Report: Trail Blazers May Enter LeBron James Sweepstakes
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/14/2010 12:16 PM

    From Sam Smith-

    Brandon Roy and LeBron James

    The talk is growing that Brandon Roy's Trail Blazers could become a real alternative for LeBron James and the Cavs in a sign-and-trade, perhaps Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors as well. (David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)

    So what’s the latest on the LeBron trackers? Is it Chicago with uncertainty about Tom Izzo as Cavs coach? New York? Wade and the Heat? There’s a big time team hiding in the weeds that might, in the end, have the most to offer—the Portland Trail Blazers.

    The Trail Blazers, like about a third of the league, have been the focus of some speculation before regarding James, though they hardly are in the so-called big time market James is said to crave. But as it gets closer to July 1, one thing you hear regarding James is if he doesn’t stay with the Cavs, he wants the money, meaning a six-year maximum deal because of uncertainty about the salary ceilings in a new collective bargaining agreement due in the summer of 2011.

    More than most any other team, the Trail Blazers have the pieces every team that could lose a free agents wants in a sign-and-trade, namely centers. Though Portland is a small market, it is home to Nike, all the athletes’ best friend, and owner Paul Allen is one of the world’s richest men.

    There obviously are changes expected with the Trail Blazers with GM Kevin Pritchard on shaky ground, to put it charitably. And with Allen undergoing cancer treatments, though the prognosis is good, there has to be some urgency with a team that seems to have peaked. Look, Brandon Roy is terrific, but he’s not good enough to take you all the way.

    Therefore, the talk is growing that Portland could become a real alternative for James and the Cavs, perhaps Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors as well.

    The key is the big men, which the Trail Blazers have plenty of in Greg Oden, Joel Przybilla and Marcus Camby, the latter obtained in a clever late season deal. Plus, the Trail Blazers, who have declined to sell off their depth in recent years, have a load of attractive pieces to offer.

    How about this if you are the Cavs and going to lose James: You have Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson and Mo Williams. Maybe you get a package that includes Ohio State’s Odom, the overall No. 1 pick a few years back whom every franchise was chasing, Rudy Fernandez and Nicholas Batum as part of a sign-and-trade. Then maybe you can acquire underachieving Mike Conley, Oden’s buddy, from Memphis. I know Oden has been hurt a lot, but all accounts are he’s recovering and last season Portland insiders were saying he was the best player on the team before going out. It could go a long way to making the Cavs whole, exciting and maybe just as competitive with potentially a great young center. And maybe Oden responds better back in Ohio with less pressure, though following LeBron won’t be easy.

    Likewise, the Raptors most want a center in a sign-and-trade for Bosh. Maybe Oden or Pryzbilla, the latter a good fit with former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani, whom the team wants to build around. Portland has pieces to add.

    If you are James and are about winning, as he keeps claiming, how good a chance would you have? You’ve got two centers in whomever among the three is left, a near All-Star power forward in LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy and then pieces left as well like Jerryd Bayless and Andre Miller and veterans like Juwan Howard who want to return. Or if you are Bosh, maybe the Trail Blazers keep Oden and deal Aldridge to Toronto as the Raptors certainly would feel that maybe they even got the better of the deal.

    Of course, you come back to why those guys would want to go there. Well, you can win, it’s as loyal a fan base as anywhere, the home of one of the world’s most influential corporations and an owner who won’t hesitate to spend and has worldwide connections.

    Free agency could be getting even more interesting that most imagined.

    Sam Smith churns out a lot of rumors, so I'd take this one with a grain of salt. But, it's not really anything new. Every franchise is going to "persuade" LBJ one way or another. They'd be foolish not to throw their hat in the ring, even if it's just a token gesture. Not many times does the best player in the league come up for grabs. I doubt it happens, but it's still fun to speculate about.
    I am a fan of
  1. Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 06/14/2010 12:39 PM

    The thought makes me throw up in my mouth.
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. RipCityRevival
    Posts: 684

    Posted 06/14/2010 1:01 PM

    The way he words it, it sounds like complete speculation. The salaries wouldn't match up at all. Not to say I wouldn't considder it. I mean, Oden has the potential to be good, but LeBron James? Batum is a great SF Defender, but so is James with the addition of being LeBron James, and we all expect Rudy to be gone next year. If you are Cleveland, you have to considder it because if you lose LeBron and get nothing in return to keep the fans around then you are in the toilet. If you are Portland, it's intriguing, but you are trading three small salaries  for the largest in franchise history. Not to mention you have Nate either trying to curb Roy's ego or LeBron's. I say total speculation with ZERO chance of probability. Cleveland wouldn't get enough in return to remain Championship contenders and the Blazers would have to Bankrupt Paul Allen's account.
    I am a fan of Good basketball, great fans and Rip City!
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/14/2010 1:16 PM

    For as much as I dog on the guy, I'd be pretty freaking thrilled if James were to land in the Rose City this offseason. With that said, I'm not going to hold my breath.
    I am a fan of
  1. BriBri825
    Posts: 17

    Posted 06/14/2010 7:41 PM

    This whole article makes me roll my eyes. I would bet anyone that Nic Batum's not going anywhere anytime soon, and especially not for LBJ. And we've already got TWO max contracts, so adding a third would be ridiculous. Chris Bosh for LaMarcus?? Really?!?! I don't like it. Plus Bosh seems to be a follower. From the things he's said so far about where he wants to land next season, it seems like he wants to end up with another big name like LBJ or DWade. I'll be so glad once everyone has been signed and this whole "Chasing LBJ" thing is over.
    I am a fan of staying healthy and being a dark horse in the west!
  1. RipCityRevival
    Posts: 684

    Posted 06/15/2010 9:06 AM

    I agree on Bosh, I wouldn't trade Aldrige for him. I wouldn't trade Cunningham for Bosh. I'm also not an LBJ appologist and I am a Nic Batum fanatic! His hardwork and dedication to becoming a great player is amazing! There is no doubt in my mind that Nic Batum will one day be on a level with the likes of Jerome Kersey; with that said, to say you wouldn't have to think about giving up Batum if you could get LeBron is rediculous. Yes, the idea in iteself is rediculous, I agree. I roll my eyes because it is such a blown out proposition. There are more ways it couldn't work than ways it could. I think Nate now has control of things and he knows what direction he's going with this team. He's getting his coaches in place to develop the offensive scheme. The next step is going and getting that support player. This team is looking similar to the Seattle team that played so well under Coach Nate. The only difference is Portland has more than two good players. That Seattle team had Ray Allen and Desmmond Mason. Look at what the rest of those players have done on other teams. Granted, the Thunder had a great year this year, but don't be fooled, that is ALL Durant and Westbrook. I don't think Portland and Cleveland could make this work, I think it is a play at creating a rumor, but with Paul Allen's history it makes an intriguing discussion.
    I am a fan of Good basketball, great fans and Rip City!
  1. ***Jason***
    Posts: 259

    Posted 06/15/2010 10:51 AM

    It's not a very realistic scenario, but even though Lebron is a complete tool, I would love to have him here if they could make it happen. Since they won't though, I'll continue to hate.
    That's weird how in the article he implied that the Blazers are desperate to do something because the team has peaked though. Does anybody in this market think that? Didn't they just win 50 games with half their team? Nobody has even seen this team yet. As much as I'm burned out on using the 'potential' word, this team is still on the front 9. No way they've peaked, right?
    I am a fan of Im a fan of the nba, players and owners, doing what they have to to earn the fans back.
  1. RipCityRevival
    Posts: 684

    Posted 06/15/2010 8:01 PM

    I totally agree. There is no way this team has peaked. That is what these coaching changes are about this summer. We are going to see where this team stands. I say they probably have two seasons before we really see where their peak is. Again, that's not to say the players will have reached the peak of their abilities, but we will know their peak as the team stands chemistry wise. So the answer is Yes, he is absolutely wrong about the Blazers peaking, but that can be expected from someone who writes for an East Coast team.
    I am a fan of Good basketball, great fans and Rip City!
  1. Bertram
    Posts: 803

    Posted 06/15/2010 9:06 PM

    The writers just needed something to write about...what better way then "speculating" that the fake KING (Michael Jordan is the REAL king and no ones even close to taking the throne) might actually come to Portland.

    The thought of Princess James coming to Portland sickens me.
    I am a fan of B-Roy and LaMonster!
  1. BriBri825
    Posts: 17

    Posted 06/15/2010 11:34 PM

    I don't dislike LBJ as a player, I just don't think he'd be a good fit here in PDX. And no, I would not have to think about giving up Nic, even for LBJ, because- to me- he's an integral part of our future. I think when his rookie contract is up, he'll be getting a big, fat extension.
    I am a fan of staying healthy and being a dark horse in the west!
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