Friday, June 29, 2007

The Randolph trade finally happened

After all the back and forth, it finally happened. I really liked Zach Randolph. I thought he was a good player, I thought he did a lot to be a good teammate and player, and I’ll miss him when he’s putting good numbers up in New York. It’s somewhat funny, because I still remember when I found out we drafted him. I was really upset. I thought he was both fat and undersized, which is an amazing dichotomy for a basketball player. I knew that he had only played one season at Michigan State, and that because Izzo doesn’t play freshmen Randolph didn’t even see the court as much as he might have at other schools.

But it only took that first playoff series against Dallas to show me that he was a good value toward the end of the first round. Randolph is an amazing low-post scorer. As convinced as I am that LaMarcus and Greg will be an absolute force, on offense and on defense, I think we’ll miss Zach’s presence down there for a while on the offensive end. I was pretty sure I wanted to see how half a season with Zach and Greg and LaMarcus went, and then ship him at the deadline if it didn’t look good. But I’m really confident in the plans that Kevin Pritchard has for the team, and I expect that this New York deal will turn into something even better within the next ten days. I can’t imagine what that might be, but I believe our GM knows what he’s doing.

Here are the things I’ll miss about Zach:
  1. His desire to make the team a contender.

  2. His ability to score inside against anyone.

  3. His hard work in practice (Scottie Pippen once talked about, and which was evidenced very clearly when he came back from the microfracture surgery).

  4. His growth as a person. (I really believe that.)

  5. His genial personality and smile.
Here are the thing I won’t miss about Zach:
  1. His tendency to hang onto the ball too long on offense.

  2. His tendency to be slow in coming back down on defense.

  3. His tendency to make poor decisions off the court.

  4. His contract.
As far as the other guys involved in that trade, here’s my breakdown.
I loved Freddie Jones when he was an Oregon Duck, and I was glad to watch him for a while as a Portland Trail Blazer. Having said that, we didn’t really need him. He is an undersized shooting guard who, if things go the way they should, wouldn’t get much playing time on this Blazers team anyway. I hope he gets to play if he stays in New York, and I hope that if they buy him out he’s able to catch on with a team that will appreciate what he brings to the table.

I like danger Dan Dickau too, but I have no problem getting rid of him. He had a decent time in Portland this second run, but he also wouldn’t have been getting any playing time on this Blazers team in the future. With Jarrett Jack, Sergio Rodriguez, and the drafting of Taurean Green and Petteri Koponen there was absolutely no room for Dickau.

What about the guys we got in that deal?

I really believe that Pritchard plans on sending Steve Francis to another team as soon as possible. I wish I had a clue what that might look like. I think Channing Frye could be a good fit with the rest of the club, and he could develop with Greg and LaMarcus up front. We’ll see what happens, and I know I’m repeating myself a little bit.

The more I've read this afternoon makes me think that James Jones is the guy that the Blazers aren't supposed to talk about, but I'm still hopeful that there's some sort of Franchise deal in the works or coming down the pipe.

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