May 25

Mailbag: May 25, 2012

By sarahhecht Posted in: freeagency, jondiebler, summerleague
Q: What do you think of using minimal money on bigs and going Freeland and Thabeet (Thabeet 3rd string insurance policy) sign Batum and Hickson and use the big chunk of money for PG? (Hickson and LMA can close the game.) --Jamie

Answered by Sarah Hecht

I think that could be a viable strategy depending on the caliber of PG you can land as long as you ALSO address the bigs in some capacity. If you’re not nabbing a marquee PG (or close too it,) you need to spread the cash between the two spots even more. Having a frontcourt of Freeland, Thabeet and I assume you’re adding Aldridge and Hickson into the mix, isn’t enough in my opinion. Freeland is unproven at the NBA level, though our front office brain trust says he’s almost ready, and as you mentioned Thabeet is a third-stringer. That leaves three rotation bigs in LA, Hickson and Freeland. At that point it doesn’t matter how great your backcourt is, there won’t be enough inside.

In my opinion, spending a bulk of cap space on a PG is the way to go, but you can’t disregard the center position completely either. They BOTH have to be addressed.

Q: Is Diebler going to play in the summer league? Is Diebler good enough to help with our outside shooting and depth? Or does he need more years to develop? I read the article of him getting married at draft time and he got an extended honeymoon. He is such a likable lad and would fit into our need as a shooter, and still cheap enough that the Blazers could get him. --Hg

Answered by Sarah Hecht

The summer league roster hasn’t been determined yet so we don’t know if we’ll have a Diebler sighting, though I’m sure the team would love to see him as much as possible. You hit it on the money when you said that he’s a shooter, it’s the other aspects of his game that need further development. If we do get to see him this July it’ll be a great gauge as to how much he’s improved in the last year while playing overseas.

Q: My question is about "the system"....when doing a hire, be it GM or the "system" decided ahead of time but say Paul Allen? Where does the "system" come into play? Does one hire based on the system they want...I suppose it is the cart before the horse...the chicken or the egg...or well I guess that is why I am asking the mailbag! --Debra

Answered by Sarah Hecht

Great question! I think a “system” is adopted based on multiple factors including organizational culture, goals and coaching styles. And I think the term applies more to coaches than GMs.

I commonly see “system” used to describe a coach's core style and strategy, for example we hear about “run-first” offenses or you can narrow it down even more specifically to a strategy like the ever-famous “triangle-offense.” All of these strategies are determined by the coach and fall under the overarching definition of “system.”

In my mind when a GM composes a team they’ll take into account the coaches “style” as well as the current talent on the roster and how they would play under that coaches strategy. As the Trail Blazers are currently without a coach and a “system,” I think whoever the new GM is will weigh a number of factors when deciding on a new coach—most coaches are boxed into their strategy, Phil Jackson with the triangle and D’Antoni as a “run-first.” (Of course this also depends on if the GM is hired prior to the new coach.)

In essence, a GM assembles a team based on how talent will perform within an entire “system.” I also believe an involved owner like Paul Allen, who has been active in this market for so long has a good pulse on what a fan base would enjoy, making that a factor as well.

So Debra, even though this isn’t a black and white answer, I hope this gives you an idea of some of the factors that come into play.

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  1. My Dear Miss Sarah Hecht:
    I want to take this moment to thank you from the bottom of my heart for answering my forlorn question LOL! Or more to the point great job Lass.

    Mike Rice said on the last CourtSide show, that you can get a coach that has a system set up then you hire a GM to be a go fetch this player or that. Or, you can hire a GM with a systematic plan and he hires a coach that can coach his system, so of course like usual you are right in either way we go. My concern is if we go after a Media Hype GM then we hire a coach that is completely opposite of him. For instance IMO a Kaleb type coach would need a strong minded GM, OTOH, Nate needed a go fetch me type GM. That to me is why the Blazers FO want a GM first so as the coach and the GM can be complementray to each other. See, I am getting better at thinking of answers to BB problems.

    On determining our center rotation, I am hoping that Joel Przybilla is included. He is still a locker room leader and he can help Freeland and Thabeet with his NBA experience. Then we would only have to use JJ or LaMarcus when the coach wants to go small.
    Thank you Sarah.

    by Hg on 5/25/2012 2:33 PM
  2. cough cough WING PLAYER TOO, still need a wing playe rmaybe draft but idk even wes ewill batum and shawne williams still dont see any quality second options, still all the weight is on LMA and to get any where youll need a quality number two option, need that three point dagger or shoot to spark a team

    by jamie (guy) on 5/25/2012 3:30 PM
  3. I'm seeing a lot of "we need a 2 guard from the draft" chants. I really don't see the validity of the argument... We have already financially committed to Wes Matthews, and Elliot Williams is pretty much a fan favorite. Add in the option of bringing back John Deibler from Greece. Plus, our small forwards also contribute to the outside shooting. I firmly believe that we need bigs more than shooters.

    by Choong Huh on 5/25/2012 8:56 PM
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