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BlazersLadiesClub

Mar 19

Beware the Ides of March

By BlazersLadiesClub Posted in: LaMarcusAldridge, NicolasBatum

Personally, I hate the trade deadline. All of the speculation, the trade rumors, the figurative throwing of Blazer players under the bus, it all starts to wear on me about a month before the trade deadline even arrives. This season, with the Blazers struggling quite a bit, was no exception. This trade deadline brought new meaning to the phrase “beware the Ides of March.”
I was stuck in a seminar all day on March 15th. And I was checking twitter sporadically on my phone under the table while I was supposed to be learning (shh, don’t tell my boss).

As the tweets about the Marcus Camby trade started rolling in, I was pretty surprised. There had been several names thrown into the rumor mill over the past few weeks, but Camby’s was not one I heard. Then I read about the Gerald Wallace trade, another that I hadn’t heard much of in regards to trade rumors.
I am a big fan of both of those guys, so seeing Camby and Gerald go was hard to stomach. But in return we got, at the least, 3 expiring contracts and a 4th contract that it seems the Blazers intend to buy out. We also got what could be a fantastic 1st round draft pick from the Nets. All of those put us in great position to make some moves this summer.
There has been talk all season surrounding the Gerald vs. Batum debate. Could we have kept both? Not likely. I think trading Gerald shows a huge amount of faith in Batum and puts the Blazers in the position to not have to give up Batum this summer, and to also have enough money to spare to make other moves in the offseason.
To me, the biggest shock of the day came after the trade deadline, when I heard that Nate McMillan had been fired. People have been calling for Nate’s head for quite a while, but it still surprised me. I always liked Nate. He helped bring the team out of the Jail-Blazer era, which we all know was no easy task. He may not be from the northwest, but his entire NBA career has been spent up here. He went from Mr. Sonic to Sarge.
I think I’ll always remember how he continued to find ways to motivate the Blazers in the ‘09-’10 and ’10-‘11 seasons when the team was plagued with injuries. Nate was able to get fight from the guys, and get them to the playoffs, when all seemed lost. I think that’s part of why it seemed so strange that he couldn’t do the same this season. I think a big part of it is the lack of practice time this year, due to the lockout shortened season. As Mike Rice always says in the Chalk Talks on TBTV, Nate excelled in practice time, being able to correct things and prepare for the next game, and this year he just didn’t have it. Nate wasn’t a perfect coach, but he was a damn good one. I’m sad to see him go.
I am excited to see what Kaleb can bring to the team this year. Watching the Chicago game it was nice to see the team actually having fun again. I don’t recall another time this season where the team came together in a huddle at the end of the game. They seem to have found some fire and I think Kaleb is the perfect person to bring more of it out in them.
The team is rebuilding it’s hard to recover from losing Brandon Roy to retirement and never really seeing what your #1 pick could be. But LaMarcus is our All Star. It’s now possible to keep Batum as another core piece of the franchise. And there are draft picks to make and money to spend this summer. There is nowhere to go but up, right? With LaMarcus and Batum leading the team I am hopeful.

-Kristin

Picture credit: Bruce Ely, Oregonian

2 Comments

  1. I too was surprised when Marcus and Gerald were traded but hopefully they can get something out of the New Jersey trade (as long as they don't get any of the top 3 picks) As far as I'm concerned, no one besides LaMarcus and Nico, are safe. Let's build around these two guys, get a couple of good draft picks, and sign a solid free agent (or 2 or 3) to keep this roster in play-off contention.

    by blazerdarren77 on 3/20/2012 9:22 PM
  2. I agree Darren; LaMarcus and Nic are the 2 "safe" guys on my list too. I hope the draft this year ends up being as deep as we've been hearing so we can make the most of it.

    by krizzikinz on 3/21/2012 9:58 AM
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