Ford: Trail Blazers Offseason Get's A 'B'
The 2011-12 season ended back in April, but there's been no corresponding downtime at Trail Blazers HQ. Between hiring a new general manager, entering into a DLeague "hybrid" agreement with the Idaho Stampede, preparing for and conducting the draft, navigating free agency and fielding a team at the Las Vegas Summer League, there's scarcely been time to revel in the offseason. And we've still got a head coach to hire as well, so there's still work to be done.
But, for the most part, things are starting to slow down in the NBA, as the August and September are really the only true "offseason" months for NBA teams. So now is as good a time as any to take stock of the team's performance as it pertains to reshaping the roster for the 2012-12 season.
According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Trail Blazers get a "B"
when it comes to marks navigating the offseason:
Re-signing Batum was at the top of the Blazers' list. The cost was high, almost too high, but the cost of letting him walk to the Wolves for nothing was higher. I might have been tempted to take their offer of Derrick Williams and another first- round pick for him ... but probably agree that the Blazers made the right call on Batum.
I thought Lillard was the best point guard in the draft. He is in for a pretty big adjustment, going from the Big Sky Conference to the NBA, but if the Summer League is any indication at all, I think it will happen quicker than people think. Leonard, a project, was a little more of a reach, but he has the requisite size and athletic ability to be a starting NBA center someday. Barton was a bit of steal in the second round. He is a good scorer with a nice midrange game. Overall, they had a strong draft.
Seems like a fair mark. And depending on who eventually gets the head coaching gig, that grade could inch up into the "A" category.