Free Agents II ... incoming
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  1. boomtown
    Posts: 272

    Posted 06/21/2012 11:09 AM

    The last post talked about which Blazer free agents will stay or go.  In this thread, I'm curious fans' thoughts on who Portland might be targeting.  Understand I like NCAA more than NBA.  I follow the Blazers fairly closely and passively pay attention to the rest of the NBA.  So sometimes, I don't always know which free agents are worth bringing in because I don't know how they'd adapted since college.  

    I thought I heard Portland has about 20 million in cap space to spend; it seems with 8 guys not under contract that number should be higher.

    But listen, with 8 free agents on the roster, that means Aldridge, Craig Smith, Matthews, Elliott Williams, Babbitt, Nolan Smith, and Kurt Thomas is the current roster.  That's 7 guys under contract.  And nobody knows if Craig or Thomas will be waived.  Nolan and Babbitt could be tossed into trades and (I hope not, but) Elliott too.  We'll be getting 4 draft picks (barring trades), so that leaves room for at least a few free agents.... whether re-signed or signed elsewhere.  And if any guys are cut/traded, then even more work to do.

    Point Guard - Portland has no all-star and nobody that even looks close to a future all-star.  Flynn and Felton are free agents that may not return, which means Nolan is all we have.  Plan on Lillard or Marshall to be added to the roster.  But keep in mind, the PGs in this year's draft are slim pickens and none of them are great all-around point guards.  That said, what are the odds on Portland targeting one in free agency?

    Andre Miller - unrestricted.  Yes, we've been there, but was he really so bad compared to what we have now?  Sometimes you don't know how good you had it till it's gone.
    Jason Kidd - unrestricted.  Old yes, and I haven't followed him over the past few years, but it would seem to me he could more than adequately run the point until a better rounded PG emerges in a future draft.
    Steve Nash - unrestricted.  I tend to believe he'll choose a contender over a pretender.
    Kirk Hinrich - unrestricted.  Good college player and did well early on in the NBA, but I lost track of him.  what's his story?  Hoopsworld has his latest salary at 8 mill; is he going to command more?
    Deron Williams I've heard people say Portland might make a play for but he's expensive and has a player option.  Seems to me he'd use up a HUGE chunk of Portland's cap space and I just don't know that Portland wants to slam so many eggs into this basket.  Is he a golden ticket though?
    Aaron Brooks - This guy surprised me in the NBA.  The Ducks really tapered off after he left and it showed me how important he really was to them.  They had a lot of success with him and he didn't seem to miss a beat in the NBA.  But again, I lost track of this guy.  Last I'd known he was a Rocket, and now it says he's a Sun, restricted, and only making 2 mill?  If he's still doing as well as he did in Houston, he should get a nice payday... will Phoenix match?  
    Jeremy Lin - unrestricted.  Was not recruited out of high school, but smart kid from harvard.  undrafted.  Been in the D league twice, but Linsanity last year... dude emerged out of nowhere and started scoring, assisting, rebounding.  What's the future hold for this guy?  

    There's other free agents like Jameer Nelson, Chauncey Billups, D.J. Augustin and others I'd like to hear thoughts of.  Augustin I liked in college, but he always seemed like he wouldn't be a solid pro to me.  He makes mistakes, not an ideal PG.  Jameer is from St. Joe's if I'm not mistaken; solid college player who I remember did well with the Magic for awhile.  Chauncey has good size for a PG, but he's been around awhile and I don't know how he's doing these days.   Dooling's with the Celts... good college player, but i figure he's just a role player off the bench in the NBA.

    Shooting Guard - With Matthews, Williams, and the possibility of resigning Crawford, this is one area that probably doesn't need much attention.  But if Crawford leaves, Waiters is a good choice in the draft... he'd fill the voice beautifully.  

    Eric Gordon and O.J. Mayo are both restricted.  Any chance Portland makes a play?  Any other thoughts I'd like to hear, but I don't think Portland's going to target any free agent SG's.  Do you?

    Small Forward - With Batum restricted, I do think this position is of major concern.  I do not think Portland is prepared to let Babbitt takeover the start job and I don't even know if Shawne Williams (tweener sf/pf ... free agent) is to be retained.  My first thought is Harrison Barnes or Moe Harkless in the draft.  There's other possibilities, but those are guys who could probably step in and start, or provide solid minutes rotating.  

    But if Batum's offer(s) is not matched, I think Portland has to make a play for a free agent.

    Someone mentioned Gerald Wallace in another thread.  I can't imagine Portland would clean house only to bring him back, but that depends.  According to hoopsworld, Wallace earned 9.5 mill last year; will he demand the same price tag or more?
    Jeff Green - restricted who has a qualifying offer of 7.2 mill.  I'd think Portland would work on retaining Batum before they'd make a play for this guy, but I did like Jeff in college.  lol.

    Budinger (team option), Sam Young, Matt Barnes, Deonte Green  (restricted ), Devin Ebanks are good colllege players that I haven't followed in the NBA.  I don't know what the future holds, how they've been doing or if anyone is interested.  But Portland is a team that could offer them some minutes and maybe they'll shine.  
    I wish there were more options here.  Anyone have any insight about other FA's or guys who might worth trading for?

    Power Forward - Big question here is the future of JJ Hickson.  Do you think he will stay or go?

    If JJ is not matched, then I think it opens the door for a guy like Terrence Jones to be taken 11th.  But with Aldridge, JJ, and Craig Smith, I don't know that this position is any more pressing than SG.  I don't think a free agent will be targeted, but ...

    Kevin Garnett - unrestricted.  I've heard others discuss this possibility.  Obviously he's not washed up, he played great against the Heat in the playoffs, he seems durable, hard worker, but he's also hella expensive.  Will he even leave the Celtics and why hasn't he been resigned?  Do they think his days are numbered?  Looking to rebuild around Rondo (out with the old in with the new)?
    Tim Duncan - I find it ridiculous that he's not been extended.  I really can't see him leaving the spurs, even if people think he's on the downturn of his career, Duncan still can make that soft shot off the glass anyday.  Problem is, his style is just like L.A., so I can't see Portland making a play for him unless L.A.'s leaving... and that'd be a dumb trade off.
    Michael Beasley - restriced and should command a high price tag.  

    I'm not going to go much further with PFs, but curious what others think of the possibility of signing a banger... or if people really think Portland will keep Hickson.

    Center - Portland has Thabeet, Przybilla, and Kurt Thomas.  Kurt is about 40 years old and I do not know if he's going to be waived.  Is he still serviceable?  Prz and Thab are unrestricted free agents.  Was Thabeet only brought in last year to clean house and will he be retained?  As I said in the other post, he is the tallest player in the NBA, maybe the best shot blocker, and if Portland is looking for a defensive presence, they don't have to draft Drummond, they got one in Thabeet.

    However, if Kurt's cut and Portland does not retain either free agent, Portland has 0 centers on the roster :( ... that means there's free agents worth pursuing:

    JaVale McGee - restricted.  I'm really curious what people think of this guy.  He's a 7 footer who was in the slam dunk contest.  He's improved statistically every year he's been in the league and he can swat a few shots per game.  Offensively he seems much more ready than Thabeet, but he is restricted.  I just haven't heard anyone talk about this guy.  I think he's quite the sleeper, but curious thoughts of others who've maybe followed him closer.
    Roy Hibbert - restricted FA.  He's not making much more than Batum but he's one of the more sought-after free agents and I expect his salary is going to balloon.  He is restricted, so Indiana obviously can match and retain.  I haven't heard with any certainty who is pursuing him, or what kind of salary he'll command.  What I know of him is that he was a bit of a bump on a log in college.  He was tall and had size, so he fills the paint, he had his moments, but he didn't seem to be all that athletic  (not like Drummond) and honestly if I had my choice between Hibbert and Thabeet from what I saw in college, I'd choose Thabeet, but I don't know how Hibbert's done in the NBA... I don't know if he's improved and if he's developed any sort of reliable moves or shot in the paint.  In college, this guy didn't even hold a candle to prior greats at Georgetown, so my expectations of him in the NBA were not high.
    Brook & Robin Lopez - the Stanford brothers are both restricted free agents.  Brook was the better of the two in college, but everyone felt Robin had the raw skills and would improve in the NBA.  So has he?  Is Brook worth pursuing?  They're not that old at all and if they're playing as expected out of college, well, they might be peaking here soon.  I don't know if they're all-star caliber players, but I remember Brook as a solid workhorse who could score, rebound, and block... and Robin wasn't as polished, but they're twins and Robin tried hard.
    Chris Kaman - unrestricted.  Not sure why, but of all the years he's been in the NBA, he's always seemed like an under-achiever to me, in the same mold as Joel Przybilla.  He was one of those 7-foot great white hopes picked in the top 10 who didn't quite live up to the hype.  I know he did well one year with the Slippers, but what's he done in the past 3-4 years I don't know.  He should be around 30 years old, so has as much or more in the tank than Prz... not sure how durable Chris has been of late.  Thoughts on this guy?  

    What about other guys like Desagana Diop... I thought he was like 7-6 and a good shot blocker, but I haven't followed him.  

    Jermaine O'Neal washed up?
    Nazr Mohammad's day's numbered?
    Ben Wallace using a walker yet?

    I can't imagine some of these last few guys mentioned being any better for Portland than Kurt Thomas, but Portland's going to have to fill some roster spots someway somehow.

    I think that's pretty thorough, but I haven't been hearing many trade rumors, at least nothing legitimate, most everything is speculative.  I guess I'm just curious all of your thoughts, mostly about Hickson and Batum because their futures will play a big role in who portland selects.  And I also don't know if Portland is targeting any of the free agent centers, or plan to retain Thabeet, but that also plays a massive role.  Because if Portland does go after McGee or Hibbert and keeps Thabeet and Prz, then you may not see Drummond, Meyers or any center in this year's draft in Portland.  And honestly, that's fine with me because none of them are superstars.

    I am a fan of
  1. FoulWeatherFan
    Posts: 126

    Posted 06/21/2012 12:27 PM

    The blazers will have around 12-14mil in cap space in the end. First they would have to renounce the rights to all free agents we do not want to keep, this would include unsigned draft picks like Freeland and Klaver. Then you have to add the salary of the incoming draft picks and the cap hold of any free agents we restrict like Batum, and Hickson if the league lets us. that 22mil quickly turns into 10-15. If only we could buyout this damn Williams guy, take your money and go elsewhere!
    I am a fan of close games.
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