cmeese47's Blog


Apr 03

Flexibility is the key to this off-season. Portland has some nice pieces but we have a long ways to go until we can contend for a title. I think we need a major overhaul to reach that next level right away. As hard, as it is for me to say Portland has to consider trading L. Aldridge to reach that level.

My steps to build a contender:

Trade L. Aldridge for D. Cousins and the Kings first round pick

D. Cousins is an elite rebounder, 3rd in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes and 1st in offensive rebounding. He averages over a steal and a block per game, he is not a great one on one defender but he plays good help defense. He is a great post scorer, and does a good job of getting to the free throw line. He will need to improve his shot selection in the future to see his shooting percentage approach 50%. At 21 years old Cousins will get better and a $3.8 million, he is a steal.

The Sacramento Kings projected to have the #6 pick in this year’s draft would give Portland lots of flexibility.

Sign E. Ilyasova he is vastly under rated playing in Milwaukie and is among the league leaders in offensive rating, rebounding rate and rebounds per 48 minutes. He should be available at less than $7 million a season. This would give the Trailblazers one of the best rebounding frontcourts in the NBA.

Signing D. Williams for a Max contract would immediately make us contenders. He is an elite PG who would change the dynamic of this team.

I would like to trade our 2nd round picks with someone like Nolan Smith to add another 1st round pick. If this were not enough, I would include a future second round pick.

Those three players would represent $28.3 million against the cap. Portland would also still have four players under contract for next year.
-E. Williams at $1.44 million.
-L. Babbit at $1.9 million.
-K. Thomas at $1.35 million.
-W. Matthews at $6.5 million.

That brings us to seven players with $18.5 million still to spend. In addition, these moves would leave us with four first round picks, three potential lottery picks, a good frontcourt and an elite point guard.

We will not win a title with rookies so trading these picks will be a priority.

I would trade W. Matthews and the non-lottery 1st round pick for Tony Allen and second round pick. I like Matthews but he is too inconsistent for what we are paying him. Allen is the best perimeter defender in the game and has cut down severely on his bad shots at $3.3 million is a steal. This move would increase our cap room to $21.7 million.

I would then trade Sacramento’s pick and ours for A. Iguodala. If needed I would throw in future draft pick considerations. Iggy is not cheap but he should win the NBA defensive player of the year award, he also rebounds well, and is a great ball handler and passer. Adding him would leave us with $7.2 million in cap space.

Our starting lineup would be:

PG D. Williams
SG T. Allen
SF A. Iguodala
PF E. Ilyasova
C D. Cousins

Our bench would be
SG E. Williams
SF L. Babbit
PF/C K. Thomas

I would then resign JJ Hickson for $4 million. He is a high-energy player and a great rebounder, a perfect player to come off the bench. I would use the remaining cap room to sign K. Hinrich he is not the same player than was earning $8 million a season but he is still a smart player and a great defender.

Our roster would then be:
PG D. Williams
PG K. Hinrich
SG T. Allen
SG E. Williams
SF A. Iguodala
SF L. Babbit
PF E. Ilyasova
PF JJ Hickson
C D. Cousins
C/PF K. Thomas

To round out our roster we would still have New Jersey’s pick and a second round pick. I would use the New Jersey’s pick to take A. Drummond. The kid has all the tools to be a great NBA center but he is young and largely undeveloped. He would get some solid minutes on this team but would not be required to carry them. With our second round pick, I would take J. Sanders who averaged 12.5 ppg, 8 apg, and 7.8 rpg. Those are Rondo; Kidd like numbers from a PG but Liberty does not face the same level competition as Duke so they might not translate as well to the NBA.

J. Freedland is likely to come over from England this summer and compete for a roster spot.

That would give us 13 players under contract going into camp and would put us just a few million over the cap. The rest of the roster can be filled out from the D league or by someone willing to take the veteran minimum.

I think with the rebounding of Cousins, Ilyasova, Hickson, and Drummond we would rarely lose any rebounding matchups. Our perimeter defense would be the best in the NBA and we would force many turnovers. We would have balanced scoring led by Cousins and Williams. Our biggest issue would be finding someone who could guard Durant as Iggy would be giving up 4-5 inches. 


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