Lots of good stuff from today’s ESPN chat with sections bolded by me for emphasis:
Matt (Portland): Do you think Roy and Aldridge have become complacent after signing long-term contracts?
John Hollinger: I actually think they’ve become impatient. They want to badly for all the good stuff to start happening that everyone’s told them is coming that even minor doses of adversity have been really frustrating for them. Roy needs to re-learn how to play off the ball — he’s actually really good catch-and-shooting off screens but rarely does it, and that type of thing could make Miller-Roy a lot more workable.
Of course, the Blazers need to set good picks for this to work with any consistency, but it’s not hard to see how much easier things would be for Roy if he let others create for him and he didn’t have to break his man down on-ball whenever he wants to takeover.
Jeff (Portland): Why do Steve Blake play SO MANY minutes for the Blazers when they have better players on the bench.
John Hollinger: Brandon Roy loves playing with Blake and McMillan has given Roy a lot of rope, but they need to look really hard at this. Blake is a backup. Period. If Blazers are going anywhere this year, and I’m not necessarily sure they are, it will be with either Miller or Bayless running point.
See Re-Thoughts last night for my thoughts on this. I do get the feeling that Dean Demopoulos doesn’t want to start handing Bayless a ton of minutes without Nate being around, though, so it might not happen until the end of this road trip.
Ben (Portland): John, do the Blazers have to make a deal this year? KP has struggled to complete in season trades so far, but with only 9 healthy players and really only 6 healthy rotation players left he has to make something happen right? Would Orlando give up Bass? Or Washington give up Miller for what the Blazers can offer?
John Hollinger: Blazers will look really hard at any deal for a stretch 4 who can replace what Outlaw was giving them. That’s the big priority right now. I also think they wouldn’t mind dealing for a true 3, and it’s my sneaking suspicion that if Caron Butler came available they’d say yes in a nanosecond.
Hollinger isn’t the first one to bring up Butler, who is about to turn 30, is in the midst of one of his worst seasons, but only has one season at $10.8 million left on his contract. My question is, if the Blazers wouldn’t include Batum in a deal to acquire Gerald Wallace, would they include another young talent for a veteran? Keep in mind that Butler has an effective field-goal percentage of .441 right now.