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.
Tags: 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