Trail Blazers 2011-2012 Draft/Trade Prospects
By Jake Van Dyke Posted in: AndreMiller, Blazers, BrandonRoy, Bucks, Cavaliers, ElliotWilliams, geraldwallace, GregOden, Grizzlies, Hawks, LaMarcusAldridge, LukeBabbitt, MarcusCamby, Mavericks, NicolasBatum, PattyMills, RudyFernandez, WesleyMatthews
Ok, so there are some very good pieces to this team. The Trail
Blazers are definitely lacking in some areas (size, consistent shooting)
but nonetheless can stand toe-to-toe with opposition on a given night. I
would like to blame their short comings in the post season on coaching,
because let's face it... Nate just doesn't seem that passionate about
the game. I'd like to see someone like Lionel Hollins, Tom Thibodeau, or
even Doc Rivers take the helm- these are the kind of guys who I
constantly see yelling and throwing their hands in the air.
then I noticed who is in the finals this year. In the case of the Heat,
I think they coach themselves. With the Mavs, Carlisle is really the
anti-thesis to the kind of guy i'd like to see coach the Blazers, but he
has to be effective to some degree. Maybe it's just easier surrounded
by all those veterans.
I'm going to look past coaching,
becuase I think we have what we have and Rick Adelman coming back to
coach for Portland is just a pipe dream at this point. Who did we have
for a bench in the playoffs this year that could produce? Nicolas Batum
wasn't as impressive as we all hoped, Brandon Roy had his miracle, and
Fernandez continued to struggle his ass off.
Lamarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace are really the only irreplaceable pieces I see at this point, so lets build around them.
Name/ Position/ Height/ Weight/ DOB
LaMarcus Aldridge - C F 6-11 240 07/19/1985
Luke Babbitt F 6-9 225 06/20/1989
Earl Barron C-F 7-0 250 08/14/1981
Nicolas Batum F 6-8 200 12/14/1988
Marcus Camby C 6-11 235 03/22/1974
Rudy Fernandez G 6-6 185 04/04/1985
Armon Johnson G 6-3 195 02/23/1989
Chris Johnson C 6-11 210 07/15/1985
Wesley Matthews G 6-5 220 10/14/1986
Andre Miller G 6-2 200 03/19/1976
Patrick Mills G 6-0 185 08/11/1988
Greg Oden C 7-0 285 01/22/1988
Brandon Roy - C G 6-6 211 07/23/1984
Gerald Wallace F 6-7 220 07/23/1982
Elliot Williams G 6-5 180 06/20/1989
CENTER The first thing I'm going to point out is size. We need that 7
foot sleeping giant Oden to either play this year or quit wasting our
time. I think Chris Johnson has a lot of potential and we should keep
him as a backup center, and perhaps he would even bulk up a bit as an
added bonus. Camby is great as well, but he's 37 so I'm going to figure
he will last one last year, so we're going to bring a new center in.
There are definitely a limited number of centers available in the draft,
but we should try to acquire one or grab a free agent. Last I checked
Atlanta had about five centers on their roster. Oh, and Earl Barron is
still around possibly for shits and gigs. Maybe that's a good thing,
maybe not. The dude hasn't really made that much of a name for himself,
but maybe because no one has given him that much of a chance. So how
about going for a free agent like... Tyson Chandler? God, I can only
wish. Or maybe not, maybe if the Heat win the finals then he will want
to move elsewhere... Portland would love to have him.
POWER FORWARD Thank god Lamarcus came alive this last season. I knew
this cat could ball, yet I would like to see him embrace the leadership
role a little more strongly and not fold whenever someone else steps up.
Sure if a guy is hot you feed him the ball, but if you're open take the
shot or go to the rim. That's where I think LA could use a little bit
of attitude/aggressiveness as well. Guys are going to double team or
post up quick, LA just needs to push back twice as hard. Gerald Wallace
works best at the small forward position so lets not even think about
using him at the 4 again. We shouldn't have to. I think this could be
the most important trade this off season, acquiring a solid back up for
Lamarcus Aldridge. What about JJ Hickson? I believe his contract is up
with the Cavs this year. The dude puts up solid numbers plus the Cavs
have first round picks number 1 and 4, I think they will be alright. And
even if not, they weren't really seeming to go anywhere anyways. I have
a strange feeling about JJ, I think he is the man for the job. If you
don't know who he is, look him up. His game is a lot like LAs, but
lacking in some areas and perhaps excelling in others. I may be wrong
but he seems to attack the rim a little bit more? He is a restricted
free agent for 2012, meaning they would have to make a qualifying
offer... which I think is %125 of their current salary. Another prospect
for trading: Anthony Randolph?
#3 SMALL FORWARD Gerald
Wallace is a maniac. I hope he sticks around for a long time, he is
definitely the best option as of right now for the three, I can only
hope that Lamarcus and he start to really click well together as the
2012 season progresses. Looking elsewhere, the team either needs to give
Luke serious playing time or the guy is never going to materialize as a
solid player in the NBA. In that final game of the 2011 season it would
appear as though he can shoot, so lets play him a lot early in the 2012
season before games start to really matter. I almost want to avoid
talking about Nico, because I feel like he could be my favorite player
if he just went for it. He needs confidence, and he needs to attack. In
fact the attacking issue seems to be a problem of all the blazers, save
Wallace and maybe Matthews. But lets face it, he has had plenty of time
to play, and he really hasn't been that consistent. We really need
consistency. Is that so hard to come by? And a lot of teams seem to want
him so, lets use him in a trade deal. I like him coming off the bench
for Wallace if we can't find a place for him to go. Who could we bring
in to fill Wallace's backup? Surely Caron Butler could, and he's a
unrestricted free agent as of 2011. He's been out for awhile, but he
should be happy come next year... especially if there is a lockout and
he has even more time. What are the chances? Shane Battier would be
pretty f'in cool as well. I've realized there is quite a bit in the free
agent market, so i'm never going to assess everyone.
SHOOTING GUARD Matthews better figure out his ball handling and passing
or GTFO. It seems like he just needs to calm down a little bit if he's
going to attack so recklessly. I like the guy, and I like the idea of
him getting better, which I think will happen. And then there is Roy...
Roy is kind of an unknown at this point. I say we should keep him
around. Even still, at any given time I could see both Matthews and Roy
not producing at the same time, so we need a third guard that can be
more consistent, and I don't think Rudy is the guy. I really seem him
being happier in Spain anyways. Maybe we could even trade him to another
team. No further comment. In the free agent market... there's Jamal
Crawford from Atlanta, who we all know was a working man's team... and
the guy is from Seattle. Given his propensity to attack, Wallace and
Crawford would probably get along pretty well.
GUARD I saved the best for last. The point guard is the quarterback.
Miller is phenomenal, but given his age I would like to see him take
another young buck under his wing and teach them a thing or two. There
are several point guards in the draft, but i'd hate to see someone
picked up and then barely used due to inexperience. It would make me
feel way more comfortable to see someone at least 2 years in to the
league with a lot of potential. In a best case scenario, I think we
would somehow convince Brandon Jennings from Milwaukee to come over.
Milwaukee exercised the option for the third year of his rookie
contract, which is only worth about 2.5 mil. Acquire him now!
I don't see many or any of these positions being filled. I actually
find it very likely that we will end up with the same team next year.
There is hope though. First of all, if Oden isn't stolen and he actually
plays. And I almost forgot about one guy who could actually kick some
ass- Elliot Williams. God I hope they give him the time of day. Anyone I
didn't mention, I just figure is tradeable. Mills could be ok but we
really need more solid players to fill the team out.
Free Agents... there's a lot out there.