Monday, November 23, 2009

I warned people he was coming

Greg Oden had another nice night this evening. I watched the T-wolves game Sunday and listened to the win over Chicago tonight. In each game he continued to have a huge influence on the defensive end, getting blocked shots and rebounds AND changing the way his opponents attacked the hoop. But in each game it has been more impressive that his offense is coming along. Oden is starting to build a consistency and confidence that are really nice. His arsenal looks pretty good right now: put backs, alley oops, jump hooks, and plenty of free throws (which he makes). I'm excited to see what he does as the season continues.

I just wanted to include his season stats so far. Take a look. Not bad, considering mpg.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Episode 2...a year later

Stephen and I finally recorded a second episode of our "new" podcast.

Here it is if you want to open it in a different window.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jaynes gets it right...again

I would love to see Jack Ramsay work with this Blazer team for a few days. And I'd love to see him on the sidelines, since I never got to do it back in the day. Read the whole thing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

After Andre

I doubt that this deal would work after using up our cap space on Andre Miller, but here's something we could do once we sign him. This move is predicated on AK47's ability to be a point forward (something about which I'm not completely sure) and our unease with Bayless as the PG of the future. Also, this would assume that Rudy Fernandez gets a ton more run at the same time as Brandon Roy, hence bringing in someone who could perhaps play more of a point forward role. Maybe the Hedo idea was better than I first thought.

I'm not convinced I'd want to do this trade at all, just throwing it out there because of my unease with the Andre Miller deal.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I love July, but sure miss the NBA

These are getting me through a July with no NBA.

A great article about Greg Oden (with some sweet video included).

One of the two trades the Blazers are rumored to have in the works.

The other one.

And now, a sweet 25th birthday tribute to Brandon Roy. (via OregonLive)

Monday, July 06, 2009

A better choice than Lee (in the long run)

If we really want to sign a guy who can back up LaMarcus – and maybe Greg in case we move Joel Przybilla – we should look at Leon Powe. Others have said it, and I know that he just had knee surgery. But the guy is a great player, has been an important part (already) of a team with championship aspirations, and brings the effort and hustle we want from our back up PF. Throw in that his asking price can't be as high as Lee's, and that leaves us with some cap room still to make an unbalanced trade. Maybe it wouldn't allow us to get Paul and Battier like I dreamed up the other day, but something good still, I think. And I know this would leave us without a solid veteran back up 4 until sometime after February, but if we don't trade Joel until then – if at all – I think we can survive just fine with Pendergraph (and Outlaw, if he's still around).

Friday, July 03, 2009

The best course of action

Okay, now we can really get to it. If we were willing to overpay for Turkoglu, why not do this instead: overpay for Artest and steal him away from the Lakers. We'd accomplish three things at once.
  1. Get a player who is older than we want and a problem for our offense, at too high a price.
  2. Get a player who could help out on defense.
  3. Screw the Lakers.
Of course I don't really want to do this, but it would be pretty funny. And Artest has changed his mind on things like this quicker than you can blink before. Look back at last year's free agent period if you don't remember.

What we should really do is look to Houston. As Dave said on Blazer's Edge early this morning:
1. Yao Ming is out indefinitely. Tracy McGrady is eternally questionable and maybe on his way out of town. That's a ton of scoring power out the window...the two main pillars of the franchise entering the year. Battier is an amazing complementary player, perfect alongside those guys. If they're gone Houston needs more firepower. All of a sudden Battier looks like a nice piece who doesn't fit anymore, kind of like your beautiful sandcastle after the tide has come in. It's under that flood somewhere but you're not getting much use out of it anymore.

2. Just today, as reported below, Ron Artest committed to the L*kers while Trevor Ariza reportedly agreed to join the Rockets. On the surface this appears to make Battier more valuable to Houston, as the guy he formed a battery with is gone. But Ariza is, in many ways, a younger, cheaper Battier. They could use a contrast there.
So here's what we do: we get both our guys, right now. Three team deal that uses our cap spaces, solves the problem that Houston will have with lack of offense and no back up (or starter, perhaps) at center, and helps another team save money in the long run.

Portland sends out four good players; four players that I really like. Jerryd Bayless, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, and Joel Przybilla. Przy and Trout go to Houston to help fill some empty spots there. But that's not enough for Houston to do it unless we help them dump T-Mac for something now. So we bring in a team that will love T-Mac's expiring deal if it can get rid of one of it's albatrosses. So McGrady goes to the Hornets, along with Martell Webster and Jerryd Bayless. The Hornets, in order to do this, have to give up the prize of the whole trade. Chris Paul comes to Portland, but they get to shed Peja Stojakavic and Morris Peterson, sending both of them to Houston. Both of those guys could potentially help with the offense of the Rockets and play shooting guard or small forward, which would help a team that just lost all three of their 2/3 type players from the year before.

In this deal New Orleans would immediately get four million in cap relief, most likely keeping them out of the luxury tax. They would get even more relief at the end of the season when McGrady's contract expires. Also, they get two young guys to build with. I know that I value Webster more highly than others, so I won't say much about him. But I think that Bayless is going to be pretty amazing, and I think a lot of other people would agree with me. Houston gets some offense to replace the loss of Artest and McGrady (who was already lost anyway), and now doesn't have the old version of Ariza to go with the new version they just signed. They also get a very good NBA center (and one that I really don't want to trade) in Joel Przybilla. He'd be the perfect back up to Yao, but for the time being he'd be a decent starter alongside Scola. I know they might not like this deal very much for the contracts they get, so we might have to add a piece to make it happen. This would be my initial offer. If the Rockets instead insisted on a guy that seems more like what they'd want in James Posey, that would work. He again fits more of the Battier/Ariza role than Morris Peterson, who on his best days is closer to a poor man's version of McGrady. Also, if either team insisted on Rudy Fernandez to make this deal go through, the Blazers could add him. That would be one more guy I really don't want to give up, but for these two guys – who I believe would put us in championship contention immediately – it would be worth it. The Blazers would then need to sign someone like Antonio McDyess or Chris Anderson at the mid-level exception to back up Oden. Actually, Anderson would fit well with Portland then, since he is similar to Przybilla but not quite as productive.

Here's how the rosters would most likely look for the three teams if they did this deal:

  • PG Aaron Brooks/Kyle Lowry
  • SG (Rudy Fernandez)/Morris Peterson or James Posey/Brent Barry
  • SF Trevor Ariza/Travis Outlaw/Peja Stojakovic/James White/Chase Budinger
  • PF Luis Scola/Chuck Hayes/Carl Landry
  • C You Ming/Joel Przybilla/Joey Dorsey/Brian Cook
That would be if they insisted on Rudy, and I'm sure that there may be a difference in the way that line up would look, perhaps with Ariza starting at the two – if Rudy went to New Orleans – and Outlaw at the three. Or with Yao hurt, maybe they go small with Scola starting at center, Przybilla still coming in off the bench, Outlaw at power forward and Ariza at small.

New Orleans
  • PG Jerryd Bayless/Darren Collison/Antonio Daniels
  • SG (Rudy Fernandez)/Rasual Butler/Morris Peterson (if not traded)/Devin Brown/Marcus Thornton
  • SF Martell Webster/James Posey (if not traded)/Tracy McGrady (injured)
  • PF David West/Julian Wright (probably also playing some SF)
  • C Tyson Chandler/Hilton Armstrong
Again, if the Hornets insisted on Rudy being included for them to make the deal (instead of the Rockets or no one) he would probably be their starting shooting guard. Depending on which of MoPete and Posey they traded would effect how that depth chart looks, but probably not how the guy would get played. They would still be thin in the front court, but that's the case currently as well. If by some miracle T-Mac got healthy before the end of next year he would give them some offense, too. Again, though, this deal for them is about saving money at a time when the franchise is in big trouble.

  • PG Chris Paul/Steve Blake/Patty Mills
  • SG Brandon Roy/Rudy Fernandez (if not traded)
  • SF Shane Battier/Nicolas Batum/Victor Claver
  • PF LaMarcus Aldridge/Jeff Pendergraph/Dante Cunningham/Joel Freeland
  • C Greg Oden/Chris Anderson
As you can see, making this trade would force us to get a back up big in free agency, and would probably force us to bring over some of our guys stashed in Europe before we really want. But even so, it's not hard to convince anyone that we get the best in this deal (which is why it wouldn't happen). If we could somehow keep Rudy, then the guard rotation of him with Roy and Paul would be amazing. But even if we couldn't, a three guard rotation with those two and Steve Blake is pretty good. And the learning that would happen as Batum – and then Claver – played with Battier would be amazing. That starting line up is also quite formidable defensively. In addition, if we could actually sign Anderson then we would keep a rotation similar to the one we are probably moving toward anyway, with one of those three back up PFs being relied on for a little bit of offense when Anderson is in the game. Or we just play him and LaMarcus or him and Greg together.

So there it is, that's the panic move that needs to happen as soon as the new salary cap is announced on July 8, since Hedo didn't pan out. I'm calling dynasty (and tons of luxury tax) in the very near future.

To see all the possible deals that work, click the corresponding link:
Without Rudy:
Posey to Houston
MoPete to Houston

With Rudy to New Orleans:
Posey to Houston
MoPete to Houston

With Rudy to Houston:
Posey to Houston
MoPete to Houston

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Maybe we could do this...

Sign Tas for just a little less than the too-long/too-expensive deal that's been reported (saving just a bit of cap room so that the next piece can happen), then ship Outlaw and Webster to Phoenix, for Skeets, while Sacramento helps them(selves) out by sending Beno Udrih to try to fill the point in Phoenix. It solves Sacramento's main problem of having Udrih, it helps the Suns continue to destroy their franchise (while getting a couple pretty good players to go with whatever scraps they get for Amar'e), and it gets the Basketball Jones in Portland. As Michael Scott might say, "win, win, win."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hilarious stuff from TSG today

June 1995: Picking second in the loaded '95 draft, the Clips draft Antonio McDyess ahead of Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and (gulp) Kevin Garnett, then trade Dice's rights, Elmore Spencer and Woods to Denver for Rodney Rogers, Brian Williams and the No. 15 pick (Brent Barry) … or as I like to call it, "The Chef's Poop Salad." Nobody could turn a dollar into three quarters better than Elgin. Then again, had they rolled the dice with KG, he'd probably be missing appendages right now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Being Dunleavy is hard

Every year at Blazer's Edge we have a mock draft, much like they do at other sites. One of the great things about our mock draft is that different readers are assigned the roles of various GMs, and we are allowed to try our hands at trades and other things that swirl around the real draft. It's a lot of fun, and it gives us a sense of what might really be happening in the league around the big day. Last year I got to be the Grizzlies, a team with two picks and good position, but somehow screwed it up and forgot all about it on the day of the mock draft. I was really disappointed in myself, and ended up not making any picks (Dave had accounted for this possibility and had backups ready).

This year I was given a second chance and the role of Clippers GM. As we've come closer to the mock draft – which starts at 11 am today – I have been trying to do as much as possible to help out the Clips organization. The first thing I wanted to do was draft Bake Griffin. The second thing I wanted to do was open up space in the front court and open up space in the locker room by moving Zach Randolph. I started talking with the Grizzlies GM, since they had professed a desire for a big time low post scorer who also would bring in the rebounds. Zach Randolph can do both of those things. The Grizzlies GM had also suggested that he didn't really want Rubio, which meant that I was gunning for the second pick as well. The initial proposal I came with was this one:

The Grizzlies GM said that he didn't really want Randolph and would rather have one of my other bigs, but suggested he would perhaps take Al Thornton to make a Randolph deal work. At that point I suggested adding Thornton and Gay, a deal he quickly turned down.

With the knowledge that Memphis thought Thornton needed to be in the deal, and also wanting to rid my team of two other impediments to Griffin growing into the leader in the locker room – namely Baron and Ricky Davis – I started looking for potential partners with them. The Rockets were shopping McGrady, and I knew that there had been interest in Baron Davis at one point from their end. If I was going to be able to get the rights to Rubio from the Grizzlies then it would be worth it to get rid of Baron, so I wanted to make these two deals, the Rockets deal contingent on the Grizzlies deal:

The Memphis deal would send the Clippers the rights to Ricky Rubio, and the team would move forward building around Gordon, Rubio, Griffin, and Kaman. I would have cut Buckner with his non-guarantied contract, and then had expiring Darko and T-Mac deals to work with either at the deadline or next summer when the big guys became free agents. Imagine LeBron joining Gordon, Rubio, Griffin, and Kaman in Los Angeles and taking the Clippers to the title.

The Grizzlies deal never happened, so I was never able to offer the deal to the Rockets (which wouldn't have flown in the mock draft anyway because it wasn't actually related to the draft). This is the sort of stuff I was trying to do to make the Clippers better, a tough prospect considering the way Dunleavy has destroyed them in recent years.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I love the Waltons

I have yet to read all the letters that went back and forth between Bill and Luke Walton during these playoffs, but I look forward to it. However, reading this last chunk of Bill's response to Luke sent chills through my body and made me giggle at the same time. Of course, it's about the 1977 Blazers championship team.
Luke, you mentioned the historical reference to your team's abilities. When you get to be my age, trash talking is about all that's left. I fully admit, Luke, that your team is really, really good. Kobe is supreme. Pau, Lamar and Andrew are all top of the line. And Phil Jackson is brilliant.

Right next to your smile on my spirit and soul are the immortal words of Jack Ramsay, who recently said on the 30th anniversary of the 1977 World Champion Blazers in putting that team's abilities in historical context:

"I like our team. We'll take our chances. Anywhere. Anytime. Against anybody."

Blazers in four, Luke. Never forget why you are named after Maurice Lucas.

Love, Dad
As I said on Twitter, I really wish I'd been alive to see that team and to watch Walton at his peak. He was so amazing. Thanks to Henry for linking to this.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Kidding

I've talked myself into Jason Kidd this summer. Why wouldn't he take a little less money for a two year deal to be the starting point guard on a great young team? He was actually pretty good again this year on offense, and played better defense than he's played for a while. The biggest reason I would have been against it was that he isn't a very good shooter, but his true-shooting percentage – which takes into account twos, threes, and free throws – was the highest it's been in his career, at .550. And his effective field goal percentage – which only looks at twos and threes and values threes more highly because they're worth more – was .522, also the highest of his career (by a LOT!). If he could do that in an offense with no real low-post presence, just other threats to shoot, I think he could be even better with Roy, Aldridge, and Oden. Also, his usage percentage was at the lowest of his career, meaning he actually had the ball less than he has in the past. It was a significant drop, too, so that it wouldn't be a huge adjustment to be the fourth option on offense in Portland. In fact, he's probably a pretty great fourth option at this point. He still averaged 9 points, 8.7 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game this year. Oh yeah, he also averaged the fewest turnovers per game for his career. That probably has something to do with the usage percentage, but that's still pretty good.

So yeah, I've talked myself into Kidd, perhaps even over Nash.

We could then either trade Blake as part of a deal and develop one of the two young PGs, or we could keep him as the solid back up and move some of the potential. Of course, that's only if we decide to make a move. But if we sign a PG we MUST do something with at least one of the other three already on the roster.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I keep telling you guys he's not a bust

I wrote this on the Kay House wall on facebook, but I liked it so decided to share it hear. So the few people that might still read this blog – which is my fault, since I have hardly written anything in the last few months – will have already read it on that wall. Thanks anyway, J-Lew and Ek.

Greg Oden is not yet what I hope he will be. But I'm not that unhappy with what he was this year, and here are a few reasons.

1. It was his rookie season.
2. He was coming off micro-fracture surgery, and then had to do come back from that flukey foot thing and the chip in his knee later.
3. Not only did refs not give him the benefit of the doubt, they seemed to target him. (I'm not arguing he didn't make plenty of dumb fouls. But I was happy to hear some national media members complain about some of the calls against him in the playoffs, if only to give a little bit of perspective beyond the many Blazer fans I read.) (And the double negative was on purpose.)
4. He was being worked into an offense that is clearly built around two other guys, and has been working that way for the last two years.

Those reasons helped me take a disappointing season in stride. But here are some numbers to keep in mind, though. Here is where all the stat-heads I read have an influence. As Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie said, "Ignore pace-adjusted stats at your own peril, lest you think Stephen Jackson had a better year than Paul Pierce, or that Chris Duhon had a better season than Jason Kidd. Without pace adjustment, both Pierce and Kidd come out a step slow, and that isn't fair. Nor would it be correct." So let's compare a rookie Dwight Howard – yes, him – to a rookie Greg Oden. (Thanks to for making this easy.)

Sure, Dwight averaged 12 and 10 for the season. Which is awesome. But he was also the only big man on that Magic team. And while there were other scoring options, that Magic team was third in the league in pace. Oden only averaged 8.9 and 7 this year, but that's on a team with one of the top three shooting guards in the league (go ahead, argue that one) that was lost in the league in pace.

In addition, because of the aforementioned foul trouble, Oden was doing that in 21.5 minutes per game instead of 32.6.

So let's look at some of the advanced stats. The key ones for this battle are PER, rebounding percentages, blocked shot percentage, and shooting percentages. We can't really look at stats to tell us about defense, but you all know by instinct that Howard was a better defender as a rookie was than Oden was this year. That's probably true, but not by as much as you think.

To the numbers: both had PERs above the NBA average, Oden at 18.1 and Howard at 17.2. Those aren't bad, especially considering that PER favors offense because it's easier to measure. Both had okay shooting percentages. In true shooting %, which factors 2s, 3s, and FTs, Oden was slightly better at .599 while Howard was .571. In overall FG% Oden was also slightly better, hitting .564 while Howard was .520.

The block percentage (which is just the percentage of shots blocked by the player while on the floor) was really close, with Oden barely beating Howard 4.2% to 3.6%.

At this point I could say, "see, Oden compares favorably to a rookie Dwight Howard." And I don't think that would be wrong. In fact, I think Oden's offensive game is at about the same level as Howard's is RIGHT NOW. They both have that hideous hook shot. Oden isn't as good at just dunking whenever he wants, but every once in a while he remembers that he can. When you factor these numbers out to averages per 36 minutes, Oden actually wins in nearly every category. I know that we can't because of the fouls, I just wanted to repeat that their production per minute was actually quite similar.

I'm not stopping with that, though, because there's a much better stat. The rebounding percentages tell the story pretty well. I'm part of the group that has nothing but praise for Howard's prowess as a rebounder...

But Oden was a much better rebounder as a rookie than Howard was. In fact, Oden was almost as good a rebounder as Howard was THIS YEAR. Rebounding percentage measures the percent of available rebounds a player grabbed while on the floor. In his rookie year, Howard had an offensive rebounding % of 12.2, a defensive rebounding % of 22.2, and a total rebounding % of 17.3. Those are great numbers. He hasn't really improved that much, either. As TSG says, rebounding doesn't really change. This year Howard had an ORB% of 13.8, a DRB% of 29.5, and a TRB% of 21.8.

This year, as a rookie, Oden had an ORB% of 15.7 (best in the league), a DRB% of 24.5 (better than Howard as a rookie), and a TRB% of 20.

Since he never quite made his top shape after dealing with all the injuries this year, I fully expect that to help with his foot movement and a few of the dumb fouls. I also expect refs to give him a little more credit in the coming years, which will lower that foul number a little more.

As he does and his game improves (or even stays mainly the same), I still think that was the right pick. He is a game changing center like Howard.

And to the common claim that Oden will never really recover from his leg injuries, I point to Big Z. While Ilgauskas didn't have leg problems exactly – they were foot problems – he has gone on to play a pretty good career, playing no fewer than 62 games in any of the last eight years. And he's bigger than Oden.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More to like about Batum

I hate pulling this much from someone else's work, but the whole thing is so good. Remember that New York Times article about Battier from a few months ago (which I linked to here)? Well, one of the things it talked about was Battier combing the a book full of tendencies and percentages before games. I know that this story about Batum doesn't say exactly the same thing, but it might only be a short matter of time until the coaches are putting together the same sort of book for Nicolas. And this kid is only 20. Crazy. Read the full article here. It's just one more in a series of the best beat work in the league by Jason Quick.

The walking basketball encyclopedia

One thing that wasn't different during pregame was rookie Nicolas Batum, and his ritual of reading the game notes at his locker.

The game notes are a stapled pack of statistics, player bios, team trends, records, etc., which are compiled for the benefit of reporters. However, in the Blazers locker room, a small stack is always present on the back counter, and Batum is the only player I have ever seen look at them.

"Every game,'' he says.

I first noticed this early in the season, in Detroit. At the time, I thought it was because Batum was bored and was having trouble mingling with his new teammates. The game notes, I figured, became his pregame buddy.

But as I'm finding out more and more, there's quite a personality and quite a sharp mind behind the docile looks of this Frenchman. He becomes more and more interesting to me everyday.

Turns out, the 20-year-old Batum likes studying the game notes for two reasons: To know everything about his opponent, and to satisfy his curiosity about various players' career highs, which he can recite on cue.

"Did you know Shaq had 29 rebounds and 15 blocks - in the same game,'' Batum offers, unsolicited. "Same game!''

He then flips a page and directs my eyes to Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo.

"Mutombo - 31 boards, 12 blocks,'' Batum says, using his index finger.

Of course, the main reason he scours the notes is to study the man he will guard. That's why he flips the pages back to Ron Artest. He aligns Artest's bio in the game notes with the page on Artest from the Blazers' scouting report.

"I just want to know who I guard,'' Batum says. "I don't want to be surprised by anything.''

I remark that Artest is a big man.

"Two sixty,'' Batum says immediately, lifting the game notes to show the scouting report page, which shows the height and weight of Artest. "I'm 220.''

We study the scouting report page together. Under Artest's height and weight, it informs that he is right handed.

"See here,'' Batum says, placing his finger on "right handed". "It says that, but he goes left all the time.''

Batum then points out two statistic lines. One has his season averages. The next has his averages against the Blazers. Proudly, Batum points out that Artest's averages against the Blazers are lower than his season averages, including points (17.1 to 15.0) and field goal percentage (41.7 to 36.4).

As I write these down, Batum has returned to the game notes, and Artest's bio, where it lists all his career highs.

"Eight steals. Four times,'' he says, shaking his head.

As I get up to head into McMillan's office, from behind I can hear Batum has found another gem.

"McGrady, 62 points ...''

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Playoff basketball

I didn't get to watch the destruction of the Suns the other night, nor did I see the demolition of the Grizzlies on Saturday. But thanks to running a promotion for two-day free broadband league pass I did watch most of tonight's decapitation of Utah. Decapitation because they lost their head (or heads, depending on what you think about Boozer and Sloan – who both got kicked out). The game was fun to watch. Our defense once again looked pretty good, with nice movement and help from the weak side. And our offense is a thing of beauty. I mentioned as the season started that I thought this team could be like the championship team, a young group who moves the ball well and knows how to score. As we get closer to the playoffs these guys are doing that with consistency, and it's a great sign of what's coming down the road. I know I've mentioned Nicolas Batum before, but I can't get enough of that guy. He's going to be great. And I still love Sergio Rodriguez. I'm ecstatic that he got back into the rotation and has been playing well. Get excited for playoff basketball coming back to Oregon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MaleBlazer? I suppose.

Hilarious quote from "The Optimist."
People who know and accept me for who I am know that, earlier this season, I came out of the closet as a “MaleBlazer.” Although I bleed Wine and Gold, I have a crush on the Portland Trailblazers organization. I always have: back to the days of watching old school Blazers like Bill Walton and Greg Oden when I was a little kid.
Re-read that and don't miss his subtle humor at the very end. Nice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trade dead(line)

I know I see everything through rose (garden) colored glasses, but I'm pretty relieved that we didn't make a deal. I like Caron Butler. I enjoy Gerald Wallace. I think Richard Jefferson is swell. But I believe in Martell Webster. We weren't going to get a guy who fit any better than what we have, and I believe we're still a playoff team this year. I've been saying since the preseason that I think Steve Blake is a great leader at point guard for this franchise, and his return last night said the same thing. I think Sergio is growing. I believe in the potential of Jerryd Bayless. I love Nicolas Batum. L-O-V-E him.

What is funniest to me is not how much some Blazers fans are complaining. That I understand, even if I disagree. I sometimes wanted to see the "big move" that would "put us over the top." What is funny is listening to the analysts, i.e. Jamal Mashburn, say that we were the big losers. That has been said about Portland nearly every draft, trade deadline, and off season for the last few years. I really do trust Kevin Pritchard, and I like that we continue to do the things we think are best even if it goes against what a lot of people think should happen. The one trade we made was a nice little deal to save some money and give us another trade chip for this summer. Think about this: when LaFrentz comes off the books this summer, not only will we have the potential to sign a free agent, but we'll be able to trade for much bigger salaries if we want. And it doesn't look like the economy is going to be a ton better by then, so there may be some huge names with big contracts that teams really want to move. So that's a bonus. Plus, we get to see this team develop for the rest of the season so that we can hopefully know for sure what we need. What does a healthy Martell bring? (Please get healthy, Martell.) Which back up point guard are we really sold on, or do we think that both are ready and that we no longer need Blake to be our steady hand? Is Travis Outlaw really what we want in a back up small forward/power forward? I think the late season playoff push, and the playoffs themselves, will give us a much better idea of what to do this off season. And as someone else said (Dave? Quick? Ben? I forget who it was. Casey?) Pritchard talked with everyone partly so he could find out what they want. He's now loaded with that information to go along with what they'll find out as the season plays out.

I'm excited to see this team of guys gel for the rest of the year and battle in the playoffs, and then I'm excited to see how the front office works in the off season to make it even better.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

The most likely

It sounds like Portland could potentially actually get Caron Butler, and I think this is the trade that would most likely make that happen.

This one might be slightly more likely

Adding Peja into the mix and taking out Chandler and West might make this one actually slightly plausible, though probably not.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

One more for fun

I know that this could never happen, but it was fun to put together. The Blazers would also have to give the rights to Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland to New Orleans and Washington respectively.

This was just for fun

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It looked like this

This is what we've been saying

While my brother and I disagree about who won the Rudy Gay-Shane Battier trade, we have both coveted Battier for a while. If it hadn't already been clear before I read this article, it is now: the Rockets won't trade him. This is great stuff by Michael Lewis, the guy who wrote Moneyball.