourt either. Plus the Timberwolves have a shot blocker or two to help cover for Dame’s defensive shortcomings.

CJ McCollum—Los Angeles Lakers

WHY oh WHY would I do this? Because L.A. is so wide open right now that McCollum could play his starting teammates like a string quartet. He has the capacity to do so. He’s smart. He’s hiding point guard skills that would develop in the Lakers vacuum. Plus I suspect once the city of L.A. got a look at his social game he’d become a cult star there.

Al-Farouq Aminu--New York Knicks

The Knicks need more guys like Aminu. His scoring issues wouldn’t stand out much there but his defense would. I suspect Carmelo Anthony would regard him like a long-lost brother once he got a look at Aminu’s floor effort.

Evan Turner—Philadelphia 76’ers

I mean, seriously...the guy just got here! You can’t ship him off with no games played. But I’ll say Philly because they need a little bit of everything, including veteran experience, plus Turner started his career there and did OK. This is a semi-lame answer so I’ll throw in a bonus player at the end.

Mason Plumlee—Milwaukee Bucks

Plumlee needs a team that fast breaks some, who doesn’t have a defined center, and who can benefit from his rebounding and mobility. Milwaukee fits all of those bills. I wish they had more three-point shooting to put around him, but Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe, and Khris Middleton should provide enough scoring to keep Mason’s offensive shortcomings from hurting the team. Plus brother Miles plays for the Bucks, and I want to see if there’s any potential for Plumlee on Plumlee violence in practice.

Bonus: Meyers Leonard—San Antonio Spurs

I almost sent Meyers to Brooklyn but I’d like to see what Gregg Popovich could wring out of him. Leonard could become the next Matt Bonner with superpowers (athleticism/body, youth, and good hair among them). Or he could become Pop’s version of Greg Ostertag. We’d get sweet basketball or fireworks. Personally I don’t see any downside.

Feel free to quibble with my choices or to send players to the places you’d think they’d fit best. That’s part of the fun. And keep sending those questions to blazersub@gmail.com!

--Dave blazersub@gmail.com / @DaveDeckard / @Blazersedge