Season's End Evaluation
And so the season has ended. This coming offseason will be a time for evaluation and change, and what better way to kick it off then to post my evaluations of all the players for this past season.
Sebastian Telfair-After rough start in which he claimed he lost all his confidence (and it showed), Sebastian really turned it on during the last 20 games or so. He cut way down on the turnovers, took better shots, made more shots, finished at the rim, appeared in control and played with that flashy style we will come to love for years. This kid reaffirmed that he will be a star, and after an off-season filled with workouts in Coney Island with his brother Jamel Thomas, he will be hella good next season. OVERALL GRADE: B
Jarret Jack- Steal of the draft-hands down. Jarret has shown up and shown why some called him the 3rd best PG in the draft. He was a find by our management, does everything well, and has impressed the coaching staff by playing like a veteran and having a very solid rookie season. This kid's the second coming of Gary Payton minus the 'tude. OVERALL GRADE: A+
Steve Blake-The little engine that could. Steve came in as a benchwarmer and ended up a starter who played with grit, hustle and a deadly outside shot. Steve became a great passer this season as well. However, the future obviously lies in our other two point gaurds, so look for Steve to command high value in an offseason trade. OVERALL GRADE: A-
Juan Dixon-He's a decent shooter when he';s not ice cold, but has a tendency to just jack up shot after shot after shot, which is fine when he's making them but when he's not...it gets ugly fast. He also plays no defense whatsoever and thus, is best suited to a bench role and thus, was misused as a starter for much of the year-but then again Nate didn't have much choice. OVERALL GRADE: C+
Martell Webster-After a rough start to his rookie season and a stint in the D-League, Martell burst out after the all-star break. His overall game improves by the game, and the kid is very, very mature. He soaks up information like a sponge, and wants nothing more than to be a star. He has repeatedly sought advice from Kobe and Ray Allen, and after an offseason of daily workouts with Kobe expect a VERY solid sophmore season. OVERALL GRADE: B
Voshon Leonard-The only reasonhe's here is his expiring contract. Period.
OVERALL GRADE: D
Viktor Kryhapa-This kid has what is perhaps the best overall, well-rounded game on the team His offense has improved drastically, and his defense and hustle have been tremendous. VK38 also does all the little things that don't show up in the stat line, and Nate looks very favorably upon his hard work and tenacious play. Look for him to be a super sub off the bench for a very long time. OVERALL GRADE: A
Travis Outlaw-The guy has improved, so you have to give him credit. He can create his own shot and has a very nice jumper. He has the potential to have the offense of Clyde, but will never be a great defensive player and has yet to show he can operate at his normal levels in a set offense. However, he does have a great work ethic and is learnign/developing every day, so his season can be called a success. This said, look for him to be the primary youngster dangled as trade bait in the off-season. OVERALL GRADE: B
Darius Miles-Darius is the team headcase. A promising start to the season that led some (including me) to believe that her had finally changed, had turned things around, and was on the brink of a breakout season. However, the same old problems resurfaced and he quickly became a cancer. He's gone for sure... OVERALL GRADE: F
Zach Randolph-Successfully recovered from knee surgery, but is still the same old "Me-Bo". He's fallen in love with the outside shot, almost never posts up, and doesn't play much defense. His relationship with coach is strained at best, and he has requested a trade. However, he's a follower and if we could rid the team of Darius and bring in stable veteran leadership Zach could be slavaged-he played very well without incident while Darius was gimpy and not around every day. His chances for departure are 50/50. OVERALL GRADE: C-
Brian Skinner-Nice hustle, rebounding and defense off the bench. He also has better post moves then Zach. A solid role player who should be back next season. OVERALL GRADE: B
Joel Pryzbilla-When healthy (which isn't often-at least not this season) he's a great defensive center and a force on the boards-as well as an excellent leader. He's a free agent, and the Blazers need to do everything in their power to bring him back for next season. OVERALL GRADE: B- (injuries are why this is so low...)
Theo Ratliff- Classy veteran who's only knocks are his contract, the fact that he's not very vocal and the fact that he's more fragile than glass. He may be moved in the off-season for cap relief. OVERALL GRADE: C
Ha Seung Jin- see his roster eval below, nothing's changed. He sucks. Period.
OVERALL GRADE: F