Who is Expendable?

I’ve finally come to grips with it. The future is now. A big off-season coming up for Kevin Pritchard, Nate McMillan and co. It’s a different kind of off-season than they are used to. No longer does their need to be a concentrated effort on trying to re-build. Now we’re in the next phase which is making the moves so you can take the next step. Uncharted territory for Mr. Pritchard, but I’m sure he’ll do just fine. Whether I start the talk now or in a couple days, the fact of the matter is that the playoffs are over and the off-season talk would be inevitable. I’ve already seen enough ‘trade this guy’ or ‘draft this guy’ talk to make my head spin. This is kind of like if you get told “We need to talk” by someone….you can only avoid it for so long before you have to accept it.

So I ask a question…In your eyes, who on this team is expendable? Guys who I don’t want to see moved under any circumstance: Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Pryzbilla, Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless. And that’s it.

Everyone else is expendable in my books. If it means getting an upgrade, I’m all for the trading of Blake, Outlaw, Webster and Batum. They all narrowly missed the cut but end up on this list not because of poor performances in the playoffs but because of what could be coming back in return. Obviously I still wouldn’t trade Travis for Richard Jefferson (although I’m definitely smelling what the trade is cooking a little more) but if one of these pieces are needed to hit a home run, go for it. Steve Blake is solid and fits very well with this team. Doesn’t take much off the table, has the ability to hit shots which spreads the defense out, tough-minded. You know the routine. But as you know in this day and age in the NBA, point guards rule the world not Lauryn Hill and Nas. Blake smells more like Mario Chalmers and Rafer Alston than Mo Williams and Mike Bibby if you know what I’m saying. With Travis, we all know what we’re getting into. Martell I only put on here because in my head he’s kind of out of sight out of mind, I almost forget what he brings to the table sometimes. And yes I know the potential with Batum is off the charts but I know if we could get a home run trade and had to throw Batum in there I wouldn’t be that upset. And that’s my main point, I wouldn’t trade any of these guys for rice pilaf but I sure wouldn’t sit on them and break a great deal because of them. Let’s hope KP isn’t too attached to these guys.

Missing from this list? The four guys I assume to be done. Channing Frye, Michael Ruffin, Shavlik Randolph and Sergio Rodriguez oh yeah and…The Artist Formerly Known as RLEC. Sergio is no doubt going to be moved, there’s no point in pretending anymore and I’m just being honest here people. Ditto for Channing. Great people, but clearly neither of them have the trust of Nate McMillan. And I never want a player to be in that kind of situation, it’s just not healthy. Also, are their contributions really going to take us over the top? Sergio and this team don’t mix, it’s like strip clubs and fine dining. We don’t run to the point where Sergio can be his most effective. He can’t shoot the ball which in the half-court makes things tougher. It’s clear Nate doesn’t trust him enough and it’s also clear that when the time is right Jerryd Bayless will pass him up like *that*. We’ll miss the Sergio-to-Rudy alley oops though. Channing…not the kind of big man we need. We need someone who is going to beast, not get beasted. His ability to shoot the mid-range jumper is nice but on a team full of jump-shooters, sometimes you need a rebounder or a low-post operator. Bless his weird heart, Mr. Frye is neither of those.

(I can’t be the only one who wishes we still had Ike Diogu, can I?)

Love Muffin Ruffin and Cool Hand Shav….I wish I had all of your conversations on DVD.

What do you think?

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Tags: Blazers Off-season Blazers Rumors Blazers Trade Brandon Roy Channing Frye Greg Oden Ike Diogu Jerryd Bayless Joel Pryzbilla Kevin Pritchard LaMarcus Aldridge Martell Webster Michael Ruffin Nate McMillan Nicholas Batum Portland Trail Blazers Raef Lafrentz Rudy Fernandez Sergio Rodriguez Steve Blake Travis Outlaw

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