Free Agency Analysis
To date, KP and the boys have added zilch as the pool of free agents has dwindeled to "leftovers". After the Hedo debacle, it's apparent that the Blazers are content to stick with what they've got. Repeatedly, KP's interviews have been laced with "looking for the best player available", "still remain active" and "we are in the cat-bird seat". Let's review the needs of the Blazers after their loss in the 1st round of the playoffs:
1. PG who can drive, break down the defense and dish along with playing defense
2. Backup PF who can bang, board and bring toughness in the middle
With the needs in mind, we lept at the earliest opportunity for Hedo and were willing to mortgage the team for the next few years on a 6'10" SF who could create and score. Thank God, Toronto bailed us out of that disaster; albeit that Hedo also used and abused us to get a better deal. Good riddens, he settled for the cosmopolitan life rather than sign with a team that has the oppotunity to be a dynasty for the next 8 years. We then progressed to offer Milsap a deal that was designed to handcuff Utah into matching and facilitating the moving of Boozer. Good move to affect your will on divisional rival, but does nothing to bettering your organization. Even after the Hedo demise, we still had a chance to secure the backup PF, Brandon Bass signed with Orlando for 4 yr/$18 million, half of what we were prepared to pay Milsap. Post Hedo, mistake #1. By virtue of who's left at the PF position (backup), Chris Wilcox, Glen Davis and Sean May remain.
We signed two 4yr staring PF in the draft, Cunningham and Pendergraff; based on the summer league stats to date, it's safe to assume that either could play the backup role for 15 minutes a game. Cunningham has more of an offensive game, while Pendergraff is more defensively skilled; Pendergraff schooled Dorsey and was giving up 40 pounds! If I were KP, I would pick up May for league minimum, layer it with performance incentives; he is playing for his career and would also be able to mentor the PF we drafted.
With respect to the PG, again if I were KP, I would go after Felton. It is apparent after 3 summer league games that Bayless is not ready to play the #1 (his pacing of the game is undecided, if he drives he drives to score, on the pick and roll he looks tentative). Bayless has great energy, heart and desire; however he needs more time to develop into a true PG, that will not happen this year. Therefore, we need a facilitator at the PG; this can be accomplished by trading Blake for Felton. Sad to see what happened to Mills, he would have definitely been the PG of the near future. Now I think it is obvious that the Blazers need to sign Pooh Jeter; because if they don't someone else will. He is the Aaron Brooks of this year. Mistake #2 by the Blazers if they don't sign him! With the moves proposed so far, here's the roster/depth:
1. Felton, Bayless, Jeter
2. Roy, Rudy, Webster
3. Batum, Outlaw,
4. LA, May, Cunningham
5. Przybilla, Oden,
Considering our expiring contracts next year, we would still be in a position as a trade partner mid season, and /or a player in free agency next season.
To date, by not making a move, we are still in a postiive position.