Report: Lottery- Portland Wants In
I saw a piece on another draft site that stated the Blazers would love to move up into the lottery but is NOT willing to trade Bayless, Fernandez and obviously not Roy, Aldridge or Oden, and I'm guessing not Pryzbilla or Batum (although with Pryzbilla and Batum the article did not mention them, but we know by now Pritchard isn't stupid). So where does that leave us? Well, the only desirable assets left to trade are cash, Blake, Outlaw, Rodriguez, Webster, the 24th pick this year, a couple second round choices this year, and of course future first rounders. This reality rules out a top 4 selection, but Washington is said to want out of lottery since they won't get Griffin and Rubio because they are trying to avoid paying the luxury tax for being over the cap. But I think the Wiz know they can find a better deal than what Portland can offer for a pick as high as theirs is. Minny already has 3 picks and are not looking for veteran role players because they are in rebuilding mode anyway so they are ruled out. Same for GS and Toronto, even if they won't publicly admit what everyone can see plainly. New York is trying to save cap space like the Wiz, but they have WAY better flexibility at pick 8 and will move up, not down out of the lottery if they trade the pick, otherwise the infamous NY fan base will revolt. The Nets are a possibility, but everyone knows they have their own trade strategy over the next year to gear up for 2010. That leaves the Bobcats at 12 as the first lottery opportunity for Portland. I live in Charlotte. I'm not a Bobcats fan, and most people here aren't. The financially challenged Bobcats have the worst fan support in the NBA but the city itself has one of the best fan bases (see: Charlotte Hornets). The 12th pick in 2009 will NOT get the Bobcats into anywhere near the second round of playoffs next year. But the Cats really do have some nice pieces on their team, even though no superstar. They also need a bench if they want to be a playoff team next year. Getting the picture yet? It probably won't happen because I don't know if the Bobcats front office will figure out that making this trade with Portland will HELP the Cats while not making it and staying put won't make them BETTER next year.
Me being a Portland fan, I really hope this isn't the case. As far as trading one of those previously mentioned assets for receiving a possible 12th pick in a weak draft is not something I'm too thrilled about. However, if that does happen to go through, expect receiving the 24th pick, probably a second rounder and martell webster. In our position, Webster is put in a tough position because he is stuck behind a crowded sg/sf area that Portland needs to get rid of someone in that department. Roy, Fernadez, and Batum aren't going anywhere. I can see Outlaw going if we were to receive a pick in the top 6. Even Bayless plays mins at the SG. As a blazer fan it would be tough to see this trade go through, and I don't want this to happen, but its realistic that it could happen.
On the flip side, you guys would finally be getting that 3-point shooter to help spread the floor and run off of screens in catch and shoot situations. Bell is a great shooter if he's set up through dribble-drive penetration, but not in Larry Brown's offense. Richardson's the best you got with that. I know you guys are kinda crowded in that department too (SG/SF), but Martell would bring you effciency off the bench...Plus If you guys were to run small, you would have a solid lineup of Diaw, wallace, webster, richardson, and felton...thats pretty solid
i think a package of outlaw, webster a couple of draft picks could get the attention of grunfeld. portland would have to take back the salary of etan thomas or songaila. i think portland was supposed to be interested in stephen curry but it doesn't make sense in my opinion, plus, that means they have to get a pick ahead of NY coz we all knock he's pretty much a lock to go to NY. it doesn't make sense coz bayless is waaaaaay better than stephen curry in terms of ceiling, athleticism, quickness, penetration... (curry's a better shooter though, and perhaps better vision and maturity). maybe it's just a "smoke screen" they're trying to make coz it doesn't make sense to me. they're proly interested in earl clark.
while it is a weak draft class, it is absolutely loaded at the point guard. In the late lottery, a team could choose from a host of players who may very well be good starters in the league. That is exactly what portland needs. Trading mostly spare picks and parts they could probably get up high enough to get a player that can push blake and perhaps unseat him, I feel like a difference maker at point gets them into contention once there a year or two older and wiser. They are definately the team in the west that I think will take advantage of the aging powers and rise up the next few years.
I totally agree with canesboy.
I'm not too keen on Portland making a trade unless they can get into the top 8 or 9. But for that to happen they would have to give up more than they have been said to be willing to give up. Best case scenario would be that D. Blair (Brandon Roy said Portland needs toughness on the inside the most, not another wing player) goes 12 and Portland gives up #24 and a combination of S. Rodriguez, Outlaw, Webster, or Blake. I think this trade would still be a mistake from Portland's standpoint, but they are rumored to be trying to move up into the lottery, so that's my best guess as it stands today.