Bill Simmons Thinks Blazers Could Get The No. 7 Seed, Has Another Aldridge Trade Proposal
In his recapping of the 2013 NBA offseason, ESPN's Bill Simmons, writing for Grantland.com, applauds Portland's moves
through quotes from the 1988 comedy Midnight Run
(I'm not going to try and explain it any more than that). When turning his attention to the "underrated bargain moves" of the offseason, Simmons devotes an entire paragraph to Neil Olshey's deft handiwork.
The Blazers heard everyone bitching about their reprehensible bench and did something about it, shrewdly adding Thomas Robinson, Dorell Wright, Robin Lopez and rookies C.J. McCollum and Allan Crabbe. (In particular, I loved the Robinson move and remain confused why teams weren't jumping on a top-five pick who was being fire-saled by Houston to create enough cap space for Dwight. The best way to stumble into NBA talent? Steal a high lottery pick who's available for dumb reasons. Well, unless his name is Hasheem Thabeet.) Throw in LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nic Batum and Wesley Matthews and, good lord, that's potentially a no. 7 seed!
Not bad. But then, Simmons turns his sights to LaMarcus Aldridge's reported discontent
To Aldridge, who's been dancing around a trade request all summer without making one. Why are People Who Know Things wondering if he's maneuvering to get to Chicago to play with Derrick Rose? You're not gonna believe this, but Rose's agent also represents Aldridge … that's right, the one, the only Arn Tellem. Keep an eye on this one.
And just for good measure, Simmons whips up a trade proposal in the citations that has a little something for everyone.
The Bulls could slap together a good Aldridge package featuring Carlos Boozer, their unprotected 2014 no. 1 pick, then two of the following: Jimmy Butler, prized European prospect Nikola Mirotic, and/or the rights to Charlotte's future no. 1 pick (unprotected by 2016). If I'm running Portland and I could add Butler, Mirotic, an unprotected 2014 no. 1 and Boozer (who could give them 80 percent of Aldridge's stats) for someone who might not want to play for me? I'm doing that one. That's 90 cents on the dollar. (Here's where everyone in Chicago screams: "NOOOOOOOOOOO! We can't trade Jimmy!!!!")
I'm not a Carlos Boozer fan, but if it was decided that Aldridge is leaving no matter what come 2015, this is the kind of move I would consider making. Chicago's pick in 2014 won't be great, but since the 2014 draft class is already taking on mythical expectations, you could probably flip any pick in the first round for something decent.
In the choice between Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Charlotte's pick, I'm probably taking the pick, though knowing what the protections are in 2014 and 2015 would factor into the decision. Mirotic is an intriguing big man prospecting who won MVP honors in Spanish ACB league
this season while playing alongside Rudy Fernandez and Sergio Rodriguez, so maybe
you take him for no other reason than attempting to make up for
getting rooked on the trade that sent Omer Asik to the Bulls
. As for Butler, he's a nice enough player, but somewhat unnecessary on a team with Wesley Matthews. He's also a guy you should reference the next time someone tries to tell you only Trail Blazers fan overvalue players on their own roster.
By the way, this is not the first time that Simmons has proposed trades featuring Aldridge