So begins the time of year that teams no longer in the playoffs begin talking about the draft, prospects, and acquiring players from other teams via trade or free agency.
Unless you're a fan of the Thunder, Mavericks, Bulls or Heat, you've probably had some of trade scenarios cross your minds already. Each off season -- and leading up to the trade deadline -- I frequently find myself making the same comments on other blogs, message boards and such.
It's interesting to read trade scenarios. People around the Blazers networks often single out players such as Chris Paul or Dwight Howard as players for whom we should trade. While these guys could be a nice addition to the Blazers, there are a couple of problems with pretty much all the trade scenarios which we are inevitably going to see.
. There are several league conditions involving trades, perhaps most notably that salaries between teams involved in a trade must be near-to-equal. I've decided to avoid mentioning the current requirement here, since it will possibly change when a new collective bargaining agreement expires in about a month and a half. The point is that the salaries generally have to be comparable. For instance, let's say the Blazers wanted to offer up a package of Rudy, Nicolas and Andre to Orlando for Dwight Howard. The trade would not work from a salary standpoint since the combined salaries of the Blazer players (outgoing salaries) are about $9.7 million while Howard's salary (incoming salary) is $16.6 million. Of course, this is a simple proposal which does not take into account any of the other guidelines. There are seemingly countless guidelines behind these types of scenarios (i.e. trade exceptions, draft picks, owned rights to international players).
. Several scenarios I've seen involve sending a package to obtain a player. Let's say, just for fun, that Portland wanted to get some help in the front court in the form of Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (not necessarily advocating this; for example purposes only). The Blazers could offer Nicolas straight up for Ibaka -- and this would work under the league guidelines. However, it's extremely unlikely that the Thunder would be interested given they would be losing a pf and getting in return a sf. Oklahoma City has one of the best sf's in the game in Durant. This trade would just plain not make sense for the Thunder, therefore, they would turn down the offer. The point here is that just because we want a specific player while wishing to trade away a specific player, the other team is not going to accept a trade which does not make sense.
. A lot of fans seem to want to rush into a trade or, as I call it, make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. For obvious reasons (such as failure to look at the big picture). Some fans wish to trade away this player or that player for reasons varying from an expiring contract, to age to plain old simple dislike for the player. I would caution that before considering rush trades, take a good look at the big picture. For instance, several suggested trading Andre last season, citing any of the aforementioned reasons. First off, Andre's contract is not expiring this summer; rather, there is a sort of team option (there are several sorts of team options out there) where the team can re-sign him by June 30. Second, Andre is getting up there in age for an NBA player (35), but there are some things to consider; he's not had any major or career-shortening injuries (a fact which is likely to prolong his career) and, judging from his play, it seems he has no immediate plans of slowing down. Third, dislike for his style of play really doesn't apply when you look at how he compares to other pg's (and other potentially available pg's) out there, which is quite favorably.
I tend not to delve deep into the business of pinpointing specific players. I may want to see one player or another but, in the end, that's all going to be up to the Blazers' administration. I hope we all have the patience to let Rich Cho and his staff to make the right moves to improve the team and it's chances to go deeper in the playoffs next season.
In Kassandra's Words will feature regular blogs throughout the off-season. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227