Jake Van Dyke's Blog

Jake Van Dyke

Jun 01

Ok, so there are some very good pieces to this team. The Trail Blazers are definitely lacking in some areas (size, consistent shooting) but nonetheless can stand toe-to-toe with opposition on a given night. I would like to blame their short comings in the post season on coaching, because let's face it... Nate just doesn't seem that passionate about the game. I'd like to see someone like Lionel Hollins, Tom Thibodeau, or even Doc Rivers take the helm- these are the kind of guys who I constantly see yelling and throwing their hands in the air.


But then I noticed who is in the finals this year. In the case of the Heat, I think they coach themselves. With the Mavs, Carlisle is really the anti-thesis to the kind of guy i'd like to see coach the Blazers, but he has to be effective to some degree. Maybe it's just easier surrounded by all those veterans.


I'm going to look past coaching, becuase I think we have what we have and Rick Adelman coming back to coach for Portland is just a pipe dream at this point. Who did we have for a bench in the playoffs this year that could produce? Nicolas Batum wasn't as impressive as we all hoped, Brandon Roy had his miracle, and Fernandez continued to struggle his ass off.


Lamarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace are really the only irreplaceable pieces I see at this point, so lets build around them.


Current Roster:

Name/ Position/ Height/ Weight/ DOB


LaMarcus Aldridge - C F 6-11 240 07/19/1985

Luke Babbitt F 6-9 225 06/20/1989  

Earl Barron C-F 7-0 250 08/14/1981  

Nicolas Batum F 6-8 200 12/14/1988  

Marcus Camby C 6-11 235 03/22/1974   

Rudy Fernandez G 6-6 185 04/04/1985  

Armon Johnson G 6-3 195 02/23/1989  

Chris Johnson C 6-11 210 07/15/1985  

Wesley Matthews G 6-5 220 10/14/1986   

Andre Miller G 6-2 200 03/19/1976

Patrick Mills G 6-0 185 08/11/1988  

Greg Oden C 7-0 285 01/22/1988  

Brandon Roy - C G 6-6 211 07/23/1984  

Gerald Wallace F 6-7 220 07/23/1982  

Elliot Williams G 6-5 180 06/20/1989


#5 CENTER The first thing I'm going to point out is size. We need that 7 foot sleeping giant Oden to either play this year or quit wasting our time. I think Chris Johnson has a lot of potential and we should keep him as a backup center, and perhaps he would even bulk up a bit as an added bonus. Camby is great as well, but he's 37 so I'm going to figure he will last one last year, so we're going to bring a new center in. There are definitely a limited number of centers available in the draft, but we should try to acquire one or grab a free agent. Last I checked Atlanta had about five centers on their roster. Oh, and Earl Barron is still around possibly for shits and gigs. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe not. The dude hasn't really made that much of a name for himself, but maybe because no one has given him that much of a chance. So how about going for a free agent like... Tyson Chandler? God, I can only wish. Or maybe not, maybe if the Heat win the finals then he will want to move elsewhere... Portland would love to have him.


#4 POWER FORWARD Thank god Lamarcus came alive this last season. I knew this cat could ball, yet I would like to see him embrace the leadership role a little more strongly and not fold whenever someone else steps up. Sure if a guy is hot you feed him the ball, but if you're open take the shot or go to the rim. That's where I think LA could use a little bit of attitude/aggressiveness as well. Guys are going to double team or post up quick, LA just needs to push back twice as hard. Gerald Wallace works best at the small forward position so lets not even think about using him at the 4 again. We shouldn't have to. I think this could be the most important trade this off season, acquiring a solid back up for Lamarcus Aldridge. What about JJ Hickson? I believe his contract is up with the Cavs this year. The dude puts up solid numbers plus the Cavs have first round picks number 1 and 4, I think they will be alright. And even if not, they weren't really seeming to go anywhere anyways. I have a strange feeling about JJ, I think he is the man for the job. If you don't know who he is, look him up. His game is a lot like LAs, but lacking in some areas and perhaps excelling in others. I may be wrong but he seems to attack the rim a little bit more? He is a restricted free agent for 2012, meaning they would have to make a qualifying offer... which I think is %125 of their current salary. Another prospect for trading: Anthony Randolph?


#3 SMALL FORWARD Gerald Wallace is a maniac. I hope he sticks around for a long time, he is definitely the best option as of right now for the three, I can only hope that Lamarcus and he start to really click well together as the 2012 season progresses. Looking elsewhere, the team either needs to give Luke serious playing time or the guy is never going to materialize as a solid player in the NBA. In that final game of the 2011 season it would appear as though he can shoot, so lets play him a lot early in the 2012 season before games start to really matter. I almost want to avoid talking about Nico, because I feel like he could be my favorite player if he just went for it. He needs confidence, and he needs to attack. In fact the attacking issue seems to be a problem of all the blazers, save Wallace and maybe Matthews. But lets face it, he has had plenty of time to play, and he really hasn't been that consistent. We really need consistency. Is that so hard to come by? And a lot of teams seem to want him so, lets use him in a trade deal. I like him coming off the bench for Wallace if we can't find a place for him to go. Who could we bring in to fill Wallace's backup? Surely Caron Butler could, and he's a unrestricted free agent as of 2011. He's been out for awhile, but he should be happy come next year... especially if there is a lockout and he has even more time. What are the chances? Shane Battier would be pretty f'in cool as well. I've realized there is quite a bit in the free agent market, so i'm never going to assess everyone.


#2 SHOOTING GUARD Matthews better figure out his ball handling and passing or GTFO. It seems like he just needs to calm down a little bit if he's going to attack so recklessly. I like the guy, and I like the idea of him getting better, which I think will happen. And then there is Roy... Roy is kind of an unknown at this point. I say we should keep him around. Even still, at any given time I could see both Matthews and Roy not producing at the same time, so we need a third guard that can be more consistent, and I don't think Rudy is the guy. I really seem him being happier in Spain anyways. Maybe we could even trade him to another team. No further comment. In the free agent market... there's Jamal Crawford from Atlanta, who we all know was a working man's team... and the guy is from Seattle. Given his propensity to attack, Wallace and Crawford would probably get along pretty well.


#1 POINT GUARD I saved the best for last. The point guard is the quarterback. Miller is phenomenal, but given his age I would like to see him take another young buck under his wing and teach them a thing or two. There are several point guards in the draft, but i'd hate to see someone picked up and then barely used due to inexperience. It would make me feel way more comfortable to see someone at least 2 years in to the league with a lot of potential. In a best case scenario, I think we would somehow convince Brandon Jennings from Milwaukee to come over. Milwaukee exercised the option for the third year of his rookie contract, which is only worth about 2.5 mil. Acquire him now!


Obviously I don't see many or any of these positions being filled. I actually find it very likely that we will end up with the same team next year. There is hope though. First of all, if Oden isn't stolen and he actually plays. And I almost forgot about one guy who could actually kick some ass- Elliot Williams. God I hope they give him the time of day. Anyone I didn't mention, I just figure is tradeable. Mills could be ok but we really need more solid players to fill the team out.


Free Agents... there's a lot out there.



  1. Good idea it was to possibly pick up Jamal Crawford. Good thinking. I believe he would really do the team well.

    by steezy-jay on 7/8/2011 9:03 AM
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