The PG Dilemma (continued)

This is in response to the comments from the initial post below. Shout out to everyone who got in on that discussion. As Coup would say…mad respect, bird. I’m just going to bullet some of the overall thoughts I gathered.

First off, the discussion opened my eyes to a couple things. The first is that while this might be an “issue” for the Blazers it’s not something that absolutely has to be fixed this year. Portland has the luxury if they can’t make the right move to play Blake in a contract year, give Bayless the ball in his second year and so on and so forth. The championship window hasn’t even cracked open yet so there’s no need to make any sort of panic move. It just needs to be understood that eventually an upgrade will be necessary.

  • Under no circumstances should Portland trade Jerryd Bayless.

Trading Bayless at this point is not the answer. Time will tell if he’s the PG of the future that KP thinks he is, but he’s got to get the shot first before we even dream of trading him. Unless we can get Deron Williams, Chris Paul or one of the Elite PG’s (uber-longshot) than Bayless should not be traded. That’s just how I feel. No way you give up an unproven Bayless for Andre Miller or Mike Conley, those are the kind of moves that get you back in the lottery. I’m not trying to be a Bayless “fanboy” or anything like that but common sense says you don’t trade a young and talented PG before he gets to really prove himself. Bayless is still a steal for this Blazer team, I mean if he had stayed in school we’re talking a top-5 pick in this draft with ease. I’m a little shocked that he’s being thrown into the expendable category so soon. He’s a second-year player with a ton of potential and a desire to get better. He has the luxury of time being on his side. Let him grow into something first people.

  • Under no circumstances should Portland draft a PG.

A lot of reasons for this but I think it’s the truth. A rookie is not the answer. First off….we just got a PG in the draft last year. Say what you will about Jerryd Bayless but know that he is going to be a 1 in the NBA. No arguing that and it’s clear that it’s a matter of time before he gets handed the ball. Very rarely do you ever want to see your team pick the same position back to back years. Generally speaking it means you made a mistake and say what you want about Bayless, at this point in the game he isn’t a mistake. He is going to (and should get) a true chance to grow and mature before another PG is considered. Secondly, this rookie PG would be so low on the depth charts it wouldn’t even be funny. Hypothetically speaking, even if we turf Sergio as expected…there’s still Blake (or PG Upgrade), Bayless, Petteri Kopponen and then insert rookie PG. Absolutely no point in having a 4th point guard, too many players not enough time. Players tend to develop by playing more and getting experience and that would be a poopshow of a log jam. Not meaning to crush any pipe dreams here but the Blazers have invested too much in Finland and Bayless to then draft another PG without them getting a shot. I just don’t see it happening. I mean Kopponen has been held overseas for what feels like forever, you don’t think Portland’s bringing him over before they draft another PG?

However, to play devil’s advocate…I’ll play along. In my opinion the PGs in this draft are weak and I personnally don’t see anyone on the list who would be available at #24 that would be that kind of upgrade we’re talking about. And to take it a step further, I don’t see any one of those guys that I’d want over Bayless. We gotta remember, Bayless goes back to school and he’s easily a top 3-5 pick this year. Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings should all be gone. Ty Lawson? Jrue Holiday? Darren Collison? Jonny Flynn? Shoot I’ll even drop Jeff Teague and Nick Calathes in there. All of those guys are talented…but they are all unnecessary gambles. And I’m not sure any of them put us over the top. I’d imagine there is no way Lawson or Flynn drop to 24. Those are the only two who even vaguely intrigue me and even then I feel like it’s a stretch. So no drafting a PG, another young PG is not the answer.

  • Still not feeling Hinrich or Andre Miller.

I’m still not drinking the Hinrich Kool-Aid. I’ll try and make my point clearer. I’m not trying to say that I don’t like his game or that he couldn’t help this team. He really impressed me during the playoffs. Very scrappy, very tough, great defender and what not I understand that. There are two things working against him being a Blazer. #1 is that price tag. $26.5 million over three years is too much for his services. It’s like taking a booty call out to dinner….just unnecessary. Secondly, in a sense he’s like a souped up version of Steve Blake. If the upgrade we’re talking about is just getting a souped up Steve Blake, then what’s the point? Yesterday, I saw a black Chrysler 500 with all sorts of work into it, I’m talking rims, TV’s, leather, the works. I just scratched my head. If you’re going to put all that money into it…why not just get a more expensive car? Getting Hinrich would be kind of like us owning that Chrysler 500 and putting all sorts of money into it trying to trick it and pimp it and what not. At the end of the day…we still have a Chrysler 500. It might look a little cooler than when we first bought it (Blake) but it’s basically the same car. And no matter how much we want driver’s to think it’s a Bentley..it’s still a Chrysler 500. Anyone else see what I’m trying to say? I know that analogy was a bit out there. 

Miller…may fit some of Portland’s needs as illustrated, but he’s still only got a little bit of time left (34 years old) and I’m not convinced he’s going to push this team to the next level. Maybe I’m wrong but I just don’t see it. And I definitely wouldn’t want him as a third or fourth scoring option, taking shots away from Roy, LMA, Rudy and the beasty version of Oden. And leadership? Didn’t he just skip the final meeting? Signing Andre Miller would reek of the Blazers in the mid-90′s when they signed Kenny Anderson and Shawn Kemp and Derek Anderson with the criteria being ‘Hey! They were pretty good on other teams! They’ll be pretty good here’. They never really were.

  • What about…Nate Robinson? Raymond Felton? Shannon Brown? Steve Nash?

I like Nate Robinson but I don’t like him for this team. Yes he’s an explosive scorer off the bench, but he has a lot of negatives that outweigh that positive. He’s an inconsistent and streaky volume shooter and he’s also quite immature. I’m leery of Nate Robinson after this year. When he’s up, his team is up. But when’s down, frustrated or slumping it drags the whole team down into that muck. Definitely don’t need that kind of frustrating headache. I feel like he would be like a more energetic, scoring version of Sergio. Too harsh? I just feel like that’s how he would make me feel when I watched him.  What’s the biggest criticism about Jerryd Bayless? He’s a 2-guard having to play the 1. Then what is Nate Robinson? Absolutely, positively a miniture 2-guard. What’s the difference? Don’t we already have a more mature, harder working version of that? No need to duplicate and have Bayless and Nate. And let’s be real… I mean…do you really want Nate Robinson having to make key decisions? Seriously think about that? He averaged 30 minutes this year and only averaged 4 assists on the season. On the flip side he got up 14 FGA’s…no thanks. But then again, maybe we need a guy with no conscience out there. Nah. He’s not the answer to the Blazers problem, we get the scoring aspect but we lose out on decision making and defense. I’d rather have Sergio back.

Raymond Felton….Everybody Loves Raymond. I smell a little bit of what your cooking on him. Great team player, plays hard, great assist numbers (averaging 6.7 for his career). He seems like he’s either over-criticized over under-rated, some odd mix of the two. I’ll have to do a little more research on him to be honest. I do know a couple things. He can’t shoot the ball and is turnover prone, averaging 2 a game for his career. Three point percentage has dipped every year: 35%, 33%, 28% and 28.5%. Those are nearly sub- Sergio-level numbers. Playing devil’s advocate here, if we’re going to have PG who can’t space the floor out, might as well keep the Spaniard instead of overpaying for Felton right?

Shannon Brown…..laugh out loud.

Steve Nash? Now I’m guessing the Suns sign Gentry and keep him around and try and make a final push. I doubt they let Nash go. For Nash to be as effective as we’d want Nash to be, we’d have to open the court up a lot more and he’d have to have the ball a ton. You saw what happened this year when the ball was taken out of Nash’s hands. Yeah.

Mike Bibby. Now that’s an intriguing name and definitely a guy you can make an argument for. He certainly can make plays and if the Blazers could somehow get him at the right price…I wouldn’t disagree with it I’ll tell you that much. He’s got that dreaded experience tag, and we know he can make big shots. Riddle me this though: how much better is he than Steve Blake?

As far as putting Roy or Rudy full-time at the PG….eh. I don’t want Rudy have to dominate the ball, I’d rather have him flying off screens or spotted up. Roy? I think that’s the argument a lot of Blazer fans made going into the season and during it, that we didn’t need a great PG because Roy is the primary playmaker. Well, this post-season it turned out he was the only perimeter playmaker. Huge difference. I don’t like what I saw in the playoffs as far as Roy having to do too much with the basketball. I liked the Roy/Rudy lineup, but there has to be someone else out there who can make plays. Too often in the Rockets/Blazers series it was Roy and LMA making plays with no help. And granted a lot of that had to do with the matchup, but you always want to fix your weaknesses.

Anything else?

Topics: Andre Miller, Blazers Offseason, Brandon Jennings, Darren Collison, Jason Kidd, Jeff Teague, Jerryd Bayless, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson, Nick Calathes, Petteri Kopponen, Portland Off-season, Portland Re-build, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers Needs, Portland Trail Blazers Point Guard, Raymond Felton, Ricky Rubio, Sergio Rodriguez, Shannon Brown, Stephen Curry, Steve Blake, Steve Nash, Ty Lawson

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  • here i am, rocked you like a hurricane

    All very good points (you give pros and cons of all players which I like) but I still don’t get a feel for who or what type of PG you like for the Blazers. You seem to be content with sticking with Blake because there are no obvious replacements?

    I take your point about Hinrich…..too expensive and too much like Blake. I still say if you are going to get a replacement for Blake, you have to look at a PG in the mold of Blake/Hinrich, which I know doesn’t make much sense (as you made clear with the Chrysler 500 analogy)but I am someone that doesn’t see a big need for a change at PG anyway. We won 54 games and exceeded all expectations. A whole sale change with our style isn’t necessary as evidenced by how good we were this year.

    I’ve always liked Mike Bibby and I think he fits that mold of player. Good shooter, has been in big games but never the Finals so he should still have the hunger, can probably create for himself better than Blake but probably not to the extent that so many think we need. You ask “Riddle me this though: how much better is he than Steve Blake?” Exactly, and this also goes back to your Chrysler 500 analogy. I do think he is better than Blake.

    In response to:”The championship window hasn’t even cracked open yet so there’s no need to make any sort of panic move.”

    I have to disagree here. We were one win from being the 2-seed our right this year as the youngest team in the league. There is no reason for me to believe that will change next year and would argue that we should only get better based on experience alone. Which is why I agree with no draft picks because I think we are playing for the 1 seed in the west and possibly a championship next year. No need to hinder our progress by developing another draft pick. Although it was impressive how well we did with 4 rookies playing some significant minutes this year.

    The Roy/Rudy combo at the guard position may work late in games and liked it for some of the Houston games but don’t think you can put that on Brandon for 48min/game, 82games.

    In response to: “Too often in the Rockets/Blazers series it was Roy and LMA making plays with no help. And granted a lot of that had to do with the matchup, but you always want to fix your weaknesses.”

    We didn’t have such a big problem with this during the season but Houston definitely exposed it in the playoffs. I think this is the biggest question and don’t think you need to solve it by changing point guards: Who is the legit third scorer? Travis was our 3rd leading scorer for the season and should be given some credit for the Blazers success. But he didn’t show up in the playoffs. In fact, no one did consistently besides Roy. In game 3, LA only had 13pts and TO only had 4pts. We lost by 3pts.

    Is that third legitimate scorer on the current roster? Is it Martell or Rudy(who wasn’t very consistent during the season or in the playoffs)? Should Outlaw be given another chance? Will Oden become more of an offensive threat next year so we have more of a post presence at the O-end?

    Blake is a know quantity and a big part of a 54 win team. You can’t deny his chemistry with Roy and Nate. I think the Blazers need to answer some of these questions before they make big changes at PG.

  • BlazersPDX

    Keep… Blake…?

    You just listed every reason why keeping Blake around is okay for now. There is literally no one else that either a.) we want to pay for; b.) fits our team; or c.) has proven themselves competent. Blake fits all three of those. He isn’t a beast, but he gets the job done. I’m tired of the Steve Blake haters, I’m not a fanboy, but anyone else that people offer up in his place is a down grade for those reasons I listed. He knows our offense, he has a great three point average, and he gets his assists. Like you said, he is solid. And until he proves me otherwise, I say let him play. Sergio is a no go, and Bayless is too iffy right now. You don’t have a crap PG and win 54 games is all I’m saying.

    On a related note, swing fans annoy me. T-Law is the greatest thing since sliced bread when he scores 17 and nails his buzzer beaters, but he gets a little nervous like EVERY OTHER BLAZER besides Rudy/Roy/LMA, has a couple crappy playoff games, and suddenly we have to trade him. I say stay with who took you to the dance. T-Law and Blake were defiantly a part of getting us to the playoffs, and next year I guarantee you a nice playoff run. If not, THEN we can start talking about who’s head is on the chopping block, but seriously, we were HOPING for a 7th or 8th seed this year, we are a young team, and we took a damn good Rockets team to 6 games in our first playoff series. The rest of the Blazers now know what the playoffs are like, and I think they are hungry to get another chance.

  • SJ

    -here i am, rock you like a hurricane

    Thanks for the feedback. In response to your comments. I like Steve Blake and I’ve gone to bat for him all year. I won’t have a problem with Blake running the show next year. I think all the anti-Blake or the Trade Blake stuff I’ve seen just kind of made me want to think about the PG spot. Portland’s in a good spot because we have a solid PG and one in training. There isn’t a rush to make a move right this second which is great because as I think I’ve pointed out recently, there isn’t much of an upgrade out there right now. I don’t mind sticking with Blake, but I think the playoffs may have made it clear that down the line a move will have to be made. That move could be anything, a free agent, a trade, it could be Bayless. But Blake can only be the starter for so long.

    Really, my only beef with Hinrich is all that money he’s making. Makes it kind of hard for me to entertain the idea. The more you bring up Bibby, the more I say ‘hmm’ although I’m sure when the Hawks get destroyed by Cleveland I’ll come up with some reason why I’m apprehensive.

    Let me try to clarify my ‘championship window’ comment because you made some good points. Compare us with teams like Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio over the past few years. All of those teams have seen their windows almost shut and they all made big (panicky) moves to keep it up. Shaq, Kidd, Artest and whatever San Antonio is going to have to do. Our window is just cracking open in the sense that it’s looking like it’s going to be open for a while. Hence, no need to rush or make a panic move. That make it a little clearer?

    Ah, the 3rd scoring option. I was going to touch on this next week. Rudy, Martell or Travis, one of those three is going to have to be a consistent third option every night. Even though I’ve Outlaw in the ‘expendable’ category, I’m not ready to completely dump on him yet. The man can still put the ball in the basket and has improved year after year. We’ll see if he has one more step left in him. Martell can only help and Rudy won’t have the rookie wall to deal with. It’s still and ‘if’ whether one of them can…but the prospects aren’t that bad.

    As far as Oden’s offense. It’s coming. One day he’s going to turn the corner and we’ll all have goofy looks on our faces. The flashes he’s shown this year have kept me feeling ok about it.

  • panfolk

    Draft Collison. He passes and defends, two things I haven’t seen Bayless do much of to date. Unless we can pull off a trade for an underutilized point guard that would benefit our system better (I can’t think of anyone other than Hinrich) than the team he’s on now, there aren’t a ton of PG solutions to be had. Drafts are chock full of offensively talented PGs like Bayless… they’re called combo-guards euphamistically, in my opinion, but could otherwise be known as 2 guard shrimpkins if we wanted to be more honest. I don’t care for guards that’re black holes that suck the ball in and compress it to a point near infinity.

    Get a capable passer that can defend and we’ll be golden as long as the coaching utilizes him well by running him with the right players.

  • Alex S.

    there’s got to be a hidden truth with your Chrysler analogy and the fact that they recently filed for bankruptcy.

  • StorminOrman

    What about the Finnish kid Petteri Koppenen (sp?) He’s 6’6″ and playing great in Europe. He played point for us in the summer league and has tremendous upside that brings him in like a Rudy… International experience and keeps the length. He may not be the long term answer (I believe Bayless is) but I think he would become a great back-up. Don’t mess with our teams chemistry unless we can get Paul (no), D-Will (no), Rondo (no)… Kirk is too expensive and doesn’t give us a huge upgrade over Blake (who I’d like to see stay).

  • panfolk

    With the possibility of Rubio getting snagged by Memphis we could get Conley at a bargain rate perhaps?

  • panfolk

    The more I hear about Maynor the more I think he’d be someone that Nate would play. I think that’s the criteria we should be considering first.

  • SJ

    Two out of the last three March’s I’ve had a long distance bromance with Maynor so that wouldn’t bug me too much if we could steal him at 24. I don’t know if he’ll be there but if he somehow is, we’ve got some serious thinking to do if you ask me.

    As far as guys that Nate would play…I doubt Portland is drafting or signing a a guy that Nate doesn’t like. Now just because he likes them doesn’t mean it will work out fully (see: Diogu, Ike) but I’m not too worried about having to get a specific type of guy just for Nate right now. He’s evolved enough to get that kind of respect.

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