Friday, April 06, 2007

All good points, and more points

I understand all the comments I've received about the Duncan trade. I already said that I'm crazy and that I know the trade would never happen in a million years. I think what all that writing was meant to show is the tough situation this off-season presents for the Blazers. If they get one of the top two picks it's a no-brainer: draft Oden or Durant. But if they don't get one of those picks, well, it's a brainer. I think they could end up with a great swing man in this draft if they draft later, and then continue to rely on Randolph, Aldridge, and Przybilla. This might stunt Aldridge's growth some, but we know that Zach is really good, and I believe Przy will come back strong. I also trust Pritchard's analysis of talent, so we should get the most for our pick no matter where it is. In free agency this summer I don't see many pieces that would fit well with what Portland is trying to do while also fitting financially. So if they want to bring in one more veteran to make things work, after thinking about it and researching it for three or four hours last night, Duncan seems like the only guy that would do it. This makes sense for more than just the normal reasons, considering that Pritchard started in the NBA as a scout for the Spurs and has basically tried to reproduce the success he saw from within that franchise.

From the quick chat recap I learned that Miles is "working hard, probably harder than he ever has in his life because this is a tough injury." Does that mean that next season he'll be worth having? I'm not sure, which makes me more likely to re-sign Outlaw. But the draft happens before free agency, so that gives Portland a chance to see what we can get out of the draft and decide better then. We only have two other decisions to make, and I think those are of the same kind as a top-two pick: no brainer. We re-sign Udoka to a two-year deal, and we let Magloire walk. That would leave the roster like this:

PG Sergio Rodriguez/Jarrett Jack/Dan Dickau
SG Brandon Roy/Martell Webster/Freddie Jones/Jarrett Jack (I really like him as a combo guard for this team's future)
SF Darius Miles/Ime Udoka/Martell Webster/Travis Outlaw
PF Zach Randolph/LaMarcus Aldridge/Travis Outlaw/Raef LaFrentz
C LaMarcus Aldridge/Joel Przybilla/Raef LaFrentz

I still think it would make the most sense to draft someone like Corey Brewer or Jeff Green, or Julian Wright if he changes his mind and jumps to the draft. But if we end up with the third pick, it might be too early to draft these guys. And even though my new fantasy sports friend Adam thinks you should draft the guy you want at any spot, I think it would be much smarter to make something off of that pick and trade down to a different spot to get the right guy. The Blazers did the opposite of that during this draft, spending and trading to make sure they got the guys they wanted. That was perfect. This works the same way, but they do it by realizing that they could still get Jeff Green--if that's who they want--a little later than their pick, so that they get something worthwhile in return. The Blazers will still be $13,183,921 over the cap next year, and that doesn't count raises in current salaries or potential new salaries for Outlaw or Udoka, so it seems unlikely that they could land one of the big names available this summer.

Once again I get lost trying to make some sort of point. Let me just say it: unless the Blazers can make a blockbuster deal (read: get Duncan) I think they should keep Randolph. They could still trade down in the draft, but they shouldn't do more than this, in my mind. Then again, I just wanted them to draft R-O-Y this year, and instead they got him, Aldridge, Rodriguez, and Freeland. So I'll give our man KP the benefit of the doubt. Even if he did play for Kansas.


I just responded to the good comments made by my friends by adding my reasons for seeing Duncan as the only guy we'd want in return for Randolph, but my title says that there are more points in this post. That's because I wanted to warn people that I might start talking about math in this post more than I already do. So far I only mention numbers in relation to basketball. But since I'm going to be teaching this quarter and playing with a lot more numbers, and since my math is a little rusty and my ability to see math things well has atrophied some in the past seven years, I plan on studying some fun problems and ideas and responding to them in this space. It won't be a lot, but it will happen some. Just so you know. If that includes pretty pictures of graphs, and hence points, then that'll make for a more enjoyable experience.

I think I'll also take this post to challenge my friend J-Lew to ruin his weekend in the following two ways: instead of working on Med school stuff (boo), he should write about the Masters after it's all over, if not during a running diary. But that's the first, not-as-fun-for-me way. The second is this: I think we should watch the Glavine-Smoltz match up in Atlanta "together" on Google chat. I'll take the chat and turn it into a running diary that could be simultaneously posted on The Sports Bigamist and The Village Tavern. The challenge is out there for everyone to see.


Lewis said...

So, the one week I don't regularly check your blog, I get mentioned twice. Whoops.

By the way, the Smoltz versus Glavine google chat would have been great, I'm sorry I didn't see that sooner. I'll start checking your blog more regularly again. That period without your computer somehow pushed it out of my regular rotation of websites. It's back in now. We should do a running chat of a sporting event soon though. That is a great idea.

By the way, I hate doing this, but I am seriously thinking about "streaming" in our match-up this week in fantasy basketball. I hate the concept, but with Biedrins and Bibby getting about 15 minutes a game now (along with Iggy and Al Jefferson missing games with injuries), I see no other way I can be competitive. I haven't decided to do it for sure yet bc I hate the strategy. Oh well, just letting you know.

Nice work on the blog. This off-season is going to be very interesting for a lot of teams (Hawks and Blazers definitely included).

Lewis said...

Another big win for the Braves today at Shea. Taking a series from them in two of the first three weekends of the season says that we are back. I'm excited.