We talk about the newest additions, Kent Bazemore and Mario Hezonja, discuss hopes and dreams for a successful Rodney Hood season and speculate what gaps they will need to fill (rebounds anyone?) We also look at some of the big moves other teams have made, especially the ones that are (thankfully) taking place out east, like the Brooklyn Nets landing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and the move that has Jimmy Butler heading to the Miami Heat.
2:00 Significant changes to the Trail Blazers lineup. Kent Bazemore is traded to the team for Evan Turner. Al-Farouq Aminu leaves to go to Orlando Magic, and Rodney Hood re-signs in Portland for the tax-payer mid-level exception (TMLE).
5:00 Of the moves so far, which ones do you find most surprising? Steve is surprised by Aminu leaving and Rodney Hood re-signing at $5.7 million, Tara is most surprised by Bazemore trade and Rodney Hood.
8:00 Evan Turner was traded straight up for Kent Bazemore. Why are people not complaining about Bazemore’s even higher salary? Probably because there is only one year left of it and he’s a better basketball fit with the Blazers.
10:00 What will the front court rotations look like, especially with the small forwards and power forwards? Steve thinks Harkless will still start.
13:00 Bazemore’s three point shooting last year was not great. How is he really an upgrade if you take him in the context of losing Aminu as well as Turner? He will have a lot more space in Portland and probably get the ball earlier in the shot clock. The quality of his looks will probably improve a lot. Last year was a down year with a young team.
16:00 Who will get the rebounds next year? Between Chief (7.5 rpg) and Kanter (8.6) they had a lot of rebounds. Where are the rebounds going to come from? How much rebounding is natural instinct and how much can be developed? Steve thinks there might be another move for a center who brings rebounding skills, or perhaps Skal Labissiere may develop in that direction.
23:00 It will probably take a little while before Jake Layman’s free agency is decided. There will be an order of operations that people need to follow to make sure that the Blazers don’t hard cap themselves.
26:30 Hopes and dreams for Rodney Hood next year? Create for himself, get comfortable in that role so he can maximize his earnings potential in the future. He might need to carry the offense in the beginning of the season especially as Anfernee Simons gets more comfortable in the second unit.
30:00 Hopes and dreams for Kent Bazemore? A smooth transition to the new team. Raising 3Pt percentage, create his own shot, be effect without taking the ball out of Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum’s hands.
34:00 With the changes happening in Golden State and the Lakers, have the Trail Blazers changed their plans, or are they for the most part staying the course? Why are they not making the big swing for the fences plays? Steve thinks Rodney Hood was a big get, especially at that price.
36:30 The Blazers sign Mario Hezonja. Or did they? Yes, it appears they did. Does he rebound? No, not much. He has some fun swagger, kind of like Nurkic. He’s young, potential for growth. Blazers seem to have liked him for a while.
43:00 How about those Brooklyn Nets? How quickly the tide has turned with the Celtics.
46:00 76ers and Miami Heat sign and trade. How does Al Horford work in Philadelphia?
52:00 How come the Jazz keep getting better? Steve does not think the Jazz are as big of a threat as Tara does.
54:30 Teams in the Northwest Division should be allowed to hang Division Championship banners because that division is always so tight.