By now I’m sure you’ve been following The Oregonian’s “You Be The GM” series. If you’re not, get on it. It’s a chance for you to give your input on the composition of the Trail Blazers roster in the form of a “Stay” of “Go” vote for every guy who ended last season in Rip City.
So far Jamal Crawford, Luke Babbitt
, Craig Smith, Jonny Flynn and Joel Przybilla
have faced the music. I was a bit surprised at how some of the voting ended up and though I may not agree with all of the decisions I enjoy debating their validity. Be sure to catch the comments on your favorite players and share your input as well.
That said, it’s time to catch up with a few more guys and thoughts on them from the paper's panel of experts. How did you vote?
Pelton: I've run the numbers, and I'm pretty sure that before the All-Star break Thomas hit every open midrange jumper he shot. At 39, Thomas still has plenty to offer an NBA team, especially if he isn't being counted on to play regular minutes every night but is used more situationally.
Freeman: Smith's final game of the season — a 16-point, seven-assist outing against the Utah Jazz — offered hope that a season of paying his dues may lead to better production. I'm not convinced he will become the Blazers' starting point guard, but I think he will be a "solid" backup. I like his potential.
Pelton: Thabeet's size is always going to be intriguing for NBA teams. If placed in a situation where he could anchor a zone defense with his shot-blocking ability and finish a few times at the rim, Thabeet could have some value off the bench.
Freeman: Rip City seemed to fall in love with the energy, hustle and athleticism of J.J. Hickson over the final month of the season. His production in a featured role not only kept the Blazers afloat down the stretch, but also offered hope that the team may finally have found a dependable backup for Aldridge. But I don't think Hickson fits into the Blazers' plans for the future.