Free Agents ... stay or go?
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  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 06/21/2012 9:58 AM

    When Portland cleaned house last year, most the guys they acquired were free agents, and I'm sure that was done intentionally.  The questions now are who is going to be retained.  With Oden and Okur waived, Portland now has 8 free agents to deal with.

    I'm curious who you think Portland will keep... and who they intend on keeping obviously is going to have an impact on who's drafted.

    Nic Batum - Restricted.  He is one of the most sought-after free agents.  Portland has money to pay, but are they going to put all their eggs into this basket to retain him?  I've been saying he'll command 7-10 mill per year at at-least 5 years, but I'm not contract guy.  Am I low-balling his value?  I guess when I see Wallace at 9.5 mill, Ray Allen (on the bottom of his career) making 10 mill, Kaman at 12 mill, well, I have to believe a young rising star like Batum is worth more than those guys... Is Portland prepared to match a multi-year deal worth 10+ per?

    JJ Hickson - Restricted FA.  He's really the only guy recently-acquired by Portland that lit it up.  I loved Hickson in college and I think he found his niche in Portland.  Maybe part of that was due to L.A. being hurt and with the garage sale Portland had, well, there were minutes to be had.  Even so, I think Hickson is a banger portland can use and with him, I think it diminishes the need for a draft pick to be used on a PF... LA and Hickson do not clash, I think they complement one-another.  And if Portland drafts a defensive presence like Drummond, then a front-court of Hickson, L.A., and Drummond could emerge as one of the more formiddable in the NBA (and Craig coming in off the bench).  But what $$$$$ will Hickson command?  Hoopsworld has a qualifying offer of 3.4 mill... so I guess that's a minimum buy-in?  Which is to say, Hickson should be making at least 5 mil per?????   someone help me here, I"m not a contract guy.

    Jonny Flynn - unrestricted.  Liked him at Syracuse, I think he's an exciting player, i don't know if you can say he's a true PG, and he does not appear to be anything extraordinary, but he's serviceable.  He's a tough little guy with range.  Obviously he can sign with anyone.  But it's pretty close to a sure thing Felton's gone, and if Flynn's gone, then Nolan is the lone PG.  

    Raymond Felton - unrestricted.  Felton earned honors at North Carolina, and came to Portland with high hopes after career highs with NY in 2010-11 (17 ppg and 9 apg).  But his numbers were nearly career lows with Portland last year.  I think regardless of the numbers, fans don't like what he brings to the table.  At times he was so bad last year that he was benched for a SG (Crawford).  I'm sure we're all in agreement that Felton is the main reason why Portland is targeting a PG in the draft.  So I have to say there's a near 100% chance this guy is gone.

    Jamal Crawford - unrestricted.  Maybe with a new coach, Jamal is happier, but him and Nate did not see eye to eye.  Did you see when Crawford had to fill in at the point (when Felton was struggling bad) and Nate was yelling, SHOOT THE BALL.  lol.  Crawford wanted to act like a PG, he was being patient, not taking the open shot... seemed like a little silent protest by Crawford.  Anyway, that aside, what's his fate?  I personally don't think he wants to be here, but maybe it comes down to money and Portland can afford to keep his wallet bursting.  Honestly, if we keep this guy, it prevents Portland from having to look at someone like Waiters or trading up for Beal b/c Matthews, Crawford, and Elliot is a pretty good trio.

    Shawne Williams - unrestricted.  I doubt he's retained... he was brought in the trade that landed Portland a draft pick and that's the price of Wallace.  Williams was a pretty good college player and did alright with the Knicks, but he's bounced around to 4 or 5 teams now in about as many years.  I don't know what people think of him, but based on his track record, well, maybe he starts looking for a steady job overseas or something?

    Joel Przybilla - unrestricted.  This guy was Mr. Basketball in high school and a top 10 pick coming out of college, but he didn't really come into his own until he joined the trailblazers.  He was traded, has now been hurt, and he's been in the league for at least 10 years I believe.  I still think he has some fuel in the tank, but I'm curious thoughts of others here.  I like what he brings to the table, but are all the pieces intact, will he stay in the lineup or is he breaking down and becoming a liability?  Will he stay or go?

    Hasheem Thabeet - unrestricted.  Portland has the tallest player and arguably the best shot blocker in the NBA on their roster.  Question is, do they keep him or what?  People seem to think Drummond is the answer to our prayers, but honestly, I'd rather start Thabeet.  Offensively Drummond is just as raw as Thabeet, probably more-so.  If Portland wants offensive production out of a center, maybe draft Leonard and retain Thabeet.  I really hope Portland keeps this guy.  But I do not know what others think of him.  In college, this guy was a major game changer and he was the 2nd pick in the draft the year he came out.  But he's been sent to the development league twice (a destination I expect Drummond to visit one day).  Thabeet's been on 3 or 4 teams in only a couple years in the league.  But what's the future hold for this guy?

    One other thing, when Portland gave up Wallace, they got a couple future 1st rounders from the bobcats... have they got those already?  and last year they got a 2nd rounder from houston I believe when camby was shipped there.  do we get their pick this year?  espn says our 40th pick this year is from minnesota (via houston)... is that the pick?

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  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 06/21/2012 10:29 AM

    Batum should make 9 million at minimum from some team. I think Portland matches but if we manage to get MKG in the draft they might thank twice if he number rises much over 10 million.

    Hickson should make between 5 and 6 million I could a lot of teams offering him their mid-level exception so that should be the ball park figure Portland will need to pay to bring him back. His Bird Rights and whether we have them or not will become key to guaranteeing he stays in Portland.

    Flynn just did not show us enough and we are not looking for a long term back up with Nolan on the team so he is gone for sure.

    Felton will be gone I just do not see Portland bringing him back considering the bad taste he left in a lot of peoples mouths. He will play better next season I bet but that won't be here.

    Crawford is gone he will be traded on draft night or he will opt out of his contract the night after but he will not be back with this team next season.

    Williams there is no way in hell he goes anywhere else unless we can find someone to take him in trade or use the stretch provision on him. It looks like Portland will just eat his 3.2 million dollar contract and bury him on the bench.

    Joel Pryzbilla he is likely to return for the veteran minimum he wants to play another year but Portland cannot have him starting if they want any chance of escaping the lottery next year.

    Thabeet he is a decent defender and shot blocker who might be kept around if Pryzbilla is not brought back but he would need to accept around a million a season for us to consider him. I think he will get around 3 from someone else so he is likely gone.

    As for Gerald Wallace we owe Charlotte one more 1st round pick, the pick is top 12 protected 2013-2015 but is unprotected in 2016. Yes, the Houston pick is number 40. 
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. jwood
    jwood
    Posts: 117

    Posted 06/21/2012 10:34 AM

    i would only be interested in retaining batum, hickson, and thabeet....if we can do it for about 15 million. that should give us enough room to sign another quality FA if i'm not mistaken, like dragic.
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  1. Blazersfan1234
    Blazersfan1234
    Posts: 33

    Posted 06/21/2012 11:20 AM

    I would like to see Portland retain Batum, Hickson, and possibly Thabeet depending on if we draft or sign a center. If we manage to sign and draft a good center like Javale McGee or Roy Hibbert and get Joel Freeland to come back from Europe then I think we could let Thabeet go. We have roughly 30 million already in players under contract so signing Batum and Hickson will bring that up to about 45 million so that gives us a couple thousand to try to sign someone like Hibbert.
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  1. Ricky
    Ricky
    Posts: 541

    Posted 06/21/2012 11:23 AM

    There are so many variables surrounding the Blazers in the draft, FA market, timing of each decision and other changes that would effect the Blazers response.  I think we are all shooting blind as to what will happen.  If I had my druthers I would trade to get #5, #8 along with our own #6.  I would then draft sf, pg, sg and if T-Rob falls which I doubt I would change to include pf.  This means we would probably have shots at:  Barnes, MKG, Lilliard, waiters or Beal.  Then in the FA market I would go after Hibbert, Lopez, Dragic, signing JJ, Batum, Thabeet.  Then back to the draft for number 41 where I would target: Machaedo, Jae Crowder, or Jarred Cunningham.  I am assuming #40 was used in a trade and #11 was used to move up also.  Thoughts?  
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  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 06/21/2012 11:47 AM

    yeah, I like blazersfan1234's idea about McGee... he's not being talked about much, but he's shown some rapid improvement.  He could be the starter in Portland, and if Thabeet signs for cheap (as others mention), he could provide good help off the bench.  I mean I hope Thabeet stays.  A 7-3 shot blocker off the bench and watching him develop into (hopefully one day) a dominant center?  Well, I don't want him on another team.  He's shown he's more durable than Oden.  He's taller, blocks better.  I don't consider him a liability, especially if he's signed cheap.

    And Ricky, only problem I have with your insight is that I am not really high on a lot of guys in this draft.  I think when you look at our team, with the free agents we have, center, point guard, and small forward are glaring problems.  If you go for Beal, then it means getting rid of Matthews.  I don't think Portland's interested in further shaking things up, but I could be wrong, it just seems a stretch for a team to go after a 3rd lottery pick.  But Beal may be one of the surer things in the draft, cuz he can shoot.  Lillard and Beal would add some scoring punch, but I think I prefer if Portland's going after 3 lottery picks, trade up for Anthony Davis.  I also like MKG because I think he'll emerge as a top defender in this league and he has enough offense that he could develop into something special all around.  

    As you say, many variables.  It's kind of awesome actually because there are so many possibilities.  I don't think I can ever remember a year in the history of the blazers when they've had so many decisions to make.  Have there ever been this many free agents?  Man, this might be the most exciting off-season the Blazers have ever had.  I only with the free agent and draft pools had better talent.  There's just too many question marks and too much development necessary.  Sounds like Deron might be the top free agent prospect, but Portland won't pay for him 
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  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 06/21/2012 1:04 PM

    With options comes the possibility of stupid decisions as well. Hopefully we can avoid mistakes like that.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 06/21/2012 6:00 PM

    When I think of these guys as assets and what they bring to the table in terms of trade-friendly contracts or team contributors, here's what I come up with:

    Nic is re-signed. He will cost too much, but the whole organization and front office are sold on him, so they overpay and he comes back as a contributor, now with a contract that is an unattractive trade to teams with less money. But that won't matter because the plan is to keep him long term (for now).

    Hickson will want to be a starter somewhere, so Portland is close to a last option for him. He'll be happy to be back, but I disagree that he coexists well with LA. He coexists extremely well with an INJURED LA, we really don't know the rest of the story, and if he costs too much he's gone.

    Flynn barely showed me more than Patty Mills (i.e., a lot of smile and a little basketball). If we are addressing the PG issue this year, we can't fill the roster with guys that we KNOW won't be our starting PG in the future.

    Felton has probably already burned his #5 jersey. He's not coming back. You know it. I know it. He knows it. Olshey knows it. Even animals in the Portland area have a pretty good idea.

    Crawford will likely be part of a draft day deal. But if he isn't, I would bet money that he opts out on the 29th and we don't bring him back.

    Is Shawne Williams really going to be an unrestricted FA? That's the best news I've heard all week. An open roster spot without costing us cap space. Excellent. If he even signs with another NBA team, it won't be Portland.

    Joel is either coming back to Portland, going to Minnesota (or is it Milwaukee that he's from?), or retiring. My guess is he will be back for the veteran's minimum for one more season in Portland, though.

    Thabeet is in a very similar situation to Flynn. He's been in the league just long enough to make me doubt that he will become a good starting center. So, unless he has a clear cut role in the Blazers plan moving forward, he walks away this summer too.
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  1. mbmurr1
    mbmurr1
    Posts: 530

    Posted 06/21/2012 6:36 PM

       Sign Batum, Hickson, Thabeet, Flynn, Przybilla, then Illasova, and "PG"....... sign and trade Crawford.......... No to Felton and Williams
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  1. benh7777
    benh7777
    Posts: 203

    Posted 06/22/2012 10:42 AM

    I know it looks to be over here for Crawford but if there is any chance to bring him back I would be all for it. He has proved his whole career that he is a huge offensive threat and is the life coming off the bench and an option in close games. He was thrust into the worst situation of his career last year and probably wants to leave Portland the sooner the better. But if he has any interest in the way Portland is moving and would consider resigning here I say we do it.

    I would like to see Hickson back, and honestly, it wouldn't totally hurt my feelings to see Batum walk. And Thabeet although one of the biggest busts in the NBA is still a good big body to come in off the bench and who knows, maybe he can develop his skills a little better, but I would not even think of over paying him.
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  1. Geobronc
    Geobronc
    Posts: 21

    Posted 06/22/2012 10:43 AM

    Keep Hickson, Batuum, and Joel. The rest can go bye bye!
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  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 06/22/2012 11:02 AM

    Pickett S. Williams still has his player option so he will be here unless we trade him or use the stretch provision to pay his contract over three years instead of one. 
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. D_pickett
    D_pickett
    Posts: 726

    Posted 06/22/2012 2:48 PM

    Thanks cmeese, I didn't know about his option. That makes a difference.

    I see your point, benh, about Crawford. But, if the goal is to create a younger, building team, I don't expect him back. I don't know if he's the kind of veteran that cultivates young players, so he likely won't be one of the veterans that sticks around.
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  1. jonthorpe
    jonthorpe
    Posts: 125

    Posted 06/22/2012 4:00 PM

    Anyone who thinks Thabeet still could be part of the rotation is not paying attention. If you watched closely, in crap-shot games and in competitive games, the guy looked overwhelmingly confused. He doesnt know what he should do on the court. I will admit I loved him back at UCONN, but for some people, the NBA is just too much. He has no basketball IQ, just size. He is definitely not the best shot blocker nor should he be anywhere near the top 10 list of shot blockers in the league. He is a bust. He also is rumored to have terrible work ethic. He hasnt improved one step since he got drafted. Its really sad for somebody that big with that much potential, but its clear to me and many other people that he has nowhere to go. 
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  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 06/22/2012 4:19 PM

    Posted By jonthorpe on 06/22/2012 4:00 PM
    Anyone who thinks Thabeet still could be part of the rotation is not paying attention. If you watched closely, in crap-shot games and in competitive games, the guy looked overwhelmingly confused. He doesnt know what he should do on the court. I will admit I loved him back at UCONN, but for some people, the NBA is just too much. He has no basketball IQ, just size. He is definitely not the best shot blocker nor should he be anywhere near the top 10 list of shot blockers in the league. He is a bust. He also is rumored to have terrible work ethic. He hasnt improved one step since he got drafted. Its really sad for somebody that big with that much potential, but its clear to me and many other people that he has nowhere to go. 

    reminds me of andre drummond
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  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 06/22/2012 11:10 PM

    lol.  harsh.  I like thabeet, but maybe he spends too much time on twitter.  

    I don't think he'll be retained, but I still hold out hope.  Many guys take 3+ years before they emerge.  

    D_Pickett, I disagree about Hickson.  You act as if this is a guy who commands a starting job, but he doesn't.  Portland picked him up off waivers.  He showed some flashes of brilliance in his 2nd 2 years at cleveland and he impressed enough to be traded for a 1st rounder and a player, but you know he wasn't acquired via trade, Portland picked him up on waivers after he was cut by Sacramento.  Hickson's not going to need to start over Aldridge, and he's going to know his role, which is going to be high energy off the bench.  The reason why I say they complement one-another is that Aldridge is not a banger, Aldridge is more of a Duncan finesse type of guy.  Hickson is stronger and will use his body more, he'll fight and muscle guys around.  In his best season with Cleveland, he averaged nearly 10 boards a game in only 28 minutes per night.  Hickson has a high ceiling and he can share time with Aldridge, or give Portland quality minutes while LA rests.  And I personally do not think Hickson expects anything more.  Maybe another team would start him, and maybe there'll be opportunities for him to start for Portland when we want to have a big lineup on the floor, but he's never commanded big minutes and he may want more minutes, but he'll know his place in Portland.  

    Of everyone on the list, I want Nic, Hickson, and Thabeet back... i have hope for him.  Joel I like, but want him healthy and producing, not breaking down, so I hope he's ready.  Crawford I don't think will be back, at least based on how things went down last year, but I'll say, if he's retained, well, Portland won't need a SG in the draft.  I thought I heard Williams is going to be alright, had a hurt shoulder, but a rotation with Matthews, Elliot, and Crawford is pretty solid... no need for beal or waiters in that scenario.

    with the luck portland's had at center, i'd expect the blazers will carry 3, and if they don't like thabeet, then expect a free agent to be signed, or 2 rookies drafted and joel retained.  I do hope thabeet stays.  He had 10-20 minutes in 4 of the last 5 games and his stats weren't that bad.  He got some blocks as expected, had 8 boards vs memphis in 20 minutes.  I don't think he did enough to impress, but a lot with him is riding on his off-season development.  

    I wouldn't base whether he stays or goes on how he's done in the NBA thus far b/c he hasn't even played in 2 seasons worth of games since hes been in the league.  He's been a disappointed #2 selection and progress is slow, but I think he has more promise than manute bol. 



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  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 06/23/2012 9:15 PM

    We do not need Thabeet that much is apparent but I think calling Andre Drummond that big of a bust is pretty harsh.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. cmeese47
    cmeese47
    Posts: 2735

    Posted 06/23/2012 9:15 PM

    We do not need Thabeet that much is apparent but I think calling Andre Drummond that big of a bust is pretty harsh.
    I am a fan of Getting Defensive Players This Summer.
  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 06/24/2012 6:59 PM

    i think the expectations for drummond as the 6th pick will exceed his abilities as a player. as for the thabeet comparison i was referring to how people are saying he has no work ethic and i just cant see him improving his game at the nba level. maybe i just dont see what others have but im tired of hearing potential because it doesnt matter in the long run. look how much potential the blazers had until the injuries started piling up. the time for potential is gone, i want legitimacy. this is what happens when you build a team on potential.
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  1. boomtown
    boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 06/25/2012 3:11 AM

    well, if you don't like guys with potential, then you must hate everyone in this draft because there are really very few polished players. I'd say Anthony Davis and Zeller may be 2 of the more ready guys.  most everyone needs work in more areas than one.  

    I think when it comes to drummond, people need to be happy with what they're getting and that's a huge 18 year old who can block, get up and down the court, and make some authoritative jams... and the video that showed the touch he's developing on his shot, well, if that transcends into games, then at 18 he's becoming a very good student .... and I like the potential.  

    I mean, there's no kobe bryants or dwyane wades in this draft.  not at all.  that's part of why I've been saying i'm not all that excited about marshall or lillard and I'd prefer portland get a FA PG to do what fans want as a PG (like Nash or Kidd) and that buys portland a couple years till a better all-around PG comes along in the draft.  I do think Lillard will dazzle and marshall will deliver, but both come with flaws, just like drummond, just like meyers, fab, moe, and so many other guys portland is allegedly targeting in the draft.

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  1. The Unholy
    The Unholy
    Posts: 352

    Posted 06/25/2012 6:53 PM

    yes i hate everyone in this draft because that's exactly what i said. how observant of you to make a counter argument based on what you thought i said since you have taken it upon yourself to reply to me on several posts and tell me my opinion is wrong. some of your points are valid but arent in contrast to what i actually said. maybe you should read it again
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