Everyone loves to think up trades for their favorite teams. There’s always blockbuster deals and minor tinkering that fans and media alike will come up with, but generally with more familiarity to one party over the other(s). It’s just tough, when you don’t follow a specific team every year, for years upon years, to know exactly how available certain players are, or just how badly the team needs to dump salary.
So the idea here is to provide a sort of encyclopedic entry on the availability of Portland’s players and how much their contracts are affecting the team. Hopefully the idea will catch on with enough other blogs that you’ll have a bookmark to reference whenever you’ve worked out a trade on the Trade Machine and find yourself thinking, “But would they really do that?” If you or any blogger you know of creates a similar post, email us at [email protected] and we’ll start an “Availability Database”.
We’ll hit payroll first, and then run down the list of players based on what they will make in 2010-11. Information is subject to change, just as the team’s situation remains fluid.
2010 Financial State: With extensions to Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby kicking in, the Blazers are on the books for just under $71 million in 2010-2011. With the team winning, owner Paul Allen has been showing a willingness to spend, so the team is not looking to dump salary. But with Greg Oden eligible for an extension this summer, and the trio of Nicolas Batum, Jerryd Bayless and Rudy Fernandez — should they all remain with the team — eligible next summer, it’s possible one of the latter three players can price themselves out of Portland’s range. This team is at least a year away from making large moves based on salary concerns.
Brandon Roy, $13 million: The most untouchable player on the team. If you want him, you better be coming with an MVP-caliber offer, but considering Roy’s injury concerns, Roy probably has slightly more value to Portland than he would to a potential suitor, so you’ll likely not want to pay the price. His value to Portland is similar to Kobe’s value to L.A. — that’s not a talent comparison, just value. Roy isn’t going anywhere on this extension.
LaMarcus Aldridge, $10.7 million: He’s available, but only for a clear upgrade in the starting lineup. Aldridge’s contract is hardly crippling, he’s consistently healthy and the team has yet to see for any length of time what a frontcourt with him and Greg Oden can function like. The easiest situation to see Aldridge being moved is if an All-Star player wanted out and his team was looking for the best offer — thinking Boston sending Al Jefferson to Minnesota once Kevin Garnett made it clear he wanted out. If Chris Bosh consented to a sign-and-trade, Aldridge could be moved. If Chris Paul wanted out, Aldridge would probably be in talks. His availability could rise if the Blazers disappoint this season and Aldridge struggles with Oden, but he’s still not being moved for an Fantasy Sports 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 offers.
Marcus Camby, $10.6 million: Available, but either Joel Przybilla has to be healthy or Greg Oden has to make it through an entire season healthy, with few hiccups. Basically, his value as Oden insurance is probably more important to Portland than Camby would be to another team. That said, if for some odd reason you’re willing to offer youth or in a year you want salary relief with Camby’s expiring contract, offer away.
Joel Przybilla, $7.4 million: Available — he’s likely to pick up his player option this summer — but his timetable for return from a patellar-tendon injury is unknown. Joel could easily miss half the year, and as mentioned, his healthy will determine the availability of Camby. Joel’s value is mostly as an expiring deal, and possibly as a short-term frontcourt glue option for a playoff team.
Andre Miller, $7.2 million: The 2011-12 year on his contract is non-guranteed, which makes him valuable both as a contract and as a point-guard fix, but with Jerryd Bayless not ready to be a full-time point guard, Miller probably isn’t being moved unless Bayless takes a huge step forward, or if you are offering a younger point in a package deal which includes Miller.
Greg Oden, $6.7 million: To you, he probably represents a chance to take a risk on a talented center at a discount price due to his knee injuries. To the Blazers, he represents the difference between being a perennial 50-win team and a perennial title contender. It makes little sense for Portland to cut and run when Oden’s value is so low, and as such will only listen to offers that would make sense even if Oden was healthy and playing at the top of his game. Given that he likely would have been an All-Star had he stayed healthy this past season, the Blazers will want young-to-middle-NBA-aged All-Star talent in return — that means no Michael Beasley. Again, this is a situation where is value is infinitely greater to Portland than it probably is to you, at least this year.
Martell Webster, $4.8 million: Very available, particularly if the Blazers pick up another shooter, either through the draft or free agency. Webster has three years left on his deal, with the third year being partially guaranteed. He’s a good chemistry guy and has given Portland no cause to actively try get him off the team, but anything outside of a salary dump is a possibility for Webster, who at this point is simply a role player who didn’t live up to certain expectations. His price tag will not be bumped up due to upside any longer.
Jerryd Bayless, $2.3 million: Available, but he’s Portland’s backup point guard, so the team will either have to be acquiring some sort of option at that position in the deal, or will have had to find another option elsewhere. You will have to pay a fee for upside with Bayless, but Portland would especially be willing to listen if you had a ballhandling guard who was a better shooter, as it’s possible Bayless’ strengths don’t fit perfectly with the other talent. Again, there’s no rush to move him.
Rudy Fernandez, $1.2 million: If you haven’t heard, he probably wouldn’t mind being moved to another team. Coming off a terrible season, his value is extremely low, but it’s unknown how much Rudy’s overseas interviews has actually disrupted the team. Portland probably isn’t as eager to shed Rudy as they were Sergio Rodriguez last summer, but they will listen to any and all offers for him, and you are looking to trade down in the first round, Rudy is someone you could obtain while doing so.
Nic Batum, $1.2 million: Two years ago, when they had Raef LaFrentz’ Expiring Contract to play with, the Blazers turned down a Batum for Gerald Wallace deal. That should tell you how high they are on him. As with Aldridge, unless you are offering a significant upgrade at a position of need, like a young point guard, it’s probably not worth your time bringing Batum into the discussion.
Dante Cunningham, $762 K: Available, as he might might wind up without a position on the Blazers and isn’t the ideal backup power foward to LaMarcus Aldridge.
Jeff Pendergraph, $762 K: Available, and probably more so than Cunningham. But both players have value to Portland as cheap insurance options, and neither has been a problem in the locker room or off the court.
Draft Rights to Victor Claver, Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland: All are tradeable assets.
Draft Picks: The Blazers are always willing to move up or down in the draft, but does most of its dealings the day before or the day of the actual draft. Under Kevin Pritchard, the team has yet to move future first round picks, but has done so with second rounders.
Willingness to participate in multi-team deals: If the Blazers can get a smaller asset like a trade exception by facilitating a multi-team deal, they have proven willing to work with you.
Free Agents Juwan Howard, Travis Diener and Patty Mills: The team has expressed interest in bringing back Juwan Howard and eventually giving him a non-playing job with the team. It is unknown when the other two players will return, though the team will need a third-string point guard.
(All contract information taken from Storyteller’s Contracts)