Are the Blazers TOO deep?
We usually hear great things being said about the Blazers when it comes to their talent, but I think Nate McMillan will have his hands full this season. This team is arguably too deep with talent and I see the potential for some players to become unhappy due to their playing time, which is why McMillan's training camp speech was centered around team chemistry and sacrificing individual needs for the good of the team. Here are some potential issues facing the Blazers:
Point Guard: The biggest story this season will be centered around the point guard position.
Steve Blake - Last year's starter and a team/fan favorite. He has already been named the training camp starter by McMillan and has been endorsed by Brandon Roy. He's said he wouldn't mind coming off the bench, but he's in the last year of his contract and obviously wants to play... Especially in the 4th when the game is being decided.
Andre Miller - Just signed a 3 year $21 million deal with the Blazers. Their key free-agent signing. Has been a starter his whole career and though not flashy, is a very good point guard. He wants and expects to start, and be on the floor during the clutch. The problem is he's only effective with the ball in his hands. How will he fit in with Roy, especially in the 4th quarter? To be expected, he and Roy don't have any chemistry right now and both wait for the ball to be inbounded into them lol. One great thing about Miller though is he'll make Oden better by delivering/lobbing the ball to him. If Blake is really named the starter on opening day, will Miller really be happy? I doubt it. He's the better player and should start, but it looks like he's number two on the depth chart for right now.
Jerryd Bayless - A competitive and hungry young guard who wants to play. He clearly wasn't happy with his lack of playing time last season. While other guards from his draft class are being developed, he's riding the bench and on a short leash. Will he be content not being in the rotation AGAIN this season?
Brandon Roy - The team's franchise player. The biggest adjustment this year will be learning to be more effective off the ball considering the team has Miller.
Rudy Fernandez - He had a great summer with Spain and could be a starter on a lot of teams. He wants to play more and see an increased role from his rookie season. The problem is he and Roy play the same position. Last season, he was able to play more minutes when Roy played point guard. That won't happen as much this season. Fernandez was rumored to be unhappy this summer when Turkoglu was signed to an offer sheet. If he doesn't play as much as expected, he won't be happy.
Martel Webster - A high lottery pick who was a key player and a part of their future before the foot injuries. He's 100% healthy now and ready to pick up where he left off. He's a good athlete with good shooting ability. Problem is... Where will he get minutes? He can also play small forward, but the Blazers are loaded there too.
Nicola Batum - A surprise starter last season. He defended the other team's best offensive player every game. Nobody expected him to be good so soon. He had a great summer playing for France and has said he expects to start.
Travis Outlaw - Probably the fans' most least favorite Blazer. He's consistently mentioned in trade rumors. He's in the last year of his contract and is expecting to have a big season. He wants to start and/or play big minutes. The good thing is he can also play power forward and the minutes are there behind Aldridge.
Lamarcus Aldridge - The issue here is his contract extension. He still doesn't have one heading into training camp. He's said it won't affect his play, but he's definitely unhappy. He's a key player and they need to get this done. Roy isn't the only player responsible for the Blazers turnaround. They need to get this done asap.
Joel Pryzbilla - A fan favorite for obvious reasons. He's tough, doesn't back down from anybody and plays hard. He wants to start. If the Blazers name Oden the starter and Oden plays to his potential, will he be happy with 15 minutes a night?
Greg Oden - The former top pick in the draft had a great summer and is finally 100% healthy. They say it takes two seasons to completely heal from microfracture surgery. Oden says he's ready to go both mentally and physically. He's already said that he expects to be the starter and is anxious to showcase his top form.
McMillan may be able to have a 10 man rotation or so during the regular season, but we all know that the rotation gets shorter during the playoffs. In my opinion they need to package some of their young talent and acquire an established small forward to play alongside Roy, Aldridge and Oden. The future is now for Portland.
they had a trade plained out for gerald wallace but they did not want give up batum and a first round pick
I think Bayless and Webster are the two guys who are gonna be held back the most due to the depth. But I would give this roster another year before trying to make any big trades.
no way it motivates their bench players to fight hard for playing time and gives them trade chips.
you can never be too deep IMO.
i bet wade wish he had a team like that
I think it is a bonus. Every team struggles with injuries and fatigue throughout the 82 game season, their added depth may seem like a negative, but when someone goes down for 2-4 weeks they are prepared and won't lose much of a step. It's probably unrealistic to keep all of these players past this season, but I think it for this season I think McMillan can keep them in check. In addition, the Blazers will most likely be in the top 5 playoff spots in the West and winning/ prepping for a playoff run quiets disgruntled players a little, and If the season isn't going quite as planned and they need to make a move come February they have plenty of quality players to work with. I don't think with this particular team their depth is a downfall.
Jordan and Drexler were both swingmen
I'm not even a Blazers fan, and I think it is the Greg Oden /Sam Bowie comparison is the most asinine that I hear on a regular basis. There is not a single person who would be making that comparison if he wasn't playing for the Blazers. Oden's career is far from over, he is in great shape and looked very impressive this summer.
Yeah, I did watch Durant in college, and he is more versatile, I didn't say Oden was more versatile. Durant is a great young scorer and is going to be a very good player, BUT I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about Oden, I understand why they didn't take Durant, Oden wasn't injured when he was drafted, that happened in the summer and everyone thought Oden was a certifiable all-star, as dominant as both players were that season, it was almost understood that whoever won the lottery would get Oden and whoever got the 2nd pick would get Durant. I hear quite often the Oden is the next Sam Bowie, which I was disagreeing with. Hind sight is 20/20 and Durant has had a great first 2 seasons, but that doesn't make Oden Sam Bowie, I think he will surprise a lot of doubters this season.
Oden and Durant are different players and i actually like the Oden pick in a way but I will say this had thing gone the other way around both team would be better because right now OKC has two quality sf and no quality Center. Portland has 2 solid centers but their sf position is not definite thing. You can never have too much depth and with the NBA going so long without an expansion team, everything is getting deeper if they make the right moves. I will say this Portland needs to make some moves. Also I doubt Bayless gets traded unless Portland gets a young talent that they need. Outlaw needs to be trade for a young promising 4 and the point guard situation is pretty much you have solid vets and Bayless is being trained just like in the old days. People forget how long Nash had to wait before he actually got to a run a team.
As far as the forum goes the Blazers have a lot of disgruntled parts
(50+ wins without Oden/Bayless/Outlaw/Webster/Batum/Cunningham)
and they should preserve locker room chemistry by trading
I think they'd be smart to trade for a 3/4 guy (a la Marion, Josh Smith, gerald wallace, jamison) but just someone who can easily move between those positions... I think Outlaw is a little bit of a stretch at 4.
I think they need to package Blake, Webster, Outlaw and some of their other 'diamonds-in-the-ruff' like koponen, etc. for a legit player. I like Miller-Bayless/Roy-Fernandez/Batum-3/4Traded Player/Lamarcus-3/4Traded Player/GO-Pryzbilla as a VERY solid 9 man rotation
exactly u can never be too deep, always threat of injuries or guys having off years.
If you trade talent more than likely you will get talent back. A lot of the good NBA teams have depth. The ones that don't have depth don't have anybody worth trading for. Also Outlaw, Bayless, Fernadez, and even Webster are more talented than their deals so unless Portland traded for a need, it would be dumb trades just so we could see these players get minutes on some not so great teams.
I agree with Sheltwon
This is a very good question. They have the most depth in the NBA in my opinion as they have the ability to literally but any lineup on the floor at any time. But I do know for a fact they will have to separate the team sooner or later little by little as guys realize they will be asked to take pay cuts and such. Also as guys realize (especially at the SG/SF spots on their team) they will have limited PT with the commitee appraoch McMillan uses. They may get zealous and go after open spots on other squads. Its understandable to me, have to look out for yourself before looking out for your team in this situation, and it is a business as well off the court for the players.
could not have put it better myself
Well, a team can never be too deep. The Blazers of old had two starting lineups for all intensive purposes. However, this Blazers teams isn't as good as Wallace, Rider (though later traded for Jimmy Jackson and company) aren't equipped enough to win a champinship over the Lakers, so they aren't equipped enough.
Dhamp...the greatest basketball mind in the world. Next to Hubie Brown anyway.
In the short run, you can never be too deep. In the long run you have to ask this question; Do we have a player good enough to be the "best player on a championship team". Kobe, Garnett, Duncan, Wade, Shaq, these guys have been the most recent, undisputed "best player on a championship team". Would u put Roy in that category?
The last team (and only team I can remember) to win a championship without an undisputed best player was the Detroit Pistons a few years back. But there team strength wasn't depth, but their awesome starting lineup. Like Dhamp eluded, the pre jail blazers were right there with the Lakers, and there strength was there incredible depth. But they did come up short.
The Blazers should try to combine the strengths of the Pistons and Earlier Trail Blazers, Great balanced starting lineup with plenty of firepower from the bench. But their first priority should be building a reliable nucleus for their starting lineup. Currently they have a few question marks at the point and wing. Instead of signing Andre Miller, which left more questions than answers, they should have traded a few players for a star wing, and run Baylus more at the point this year.
That's why Roy and Durant would have been great together
Durant=no defense but already one of the best 3Pt marksman
Oden = bulked up Tyson Chandler
Durant and Roy would have been incredible
but Blazers are still upper echelon so i guess
Oden vs Durant is a moot point
This is the reason why Kevin Pritchard has been praised as a GM because he has been pretty much aggressive in acquiring deals and draft picks for the Blazers. The line-up is very strong and they are expected to make a noise this upcoming season but that depends upon factors such as injuries and playing time. Nate McMillan is going to have his hands full in satisfying these players' personal wants. Brandon Roy is clearly the leader and the starting PG is defnitely up for grabs. Martell Webster and Jerryd Bayless will have to earn their minutes or else, they better find ways to hone their skills under a line-up such as the Blazers. Greg Oden needs to stay healthy in order for him to prove to people like Leyirus that he isn't Sam Bowie... I think he will and he has a shot this year. He is working and is staying pretty much in shape... I'm excited to see what Portland has in store this season..