Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hanging 'Em Up

Yesterday I was hired by the Portland Trail Blazers, and seeing as doing my job and writing this blog would be a severe conflict of interest, it's time to call it a game.

That being said, I thank all of my readers from the bottom of my heart. It's been a blast writing this thing, and I hope you all have enjoyed reading it. Special thanks to Ryne, Kiefer, Mortimer, Dave and all the others who read faithfully throughout this blog's short existance, it wouldn't have been the same without you.

Have a good one, and GO BLAZERS!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dijon Thompson

As the The Oregonian reported on Thursday, former UCLA star Dijon Thompson was in town to work out for the Blazers, who were exploring the possibility of signing him as a free agent.

Thompson, drafted by the Knicks in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft, is a smart, hardworking SF with an excellent offensive and rebounding skills and a terrific work ethic whose main knocks are his bulk (skinnier then a bean pole) and some MAJOR issues on defense. Basically, he's another Travis Outlaw with a brain but without the athleticism and potential. Normally, I'm all for signing a guy like this to the minimum to provide an offensive spark and some hustle off the bench every once and a while, but I'm questioning whether Dijon is really the type of player the Blazers shoudl be focusing on right now. As of now, we have a second-year SG capable of playing the 3, an injured head case, and a raw, athletic enigma with a lot of questions surrounding his game making up our depth chart at SF. We need a defensively-oriented veteran capable of playing some minutes at the 3 without taking too many shots away from our youngsters, and the "whispers" going around say that management wants that SF to come cheap, preferably off the waiver wire or as a free agent signed to the minimum. Jumaine Jones was our answer, but he signed with Pheonix and, for some unexplained reason, it doesn't even look like the Blazers were even giving him some serious consideration. Dijon isn't a veteran, and he doesn't play defense. We do have two open roster spots, so I wouldn't be opposed to signing Dijon as long as we find someone else who fits our needs better at SF to fill the other spot. At best, the inexpensive gamble on Dijon pays off and we've found another useful chip to help us build for the future (which will probably mean the end of TO). At worst, he rots on the bench and is gone next off-season.

Take the gamble, but, please, find a veteran first.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Breakout Probability: Darius Miles

In order for Darius to have what would be considered a breakout season, he would have to do the following:

1. Stay out of trouble for the ENTIRE season. This means no pouting, no drunken nights out on the town with taxi-cabs full of rookies, no complaints about bobbleheads, no acting like a jerk-off in front of the fans or the media, no changing at halftime, no tirades in practice, no racial slurs, no bathroom breaks and giving consistent, all-out effort on the court for the duration of each and every game and practice.

2. Stay completely healthy for at least 75 games. Completely healthy means that his knee would not hamper his lateral movement, quickness, athleticism, speed, etc. in any way.

3. Match or exceed his scoring numbers from last season (14-15 PPG), and average at lest 7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2 steals and 3 assists. However, Darius would have to consistently put up these numbers over the course of the ENTIRE season, as opposed to coming on strong at the beginning and becoming increasingly ineffctive as the season goes on, as was the case last year.

Going into the season, there are many questions surrounding Darius. There are reports that he has been working out, become a born again Christian, and plans to "do his talking on the court" next season. However, he has never shown the ability to live up to his potential throughout the course of the entire season and has yet to finish a year without some kind of behavioral incident. He has also become somewhat of a ballhog of late, and has seemed to only be concerned with Darius' stats and what is best for Darius, not what is best for the team. Will a second year under Nate's system combined with God's healing love and a healthy knee be enough to send Darius over the top? The jury's still out, but right now it looks like a long shot even though I have this gut feeling that he may surprise us all (then again, that could just be because he's my ex-favorite Blazer).

BREAKOUT PROBABILITY: 35%

Breakout Probability

Over the next couple of days, I will be starting a series of posts analyzing/predicting how likely it is that a paticular Blazer will have a "breakout" season in 2006-2007. The criteria used to determine the likelihood of a breakout will depend on each player, their skillsets, and the position they play.

Stay tuned...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thing are going to be a little slow...

I'll be heading up to Seattle for the next couple of days, so things are going to be a little slow around here. My apologies. However, look forward to a very interesting series of posts coming up upon my return.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trivia Question of The Month

Name the doctor that performed surgery on Lamarcus Aldridge yesterday.

First one to post the correct answer in the comments wins.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Harm of Guaranteed Contracts

Kinda going off of what Dave posted over at Blazers Edge, but I just wanted to get my two cents in here...

Almost everything that's wrong with the NBA today can be traced directly back to guaranteed contracts and the sense of entitlement they bring about. Period. More and more of today's NBA players feel like they are entitled to everything. They have been brought up thinking they were the shit, and that the world was theirs to plunder and pillage. When they don't get their way or something doesn't go as planned, they pout. It is almost like everything has to operate according to their will, and that their every desire be fullfilled at any cost, because dammit they are an NBA superstar.

This shows up in many many places. For instance, when a player refuses to take two seconds of his time to sign an autograph for the 6 year old kid who's waited for hours with the dream of meeting his hero, only to be blown off by some ego-centric jock. Or when a certain unamed player ran right into a female friend of mine, knocking her cell phone out of her hands and on to the ground, only to just keep walking and pretend that the incident had never happened. Or the player who thinks that every room-service attendant is merely an outlet for his sexual desires. This list can go on forever, but you get the picture. It's sick really. Here you have players in situations where millions of people idolize them and would give anything to take their place even for one day, but yet they can't even be humble eough to even begin to acknowledge that. If it weren't for the fans, these players wouldn't even have their contracts because who do you think pays that money? It's the scrubs liek us, who go to the game wearing our player jerseys, buy concessions at outrageously inflated prices and cheer our hearts out simply because of our love of the game and our love for this team.

How does this relate to garunteed contracts you ask? It's simple. When a player has been raised to expect everything to be handed to him, and then comes to the NBA only to be paid millions of dollars regardless of his actions or performance, it onl;y amplifies his already over-inflated ego and sense of entitlement. These players literally think that they can do no wrong, and that they don't have to behave and act decently like the rest of us "commoners" without our guaranteed 86 million-dollar paychecks. This needs to change. Get rid of the guaranteed money, and make the players work hard for everything they earn. Teach them that the only way to get what they want is through hard work, hustle and sheer determination. If a player thinks that he is above everyone else, and doesn't have to be a "practice player" or is good enough to "take plays off", then cut him. Show him how the real world works. If a normal person slacks on the job or is an asshole, then they pay the consequences. Make it perfectly clear to all these athletes that if you don't give it your all, if you don't treat people with respect especially women, and if you don't make the most of this amazing opportunity you have been given, then you're gone. Sorry, but that's just how things go in the real world when you're just like everyone else.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Z-Bozo in trouble again?

Good god.

LINK

Apparently, Z-Bo was named in a police report filed in regards to a sexual harrasment incident.

We don't know yet if Zach was simply a witness or the one who reported the harrasment, and thus the media is making a story out of nothing, or if Zach was actually doing the harrasing. Either way its ugly and stains the image the franchise has built up this off-season, and I'll have more reaction when more info is available.

The Great SF Swap of 2007

As reported earlier today, Al Harrington is rumored to be heading to the Warriors in a four-team deal that as of now looks something like this:

Joe Smith to Atlanta, Al Harrington to GS, Dunleavy to the LAC, Maggette to DEN.

However, this got me thinking. With so many fowards being moved, and Denver apparently in the market for an Athletic swingman to team with Melo, is there any way the Blazers could get involved and possibly move Darius Miles?

My trade idea would look something like this:

Joe Smith to Atlanta, Al Harrington to GS, Dunleavy to the LAC, Maggette to Boston, Miles to Denver and Brian Scalabrine, Brian Grant and Dwayne Jones to Portland.

Denver needs a sidekick for Melo, and as I'm sure everyone remembers they were the team that tried to pry Darius away from us two off-seasons ago. Miles would work well in Denver's uptempo game, as it would make better use of his skills in transition. If Darius pans out, it is likely that he is the piece that moves Denver to the next level, and that's why Denver does this trade. Boston gets in on the action because the addition of another athletic swingman like Corey Maggette to play alongside Paul Pierce and Telfair, combined with with someone like Wally S. coming off the bench, gives them a lineup that can easily challenge NJ for the division crown and is almost a lock for the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. Portland gets nothing of real value in return for Darius, but again, this move would be addition by subtraction. Darius's negative influence is gone, freeing up minutes for the young guys. We do get Scalabrine, who, although he has an ugly contract, is fairly scrappy and decent offensively and is a living, breathing 3 who can stay out of trouble, keep his mouth shut and eat some SF minutes when veteran expierience is called for. We also get the enormous PR boost of trading a headcase like Darius for the beloved Brian Grant, who while he would not play much, would be worth his weight in gold in terms of publicity and general goodwill.His departure was the beginning of the end of this franchise's public image,a nd his return would only further the effort to reconnect with the community, in which Grant is and always has been ver active. Jones is simply throw-in to make the salaries work, and could be waived or sent to the D-League upon his arrival in PDX. Some of our many 2nd round picks could also be thrown in to make this deal work.

Thoughts? Throw 'em in a comment.

Cleveland Trade

Not to hash an old rumor to death here, but a Juan Dixon to Cleveland trade still seems very plausible. As it stands now, the Cavaliers have 17 players on their roster. Two players, Eddie Basden and Stephen Graham, have non-garunteed contracts. The Cavaliers have effectively given up on Luke Jackson, and have already stated that they will not pick up his fourth-year option by the October 31st deadline.

Cleveland needs a backup, offensively-oriented SG, a role that Juan Dixon fills perfectly. If it were up to me, I would offer Cleveland Juan Dixon for Luke Jackson and Eddie Basden. However, due to CBA restrictions, this trade could not be completed until October 18th. Cleveland gets their gaurd, and we get another young SF and an interesting prospect. Luke Jackson has never really been given his chance to shine in Cleveland, and still has lots of untapped potential. He shoots the ball well, and more shooting is something the Blazers can always use. If he works out, then great. If not, you have Juan's defensive liability off the team and are stuck with a live body at SF with essentially the same contract. I personally would rather have the latter.

Eddie Basden is the piece that really intrigues me in this scenario. He is an undrafted combo gaurd who is extremly strong and an excellent, tough nosed defender. His offensive skills are virtually-non existant, and his passing leaves much to be desired. However, I think he would be a good pickup. We need a cheap third string PG capable of playing limited minutes, and it would be great if we could bring in a locdown defender like Basden to fill that role. In time, he could even be able to contribute at the end of close games when someone is needed to simply bully around the opponents best shooter, a la Jarret Jack on Ray Allen in last year's game versus Seattle. Worst comes to worst, he plays like crap and you cut him, and you're off the hook for 600K and have a free roster spot.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Omar Cook

The Blazers are in need of a 3rd-string PG. Say what you want about Brandon Roy and Dan Dickau, but the reality is that if Sergio's in the D-League and Dan's hurt, then you need someone cheap to warm the bench and fill in during garbage time if needed. Former Blazer Omar Cook is the perfect man for this job. He is not the Omar Cook of old, as he has bounced around Europe working on perfecting his game. He now has a respectable jump shot to complement his nifty passing skills. He's young and has potential, and will come amazingly cheap. He's got a good attitude, and is willing to work hard. Since we have two open roster spots, there really is no downside to this. Worst comes to worst, he doesn't meet expectations and we have to cut him and Paul "The Microsoft Gold Digger" Allen is out $30,000. If things go right and Omar is given an opportunity to show the league his new, improved game, there is a chnace that he could become this year's Steve Blake. In that case, there is the possibility that we could package him in a trade for something useful, much like we did with Steve a couple of weeks ago. It's called buying low and selling high, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Here's to seeing Omar in red and black next season.

Sacramento

The Kings are rapidly emerging as a viable trade partner in a move involving Darius Miles for two main reasons.

1. The Kings roster currently stands at 17 players, and the Kings usually like to carry only 14 players. This means that 2 or 3 players MUST go before the start of the season.

2. Former Kings Bonzi Wells probably will not return, and thus someone will be needed to fill the role of the other starting wing alongside Ron Artest. When playing to his potential, Darius and his athleticism and defense fits right in with what the Kings are trying to do. He could be a very nice fit for the Kings, and probably would come fairly cheap. Something along the lines of Darius and a 2nd Round pick for Ronnie Price and Corliss Willamson should be enough to get the job done.

This trade would also be great for the Blazers, as we get a living, breathing SF with an expiring contract and a good attitude and a scrub for a headcase.

Someone call Sacto and get this thing done.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A New Approach to The Darius Situation

As of right now, Darius Miles has absolutely no trade value. Say what you want about the Knicks, but if there was a deal to be made it would have been made already. If we do end up trading him before the start of the season, it will most likely be for garbage with a bad contract. Everyone knows Darius no longer fits into this team's long term plans, and that if the franchise could move him they would. That being said, I think there is another solution to this problem.

We keep Darius.

Of course, it would only be temporary. What the Blazers need to do is sit Darius down and explain to him very bluntly that he has killed his image and thus, no takers for him can be found. Then, the two sides need to make a deal much like they did with Ruben Patterson last year. If they give Darius his 25 minutes a game to showcase himself, and if he keeps his mouth shut and stays out of trouble, then the franchise will do everything in their power to work a trade. If Darius violates his side of the agreement, he needs to be suspended indefinitely and sent home, a la Tim Thomas in Chicago, so that any negative influence on the team is avoided. Unfortunately, this would probably force our hand and require us to make a trade for a bad contract or work on a buy-out, but I think we need to give Darius this chance.

Why, you ask?

It's simple. If we give Darius his minutes, and he plays his heart out because he knows that if he does he can get into a more favorable situation, then his trade value will go up, possibly way up. He needs to flash his tantilizing potential once more, so that some established, veteran-laden team is willing to take the chance that no teams are willing to take right now. If that happens, then the potential that we can get something of value in return for Miles. This would also make a package of Miles and Maglorie, or Miles and Raef much more attractive.

It's our only hope.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Some More Darius Trade Ideas

You request them, Ryne and I deliver.

TRADE 1:

In a three-way deal, Portland sends Raef LaFrentz to Denver, Darius Miles to New York and future draft compensation (some of those many 2nd round picks) to both teams. Denver sends Kenyon Martin to New York and New York sends Jalen Rose to Portland.

WHY:

Denver gets a big man that can spread the floor and complement the inside games of Nene, Camby and Najera rather nicely while also ridding themselves of the headache that is Kenyon Martin. The Knicks get athletic in a hurry, and Isaih will do this because he wants to win now and the though of Stephon/Francis, Crawford, Miles and Martin all running the floor at the same time will be too much for him to pass up. Portland gets rid of a headcase and an ugly contract, and recieves roughly 20 million in cap flexibilty AND a veteran SF who can eat some minutes while the young guys develop.

TRADE 2:

Portland sends Darius Miles, Juan Dixon and future picks to NO/OK for Desmond Mason and Brandon Bass.

WHY: New Orleans needs a starting 2 and a shooter off the bench. While Darius is not your traditional starting SG, he would fit in that role with the Hornets because of the outside games of Peja and Chris Paul. Darius is more than capable of defending SG's, and could be more of a slasher then a spot up shooter with Peja and Chris Paul compensating for his lack of offense beyond 20' or so. On the flip side, Darius could make up for Peja's rebounding and defensive weaknesses. In return, Portland gets an expiring contract in Mason who can, again, fill in at the 3 to allow for development while keeping his mouth shut and Brandon Bass, a 2nd year SF with some potential.

TRADE 3:

Portland trades Darius Miles and a future 2 rounder to Minnesota for Trenton Hassel and Mark Madsen.

WHY: Minny gets an athletic wing to help KG lift them back into the playoffs, and Portland gets a SF who can eat up minutes, do the little things, provide leadership and play defense without taking a lot of shots so that the other youngsters have plenty of touches to speed their development. Although Madsen is grossly overpaid for his skillset and has 4 years remaing on his contract, I would not be opposed to taking on a contract like that if it meant getting rid of Darius.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bad Hair a Requirement?

Is Paul Allen so self-conscious about his horrible hair that he has instituted a "hair-code" for all Blazer brass that requires them to follow his hideous hair styling techniques? As you can see in the photo below, all three of the team's top executives are sporting a different variety of the same sickening, slicked back mullet hairdo. I smell a conspiracy...



This picture makes me sick...

Worst Mullet?
Paul
Steve
Kevin
  
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Picture courtesy of China News Daily

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Answers

I'll continue to update this as more questions come in...

1. Ryne: Who wins in a gun fight between Z-Bo and Maurice Clarett?

It all depends on how many thugs each one of them has in their Escalades at the time...

2. Ryne: What do you think of a Miles to Minny trade for Trenton Hassel and Eddie Griffen

NO! Imagine the field day the Oregonian would have if Griffen got cuaght driving drunk while watching porn and pleasuring himself again and you will see why this trade will never happen. I would rather something like Miles for Hassel and Madsen.

3. Alex: Who would win in a tag-team cage fight between Mike Dunleavy/Jack Ramsey and Nate McMillan/Mo Cheeks?

Well, even though he would basically be fighting by himself, I would have to go with McMillan. Nate looks like he could kick some major ass.

4. Anonymous: How many girls has Ryne kissed? 0?

Let me answer your question with some more questions. Does Ryne have a life? Yes. Do you? No. Does Ryne have more maturity than a 2-year old? Yes. Do you? It's not even close...

Grow up and either talk basketball or leave, Mr. Anonymous.

Q&A Time

Ok, news is kind of slow today so I have decided to try something new. I'm opening my post up to you guys. You have a Blazer-related question? Put it in a comment and I'll do my best to answer it. You want my opinion on anything basketball or Blazers? Put it in a comment and I'll give it to ya...

Here goes nothing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Trivia Question of the Month

You know the drill. First one with the correct answer wins.

What professional basketball team is Nedzad Sinanovic (Blazers '03 2nd Round Pick) currently under contract to play for?

Team name and country please.

GOOD LUCK!

Freeland Signs Overseas

Any hopes that anyone had of Joel Freeland playing for this team next year are now gone. He has signed a two year deal to play in the Canary Islands and gain some expierience. This is the ideal development, because I would rather see him get some real playing time against international competition rather than rot away at the end of our bench.

That would be all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jumaine Jones

The Blazers need to sign free agent SF Jumaine Jones. Jones is a hustler in the Ruben Patterson mold, except for the fact that he's relentless on the boards, can hit the three and is a great character guy. If you're going to be competitive, you need rebounding out of your SF in certain situations, and Outlaw and Webster aren't exactly rebounders. For those of you who are concerned that Jones' game migth overlap with Z-Bo's (much like Patterson's did lats year), he actually is not that much of an interior player and tends to play outside as opposed to clogging up the middle. We're kind of thin at the 3 right now, and I'm all for bringing in a hustle player like Jones to push Webster and Outlaw. Also, Jones can be had cheap, since 2.5 million should be enough to get him. If things break right, he could be this year's edition of J Pryz/Steve Blake.

Hustle, tremendous defense and solid rebounding on the cheap?

I'm all for it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Just A Clarification...

A reader implied that the post below (Look at How Far We've Come...)was nothing more than a bunch of fanatical over-hyping. That was not the intent of the post at all. The point, rather, was to express my elation over the progress this team has made towards getting back to the playoffs/respectability/a loyal, stable, large fan base again.

The purpose of that post can basically be summed up like this:

BEFORE: A team in disarray, with pieces that didnt fit well together, unstable ownership and no fan base.

AFTER: A team with a clear direction that has taken steps to put them closer towards the place where they want to be that are actually sensible improvements, as opposed to making moves just to make moves. For example, we needed to address our lack of size and rebounding/a post presence. Rather than do something stupid like the Knicks did with Eddie Curry last year when confronted with the same need, we traded two role players and a scrub for an all-star with an expiring contract. The Blazers are without a doubt a more balanced basketball team then they were at the beginning of June, and should be more competitive due to the increased flexibility and talent they have added to the roster this summer. The team also has stable ownership now and is taking very big steps towards reconnecting with an alienated fan base.

Am I expecting the playoffs? No. I do think that if everything breaks right an major injuries are avoided we have a legit chance to surprise a lot of people, but the West is very deep right now so in all actuality the playoffs are still a long shot, even with a drastically improved team.

Bad News

The Wizards did not match Jared Jefferies' offer sheet, and he will be a New York Knick come Monday. With Rose, Richardson, Jefferies, Lee and Udoka on the roster, the Knicks really do not need another SF, which means that the chance of the Knicks becoming a partner in a Darius Miles Trade is close to zero. Looks like we are right back to where we started...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Look at How Far We've Come...

Entering this off-season, the Blazers were a mess. They couldn't shoot, they couldn't rebound, couldn't make the big plays, couldn't play defense consistently, didn't have a GM, had unresolved ownership issues and no GM, and looked like they were only going to continue to alienate the fan base even further.

What a difference three months makes.

In that period of time, the team has made 8 trades and undergone a drastic reshaping of the roster.

BEFORE: We had a rotation at C that was uncertain due to Joel Pryzbilla's impending free agency and Theo Ratliff's increasing age and proneness to injuries at the most inoppurtune times. When either one of the bigs got hurt, we were reduced to giving either Z-Bo or HA! significant minutes and basically eliminating any chance we had a being competitive in the process.

AFTER: Portland has one of the strongest center rotations in the West after re-signing Pryz, a feat many thought was impossible, and adding All-Star center Jamaal Maglorie. If either one of these two players gets hurt, Raef LaFrentz is a more than capable fill in. Also, in a worst case situation, the extremely talented but raw LaMarcus Aldridge will get a chance to see some minutes and aid his development into a future star. Both Pryzbilla and Maglorie are both hustle players who defend and rebound extremly well.

BEFORE: Portland lacked an impact scorer outside of Zach Randolph who could be depended on to give you a consistent offensive performance each night.

AFTER: Brandon Roy looks like he is going to be that player, and is almost a lock for ROY. He also appears to have the potential to be the late-game playmaker that this team needs desperately.

BEFORE: Our shooting was extremely weak and inconsitent, and the offense could not spread the floor for number 1 scoring option Zach Randolph.

AFTER: Portland now has a plethora of shooters capable of spreading the floor, including Brandon Roy, Martell Webster and Raef Lafrentz.

BEFORE: Portland continued to alienate their fan base.

AFTER: Portland's made significant progress towards a re-connection, namely the flurry of moves and creative marketing ploys such as the $199 season ticket.

BEFORE: The Blazers were on the verge of being sold, and the team's future in Portland was uncertain.

AFTER: Paul Allen changed his mind, and has committed to owning this team long term.

All in all, Portland has drastically re-shaped the team into a squad that I think can be competitive this coming season due to our increased lineup flexibility, the addition of impact rookie Brandon Roy and the added defensive presence of Maglorie and Roy, as well as the continued development of Zach Randolph and the rest of the young guys. Yes, there all still moves to be made. The top two in my mind would be ridding ourselves of Darius Miles and Juan "I Shoot Way Too Much for a Midget" Dixon.

Who do I credit for this team's drastic turnaround?

Kevin Pritchard and Steve Patterson.

My alliegence to John Nash at the time of his departure was well known, and I doubted the potential of the other two "amigos". However, they have made believers out of me with their previously un-shown agressiveness, their progress towards reconnecting with the fanbase and the flurry of moves they have made to actually improve the team in areas that needed a drastic upgrade.

Congratulations guys, and keep up the good work.

Some More NY Trade Ideas

Going off the rumor that was reported this morning (see below) I figured I would come up with some deals that would be more attractive to both teams.

TRADE 1: Darius Miles and Raef Lafrentz for Quentin Richardson, Ime Udoka and Malik Rose.

We get rid of the village idiot and an overpaid big who's looking more and more like he's going to be buried at the end of our bench after the arrival of Maglorie in exchange for someone who, at least initially, can help the team in Q-Rich, as well as a vet big who will sit at the end of the bench, be a leader and not complain (and who will give us cap relief a year sooner than Raef) and another local boy for the Oregonian and John Canzano to entertain themselves with. NY gets a versatile forward who can help them win now, as well as a big with a shooting touch from beyond 15 feet, which is something they currently don't have (besides C Channing Frye), who will also help them win, seeing as it is win now at all costs or die for Isiah.

TRADE 2: Darius Miles and Raef LaFrentz for Jalen Rose.

This one's much more simple. We get cap relief, they get the same two players for the same reasons and with the same benefits as above. Jalen could also help us this year before his 16 million dollar contract expires at the end of next season by eating up some minutes at the 3 when a veteran presence is needed so Martell and Outlaw can develop under less stressful conditions.

In both deals, one or more of our many future second round picks could be thrown in as sweeteners.

Keep in mind that any deal with NY for Miles is pretty much contingent on whether or not the Wizards match Jared Jeffries' offer sheet.

Miles to the NYC? (again)

Yes folks, there is yet another trade rumor that involves Darius Miles heading to the Knicks. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Knicks were close to acquiring Miles last week in a straight-up trade for sweet-shooting Knick F Quentin Richardson, but opted to sign Wizards F Jared Jeffries to an offer sheet instead. The same article suggests that should the Wizards match the Knicks offer (they have until Monday to do so, the Knicks would turn their attention back to working a Miles for Richardson deal.

Right now as Blazer fans, we all need to be hoping that the Wizards match the offer sheet. I have never been a fan of Q-Rich, and still am not, seeing as I view him as another DA waiting to happen. He's had a bit of an injury problem lately, and is grossly overpaid (he's owed 24 million through '08-'09, with a 9 million dollar player option for '09-'10). The last thing this team needs is another overpaid SF/SG sitting at the end of the bench doing nothing while constantly injured. This being said, Q-Rich is a quality NBA player, even if he is overpaid and gimpy. He is a great rebounder from the gaurd spot, and has a great outside stroke (won the 2005 3-Point contest. Regardless, I think this trade really is our best option right now, if not our only option. We all know that Miles is virtually untradeable right now, and cannot really be cut because of financial considerations. If some team is stupid enough to take him off our hands in exchange for somebody with a pulse who will keep their mouth shut and not cause trouble, then we need to pull the trigger. Richardson may fit in nicely next year if he plays the 3, a position we are currently pretty thin at, while Outlaw and Webster continue to develop. Also, Richardson's arrival would pretty much mean the end for Outlaw, because Webster and Richardson would occupy the bulk of the minutes for the forseeable future. This may not be a bad thing, as we could package Outlaw in a Zach Randolph trade.

Miles for Q-Rich?
Yes
No
  
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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Paul Allen Not Selling

Paul Allen will not be selling the Blazers. Period. This is an amazing positive development that only adds momentum to the wave of good moves involving the Blazers this off-season. Here's the press releases from PAM and Vulcan, Inc. (Paul's company)for now, and I'll have more of my personal reactions later tonight.

FROM PAM:
"In June, Portland Arena Management LLC (“PAM”) and Paul Allen began a process to jointly market the Trail Blazers and the Rose Garden arena. An investment banking firm acting on behalf of Mr. Allen and PAM and in cooperation with the NBA identified potential buyers and solicited offers. As a result of the process, multiple bids were received, a number of which were in a range which PAM found acceptable, and PAM confirmed that it wanted the sale process to continue to pursue negotiations with certain bidders. However, Mr. Allen has advised PAM that he does not wish to pursue a sale of the team at this time, and the sale process has been terminated. PAM intends to continue to operate the Rose Garden for the benefit of the City of Portland and the fans of the Trail Blazers, the WinterHawks and the LumberJax and to bring more family shows, concerts and other entertainment opportunities for the Portland community."

FROM VULCAN:
"Vulcan and Portland Arena Management LLC (PAM) agreed to work together on a process to examine ways to maximize value for their respective operations. Unfortunately, we were not able to identify a mutually agreeable solution through this process.

No single entity has invested more over the years than Vulcan has in the Trail Blazers - and in that sense, no single entity has more at stake in an outcome that enhances the future prospects of the Trail Blazers as a franchise than we do.

We will continue to explore ways to address the broken economic model under which the franchise now operates, while working to ensure the viability of the Trail Blazers as a team and a business."

Dale Davis Arrested

Apparently Dale Davis was tasered by police and arrested last night in Miami Beach, Florida after he threatened police officers following an altercation at a night club. What an idiot...at least he's not a Blazer anymore. I find it funny that this story hasn't been getting as much press as something normally would since he's a Piston, because you know that if he was still a Blazer this story would be EVERYWHERE and anywhere being repeated over and over for at least a week.

Monday, July 31, 2006

This just in...

Blazers "GM" Kevin Pritchard has responded to Canzano's piece this morning. He basically said that he would not go after Iverson because, while he thinks AI is a great player, his attitude/personality just would not fit with this team, and while he wants to win, he wants to win with "good" people. AI and JC both just got completely blasted...

A Little Comic Relief

God, I'm still looking back in amazement about how badly Darius Miles had me and a lot of others fooled with his performance at the beginning of last season. I was such an idiot...from a roster evaluation I posted on January 10th:

"Darius Miles, when healthy, is the Blazer’s go-to guy and I look forward to seeing him return from injury to return his breakout season. There is no question this man was becoming the leader of this Blazer team before he was injured. McMillan gave him a challenge, and he responded with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard. His outside game has improved greatly, his athleticism is amazing, and his perimeter defense is Top-10 caliber. Darius’s only flaw is that he doesn’t know when to pull up while driving to the basket and shoot the short J or dish it to a teammate when his path to the hoop is blocked. As long as his knee doesn’t bog him down, there is no reason why his breakout season should not resume and he will be on his way to finally getting some respect in this league. His 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block a game have been sorely missed and his return should help the Blazers stay in close games."

Ok, you can stop laughing now.

Reaction to the Maglorie Trade

I love this trade! We traded two spare parts and a complete joke of a player for a legit NBA center WITH an expiring 8 million dollar contract. When I first heard the rumor from Ryne while sitting in Skagway, Alaska, I thought it was a complete joke that was way too good to be true. Guess not. Maglorie gives us front line depth, and can team with Pryzbilla to give us an upgraded version of the Pryz/Theo rotation that was so effective for the first half of last year. He is a tough-nosed hustle player who defends and rebound very well, and can play either the 4 or the 5 due to his excellent footwork. He's not a bad offensive player either, there is a reason why he was an All-Star in 2003. This trade was all about flexibility. As it stands now, we can let Maglorie walk and be roughly 2 million under the cap. Or we can trade Randolph and put a re-signed Maglorie at the 4 until Aldridge develops. Or we can try to move a guy like Raef LaFrentz. And lastly, we now have a legit replacement for Pryzbilla and/or Randolph if they manage to injure themselves again.

The only reason that this trade makes me sad is that now I will be forced to sit through garbage time without Ha to keep me entertained while I laugh at his utter cluelessness at both ends of the floor. Gone are the days of the rebound sailing over Ha's head because he forgot to put his arms up while somehow commiting 5 fouls in the process. Thankfully, also gone are the days of that hideous haircut bovving all the way up and down the floor.

Allen Iverson and Portland

In today's Oregonian, John Canzano suggested that the Blazers should trade Zach Randolph and change to Philly for Allen Iverson. As of now, this deal will never happen. The reason? A man named Chris Webber. Webber and Z-Bo both play PF, and the 76'ers owe Chris roughly 22 million for each of the next two seasons. The fact that Webber is an old man now, combined with his declining skillset and huge contract, will make him very difficult, if not impossible, to trade. The Sixers simply will not commit to having both Z-Bo's and Webber's contracts on the books at the same time, or to having both players on the same team at the same time. Webber will not be very receptive to coming off the bench, and cannot play the 5 because they have lots of long-term money locked in at that position as well after signing Dalembert to a monster extension last summer. It simply makes no sense, fiscal or otherwise, for the Sixers to do this deal. It's an excellent pipe dream that is actually fair to both teams, but it will remain a pipedream until Webber leaves Philladelphia (if he ever does-which I doubt).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jamaal Maglorie a Blazer

Yes, the trade is official, pending physicals. We have traded two spare parts and a joke for a legit 10 and 10 Center. Kevin Pritchard is a god, more reaction to follow later on.

Apology

I, Sean, would like to apologize to all Rip City 24/7 readers who may have been offended, apalled, shocked or otherwise discomforted by one of my guest bloggers suggestion that the Blazers trade Darius Miles and Jamaal Maglorie for headcase-extraordinaire Steve Francis. This in no way reflects my views, as I personally hate Franchise. Kiefer will be given the oppurtunity to defend his position.

Here's why Steve Francis WOULD NOT BE a good fit in Portland.

1. He would demand a starting role. Between Jarret and/or Roy and/or Webster, we have the 1 and the 2 (Steve's positions) covered rather nicely with cheap, young talent with great upside.

2. Steve Francis cannot function within an offense, and has a reputation for jacking up way to many shots. All of the players we currently have slated as our starters at gaurd next year are way better in terms of functioning and being productive WITHIN an offense. Nate's system requires the PG to be a distributer who sets up the offense first and shoots second. Francis is NOT a pass first PG. Yes, he has a career average of 6.3 assists per game. But he also averages 19 PPG. For a comparison, Stephon Marbury, a man not exactly know for his unselfishness, averages 8.1 APG. Any point gaurd who plays enough minutes will get his assists, btu that does not mean that he is a good distributer. Also, look at Sebastian Telfair. He was a GREAT passer (whereas Francis is simnply moderate to good) who struggled with Nate's system because deep down he was a score-first PG. If Bassy couldn't fit, then niether will Francis.

3. Steve Francis is a headcase, and has a bad reputation that has followed him around since draft day. He has lashed out in several tirades with all of the teams he has played for, and has been known to rock the boat. In other words, he is exactly the type of player Nate McMillan would hate. Trading one headcase for another isn't going to help anything, especially when we have so many young, impressionable minds laying around.

4. Steve Francis has reached his ceiling as an NBA player. Yes, he is a star. But I would rather have a player(s) who has yet to scratch the surface of their potential playing the position rather than trading for a malcontent starter.

5. Franchise has a HUGE contract ( 15, 16 and 17 million for the next three years, respectively). If the goal is to be under the cap and be fiscally responsible while developing our young talent to mold with an effective group of hardworking vets into a long-term playoff contender, then why do we want to take on such a prohibitive contract?

6. I thought we'd learned our lesson about what happens when you give big money to malcontents based on the hopes that you can be the team to turn them around and fix their problems. (see: Darius Miles) I garuntee you that Nate and his pass-the-ball-and-run-the-offense system will not fix Steve Francis.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Speculation From the Magloire Trade

Now that the trade is "official", I (Kiefer) am trying to figure out why the Blazers traded for Magloire. I will agree with the fans who said getting Magloire for Blake, Skinner, and Ha was a steal, but what place does Magloire have on this team? Here are a couple reasons I could think of:

1. The trade is still not finalized and the Blazers are trying to involve a third team to unload Darius Miles.

A couple possible trades are Magloire and Miles to New York for Jalen Rose (expiring contract), Miles and Magloire to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson, or Magloire and Miles to Memphis for Eddie Jones (expiring contract). I personally would rather trade Miles and Magloire for a talented player like Jefferson that will improve our roster instead of an expiring contract.

2. Magloire and/or Miles will be dealt at the trade deadline after they have more trade value.

3. Blazer management aquired Magloire as insurance in case Joel Przybilla has injury problems again.

4. Blazer managment likes Magloire and his work ethic and wants to keep Magloire long term.

Breaking News: Jamaal Maglorie Traded To Blazers

Realgm.com is reporting that Portland has traded Steve Blake, Brian Skinner, and Ha Seung-Jin to the Bucks for Jamaal Maglorie. This trade leave the Blazers with two more roster spots so the Blazers can keep Joel Freeland on the roster, sign someone out of the D-league, or use those spots for a trade. Now Sean might get mad at me for saying this next part, I LOVE this trade. This trade gets rid of the log jam at the point guard position and we get an all-star big man who will provide depth at the PF/C position. Jamaal may also be able to start if/when a Zach Randolph trade comes.
Our roster at the moment:

PG- Jack/Dickau/Rodriguez
SG- Roy/Dixon
SF- Webster/Outlaw/Miles
PF- Randolph/LaFrentz/Aldridge
C- Pryzablia/Maglorie

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sergei Monia Waived

The Sacramento Kings today have waived the former Blazer guard/forward. There is no doubt in my mind that Sergei is done in the NBA and will now just be another foreign player who will be marked as a disappointment. Sergei averaged just 3 ppg and 2 rpg in just 26 games of NBA work.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Kevin Love Signs With UCLA

Today #2 ranked player Kevin Love * Sean's edit: Kevin Love, aka the World's Biggest Crybaby* from L.O stated that he will be attending UCLA for college. As much as I (Ryne) hate this guy, I have to admit that he is a great player and will make UCLA the easy favorite to win the NCAA tournment. What makes this even better is OJ Mayo (#1 ranked player) has agreed to attend USC and rumor as it that both these player have a mighty hate for each other, even though Kevin says the two are good friends. This will allow the UCLA-USC to become one of the great basketball rivalry in the NCAA again.

Sean's view: Two words: GO. CRUSADERS. 2004 state champs! Yeah Love is a helluva a player but I would take both the Tarver brothers over him any day.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gone Again

I'll be away starting tommorow, so guest bloggers Kiefer and Ryne will be taking my place until I return.

Sergio Rodriguez Signs

"Spanish Chocolate" signed his rookie contract with the Blazers today, and will start the season with the team. However, look for him to spend some significant time in the D-League, especially if Dickau gets himself healthy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Poll

2007 R.O.Y:
Roy
Aldridge
Morrison
Gay
Bargani
Foye
Thomas
S. Williams
Other
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet Another Trivia Question

Name the last Blazer player to wear number 5 and play in a regular season game. Also, what position did he play and where did he come from before playing for the Blazers?

YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: Geno Carlisle

Monday, July 10, 2006

Trivia Question of the Month

Who was the last player to play in a regular season game wearing number 4 for the Blazers. Name the player, his position and the year he played, as well as where he played before signing with the Blazers. First one with the correct answer wins!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Skita Waived

That happened sooner than I expected...but this is not surprising. Now that Pryz is back and the team only wants to carry 14 players something had to give, and my guess is that the team simply took the easy route and waived the guy that was non-garunteed. Also, I suspect that the team was more than a little irked that NT demanded his contract be garunteed when it looked like Pryzbilla was going to bolt.

NOTE TO ALL BUST BIG MEN WHO HAVE NEVER PROVEN THEMSELVES:

DO NOT demand more money, or garunteed money, until you have done something in the NBA or even come remotely close to living up to your potential or pre-draft hype. Don't forget that you were claimed off of waivers so that you might have the opportunity to save your sorry a** one more time, and don't look a gift horse in the mouth. However, there is good news. In addition to the fact that I just saved $500 on my car insurance by joining forces with the infamous gecko, I hear the used car dealership has positions available...

Click the Link

http://www.nbadraft.net/2006fandraftgrades001.asp

Have to give props to my buddy Ryne for showing up on nbadraft.net. However, he made several key errors. Roy is the starting PG for the summer league team, not the regular season, and the future considerations included the Chicago draft day deal turned out to be a conditional 2008 2nd Round Pick

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Joel Stays

Joel Pryzbilla has signed a 5 year deal for 32 Million dollars with the Blazers. I'll have more reaction/analysis later.

Happy 4th!

Summer League Roster

The roster for the Las Vegas Summer League team has been announced.

Blazer players that will be participating:

-LaMarcus Aldridge

-Joel Freeland

-Ha Seung Jin

-Travis Outlaw

-Brandon Roy

-Nedzad Sinanovic

-Nikoloz Tskitishvili

-Martell Webster

Undrafted free agents that will be participating (I have tried to include some info on them if possible):

-Brandon Bowman. 6' 9" SF from Georgetown who's very athletic and a good defender/team player. Does a lot of things well but does not have an outstanding facet of his overall game.

-Hector Romero. 6'7" SF from Venezuela. No further info.

-Kevin Pinkney. 6'10" F from Nevada. No further info.

-Marque Perry. 6'1" PG. "Imagine Nate Robinson without the jumping ability, shooting ability, passing ability or quickness and you have Marque Perry." -warriorsworld.net

-Fred House. 6'5" SF from S.Utah. No further info.

-Sean Dockery. 6'2" PG from Duke. Excellent passer who defends the passing lanes well and has a great first step and decent shooting off the dribble. Good leader/teamate. A disappointing college career during which he never lived up to anyone's expectations caused his draft stock to plummet. From what I've read and heard, Pritchard really likes this guy.

If anyone has any additional info on any of the players I couldn't find anything on, please leave it in the comments. Thanks!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

More on Nikoloz...

From now on, for my own personal sanity, I will refer to Nikoloz as NT. Basically, he's a sweet-shooting big man who runs the floor well and was selected 5th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft. He's got an amazing offensive game, but doesn't do much of anything on the defensive end. We got NT off of waivers for the bargain-basement price of 780,000, non-garunteed. Worst comes to worst, he continues to look like a bust, we cut him before camp breaks and we're out 780K. However, I have reason to believe otherwise. NT just might actually turn into something under Nate McMillan. Throughout his entire career, even before the NBA, he has been stuck playing limited, inconsistent minutes off the bench. He has all this potential, but needs to learn the NBA game in order to do anything with it. You can't do that if you're playing 10 minutes off the bench every 6 games. Likewise, even the best shooters can't shoot the ball well at all if they're only seeing those kind of minutes. You need to have a rythm to be a good shooter, and that kind of playing time does not allow for development of that. In a best case scenario, Nate works with NT to develop his game and he blossoms into a serviceable big man off the bench who can come in and spread the floor and we look like geniuses. He is versatile enough to play any position from the 2 to the 5, so he has the potential to create some serious matchup problems. All in all, an excellent inexpensive, no-risk pickup by Pritchard and company.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Yet Another Move

Blazers acquire C Nikoloz Tskitishvili off waivers from the Pheonix Suns. Reaction/analysis as well as a great post on Kevin Pritchard to come.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trade Idea

Darius Miles, Juan Dixon, Brian Skinner and several future picks (some of those new 2nd rounders?) to Orlando for Grant Hill. This trade gives us veteran leadership and 14 million in cap relief while sending Darius packing and helping to clear the bigman logjam.

The roster would look like this:

PG- Jack/Blake/Rodriguez/Dickau
SG- Roy
SF- Webster/Outlaw/Hill
PF- Randolph/Aldridge
C- Pryz (?)/LaFrentz/Ha

Webster could start at SF but play a significant chunk of his minutes at SG when Roy needs a rest, with Outlaw recieving more minutes at SF than he has in the past.

Off-Season Goals (from this point forward)

It became evident last night that the Blazers are drastically reshaping their roster. Here are the moves I think need to be made in order to finish out what they started last night, in order of importance.

1. Trade Darius for anything that moves, as long it will not interfere with the development of the young guys. If veteran leadership was included in the trade that would be a huge plus.

2. Trade Zach Randolph. Pretty much the same as above.

3. Re-sign Joel Pryzbilla. As it stands now, no one on the roster can be a true starting center. Raef and Skinner are adequate backups, but that's about it. If Joel cannot be re-signed, trade Z-Bo or Darius for a center (a.k.a Foyle or similar).

4. Sign at least one guy who can give you veteran leadership.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Draft Day Recap

It was a great day for the Blazers. In 6 draft day moves, the Blazers added Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Freeland, Sergio Rodriguez, Raef LaFrentz, Dan Dickau and 3 (!) future second round picks. However, I would not be surprised at all if this day is not yet done.

Basically, here is our depth chart as it stands now:

PG: Jack/Blake/Dickau/Rodriguez
SG: Roy/Dixon
SF: Webster/Outlaw/Miles
PF: Randolph/Aldridge
C: LaFrentz/Skinner/Ha/Freeland

As it stands now, we have 15 players on the roster assuming Joel and Voshon do not re-sign. Looking at the above, it is easy to spot the holes and the logjams.

Some thoughts...

- Z-Bo's days in Portland are over. We have a surplus of bigs, and he's the odd-man out based on contract size and attitude issues. Look for him to be moved for a small forward.

- Steve Patterson and Kevin Pritchard hit serious home runs today. We brought in a helluva lotta talent, while purging ourselves of some misfits.

- Darius=goner.

- We are not done yet. Z-Bo and Darius are still here, and we have 3 second round picks and several other good bargaining chips. Look for another potentially big deal to come.

- If today's actions are any indication, it looks like Allen will remain the owner of this team.

- Everyone the team brought in today is a hard worker, a great community guy, and very coachable. Once the fanbase realizes this, it will go a lon way towards our reconnection efforts.

All in all, I'm excited about the future of this team. We have now established a quality young player with all-star potential at every position except center, and all players are McMillan type of guys. Brandon Roy is going to come in and contribute right away, Jack and Webster will have great sophmore seasons, and Aldridge will be raw at first but will come on strong in the second half and develop into a very nice PF. The chemistry appears to be already there once headcases like Z-Bo and Darius are weeded out. I expect another painful season due to inexpierience from these guys next year, unless of course we make another move to bring in some serious veteran talent, in which case we can contend for the playoffs. After next year, I expect season after season of exciting, winning basketball from these guys, and for the first time in quite a while, I am really truely excited about my Blazers again. Way to go guys.

Yet Another Move

James White to Indy for Alexander Johnson and 2 future second rounders.

More Moves

Up until this point the Blazers have made 4 moves and 4 draft picks.

IN:
Sergio Rodriguez
Raef Lafrentz
Dan Dickau
Brandon Roy
LaMarcus Aldridge
Joel Freeland
James White

OUT:
Sebastian Telfair
2008 2nd Round Pick
Theo Ratliff
Cash
Viktor Kryhapa
"Future Considerations"

Steve Patterson just did an interview on ESPN, and said that the Blazers are not done trading yet while grinning from ear to ear.

Something is still in the works, and I'm very excited.

Stay tuned...after everything is said and done I'll post a complete reflection/reaction/analysis.

Blazers Active on Draft Day

Portland trades Sebastian Telfair, a 2008 2nd round pick and Theo Ratliff for Raef LaFrentz, Dan Dickau and the rights to Randy Foye (!).

Portland trades Viktor Kryhapa, the rights to Tyrus Thomas and future considerations (?) for the rights to LaMarcus Aldridge.

This is just the facts for now, reaction to come once it's all said and done. However, this flurry of activity is both encouraging and refreshing, and my gut tells me we are not done yet.

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

My favorite day of the entire year is finally here, complete with all the drama and suspense it normally brings. Any deals involving draft picks need to be completed by 11 AM for the team to have the pick going into the draft (picks can be traded later...it just won't be announced until after the pick is made), so things should really start heating up here very soon. I wish the best of luck to Pritchard, the organization, Danny Ainge (so that he pulls the trigger on the Telfair deal) and even The Sleaze. Here's to an excellent draft.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

PG Poll Results

Which point gaurd would you trade?

60% of you said Telfair.

5% Jack.

35% Blake.

Why Randy Foye Needs to Be a Blazer

The Blazers need to make a trade that includes on of our PG's for a second lottery pick so that they can select Randy Foye.

Randy Foye is the second coming of Dwayne Wade. He is a tweener who does not let his size stand in his way, is extremely athletic, takes it to the hole, is an excellent leader that guys can rally around, and plays excellent, hard-nosed defense. If a trade were made to clear a gaurd spot and bring in the lottery pick, Foye could serve as the primary backup gaurd (playing both positions) off the bench behind a starting lineup of Jack and Webster, and could ease into the starting rotation if he begins to outplay Jack. This would give the Blazers an upgrade in all facets of the game, although mainly on the defensive and leadership/drive/expierience front, and is something that management should seriously consider.

Foye combined with Morrison would make for one hell of a draft in my book.

Telfair Rumored to Be Heading to Boston

THE RUMOR: Telfair to Boston for Dan Dickau and #7.

I totally support this trade and would urge the Blazers to pull the trigger on this one ASAP if it is indeed the real deal. Why? Because the Blazers need to get Randy Foye, who will be a star in this league-mark my words. He should be available at 7 if things shape up as expected. If not, we can take a big man, seeing as Shelden Williams, Patrick O'Bryant, and Tyrus Thomas could all be available there. More on Randy Foye later. Stay tuned.

Morrison and Mike Dunleavy

Today I heard someone compare Adam Morrison to Mike Dunleavy Jr. This comparison isn't too far off, but shouldn't be taken as negatively as many of you might think. First, the straight numbers for Mike:

'04: PTS-11.7 RBS-5.9 AST-2.9 FG%-44.9 3PT%-37.0 FT%-74.1
'05: PTS-13.4 RBS-5.5 AST-2.6 FG%-45.1 3PT%-38.8 FT%-77.9
'06: PTS-11.5 RBS-4.9 AST-2.9 FG%-40.6 3PT%-28.5 FT%-77.8

Basically, Mike was on track for a great career. As the numbers show, he made a high percentage of the shots he made while becoming a great locker room presence who was a smart, encouraging teammate who really knew the game of basketball. He showed improvement in all areas from his first year to the second, but, after signing a contract extension, fell into an unexplicable funk. Outside of this year, Mike is exactly the type of person you would want Morrison to turn into. Mike just had one off year, and has plenty of years left to rebound. Outside of his shooting, all his other numbers stayed solid for an NBA small forward, especially one with no hops.

Morrison is not expected to be the cornerstone of a franchise, or the Blazer's main offensive weapon (that would be either Martell Webster or Z-Bo). Instead, he is expected to be a starter who takes and makes good, open perimeter shots and can be a reliable scorer when needed. If he succeeds in doing this, he will open up shots for our other players, thus improving the team as a whole.

Morrison, like Dunleavy,is also a motivating leader. He has an intense competitive spirit, but spreads that spirit amongst his teamtes by encouraging them, picking them up and making them believe in themselves and work hard as opposed to knocking them down or becoming cold, isolated or non-communicative (which is a sure-fire way to kill chemistry).

Some will argue that he is not worthy of being our pick because of the projected role he will play on our team, or because there are other players out there with more raw talent and potential. The reality is that Morrison has proven himself on a ntional stage, while others like Rudy Gay have not, and that he is a perfect fit for the Trail Blazers, which is a claim that some of the other potential draftees cannot make.

BOTTOM LINE: DRAFT THE STACHE!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sean Back Tomorrow

Well Sean comes back from Boston tomorrow so I thank everyone who has put up with post (or lack there of, its not my fault it has been a slow news week). If there is any big news between now and tomorrow, you can expect me to relish my final chance to blog in Sean's place.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Who Should We Trade?

With the On-Going trade rumors that involve one of Portland's PG, I was wondering which PG would you choose to trade?
Which PG Should We Trade?
Steve Blake
Jarrett Jack
Sebastian Telfair
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Toronto Trades for Rasho Nesterovic

Today the Raptors traded Eric Williams and Matt Bonner to San Antonio for Rasho Nesterovic, which means one of three things and one affects the Blazers:

1) Toronto is trading for a center who will be able to start, so they can take Adam Morrison with the first pick.

2) Toronto is clearing roster spots, so they can trade the first pick to Portland for Jarrett Jack and the fourth pick.

or

3) Toronto is going to trade down to five or six and obtain another pick for the first pick. With the fifth or sixth pick, they will take Marcus Williams

Monday, June 19, 2006

Off-Season Scenario 11

Well, it is my first shot at one of these:

Portland trade Darius Miles, and Travis Outlaw to New Orleans for Desmon Mason and the 12

Portland drafts Adam Morrison with the 4th, Cedric Simmons with the 12, Renaldo Balkman with the 30, and Joel Freeman with the 31. Joel Freeman stays in England for a couple years.

Next Year's line-up:
PG- Telfair/Jack/Blake
SG- Webster/Dixon
SF- Mason/Morrison/Kryhapa/Balkman
PF- Randolph/Skinner/Simmons/Balkman
C- Pryzbilla/Skinner/Ratliff/Ha

Where this leaves us: We rid our self of one head case in Darius and get Desmon Mason who will fit in perfect in Nate's system. In the draft, we pick up an amazing scorer in Adam, Cedric will turn out to be a great 4 after we somehow trade Z-Bo, Renaldo Balkman will be able to come in off the bench and add a spark defensively and in a couple years, we'll figure out where Freeman plays into our system.

Tyrus Thomas Promised Top 3?

As RealGM.com has reported, Tyrus Thomas has canceled his workout with the Blazers which can only mean Tyrus has been promised a top 3 from either Toronto or Chicago. For Portland, this means we have a better chance of landing Adam Morrsion or Brandon Roy. Charlotte has showen interest in Rudy Gay, so if they take him, Portland will end up with an even better shot of choosing the top two players on our draft board. Only nine days until the draft and I can't wait.

Sean Off To Boston

Well, Sean is going to Boston for the next week, so I will be taking his place. My name is Ryne and if you look under most of the posts, you will see I have commented, so I am not new to the Blazers. For the next week, I will be posting my (meaning Sean's) idea from trade rumors to the draft.

Sad News

I will be far away from anywhere where I can update this site until next Tuesday. I know it's horrible timing but my sincere apologies and you all can expect full updates and commentary on everything that's gone down involving the Blazers when I return. In the mean time, cross your fingers and pray that Terry buys the team and Darius gets traded while I'm gone.

UPDATE: I'm pleased to introduce Ryne Supplitt as the guest blogger who will cover for me this week.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mock Draft

The Official Rip City 24/7 Mock Draft-Version I:

1. Toronto Raptors- Andrea Bargani, PF/C. They love his game, and he loves them. Enough said.

2. Chicago Bulls- LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C. Bulls need a big, and they'll go with the safe pick in Aldridge.

3. Charlotte Bobcats- Brandon Roy, PG/SG. Roy's complete, well-rounded game in all areas will help the Bobcats more than the one-dimensional Morrison and mesh well with the power game of Okafor, the flashiness of Felton, and the hustle/freakish athletisim of Wallace to give the Bobacats a very competitive team next year.

4. Portland Trail Blazers- Adam Morrison, SF. His lockeroom leadership, drive, and perimeter shooting make him the best player for the Blazers.

5. Atlanta Hawks- Marcus Williams, PG. The Hawks need a real PG, and they like Williams' potential enough to take him over the flashy Foye.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves- Rudy Gay, SF. Once he develops, his athletic, fast-paced game will complement Garnett nicely and could make for a very sacry lineup when combined with McCants.

7. Boston Celtics- Rodney Carney, SF. Would make a great energy/defensive guy off the bench to back up Wally and Paul.

8. Houston Rockets- Randy Foye, PG. Rockets need a solid PG that's ready to contribute, and Foye fits that description nicely.

9. Golden State Warriors- Patrick O'Bryant, C. The Warriors become enamored with his potential and make him their pick.

10. Seattle Supersonics- Shelden Williams, PF/C. The Sonics need a solid big,

11. Orlando Magic- Ronnie Brewer, SG. Well rounded, big gaurd who can contribute immediately fits the Magic's bill and provides an instant upgrade over

12. NO/OK Hornets- Tyrus Thomas, PF/C. In the shocker of the draft, Tyrus falls after not holding competitive workouts and concerns about his readiness emerge. NO/OK takes gamble on the hometown boy because they can give him the time he needs to develop by playing him behind PJ Brown and David West.

13. Philadelphia 76'ers- Jordan Farmar, PG. Fundamentally sound PG gives Philly an Iverson replacement.

14. Utah Jazz- JJ Reddick, SG. This pick is a LOCK, and he will give the Jazz the outside shooting they need to finally become a playoff contender again.

15. NO/OK Hornets- Sergio Rodriguez, PG. Flashy spainard gives the Hornets a backup PG to replace Speedy Claxton, who will most likely depart via free agency.

16. Chicago Bulls-Oleksiy Pecherov, PF. The Bulls make a run on bigs and take a guy they can leave in Europe or stick on the end of the bench while he develops.

17. Indiana Pacers- Cedric Simmons, PF/C. Can you say Jermaine replacement?

18. Washington Wizards- Shannon Brown, SF. Versatile swingman will help take the Wizards to the next level.

19. Sacramento Kings- Aaron Gray, C. Kings add depth up front.

20. New York Knicks- Kyle Lowry, PG. The Knicks add cheap depth in the backcourt in preparation for a trade of Marbury.

21. Pheonix Suns- Quincy Doby, PG/SG. Quicksilver combo gaurd fits in well with their system.

22. New Jersey Nets- Maurice Ager, SG. With their two picks, the Nets add immeadiate contributers off the bench.

23. New Jersey Nets- Josh Boone, PF. See above.

24. Memphis Grizzlies- Rajon Rondo, PG. Bobby Jackson gets replaced.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers- Steve Novak, SF. His outside shooting would give the Cavs a boost in the playoffs.

26. LA Lakers- Will Blalock, PG. Phil Jackson gets his floor general.

27. Pheonix Suns-Louis Amundson, SF. The Suns prepare for a grind-it-out playoff series by getting tough off the bench.

28. Dallas Mavericks- Marcus Vinicius, SF, The Mavs take a raw talent that can sit at the end of the bench for a while.

29. New York Knicks- Mike Gansey, SG. The Knicks add some more depth and versatility in the backcourt.

30. Portland Trail Blazers- Saer Sene, C. The Blazers take a gamble on a project big with freakish athletisim and a 7'8" wingspan to boot.

Possible Trades/Scenarios:

-Toronto trades down and takes Marcus Williams.

-LA trades up and takes Brandon Roy.

-Philly trades up to ATL in a deal that includes AI.

-Portland ends up making only one selection in this year's draft.

-The Knicks take f***ing up the draft to a whole new level.

Question















Just for fun...what's scarier? The kid from the Omen or this? Yes, that is Steve Patterson with what appears to be a bad toupee.

What's Scarier?
Omen Kid
Stevie
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We've Been Hit

Following an attack of comment spam, I had to make all the comments secure via word verification. When you comment, you'll see a box with a word in it. Type that word in the enclosed space and you're good to go. It will take you two seconds at most, and will save me a lot a of headaches, since a human actualyl has to read the word and type it in so an automated computer program can't leave spam comments.

Thanks for your cooperation.

-The Management

Sunday, June 11, 2006

6 Months

This site has been up and running for six months...and 7000 hits later I'd say it's gone pretty well. Thanks to all who come here and read my rants, musings, speculations etc. to make this all worthwhile.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

News

Sorry for the lack of updates...it's been a helluva busy week.

Anyways a couple of news-worthy tidbits:

-The team's officially for sale. Read the Oregonian for more details.

-Blazers reportedly interested in Brevin Knight...expect to see one or two of our current PG's traded if this rumor has any stock to it. If we're trying to deal for a PG when we have three already, it means someone's going to go.

-Patterson's been chatting it up at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp, specifically with Chicago and Toronto. Again, see the Oregonian for more-they've had excellent coverage this week.

-Detroit's interested in Juan Dixon.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Blazers Chat Room

Saw something like this on www.lookoutlanding.com and figured I'd give it a shot...the following is a fake conversation in a chat room between various current and former memebers of the Blazers organization. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick...

theotherwhitenash has entered the room

theotherwhitenash: Hey guys, I just came in here to say good bye to all of you.

sleazystevie has entered the room

sleazystevie: John, I thought I-I mean Paul-told you to get lost.

theotherwhitenash: Well Steve, I figured I should at least get to say goodbye…seeing as you ran me out of town in the middle of the night to save your sorry ass….

sleazystevie: ENOUGH. OUT. GET OUT NOW.

theotherwhitenash has left the room

badasscoachkllr23 has entered the room

badasscoachkllr23: shit maaaaaaayne…the white brotha’s right fo once. I had it up to herrrr wit Nash. He sign me to dat contract…and I like ok, ok it all good. But’den he like play dat terrorist mo fo…what was his name? oh yeah-shareef…pretty funky cat…all he did was bitch. so ‘den im ridin my ass on da bench and I don’t like that shit…I didn’t sign no contract to sit on the bench. I’m outta herrrr, I had enough of ‘dis shit.

badasscoackllr23 has left the room

iwanturnanny has entered the room

dumpywhiteguy2 has entered the room

iwanturnanny: u know what dmiles? you’re right man. ruben patterson is the best damn forward in the league man…and john refused to see that.

dumpywhiteguy2: ummm…rube? when did u start referring to yourself in 3rd person?

iwanturnanny: ever since ruben patterson led his team triumphantly into the playoffs. ruben patterson was the sparkplug man…ruben for MVP!

dumpywhiteguy2: didn’t you only average like two points a game in the playoffs?

dumpywhiteguy2: my fourteen year old nanny could do better than that.

dumpywhiteguy2: hahahahahahaha

iwanturnanny: shut up steve. nobody likes you. you think you’re all hot cause you were a dumpy white guy who had one good year on a crappy team.

iwanturnanny: two words: dan. dickau.

iwanturnanny: one more word out of you and ruben patterson will kick your ass.

dumpywhiteguy2: at least I’m not a registered sex offender…bring it rube-I’m not scared of you.

iwanturnanny: with all due respect to my brother ‘sheed, I gotta teach the white boy here a lesson. meet me on the loading dock outside the Garden in twenty minutes stevie, or my ghetto boys will track you down and make sure that tomorrow morning you be laying on yo back lookin at da roof of da church.

dumpywhiteguy2 has left the room

iwanturnanny has left the room

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Triva Question Of the Month

Since today starts a new month...here's the June question:

On October 29th, 2001, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired the draft rights to Doron Sheffer and a trade exception from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a player. Name that player, and the exact cash value of the trade exception.

Yes, it's supposed to be hard.

Rules are the same as last month...

Congrats to Robert Bruce Williams the 3rd, who has been named Rip City 24/7's Official Fan of the Month after answering last month's question correctly.

LAST MONTH'S ANSWER:
As part of a three team deal for C Chris Dudley, the Blazers recieve Toronto’s own 2007 2nd round pick to Portland (top 50 protected in 2007, top 50 protected in 2008, top 50 protected in 2009, top 50 protected in 2010, top 50 protected in 2011, and unconditionally in 2012).

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Trivia Question of the Month

The first one to post a correct answer in the comments wins a special prize!

In October of 1997, the Blazers acquired a second-round pick that they have yet to be used. State the pick, the conditions of the pick (when it can be used/when it's ours), and name the team it came from.

GOOD LUCK!

Pritchard to Return

Now-Interim GM and Team President Steve annouced today that Kevin Pritchard's contract has been renewed and he is a candidate to fill the vacant GM position.

Nash Canned

It came in the middle of the night.

At approximately 11:15 PM last night, the Trail Blazers organization made public the sad new that John Nash was being relived of his duties as general manager. Steve Patterson has been appointed interim GM, effective immeadiately. Sadly, it is evident that this classless move was a long time in coming. You don't fire your classy GM of three years in the middle of the night. The writing was on the wall when all parties ketp postponing negotiations on a new contract, and when it became apparent that the Vulcans were going to choose Nash as their "fallback guy". The team's management by commitee has been grossly ineffective, and Portland has gained the reputation of being extremely difficult to do buisness with because of how long it takes for the management team to come to a collective decision on anything. It has been clear for some time that Nash had very little power, as he was constantly being overruled by Paul and Steve on things like the Vince Carter trade.

John was a class act, a man who took the time and made the effort to unteract and connect with the average fan. He always e-mailed you back with a personal and thoughtful response that led one to believe that, in some small way, their opinion mattered. Judging from the way the higher-ups flushed him down the toilet, they could obviously stand to learn something from Nash's example.

All this being said, this team needs a new full-time GM as soon as possible. There is way too much going on at this time of the year, and I fear that the team may miss out on some very big oppurtunities if a new GM is not installed in the next two weeks.

The bottom line is that the franchise made another one of the classless, ill-advised, self-damaging, poorly-planned moves that it has come to define itself by last night. Whittsett was hated by all, and he got to stay for one lass draft. Shouldn't Nash, Whittsett's antithesis, get the same oppurtunity?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off-Season Scenario 10

And yet another off-season scenario...because trade and draft speculation never gets old.

In a three-team deal, Portland trades Theo Ratliff, Steve Blake, and the 30th and 31st picks to Cleveland and Brian Skinner to Philadelphia, Cleveland trades Zydrunas Ilgauskas to Philadelphia and Eric Snow to Portland, and Philadelphia trades Samuel Dalembert and Kevin Ollie to Portland.

Portland trades Darius Miles to San Antonio for Robert Horry and Brent Barry.

Portland trades Zach Randolph to Chicago for Sweetney and the #2 and #16 picks.

Portland trades Outlaw and #16 to Houston for the #8 pick.

Portland drafts Rudy Gay with #2, Brandon Roy with #4, and Cedric Simmons with the #8 pick.

PG: Telfair, Jack, Snow, Ollie
SG: Roy, Barry
SF: Webster, Kryhapa
PF: Gay, Sweetney, Simmons
C: Dalembert, Horry, Ha

WHERE THIS LEAVES US:
This scenario leaves us with a team that is young, fast and exciting. In order to win, we would need to play an uptempo style of basketball, as all five starters thrive in the transition game. This would also allow us to overcome the lack of height, However, the bench for this team is both tall and versatile, with many players having the ability to play multiple positions. Horry, Snow and Ollie are all class acts who will provide4 the veteran leadership we need, and Dalembert is a bright young center who, while inconsistent at times, is a massive shot blocker who would upgrade our defense and rebounding upon arrival. Gay plays the PF in this scenario because he ahs both the size and the quickness to survive there in a run and gun. However, Viktor, Horry and Sweetney can fill in if there is the need for a larger, more traditional PF.

Blazer Site Re-Design

www.blazers.com is getting a remake today...should be interesting to check out once they're all done with it.

Pritchard

Our director of player personnel, Kevin Pritchard, has his contract set to expire today. Will the Blazers renew it? That's the million dollar question, and this really could go either way. Yes, he is an amazing evaluator of talent and a great basketball mind, but the widely-known fact that he covets Nash's job a little too much may mean that Kevin Pritchard will be allowed to go elsewhere. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Draft Workouts

Coming tommorow...

-Paul Millsap, F. Undersized (roughly 6' 7"), beastly, rebounding PF from Louisiana Tech who is strong, athletic, good defensively and has some post offense. Would be a nice role-playing backup worthy of picking up at either 30 or 31.

-Pops Mensah-Bonsu, C. George Washington project full of raw talent who stands little chance of making this team.

-Eric Fiegi, F. Leads the International Basketball League in scoring...

-Matt Haryasz, F. 6' 10" weakling (230 lbs) from Stanford with nice offensive game and good rebounding skills, and thats about it.

Two more weeks before these workouts start to get really interesting...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Maybe #4 Isn't So Bad After All...

Yes, the Blazers got robbed in the draft lottery. But, this may be better in the long run. Had we gotten #1, we probably would have used it on a big man with a lot of questions and developing still to do. Our coach, Nate McMillan, is enamored with Brandon Roy and sees a lot of himself in him. However, management wasn't going to take Roy #1. Had we gotten the #1, the relationship between coach and the front office could have quickly soured. A project big is the last thing this team needs, and it is probably what we would have taken if we had #1. Yes, this development kills most of our trade options, but I still am not worried and think this may work out for the better. We are most likeyl going to take Roy, who is a solid all-around player who does everything well and plays good D. He's almost like a Scottie Pippen-type player, minus a couple of inches. If we start him at the 2, Webster at his natural position, the 3, and get some veterans in FA or via minor trade to whip Zach into shape, this team could do something very special in the near future. This reminds me of another time the Blazers picked a project big over an all-around guard, and while I'm not making an MJ comparison I think we would have come to regret taking a big #1.

More Draft Workouts

The following players will work out for the Trail Blazers tommorow:

-Justin Williams, C. A defensive role-player out of Wyoming who is extremely athletic, but one dimensional. Good shot-blocker/post defender with little else to speak of.

-Ryan Hollins, C. Athletic UCLA big man who's a HUGE project...likely to go undrafted-again, may be a summer league invitee if he impresses.

Monday, May 22, 2006

First Workouts Tommorow

The Blazers will hold their first pre-draft workouts tommorow and have invited the following players that are believed to be under consideration for the 30th or 31st pick. Thay are:

-Marcus Vinicius, F. Brazilian forward with nice offense and deadly three-point shooting, but horrible defensively. Would be nice because we can stash him inEurope for a few years before we sign him in order to let him develop further.

-Denham Brown, G. Clutch UCONN 2-gaurd with a nice all-around game...does everything well but nothing great. I view him as the Jarret Jack of this year's draft.

-Corey Belser, F.

-Chris Rodgers, G.

The two above have little to no chance of getting drafted by this team...look for them to be potential summer-laegue invites if they impress.

In other news, Bargani has said he only wants to play for the Raptors...this had led to immeadiate trade rumblings, most of which have us sending #1 and Darius to Toronto for Mo Pete and #5.

Draft Lottery Tommorow

4: 30 PM in Secaucus, NJ. Blazers have a 25% chance of getting the number one pick. Portland's very own Sleazy Steve Patterson will represent the team. Think good thoughts...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Off-Season Scenario

In light of recent rumblings I thought I'd come up with yet another one of these...

Portland trades Darius Miles, Brian Skinner, Steve Blake and the #1 pick to Pheonix and the #27 pick.

Portland trades the 30th and 31st picks to New Jersey for the 22nd pick.

Portland drafts Maurice Ager with the 22nd pick and Saer Sene with the 27th pick.

Portland trades Zach Randolph to Denver for Kenyon Martin.

Portland signs Darrel Armstrong to the LLE.

Portland signs Jarred Jeffries to the MLE.

Portland re-signs Joel Pryzbilla.

PG: Telfair, Jack, Armstrong
SG: Webster, Dixon, Ager
SF: Marion, Kryhapa, Outlaw
PF: Martin, Jefferies
C: Pryzbilla, Ratliff, Sene, Ha

WHERE THIS LEAVES US:
This scenario would give us the ultimate run and gun, fast break team since Marion, Martin and Telfair all thrive and transition. The defense, especially in the frontcourt, would be strong with the additions of Marion and Martin and the retention Pryzbilla. Jefferies is a strong backup in all areas whose gritty style of play would mesh well with this team. Veteran leadership comes in the form of Marion and Darrell Armstrong. Lastly, this scenario gives us the all-star we so desperately need who would lead this team into playoff contention for many years to come.

Thanks to Kiefer for the help...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wow

According to Real GM, Larry Brown is on his way out as Knicks head coach. Who's in line to replace him? None other than resident basketball genius Isiah Thomas...wow-enough said. He'll get to deal with the monster he's created and realize that the NBA isn't one giant video game, and Darius Miles and Theo Ratliff will still have a sympathetic ear in the Knicks front office.

Friday, May 12, 2006

News

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, things have been a bit slow.

-Jarret Jack's having ankle surgery today-he injured it last year prior to the draft but decided to be a warrior and play through the pain. We only saw a portion of what he's capable of this year, so expect good things once he's fully recovered. However, he is expected to miss summer league for the second year in a row.

-Several sources have reported that the Blazers could have interest in hiring Rick Adelman to run the team in the event of a Nash departure. While Nash is still my first choice, I like the idea of Adelman running the Blazers. He's a class act with a good basketball mind, a great sense of humor, and can reconnect with the community based on what he did here a decade and a half ago.

Who would you like to see as the GM next year?
Nash
Adelman
Vandeweghe
Other
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Friday, May 05, 2006

A Brief Survey

Now that I've run out of ideas for the path our off-season could take, vote on which of the Off-Season Scenarios is your favorite! Scroll down and you will find all of them...
Which of the Off-Season Scenarios is your favorite?
Scenario 1
Scenario 2
Scenario 3
Scenario 4
Scenario 5
Scenario 6
Scenario 7
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Monday, May 01, 2006

Off-Season Scenario 7

In a draft day trade, Portland moves Darius Miles, Steve Blake and the 1st and 31st picks to the New Jersey Nets for Richard Jefferson and the 22nd and 23rd picks.

In the draft, Portland drafts Josh Boone (#22), Saer Sene (#23), and Hassan Adams (#30).

Portland trades Zach Randolph to Denver for Kenyon Martin.

Portland re-signs Joel Pryzbilla to the Early-Bird Exception.

Portland waives Ha Seung-Jin.

Portland signs PG Darrell Armstrong to a portion of the MLE.

PG: Telfair, Jack, Armstrong
SG: Webster, Dixon, Adams
SF: Jefferson, Kryhapa, Outlaw
PF: Martin, Skinner, Boone
C: Pryzbilla, Ratliff, Sene

WHERE THIS LEAVES US:
In this scenario, the entire core of youngsters is retained while several veterans are added who can contribute in big ways immeadiately. Kenyon Martin gives us a tough defensive presence down low, while Richard Jefferson gives us a world-class athlete with a great shot on the wing. Jefferson is also a good locker room guy, and both Jefferson and Martin have played together before, bringing a sense of chemistry as well. With this addition of two former Nets, the Blazers would have a fast-break team that would be amongst the best in the league. Telfair, Jefferson and Martin thrive on the break, and Telfair could play a role similar to the role Kidd played in New Jersey during their two appearances in the NBA Finals. The draft addresses our main need of defense and rebounding in the post, bringing in two beastly, athletic rebounders and a SG that is a lockdown defender and a good locker room presence. The addition of Armstrong provides us with locker room leadership that is second to none. Going into next season, this lineup would give us an exciting, fast-break team that would gain a reputation as being very tough defensively and would easily contend for a lower playoff berth. This secnario does not give us any immeadiate cap space, but Theo could be traded mid-season for cap space if Sene's development progresses rapidly.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Off-Season Scenario 6

Portland trades Zach Randolph to Denver for Kenyon Martin and the #49 pick.

Portland trades Darius Miles, Steve Blake and the #1 pick to Seattle for Rashard Lewis, the #10 pick and the #40 pick.

Portland drafts Patrick O'Bryant (#10), Dee Brown (#30), Steve Novak (#31), Guillermo Diaz (#40) and Damir Markota (#49).

Novak and Markota are not signed to contracts.

Portland trades Theo Ratliff to the Knicks for Maurice Taylor and David Lee, then buys out Taylor's contract.

Portland re-signs Joel Pryzbilla to the Early Bird Exception.

Portland signs Alonzo Mourning to a one-year contract at the Mid Level Exception.

Portland waives Ha.

PG: Telfair, Jack, Brown
SG: Webster, Dixon, Diaz
SF: Lewis, Kryhapa, Outlaw
PF: Martin, Skinner, Lee
C: Pryzbilla, Mourning, O'Bryant

WHERE THIS LEAVES US:
This scenario gives Portland a well-rounded, athletic, defensive minded team going into next season. We bring in defensive stoppers in Mourning and Martin, and lights-out perimeter shooting in Novak, Diaz, and Lewis. Nate gets one of his Seattle guys in Lewis, and another hustling, "glue" player in Lee. Darius and Zach, the locker room cancers, are both weeded out. Our lottery pick, Patrick O"Bryant, has the potential to be a star and gets to learn from one of the best (in his prime), Alonzo Mourning. This scenario would also give us roughly 23 million in cap room next season if we let Rashard walk, and about 11 million if we decided to keep him (which is more than likely). Also, this scenario gives us a starting lineup that would thrive in a run-and-gun offense, which is the type of game we have stated that we want to play-with telfair at the reigns.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kenyon Martin

I support a straight-up trade of Zach Randolph to the Nuggets for Kenyon Martin.

However, my first preference is that we move to accquire an All-Star PF, such as Jermaine O'Neal or Garnett. If those two are not available, or the asking price is just too high, then I would pull the trigger on this deal. Yes, Kenyon is a headcase, but so is Zach. They both have the same contract and the same gimpy knee. Kenyon is a tough nosed defender (his post defense is among the best in the league), a great shot blocker, and very athletic-Zach is becoming nothing more than a jumpshooting PF who is fairly good at rebounding. We are building our team around an up-tempo offense, so we must accquire players that mesh well with that system. Zach is not one of those guys, Kenyon is. Kenyon thrives on the fast break, as anyone who remembers his days in Jersey with Jason Kidd will attest to. Imagine the offensive possibilities of a team with Kenyon and Telfair, and the dominating defensive force a re-signed Pryzbilla would create alongside Kenyon. However, we will lose Zach's offense in the trade, so we will have to draft or trade for a scorer (e.g. Adam Morrison) to recover the 18 points a night we lose.

K-Mart to Portland?

Multiple sources have mentioned trade discussions that involve Denver sending Kenyon Martin to Portland for fellow headcase Zach Randolph...I'm still unsure of my opinion on this so expect a follow-up post soon. Leave your opinions on this in the comments.

Would you trade Z-Bo for Kenyon Martin?
Yes
No
Not Sure
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