As was reported today by the Oregonian and other credible news sources and then confirmed by the team, the Blazers have signed veteran big man Kurt Thomas to a two-year deal. It’s an interesting free agent signing. He’s less expensive than some of the names Portland was allegedly chasing last week. He is an enforcer and he brings experience, two things Portland is sorely lacking at the front court position.
The caveat is that he’s old. Very old. In basketball standards he’s as old as they come, literally. Kurt Thomas is the oldest player in the league.
I think this is not a bad pick-up all things considered. Sure it doesn’t take the sting out of the stuff that happened on Friday, but it does bring in an able body that has proven to be effective in numerous scenarios. More than that, Portland didn’t spend a bunch of money chasing one of the few big name guys out there, and they didn’t waste their money or any other resources signing a guy that they might not be able to afford to extend or might turn out to be a bust.
With Kurt Thomas, the core remains intact, nobody’s role has to change, and the best part is, Portland is not going to be on the hook for the long term.
I know it’s not the type of thing we want to see. We want the day after Brandon’s last day as a Blazer to be Chris Paul’s first day as a Blazer, but that’s not going to happen. Also, Portland has a lot of guys that can play, they have a good nucleus of talent, and they’re upside is pretty high in my humble opinion.
In a shortened free agency period and a breakneck season, there is very little that can or should be done to try and change the entire face of a franchise. Look at the teams that have tried. The Lakers are hustling for damage control after their blocked CP3 trade, the Hornets are barely a team, the Grizzlies might have over played their hand and could lose one of their most valuable pieces to a division rival. Compared with those situations, Portland isn’t doing so bad.
So let’s give Kurt Thomas the benefit of the doubt. He’s been around, there’s no doubt about that, but given the track record of this team isn’t better to bet on a guy that has played more than a thousand games?
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