Mike Rice

Feb 28

There is always a lot of speculation on winners and losers on the day after the draft and the day after the trade deadline.

The draft day after, is almost impossible to judge because you’re dealing with a college player coming into a team of Pro’s. In order to judge you have to speculate on his potential on his new team – whether his skills are needed, will he get enough minutes to show his ability. It’s a crap shoot to judge after even a year’s time, let alone the next day.

With that said, it’s a little easier to give grades on the trade deadline movement because all you have to deal with is why teams made the moves they made and will the moves make them a better team.

Let’s start with the Trail Blazers move with seven minutes to go at the noon deadline. It took a lot of patience and poise to get the deal the Blazers got. To begin with, Michael Jordan is one of the most competitive people on this earth. Reports indicate that he wanted Nic Batum and no one else to begin with. When the push came to shove, the Blazers had to give up Dante Cunningham, Joel Przybilla, Sean Marks and draft picks for All-Star and all NBA-Defense Gerald Wallace.

In order to give a grade on this move, we have to look at the benefits that both teams would potentially get in the present and future. Charlotte gets a center in Joel, a power forward in Sean Marks, and a small forward in Dante Cunningham. They traded away Nazr Mohammed to the Thunder and were left with one center, Kwame Brown, so they probably will try to keep Joel and want him to play back up center. Dante will compete with Gerald Henderson for the small forward position to take Gerald Wallace’s spot. I think Sean Marks will be waived.

Now let’s look at what the Blazers get in the trade. To grade Gerald you have to start with the defensive end of the court where he is the total package. He can block shots, he is willing to sacrifice the body and take a charge, gets steals, and excel on one on one defensive assignments. That is why in 2009-10 he made all-defensive first team.

On the offensive end he has an outstanding at drawing the foul, and has added a solid three point shot to this game last year. His midrange game can be streaky, but his athleticism overcomes that.

Now the question is can Nate McMillan use an all NBA defensive guy who plays hard more offense and has always been an excellent locker room guy with his teammates?

Charlotte gets a C+ grade for this trade because of Joel’s expiring contract and because reports are saying that coach Paul Silas talked Joel into playing (instead of asking to be bought out), the hard working and future potential of Dante Cunningham and the potential of the two future draft picks.

The Blazers get an A+ on their move because I can’t think of a player that fits in as well as Gerald in the Nate McMillan system. You put him next to Wesley, Nicolas, LaMarcus, Camby and Roy on the defensive end and you can now start getting transition points from your defense. Gerald Wallace has three years remaining on his contract so maybe just maybe we can add Greg Oden’s name to the defensive in the future. Now that’s something to think about.

Some of the other grades on trade day were a B for the Thunder who picked up Kendrick Perkins, Nazr Mohammed, and Nate Robinson. They lost Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. They did not want to pay Green big money and he plays the same position as Durant. The addition of big guys will help against San Antonio, Dallas, and Lakers in the playoffs. Because Green was a great third option on offense for them they only get a B grade on trade day because they lose some offense.

I can’t really give the Nets a grade on getting Deron Williams from the Jazz because they were thinking of just matching the Knicks superstar for superstar and not improving their team. Speaking of the Knicks, they gave up a ton of potential talent in Chandler, Felton, Gallinari, and Mozgov and draft pick to get Carmelo. If they can get Amare and Carmelo to play defense on the same day then they get an A for the trade. That’s not likely to happen so I give them a B for the entertainment value of the two stars together. Denver gets an A for pulling off some talent in a situation that might have been disastrous for them.

All in all the Blazers will end up having the best results from what they did on trade day 2011. You can send me congrats on my grade after the playoffs.


  1. i read what your saying about improving at the trade on paper but a part of me has doubts. my mind might be changed after a few games. I think it is great we got gerald wallace but we left a huge hole for backup center for marcus. Here is hoping the blazers find the right fit in a back up center. I hope we get one of the bigs that are bought out or waived. I have several i like and hope they get the right one who fits with the chemistry of this team and its into nates system. it was great to end up with two roster spots and hoping the right guys will be added. the blazers cant play shorthanded like this forever and make a run to the playoffs and succeed. the long minutes are starting to take its toll on the guys who are having to do so. that is what concerns me the most. it was a great trade. great blog as usual. ty for saying on chalk talk how knowledgeable us female fans are in this game. with you saying that it meant it meant a lot to me. i have listened to you since you joined the team all these years ago. i have learned a lot from you so thank you for sharing your knowledge. i love your blogs!

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 2/28/2011 4:34 PM
  2. I agree with you on the grade. Oregongal 47 has a point about back-up center, but I think Cho is waiting to Centers to be waiverd then decide which one to take.


    by Hg on 2/28/2011 9:04 PM
  3. I think, with the addition of Gerald Wallace, the Blazers will be a contender NEXT SEASON. However, if the Blazers do what I expect them to do, and get 5th seed or 4th seed, I like our chances against the Thunder. Gerald Wallace did a great job, for being "nervous", at shutting down Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. The Thunder really struggled against the Lakers when Artest shut down Kevin Durant.

    Will be nice to see Oden and JP returning next season.

    by Herr on 2/28/2011 9:43 PM
  4. i don't know that a grade can be placed on the trade for the blazers. to me, the success, or lack thereof, is dependent with who the team signs to fill the two roster spots. now, Jarron Collins was signed today and i think that's a good move. he's big, experienced in the league and intelligent (all of us stanford people are!). he could be a really good fit. the last roster spot should go to a backup pf whom can be used as an insurance policy. perhaps, if charlotte waives Marks, he might be a good fit to return to portland. i don't know; there may be others out there worth taking a look at. i hope to see us complete our roster very soon.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 3/1/2011 4:03 PM
  5. Kassandra - I would name drop my university too, but compared to Stanford... you understand.

    Anyone the Blazers pick up now will be for insurance and peace of mind for Nate. Getting everyone on the same page in a week's time will be what's important, though.

    by Mike Rice on 3/1/2011 5:55 PM
  6. oregongal47 - Some of the Blazers' best and most knowledgeable fans are women - thank you for commenting. I don't think we will see the true results of the trade until next week.

    by Mike Rice on 3/1/2011 6:49 PM
  7. Hg - I hope Jarron Collins meets your approval. He will be great insurance for injuries.

    by Mike Rice on 3/1/2011 6:50 PM
  8. Herr - I think the Houston and Sacramento game will determine how high our seed will be. Win two and we could be fifth; lose two and we will be seventh. Split them and we'll be sixth.

    by Mike Rice on 3/1/2011 6:52 PM
  9. I would grade the trade an A-/B+. Had the conditional 1st round pick from NO been higher, we would have been able to keep Dante in my opinion (The remainder of the season seems as an interview process between Dante and CHA - unlikely to be resigned). Dante was very serviceable with his duties at center playing along LA. While Camby provides a quality high post passer, Dante is more of a threat on offense with his jumper, cuts and slashes.

    W/o Dante, how will Nate shuffle his lineup? Wallace at the 4, and LA at the 5. It seems LA will still log heavier minutes (post trade) because he'll play the 4 (mainly) and backup Marcus at the 5 whereas before the trade (w/ an injured Camby), Dante n Joel split the 5 duties.

    I share the aforementioned sentiments of earlier responses because this trade will come into fruition the next and following years, where we have GO back and pick up a true 4 via draft to back up Lamarcus. The prevalent concern short term is the incorporation of Wallace, Roy and Camby back into the flow of the Blazer basketball that saw us ride a 6 game winning streak into the All-Star break. It seems this process will take 1-2 wks to transpire according to coach Nate leaving the obvious question - will we lose 4 of 5 in that stretch? If so it's gonna be a dog fight with Phx for the final spot in western conference playoff chase.

    Also, does this acquisition of Wallace make Babbit expendable or shorten his leash? He's been a disappointment so far and is likely to be dropped this summer. With Wallace, Batum, Roy, Rudy and Wesley where does he fit in. On defense he is too slow to guard 3's and too small to guard 4's.

    by Roland on 3/1/2011 11:20 PM
  10. I agree Gerald is a beast

    by mbmurr1 on 3/2/2011 2:15 PM
  11. We should've just traded Batum, he's the most inconsistent, "untouchable" player in the league.

    by Blazermaniak on 3/2/2011 7:46 PM
  12. Blazermaniak, he's also 22 years old and full of potential. There is a reason other teams want him, and there is a reason we're keeping him.

    by Herr on 3/3/2011 3:46 PM
  13. 'Blazermaniak' - Herr is right. The reason Nicolas gets the label of 'inconsistent' is because he is still young. If you look at his age - 22 - he would still be a senior in college. Don't judge too soon, or else you'll end up like the coach who cut Michael Jordan in high school.

    by Mike Rice on 3/4/2011 2:38 PM

    by BLAZER BELIEVER 1288 on 12/30/2011 5:06 PM
  1. Leave a comment

Blog Contributors

Most Commented

The most commented posts in the past month

Blog Archives