At certain points of the NBA season -- and in between seasons -- you can expect to hear a plethora of rumors involving player movement. One might think the days leading up to the trade deadline would be the pinnacle of this.
I would beg to differ. With teams jockeying to improve their standing for the upcoming season, Rumor Season just has to be in the days and weeks leading up to the draft. Furthermore, as with the trade deadline, the rumors intensify as draft day approaches. We've certainly seen it happen this year.
Several teams seem to be shopping their picks. In fact, the Cavaliers' pick seems to be on auction to the highest bidder. Then again, those could be just rumors.
The Blazers have been no exception to trade rumors, though they seem to be centralized around just one player. There has already been validated interest from the Cavaliers in dealing for Blazers two-time all-star LaMarcus Aldridge. From all reports, the Cavaliers' stood at the door to a trade, only to have it shut in their face.
However, a few real rumors have popped up. There's always the speculation that when LaMarcus' contract expires following the 2014-15 season, he may entertain the idea to play for the Mavericks in his hometown of Dallas. A rumor showed up on twitter this morning that he wanted to play for the Bulls; unsubstantiated, but still a rumor. This afternoon, a rumor showed up that the Blazers were shopping LaMarcus around the league (which, by the way, is a violation of league policy). unsubstantiated, but still a rumor.
It has been reported that the team was in discussions with the Clippers to bring DeAndre Jordan to Portland to pair with LaMarcus. We know we need a center, so that's not so surprising. However, this afternoon's rumor had the Blazers shopping LaMarcus in a package to obtain Jordan (More on this in a moment). unsubstantiated, but still a rumor.
Chad Ford, ESPN's analyst who has produced no less than seven jumbled mock drafts (not really mocking him for that as it's probably included in his job description), has suggested that LaMarcus will be traded as a part of tomorrow's draft to any one of a handful of potential suitors. Ford has gone on record as saying that he does not expect the L-Train to be a Blazer come opening day.
As you can see, the rumors and speculations are spreading like a wildfire in a hurricane.
I don't believe Neil Olshey to be any kind of dummy. I'm sure if an outstanding offer came across, it would be considered. I also feel that with a player of LaMarcus' stature in Portland and the NBA, that Paul Allen would have quite a bit to say in that. Suffice to say, if the Blazers are not interested in the Cavaliers' offer of Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and the number one pick in a weak draft, it's going to take a whole heck of a lot to make the Blazers bid adieu to it's franchise player.
When I call LaMarcus our franchise player it's because ... well, he is still our franchise player. That certainly is no knock on Damian Lillard. LaMarcus has been the rock of the Blazers franchise for the past several years. Olshey said following the season that we are building for now -- not attempting to gain every asset in sight for the future. There may be some of the latter, but it's extremely and highly unlikely the Blazers' elder statesman will be the price for that. My take on Olshey's end-of-season statements is that he plans on building with LaMarcus and
Damian, rather than with LaMarcus or
So what do we make of all these rumors? Well, just think of the rumors we're hearing about just the Blazers. Now multiply that number of rumors by 30 for each team in the league. How many of these fly by night rumors ever come to fruition? My educated guess is pretty much none. I find trade rumors to fall into three non-credible categories: hoax, wishful thinking and misinformation.
In other words, trade rumors are an indicators of absolutely nothing. Entertaining as they may be, (though usually not), there's certainly no reason to take any of them seriously.
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On the lighter side, I have heard from a source in the know, that should the Cavaliers not be able to trade their number one pick, they have already bookmarked the player for which they wish to continue to build their team.
It's not Nerlens Noel. Not Ben McLemore. Not even Alex Len nor Cody Zeller. With the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select:
Austin "Chumlee" Russell from Pawn Stars!
"We think Chumlee has a whole lot of potential," owner Dan Gilbert and coach Mike Brown will be heard saying -- in unison.
Now, how is that for a rumor?!
In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever.