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.


Lewis said...

The Basketball Jones talked a little bit today about how much people are valuing their money for the off-season now. The Blazers fit into this scenario perfectly - with LaFrentz expiring contract and owner willing to spend a little money, the Blazers could be a big-time player in the "buyer's market" that will be this offseason.

Too bad my Hawks' ownership will still be battling things out in court!

Big game tonight between our squads.

T-Mac said...

I think we can get the same players we could have had at the deadline for less this summer...can you imagine getting Butler without touching anyone in our top SIX? It could happen.

josh said...

Lew- a lot of Blazer fans are adopting the Hawks as their second favorite team right now. Dave from Blazer's Edge claimed them in his game recap.

T-Mac- I think you're exactly right. I don't know about Butler, but some of the guys that seem impossible now could be possible then. It's crazy to think about. I just wish Martell were healthy, not only for his contributions to the stretch run but so we could also see for sure what he's bringing to the table.